Iowa (9-1) vs. Fairleigh Dickinson (3-8)
Date: December 9, 2013
Time: 6:00 p.m. CT
Location: Carver Hawkeye Arena
Line: Iowa -31.5
Iowa takes on Fairleigh Dickinson Monday night in its final tune up for Friday's Iowa State game. Tipoff is at 6 p.m. CT, with television coverage on BTN. OMG I KNOW A GAME ON ACTUAL HIGH-DEFINITION TELEVISION ALERT THE MEDIA.
Fairleigh Dickinson (which is located in the excellently-named Hackensack, N.J.) is really bad at basketball. The Knights rank No. 324 in the current Kenpom ratings. They shoot a lot from the outside, but make only 30.7 percent of their three-point attempts. They are not much better from inside the arc, either; in fact, Fairleigh Dickinson's 45 percent effective field goal rate is among the nation's worst. Fairleigh -- can we just call them FairDick? -- FairDick is among the nation's worst rebounding teams, especially on opponent misses. Having no significant contributors above 6'9 will do that.
The irony, then, is that Iowa is going to see one of its finest individual opponents Monday night. Senior guard Sidney Sanders (5'11, 175) is second nationally in assist rate (assists divided by the number of field goals his teammates make while he's on the court) and third in possessions used (percentage of possessions that end in him making a shot, missing a shot, or committing a turnover). Sanders averages 18.9 points per game, adding in 5.2 assists and a few rebounds for good measure.
Aside from Sanders, there's not much to see here. Freshman forward Matt MacDonald (6'5, 185) looks to have a promising future, but provides little more than his 8.3 points per game. He takes a lot of three-point shots, but has made less than 30 percent of those attempts. Mustafaa Jones (6'3, 180) plays a ton of minutes but provides little more than a three-point threat. Scooter Gillette (6'9, 225) is probably the tallest guy in the world named Scooter.
The Knights go nine-deep, but are so dependent on Sanders that the other eight don't much matter. Iowa's speed, pressure defense, and tempo should be enough to build a lead, and the massive edge the Hawkeyes hold on the glass should preserve it without trouble.
(Ed. note: I'd like to say this preview is late because it is so extensive, but the fact is that I had a busy weekend with day job responsibilities and forgot this game was even happening. My apologies for the tardiness and the unusually brief preview).