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Can the Hawkeyes continue their winning streak against an unlikely ranked foe?

NCAA Basketball: Rutgers at Iowa Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The #19 Iowa Hawkeyes (13-5, 4-3) play host to the #24 Rutgers Scarlet Knights (14-4, 5-2) tonight at 8:00p. It’s the first time they’ve faced each other with both of them ranked. Cool!


Quick Questions

  1. Can Luka Garza continue his All-American tear? Garza has scored over 20 points in 9 of the last 11 games, including 8 KenPom-designated “MVPs.” Myles Johnson will be the guy who gets the first crack at The Peacock which will challenge the improvement he’s shown in defending without fouling. Johnson has played 5 more minutes per game this year but seen his fouls decrease to 2.2 a game. That’s resulted in a dip in fouls/40 minutes from 6.1 to 3.8. He’s also seen his blocks double to 1.5/game. Iowa is amongst the worst teams at getting shots blocked, with nearly 1 in 10 two pointers getting rejected. But Garza is relentless and will do his best to score, whether it’s at the line, in the paint, or from three.
  2. Will Iowa’s guards counteract Rutgers physicality? In looking at each team’s measurables, Iowa matches up size-wise surprisingly well with the Rutgers backcourt. Sure, and inch and 10 pounds is given here or there but it’s not as if they will tower over the Hawks. But they do play an intense and physical style of defense which will challenge Iowa’s ability to take care of the ball. Led by Geo Baker, the Scarlet Knights force turnovers on ~20% of opponent possessions. Iowa’s been around that number in wins against Michigan and Maryland plus the loss to Penn State. They’ll need to play a clean game to limit Rutgers easy baskets - half of Rutgers turnovers forced are live-ball steals.
  3. Can Ryan Kriener continue his stretch? Kriener has been tremendous this season, shooting over 70% from two and a crisp 40% from 3. In Adam’s deep dive, he outlined how strong Kriener has been alongside Garza. Considering Rutgers’s best offensive statistic is offensive rebounding, Kriener factors in big here. (Connor McCaffery will also need to factor into Iowa’s defensive rebounding like he did against the Wolverines.) Kriener’s ability to play without Garza also loosens an opponent’s defense inside, as they are never able to rest in post defense.

Broadcast Information

Opponent: Rutgers Scarlet Knights
Game time: 8:00 PM CST // Wednesday, January 22, 2020
Location: Carver-Hawkeye Arena // Iowa City, IA
Online/Mobile: FOX SPORTS GO
Radio: Hawkeye Radio Network
Online Listening: HRN
Live Stats: Sidearm Stats

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