The Iowa Hawkeyes (1-0) return to the hardwood to face the North Carolina A&T Aggies after a ho-hum game earlier this week against Bethune-Cookman. Tony Perkins led the team with 16 points on 7/9 shooting with Kris Murray following suit up with 14 on 5/8. Only Payton Sandfort shot more than 10 times (5/11) in Iowa’s first game in a balanced offensive performance.
NC A&T beat D-II Edward Waters 100-61 in their opener with freshman Kam Woods leading the way with 22 points in 23 minutes. Demetric Horton posted 19 points and six assists in the rout.
Below are a couple thoughts, some additional details on Iowa’s opponent (using 2022 averages until 5 games have been played), and how to watch.
Can Iowa continue ... kind of good defense? The Hawkeyes allowed just 58 points on 74 possessions, good for 0.779 points/possession. That’s a number Iowa exceeded only twice last season (at Rutgers and against Portland State) and 10 times since the 2015-2016 season. The last time the Hawks had a truly pretty good defense by this metric was 2014-15, when seven of Iowa’s opponents were held under that mark. That group allowed an adjusted .951 PPP according to KenPom, the second best of any Fran McCaffery-coached Iowa team.
While I don’t think Iowa is going to suddenly jump into the 30s from a defensive efficiency standpoint, the makeup of this team mirrors that of the 2014-15 bunch. There was effective defending at PG with Mike Gessell and Anthony Clemmons and length at the 2-4 with Peter Jok, Jarrod Uthoff, and Aaron White. The major difference was two great defenders at the 5 in Adam Woodbury & Gabe Olaseni.
The bones (and athleticism) is there to put together a team which can have success defensively. If they can continue much of what we saw against Bethune-Cookman, it could provide Iowa what they’ve been missing in the conference race.
Can Iowa find someone to serve as the primary bench scorer? Much of last year, Iowa had strong offensive performances off the bench with Kris Murray, Tony Perkins, and the occasional Payton Sandfort outburst. While the balanced scoring extended to Hawkeye subs (20 amongst 6th-9th men), nobody stood out as particularly efficient, short of Connor McCaffery’s 2/3 shooting from deep.
Perhaps it is the elder McCaffery who ends up leading the bench unit in scoring but so far, it’s come in relatively uncreative ways on catch and shoot jumpers. I’d love to see Dasonte Bowen take the reigns a bit as he has the highest ceiling of the four main subs so far.
About the Aggies
Season averages, 2021-22: Team / Opponent
PPG: 67.7 / 70.3
RPG: 35.5 / 36.5
APG: 12.3 / 13.9
TOPG: 12.7 / 13.9
FG%: 42.4% / 42.9%
3P%: 31.2% / 34.2%
Phillip Shumpert, 1st season at North Carolina A&T
Record: 1-0 this season
PPG: Marcus Watson 12.6; Demetric Horton 10.7
RPG: Watson 6.0 (1.3 off); Horton 4.9 (1.1 off)
APG: Horton 2.1; Watson 1.3
FG%: Webster Filmore 51.8%; Jeremy Robinson 48.4%
3P%: Robinson 43.9%; Kyle Duke 41.7%
Last 5 games:
2023 W - v Edward Waters, 100-61
2022 L - v Longwood, 79-65
2022 W - v Radford, 78-71
2022 L - v Radford, 62-53
2022 L - v High Point, 78-58
2023 KenPom: ($)
AdjEfficiency: -8.59 (274)
AdjOffense: 94.2 (281)
AdjDefense: 102.7 (253)
AdjTempo: 71.8 (158)
AdjEfficiency: -10.76 (289)
AdjOffense: 96.8 (288)
AdjDefense: 107.6 (273)
AdjTempo: 67.4 (159)
Bart Torvik: 215
Evan Miyakawa: 280
How to Watch
Date: Friday, November 11th
Time: 7:01 pm CT
Opponent: North Carolina A&T Aggies (1-0, 0-0); Greensboro, NC; Colonial Athletic Association
Location: Carver-Hawkeye Arena - Iowa City, IA
Radio: Hawkeye Sports Network
Streaming: BTN+ (Jerry Kiwala and Jess Settles)