This was a game where Iowa didn’t look competitive against an average team, at home no less. Every single weakness that Iowa possesses was on full display last night. Let’s quickly run through the list before discussing the ramifications on Iowa’s Big Ten Tourney seedings.
On most nights, Iowa may have one or, at the most, two of these weaknesses show out. Unfortunately on Tuesday, they all reared their ugly heads.
- Joe Wieskamp can’t create his own shot: This is being proven over and over again unfortunately. Iowa needs to do a better job at setting screen after screen to get Wieskamp and C.J. Fredrick open for shots and work the ball inside and throw it back outside when the defenders collapse on Luka Garza.
- Connor McCaffery is not a three-point shooter: Although McCaffery has shot better this season, he should not be one of the top three scoring options. Teams are standing back and letting him shoot for a reason and he shouldn’t attempt eight threes in any game.
- Iowa is not strong on the boards: Prior to Ryan Kreiner coming into the game in the first half, Purdue had their way on the offensive boards and parlayed that into numerous second chance points. Purdue out-rebounded Iowa on the offensive end 21-10.
- Joe Toussaint is a freshman: I counted three turnovers in the first half that were due to going too fast or being baited by a veteran. I still fall on the side that you have to let Toussaint play and learn as he has a different speed than the rest of the team but it can be a weakness.
- Iowa doesn’t make strong game adjustments: Rarely do I walk away from a game thinking that Iowa made better adjustments than the opponent after getting kicked in the teeth early. I could be wrong and have a short memory, but I just don’t recall it happening often.
- Iowa has no bench depth: Iowa was outscored 27-14 off the bench and nine of the 14 points were from quasi-starter Kreiner.
Big Ten Tourney Implications
If Iowa can go to Illinois and pull off a road win, they are still in position to grab the fourth seed in the Big Ten Tourney. A loss at Illinois means that Iowa may slide into the sixth seed and have to face someone like Indiana in their first game. Luckily, if that happens, it looks like Purdue may be on the other side of the bracket from Iowa since it appears as if Purdue is not a good matchup for the home team.
Here is the link to a Big Ten Tournament seeding scenario generator where you can see what Iowa’s seeding could look like and also drive yourself crazy by doing some “what-ifs” on some games that were lost earlier in the season.
Sometimes it just isn’t your night. Iowa obviously didn’t perform like they wanted at home and especially on senior night. However, they are safely in the NCAA Tournament and a win at Illinois on Sunday will erase this bad loss. If Iowa loses at Illinois, they are probably going to have to win a couple games in the Big Ten Tourney or they may be looking at a seventh seed which isn’t favorable for getting past the first weekend.
Iowa will have lots of things to watch on tape and a couple of extra practice days this week to get ready for Illinois. Brush the loss off and come out this weekend with a chip on their shoulders and play with more focus and effort early and all will be fine.