Friday, January 1, 2010

A Poor Man's Penn State

I really want to call Iowa a Poor Man's Penn State, mainly because it sounds good but also because there are some similarities here - both have one good player and a bunch of stiffs.  That's really pretty unfair to Penn State though, because their one player is much better than Iowa's one player and PSU's stiffs are much better than Iowa's stiffs.

Iowa's one good player is Matt Gatens, a 6-5 shooting guard who leads the Hawkeyes in scoring and steals and is second in both rebounding and assists, and is the team's only reliable scoring option with Anthony Tucker currently suspending and/or in a drunken haze - although he only got off six shots for 6 points in the opener against Purdue.  Usually, however, Gatens is a quality player because although he is a three-point threat (4 made threes in four of his last five games) he doesn't solely rely on it and can hit the jumper or get to the rim, and is a a good rebounder (9 vs. Drake) and can find the open man when needed (8 assists versus SC State).  Basically, he does what Talor Battle does, but isn't as good at it.  Westbrook should be able to handle him, but if I'm Tubby I go ahead and put Damian on him right off the bat.  DJ would completely take Gatens out of the picture.

Everybody else here fills a role, and some do it ok, but nobody else is overly scary.  Cully Payne is the starting point guard, but he's a freshman and turns it over too often (3.1 per game) and isn't much of a shooter (38%).  He was also 2-11 with 4 TOs vs. Purdue.  Al Nolen is going to destroy him.

Jarryd Cole is what passes for size on the team at 6-7.  He's mostly a garbage man, but has managed to aveage 10 pts and 6 rebounds per game so far this year while shooting 63% - which is actually a career low.  Not that hard I guess when your range is four feet.

Eric May is the third guard and the only other guy who can score at all, averaging 9.3 per game and has hit double digits in each of the team's last three games.  He's the kind of guy who likes to shoot the three but can't make them, so keeping him on the perimeter would be good.

The final starter, and maybe the most interesting, is Aaron Fuller.  He's a 6-6 sophomore who has played a very minor role on the team the last year and a half, but has become a viable option the last two games, notching twelve and fifteen points, doubling his career games with double-digit scoring.  I don't know a damn thing about him, but since he doesn't much shoot the three I would probably guess he's a undersized power forward type.  In any case, I'm not much scared.

As a team, the Hawkeyes were known as a slow as crap strong defensive squad who relied on three-pointers.  Two of those things are true - they are still slow as crap (327th in the country in tempo) and they still rely on threes (49% of their FG attempts are from behind the line - fifth highest in the nation), but they now suck at defense.  Things started to fall off last year but have really bottomed out this season - they rank 253rd in overall defensive efficiency.  They don't defend the three well (opponents shoot 37%) or the two (52%), they don't turn teams over (313th in TO%), they don't block shots (329th) or steal the ball (323rd).  Hell, they don't even do the one thing they rely on on offense well, shooting just 34% from three (163rd).  In short, this team is awful.

No shocker there.  They've lost to UT-San Antonio and Duquesne this year.  But allow me a word of caution - every other team the Hawkeyes have lost to this year has been a top-100 type team.  They also also hung tough with Purdue in Iowa City earlier this week, actually leading at halftime before running out of gas since they only go 7-deep and ended up losing by eleven.  That is sort of what I see happening here, but the Gophers aren't nearly as talented as the Boilers.

Minnesota 60, Iowa 57.  And feel lucky to have escaped with that win.


Anonymous said...

Good call on the score retard! Stick to shark movies!

Anonymous said...

It will be great to watch Iowa Hawkeyes, i have bought tickets from looking forward to it.

WWWWWW said...

I think this post is maybe possibly spam, and you're not a real fan at all.