67-64: WE'RE THE BIG TENTH

WRESTLING PROGRAMMING NOTE: As there is no live coverage of the Iowa-OSU dual meet on TV (curse you, BTN!), we'll be living vicariously through liveblogs and talking about the results in this here thread.  Podcast friend Andy Hamilton is liveblogging the meet here, while KJ Pilcher of the Gazoo is livingblogging it over yonder.  They're both good dudes.  -- RossWB.

It's a conference victory in basketball. We didn't really know if we were going to have one of those this season. Thus, as with all victories over Penn State, we celebrate:

67-64 is your final. and the man of the match was once again Aaron Fuller, who went full BEEF MO on the offensive glass (7 offensive rebounds!) and finished with 20 and 10 on the day.

Really, the three things that have plagued Iowa the most this season--in no particular order, it's defensive effective FG%, offensive rebounding %, and turnover %--were all actually strengths in today's game. To wit:

  • D EFG%: 53.0 (304th in nation) for the season, 45.2 today
  • O REB%: 29.4 (288th in nation) for the season, 37.9 today
  • TO%: 23.1 (278th in nation) for the season, 13.1 (estimated) today

Those are three factors that--regardless of style, tempo, or whatever cosmetic approaches a coach may take to his game--good teams do well at, and bad teams don't.

In other words, that's a good way to put together a win. And still, and still, the game was in doubt until the final seconds; PSU hit a layup as time expired to put the game within three, but it was a 3-point game and PSU ball with under 10 seconds to go. But for an utterly botched trip to the free throw line for the Nitty Kitties, this could have ended differently for the Hawkeyes.

The culprit: missed open shots. Iowa's ball movement was perhaps at its best today, owing to some miserably passive defense by Penn State (have you guys watched no film of the Hawkeyes? I realize they're not on TV much, but still...). And yet, Eric May was a horrific 2-12 from the field, including 1-8 from downtown. Earth to coaches: Eric May should not be limited to hoisting 25-footers. He is the most dynamic player on the team. We would have included athletic, but that's Jarryd Cole, even though what Cole does on the court can't legally be described as "playing basketball." But that Eric May block on the fast break? Play of the yea? Maybe? Someone get that shit on YouTube ASAP.

Matt Gatens was typical Matt Gatens, going 14-4-4 with a perfect 6-6 performance at the line. Could have used better shooting than 3-9 out of the man, but we're not going to complain.

So, with that, the floor is open; the thread is yours. We're going to be in and out for the rest of the day, so feel free to comment here about the game, or the NFL playoffs going on (we think the Saints roll, for what it's worth (which is "nothing at all")), or the wrestling meet that's criminally untelevised. Go nuts. Move your feet and feel united. Whoa oh oh.

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