The Iowa Hawkeyes (2-0) are in New Jersey to take on Shaheen Holloway’s Seton Hall Pirates (2-0) in the Hawks’ first test of the season. The matchup is a part of The Gavitt Tipoff Games between the Big Ten & Big East with the Big Ten leading 3-1 through two nights. Iowa’s 1-2 in their three attempts. The overall record between the conferences tilts 2-1-3 (24-24 in past seasons) towards the Big Ten. Maybe add another matchup to get rid of the ties?
The Pirates’ first two games, both at home, were blowouts over Monmouth & Holloway’s former employer, St. Peter’s.
Below are a couple thoughts, some details on Seton Hall, and how to watch.
REBOUND REBOUND REBOUND: It is early, but the Pirates are currently rebounding 39.1% of their misses, which ranks 33rd in the country per KenPom. Three Pirates (freshman Tae Davis and seniors KC Ndefo & Tyrese Samuel) rank in the top 200 of OR% as each has collected 2+ per game to open the season. They’ve averaged 17.5 second chance points so they’ll look to continue using that avenue as a way to score.
Iowa will need rebounding from all positions to counteract the Pirates’ size against, primarily, Filip Rebrača. The three mentioned above go 6’9”, 6’10”, 6’10” with two of the three of them sharing the court approximately 30% of the time according to KenPom lineup data. Their assertiveness on the boards manifests itself in free throws, too, as Seton Hall currently has the #1 free throw rate, with four guys (Davis, Ndefo, Samuel, and Dre Davis) drawing over 8 fouls/40 minutes.
One way to limit the offensive rebounding? Don’t let them shoot. Seton Hall currently has a sub-300 turnover rate and the Hawks may be able to manufacture some relatively easy buckets by turning defense into offense.
What’s their mental makeup like? The Pirates have bludgeoned opponents in ways mentioned above and have turned teams over at a top-10 rate and made every shot difficult with a 31.7% effective field goal percentage (2nd in the country). Iowa’s going to have some empty possessions so it will be important not to let them snowball into a huge deficit. Focused defense can mitigate some of it but being flat-out tough through adversity will be a huge building block for this new iteration of the Hawkeyes.
The last three years, Iowa has been able to get the ball to their star to stymie an opponent run. Who steps up? Is it Kris Murray filling his brother’s shoes or does having a guard in Tony Perkins who can get his own shot prove to be a difference-maker? Worst case: Iowa gets punched in the mouth and doesn’t punch back.
How deep is this team? With the emphasis SHU is likely to have on rebounding and free throw shooting, Iowa’s depth is likely to get tested early (yay two-foul jail!) with Josh Ogundele & Riley Mulvey at center and with freshmen Dasonte Bowen & Josh Dix potentially having a short leash if they get too out-of-whack offensively. It feels like a game Fran McCaffery will coach like a must-win and lean on his top seven and maybe ride a small-ball lineup (starters with Connor McCaffery) down the stretch.
But if foul trouble hits the wrong spot(s), Iowa will need to get minutes, and likely offense, from an unexpected source.
About the Pirates
Season averages, 2021-22: Team / Opponent
PPG: 71.9 / 66.4
RPG: 38.5 / 35.8
APG: 10.3 / 11.5
TOPG: 12.1 / 12.7
FG%: 42.0% / 40.2%
3P%: 33.8% / 31.0%
Shaheen Holloway, 1st season at Seton Hall, 4th overall
Record: 2-0 this season, 66-54 overall (.550)
PPG: Kadary Richmond 8.8; Jamir Harris 7.9
RPG: Tyrese Samuel 5.2 (2.1 off); Richmond 3.6 (0.7 off)
APG: Richmond 4.1; Harris 0.9
FG%: Samuel 48.8%; Tray Jackson 46.6%
3P%: Jackson 39.5%; Harris 36.9%
Presumed starters ($) & 2022-23 stats:
G - #15 Jamir Harris, 6’2”, 192 lbs: 6.5 PPG, 2.0 APG, 37.5% FG, 33.3% 3P, 19.0 MPG
G - #21 Femi Odukale, 6’6”, 205 lbs: 4.0 PPG, 2.0 APG, 60.0% FG, 66.7% 3P, 16.0 MPG
G - #0 Kadary Richmond, 6’6”, 210 lbs: 7.5 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 80% FG, 66.7% 3P, 19.5 MPG
F - #13 KC Ndefo, 6’7”, 206 lbs: 4.0 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 2.5 ORPG, 33.3% FG, 20.0 MPG
F - #4 Tyrese Samuel, 6’10”, 235 lbs: 11.5 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 2.0 BPG, 53.3% FG, 18.0 MPG
Last 5 games:
2023 W - v Saint Peter’s, 88-44
2023 W - v Monmouth, 79-52
2022 L - v TCU, 69-42
2022 L - v Connecticut, 62-52
2022 W - v Georgetown, 57-53
2023 KenPom: ($)
AdjEfficiency: +16.87 (35)
AdjOffense: 107.2 (54)
AdjDefense: 90.3 (22)
AdjTempo: 70.5 (183)
AdjEfficiency: +13.61 (52)
AdjOffense: 107.1 (91)
AdjDefense: 93.5 (31)
AdjTempo: 67.3 (167)
Bart Torvik: 37
Evan Miyakawa: 37
How to Watch
Date: Wednesday, November 16th
Time: 6:30 pm CT
Opponent: Seton Hall Pirates (2-0, 0-0); Big East Conference; South Orange, NJ
Location: Prudential Center, Newark, NJ
Radio: Hawkeye Sports Network
TV: FS1 (Tom Drano and Donny Marshall)
Streaming: Fox Sports