The #25 Iowa Hawkeyes (3-0) face off against the Nebraska Omaha Mavericks (1-3) in their “campus game” for the Emerald Coast Classic which begins Friday. The last time these two met, Iowa was upset 98-89 in a game which probably kept them out of the 2017 NCAA Tournament. I’m not bitter you’re bitter.
The Mavs only win this year came at home against the one of two D-1 teams on their schedule which KenPom has tabbed as worse than them: 355 Idaho. So yeah...not a good team Iowa’s facing and certainly a much different group than the 3rd place Summit League team they faced back in November 2016.
Below are a couple thoughts, some additional details on Omaha, and how to watch.
Can Iowa take advantage of a rare advantage inside? Filip Rebrača has had a relatively strong start to the 2022-23 campaign. The Serbian national lost the undershirt and has been showing off that strength inside, most notably against a stout Seton Hall group where he tallied his second double-double of the campaign and third in the black-and-gold. KenPom has Rebrača as Iowa’s most efficient (albeit low-usage) player with a 55% eFG%, no turnovers, and pristine 11/12 from the line.
He’ll be going against a Maverick center (Dylan Brougham) who’s currently averaging 3.3 fouls/game (6.8 per 40 minutes) but also over a block/game.
Rebrača has had success against Omaha as a past Summit Leaguer, with 18 PPG and three double doubles in his prior four against them. The flow of the game should also allow Fran to open up the rotation to see what Josh Ogundele or Riley Mulvey can do before the game gets too out of hand.
Can Payton Sandfort regain his form before Iowa’s games in Florida? The sophomore wing had his worst game of the season with just a couple free throws & rebounds to go along with three fouls in 19 minutes while looking a little more tentative than normal. While I have no doubt he’ll return to form, it’d be fantastic to see Iowa’s floor spacer get there sooner than later in the lead-up to six straight games against power conference teams.
As it stands, though, Iowa has shown less reliance on the three this season. Just 28.5% of their points are coming from deep as their three-point shot rate is down to 35.3% of their attempts from the field (240th in the country). It’s down from 33.2% & 39.3% in 2022 & 34.8% & 39.8% in 2021 so this team seems less reliant on the three than past teams.
So even if Sandfort’s shot doesn’t fall tonight, there are plenty of ways he and Iowa can generate offense beyond the three. In some ways, Iowa’s development of a dribble-drive game might mean a more sustainable offense in Big Ten play.
About the Mavericks
Season averages, 2021-22: Team / Opponent
PPG: 69.6 / 83.5
RPG: 32.8 / 37.2
APG: 10.9 / 13.9
TOPG: 13.7 / 10.6
FG%: 43.1% / 48.0%
3P%: 35.5% / 39.5%
Chris Crutchfield, 1st season at Omaha, 1st overall
Record: 1-3 this season
PPG: Frankie Fidler 12.8; Kyle Luedtke 5.8 (no games so far)
RPG: Akol Arop 4.9 RPG (no games so far); Fidler 3.7
APG: Fidler 1.8; Luedtke 1.0
FG%: Dylan Brougham 59.1%; Arop 49.6%
3P%: Fidler 42.9%, Luedtke 36.9%
G - #1 JJ White, So, 6’2”, 185 lbs: 7.9 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 4.8 APG, 41.4% FG, 36.4% 3P, 25.0 MPG
G - #2 Jaeden Marshall, So, 6’4”, 210 lbs: 9.5 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 32.4% FG, 31.6% 3P, 25.8 MPG
F - #23 - Frankie Fidler, So, 6’7” 200 lbs: 13.3 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 1.5 APG, 34.0% FG, 11.1% 3P, 33.3 MPG
F - #10 Marquel Sutton, So, 6’7”, 205 lbs: 12.8 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 2.3 ORPG, 47.5% FG, 44.4% 3P, 30.5 MPG
C - #14 Dylan Brougham, Jr, 6’9”, 195 lbs: 4.5 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 3.3 FPG, 53.8% FG, 19.0 MPG
Last 5 games:
2023 L - v Ball State, 71-61
2023 W - v Idaho, 79-72
2023 L - @ Nebraska, 75-61
2023 L - @ Kansas, 89-64
2022 L - v South Dakota State, 87-79
2023 KenPom: ($)
AdjEfficiency: -13.96 (333)
AdjOffense: 95.3 (301)
AdjDefense: 109.2 (333)
AdjTempo: 69.9 (162)
AdjEfficiency: -18.66 (344)
AdjOffense: 97.8 (271)
AdjDefense: 116.4 (353
AdjTempo: 69.9 (50)
Bart Torvik: 329
Evan Miyakawa: 334
How to Watch
Date: Monday, November 21st
Time: 7:01 pm CT
Opponent: Nebraska Omaha Mavericks (1-3, 0-0); Summit League; Omaha, NE
Location: Carver-Hawkeye Arena; Iowa City, IA
Radio: Hawkeye Sports Network (Gary Dolphin & Bob Hansen)
TV: Big Ten Network (Kevin Kugler & Brian Butch)
Streaming: Fox Sports