By Justin VanLaere
The Hawkeyes are coming off back-to-back blowout losses to two of the best teams in the conference and nation. They look to right themselves today inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena against another Top 15 team in Michigan.
Iowa Hawkeyes (10-8; 2-3) vs Michigan (14-3; 4-1)
POMEROY RATINGS: Iowa – 115, Michigan – 29
REALTIMERPI: Iowa – 117, Michigan – 14
CBS RPI: Iowa – 123, Michigan – 24
MASSEY RANKING: Iowa – 104, Michigan – 21
Tip Off: Saturday, January 14th, 2012; 12:01 PM CST
Iowa City, IA; Carver-Hawkeye Arena, 15,400
TV: BTN HD; BTN2GO.com
Radio: AM 600, 1040, and 800. Sirius: 93 | XM: 191
Iowa trails 57-89 in the all-time series.
LINE: Iowa is a 3 point underdog at home. Pomeroy predicts a 4 point Iowa loss.
G – 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
** – anticipate a change in the starting lineup, I expect Aaron White to move into a spot.
G – Trey Burke, 5’11″, FR
G – Tim Hardaway Jr., 6’6″, SO
G/F – Zack Novak, 6’4″, SR
F – Evan Smotrycz, 6’9″, SO
F – Jordan Morgan, 6’8″, SO
Here’s a look at a graphical comparison of the teams from statsheet.com
UM has not lost to an unranked team yet this year.
This is the only game between Iowa and Michigan during the regular season.
KEYS TO GAME FOR IOWA:
- The Long Ball. Michigan is very good at shooting the three ball. Smotrycz, Nowak, Douglass, Burke, Hardaway – they can all stroke it from the outside. But as good as they are hitting from the outside, they are equally poor at defending it (ranking in the bottom 1/3 of the nation). The three ball could be the deciding factor in the game.
- Grab the Boards and Convert. Iowa should win the battle on the boards. UM doesn’t have a lot of height and their strategy isn’t to crash the boards either (rebounding out of the 1-3-1 is odd, too). I fully expect Iowa to be 8-10+ on boards in the one. The key will be if Iowa can actually do something with the ball once they get the extra possessions.
- Get UM Frantic. The Wolverines are a really efficient ball club. They shoot the ball well, they get points on a lot of their possessions, and they do pretty well at hanging onto the ball. If the Hawks (and the crowd) can get the Wolverines out of their comfort zone, it will create opportunities for Iowa.
- Devyn Marble has to be Better. After really coming to life at the end of the non-conference action and into the very beginning of the B1G slate, Devyn has slid back a bit in his productivity. He is forcing it a bit and not hitting his shots. He has more turnovers in his last three games than he did in the previous six combined. He needs to the let the game come to him. An early home game could help him get back on track.
- Attack on the Offensive Side of the Ball. Michigan is going to likely come out in their 1-3-1 zone defense (unless something has drastically changed recently). UM doesn’t create a lot of turnovers with the zone, but they make you pass/slash with intent. Lazy passes and just dribbling around will play right into the Wolverines’ hand.
Here’s an example of UM’s D, in case you haven’t watched them in the past…
Iowa needs to be direct with what they want to do with the ball. Also, getting out on the fast break will be very beneficial to the Hawks, as well.
PREDICTION: Michigan is a legitimate Top 20 basketball team, but they aren’t on the same level as Ohio State and Michigan State. I don’t expect things to get out of hand like they did in the previous few games for the Hawkeyes. Before the season started, I saw this game as a loss, and that was assuming the Wolverines wouldn’t be a Top 25 team (a Morris-less team didn’t look promising). That said, I like Iowa in this one. Michigan hasn’t won on the road yet this season and almost lost at home to Northwestern last time out. If the Hawks can contain Michigan’s stellar back court, they should be able squeak out a win. The Wolverines are the better team right now, but I like the Hawkeyes at home. FINAL SCORE: Iowa 71, Michigan 68