MBB: Iowa vs Drake Preview/Prediction

 

By Justin VanLaere

The Drake Bulldogs come into Carver-Hawkeye Arena to take on the Iowa Hawkeye in men’s hoops action.  Both teams have had over a week between games because of Finals Week.  Iowa will finish up its non-conference slate with 3 games in 6 days.

Game Info

Iowa Hawkeyes (5-5) vs. Drake Bulldogs (6-3)
POMEROY RATINGS: Iowa – 143, Drake – 159
REALTIMERPI: Iowa – 205, Drake– 70
CBS RPI: Iowa – 217, Drake- 75
MASSEY RANKING:  Iowa – 209, Drake- 123
Tip Off:  Saturday, December 17th 2011; 8:06 PM CST
Iowa City, IA; Carver-Hawkeye Arena, 15,500
TV:  BTN HD
Radio: AM 600, 1040, and 800.  SiriusXM 85.
Iowa leads the series 55-10.

LINE:  Iowa is a 6.5 point favorite.  Pomeroy predicts Iowa to win by 5 points.

Live Chat?  Ok, then.  Live Chat.  LIVE CHAT DURING THE GAME HERE.

Projected Starters


IOWA

PG – Devyn Marble, 6’6”, 194 lb, SO*****

G – Matt Gatens, 6’5”, 212 lb, SR

G – Eric May, 6’5”, 217 lb, JR

F – Melsahn Basabe, 6’7”, 225 lb, SO

F – Zach McCabe, 6’7”, 232 lb, SO

 

Drake

G – Karl Madison, 5’10”, FR

G – Rayvonte Rice, 6’4″, SO

F – Jordan Clarke, 6’8″, JR

F –  Aaron Hawley, 6’8″, JR

F –  Ben Simons, 6’8″, JR

 

***** A note on the projected starters for Iowa – it’s very possible that Bryce Cartwright returns to the starting lineup after being out with a hammy injury.  I’m not sure if Fran moves Marble to the 3 and puts May on the bench if that happens.  It’s tough to see McCaffery not start Marble, who has been Iowa’s best player the last few weeks.

 

DRAKE              STATS COMPARISON              IOWA

66.6……………………Scoring Offense……………………..74.7
64.2……………………Scoring Defense……………………..70.9
45.4%………………………….FG%………………………….. 43.5%
41.5%…………………….. Opp. FG%……………………… 46.5%
35.4%…………………….. 3-Pt. FG%……………………… 35.6%
37.2%…………………….Opp. 3-Pt%……………………… 37.8%
65.2%………………………….FT%………………………….. 73.6%
31.9…………………………Reb. Avg……………………………36.0
32.4……………………….. Opp. Reb…………………………..34.3
10.3………………………. Assist Avg………………………….14.7
15.2…………………………. TO Avg…………………………….12.2
3.4………………………….. Blk. Avg……………………………..1.6
7.4…………………………. Steal Avg…………………………….9.1

 

KEYS TO GAME FOR IOWA:

Rely on the Press.   Drake gives up the ball almost once every four possessions.  They are in the bottom 20% of the nation in turnover %.  Freshman Karl Madison has gotten better with the ball as of late, but has struggled turning the ball over.  The Bulldogs are not a guard-intensive basketball club.  They have good height and below average ball-handlers.  Iowa is in the Top 30 in the nation in steals.

–  Ben Simons is Going to Score, Forget About Him.    Ok, maybe not forget about him completely, but if you are on help D, perhaps stay home a little bit.  Simons has scored in double figures in each and every single one of Drake’s games this year.  He takes a lot of shots and plays a ton of minutes without every getting into much foul trouble.  At 6’8″, he’s a matchup problem for Iowa.  He can hit from the perimeter (shooting 47% behind the arc) with almost 1/2 of his point coming from the three-ball.  If you’ve never seen Simons, here’s a montage from his high school days.  He’s Drake’s guy. He’s going to score. Just don’t let him put up 40 and Iowa should be fine.  Let Rayvonte Rice and the rest of Drake’s guard shoot all night long from downtown (I can’t believe I’m saying that).

–  Foul Jordan Clarke.   Jordan Clarke will get to the FT line.  He gets there a lot. In fact, his FTRate is #2 in the nation at an incredible 109.8 rating.  What does that mean?  It means he shoots more FTs than FGs.  Luckily for Iowa, he’s terrible at shooting FTs.  Currently on the season he is 20/45 from the line and 22/41 from the field. Hack a Clarke could be in order, especially if this is a tight game late.

–  Let Devyn Marble Do His Thing.   Marble has had some trouble finishing at times, but it’s painfully obvious that he is Iowa’s only pure scorer on the team (notice I didn’t say shooter).  Dev can get into the lane very effectively.  His floater has looked really good, and his 14 foot jumper is improving.  Even his passing has seen marked improvement – 32 assists to just 8 turns.  The last few games have allowed Marble to flow, if he can hit more of his shots Iowa will be in really good shape.

 

PREDICTION:   Iowa has only lost to Drake three times inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena in the history of the series.  I don’t expect that number to increase when this one is over.   Drake has yet to win a game on the road this season, however Carver-Hawkeye hasn’t been that friendly to Iowa lately. I have no idea what to expect for a crowd, but anything that Hawkeye fans can do to help will be a big boost to this team and program.    FINAL SCORE: Iowa 74,  Drake 63

 


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