We are back!
And that sure was quick. It was mentioned on the broadcast that Iowa won’t go more than four days without playing a game for the bulk of the early schedule and guess what? It checks out - 10 games in 31 days.
Anyways, the Iowa Hawkeyes (1-0) second game of the bunch is against a UMKC Kangaroos (0-1) group who lost to the Minnesota Golden Gophers, 71-56. They played them close before a 17-2 run with about 6 minutes left put it away for a team up north.
The Roos are now a part of the Summit League - their second year - and are led by Billy Donlon, who’s in his third year in Kansas City. He put together some strong seasons at Wright State from 2010-2016 (.537 win percentage) but could never get the Raiders into the tournament.
The big name to know for UMKC is Josiah Allick, a 6’8” center who put up 21 points on 10 shots against Minnesota. He knocked down a couple threes in the contest. It’s a bit of an “old friend alert,” as he faced Filip Rebraca when he played for North Dakota last season. In those games, he averaged 18.5 points on 16/26 shooting from the field. He added 17 rebounds across the two contests, though he had six turnovers. Certainly something to monitor.
UMKC’s KenPom profile is almost right in line with Longwood’s, at 254th overall to the Lancers 256. Their defense rates slightly higher than the offense, as they blocked 5 shots against Minnesota and held them to 1.09 points/possession. They played a core rotation of six guys in The Barn, with just Allick and freshman Jack Chapman measuring taller than 6’5”.
- Can Iowa keep up the focus on limiting turnovers? Sustainability is a big question round these parts and the biggest area I figured we’d see some dropoff in Iowa from last season to this is turnovers. After all, the only way to go after being first in the nation (13.3% turnover rate) according to KenPom is down. Well, the group held static for the time being with just 8 in the game against Longwood. Most impressive was Joe Toussaint’s goose egg after struggling in the area so far in his career. While I’d love to see more of that, it’s unlikely to continue. The question for Joe - and the rest of the team - is if they can do well to flush those concerns. UMKC is interesting in this regard because Donlin-coached squads have found themselves in the top 50ish of turnover rate for 7 of his 8 seasons.
- Who wins the battle down low? Allick is a solid player and one who gave Rebraca fits in the past and bested him in their games last season. Rebraca averaged just 15 points with slightly lower efficiency (13/25 shooting). After a quiet game in Iowa’s first outing, I would not be surprised if Fran McCaffery ran a couple early sets to get Filip more involved offensively. It is especially important if he can get Allick into foul trouble, as he played all 40 minutes against the Gophers. Otherwise, I would not be surprised with a heavy dose of Keegan Murray as the functional five to give fits to the Kangaroo big man on both sides of the court.
- Who steps up off the bench? Iowa’s exhibition saw Payton Sandfort get it going in the second half to the tune of 12 points. Kris Murray finished the first game with an offensive outburst and closed with 16 points on 7/9 shooting. I get the sense so far that the bench is not so much looking to develop a consistent scorer or two, though that would be nice, but feed the hot hand while starters are not in the game. Tony Perkins has struggled from the field so far this season is a scorer at heart. Could tonight be the game he shows what he can do?
Opponent: UMKC Kangaroos (Kansas City, MO // Summit League)
Betting Lines: Iowa -20 // O/U 140 (DraftKings)
Game time: 7:01 PM CST // Friday, November 12, 2021
Location: Carver-Hawkeye Arena // Iowa City, IA (Tickets: $15 Adult, $5 Students/Kids)
Radio: Hawkeye Radio Network
Live Stats: StatBroadcast
Go Hawks, and play nice in the comments!