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Can Iowa keep it going ahead of their trip to Vegas?

NCAA Basketball: Oral Roberts at Iowa Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The Iowa Hawkeyes (3-1) are back this afternoon ahead of their Thanksgiving trip to Las Vegas. Next up are the Cal Poly Mustangs (1-4).

Unlike Iowa’s last couple of opponents, the Stangs will look to slow the game down and, thankfully, do not shoot a lot of threes. That may change, of course, if Iowa is letting them take them, and they do have some guys who can make them, with a team percentage over 40%.

At 325th overall, according to KenPom, they rate lowly on both sides of the court. They struggle with both turnovers and offensive rebounds on offense. Starting PG Keith Smith is particularly poor with the ball, with a TO% of 31.5%.

On defense, they’ll lock down the offensive glass, though that may be a result of teams not chasing offensive boards during blowouts. They’ll give up a high percentage of makes across the court and, unlike North Florida who gave Iowa early fits with blocks, have the worst block percentage in the nation.

Three guys

  • Junior Ballard: The sophomore wing has the team high 3-point shooting percentage, making 6/12 so far and is their leading scorer at over 12 points a game.
  • Tuukka Jaakkola: The Finnish big man is salty down low, shooting 60% on the season. He might pose some semblance of a test for Luka Garza, as he draws over 4 fouls per 40 minutes.
  • Kyle Colvin: The freshman power forward is their second leading scorer and at 6’6”, may be difficult for Iowa to cover with their plodding big men. He’s a willing shooter, at 36% from deep, and leads Poly in rebounds.

Three questions

  • Can Joe Toussaint be more than a nuisance? I think the Tyler Goodson comparisons are a little early, but they are certainly in the right vein. There is truly an excitement when he steps on the floor. Perhaps the most exciting about what he’s done is what he hasn’t: turn it over. He’s got a 12.5% turnover rate, which is better than Iowa’s as a whole. At just 12ish minutes a game, though, it’s hard to make a sustained impact. He’s leading the team with a 4.1% steal rate so it’d be nice to see if he can affect Poly’s Smith throughout the game.
  • Is Fran going to go small? With only the Mustangs between Iowa and Texas Tech (a team whose starting power forward is 6’6” freshman who attacks the hoop, it’s now or never for Iowa to prepare to guard smaller fours. KenPom has logged just 7% of Iowa’s games with Joe Wieskamp at the 4 and with Pat McCaffery’s status in the air, it’s probably time to dust that lineup quirk off.
  • Can Iowa get the 3-point shooting going? Iowa is shooting 31.5% from deep, which isn’t what fans want to see out of a team that looked to be strong from deep coming into the season. Jordan Bohannon has yet to find his touch at 6/20 and Wieskamp & Jack Nunge are a combined 7/26 through four games. Really the only guys stroking it from deep are Garza (who has been a beast down low) and C.J. Fredrick (who probably should shoot it more!).

Broadcast Information

Opponent: Cal Poly Mustangs (San Luis Obispo, CA // Big West Conference)

Game time: 4:00 PM CST // Sunday, November 24, 2019

Location: Carver-Hawkeye Arena // Iowa City, IA


Online/Mobile: FOXSPORTSGO

Radio: Hawkeye Radio Network

Online Listening: HRN

Live Stats: StatBroadcast

Go Hawks, and play nice in the comments!