clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

#25 Iowa vs Clemson: Preview, How to Watch, + Game Thread

Can the Hawkeyes continue their strong start down in Florida?

NCAA Basketball: Iowa at Seton Hall Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The #25 Iowa Hawkeyes (4-0) take on the Clemson Tigers (4-1) in the semifinals of the Emerald Coast Classic. The last time these two met, Iowa lost 71-55 in Fran McCaffery’s second season. The Hawks are 2-1 all-time.

This continues a revenge tour, of sorts, with Iowa getting Ws against Seton Hall & Nebraska Omaha, two teams to which they lost prior matchups.

The Tigers non-conference schedule is 348th according to KenPom, with their lone loss coming on the road to #140-rated South Carolina.

Below are a couple thoughts, some additional details on Clemson, and how to watch.

Who wins the battle from outside? The Tigers are a blistering 39.2% from deep this season behind backcourt duo Chase Hunter & Alex Hemenway who are a combined 25/44 on the young season. The rest of the team? 18/65. So yeah, don’t let either of those catch fire.

The way Clemson counteracts that is with excellent ball movement, with an assist on 60.2% of their possessions, good for 38th in the country. Against Iowa’s game against Seton Hall, I noticed some different off ball defense when Iowa was maneuvering screens. They were cutting under them, using length to contest the shot, in an effort to keep dribble drive action from penetrating the lane without switching. Does this return to stymie Clemson’s ball movement?

On the flipside, Clemson allows 41.9% of opponent shots to come from deep, allowing 37.5%. Both rank in the 280s. Part of this is selling out to limit inside shots (41.3% - 20th in the country) and they will make Iowa work with defensive possessions lasting 18.9 seconds, about the 15th longest in the country.

Threes are good shots so long as Iowa isn’t settling for them. Kris Murray was on absolute fire last game but had cavalry in unlikely sources - Ahron Ulis, Connor McCaffery, and Josh Dix were a combined 7/11. With Clemson likely to pack the paint, those shots are likely to be available for Ulis & Connor...if they can capitalize, they’ll put Iowa in great position to win.

Can the Hawks match Clemson’s bench? It’s a little bit of a loaded question, as Clemson’s 2022 leading scorer PJ Hall comes off the bench while returning from injuries. The senior big does well inside, 55.5% on his career from two, and isn’t afraid to take a three (30.8% last year). He also does well drawing fouls, with a FT rate of 41.9% and converting them (career 77.6%). Might be a game where we see Josh Ogundele a little earlier than usual to help Iowa keep Kris Murray & Filip Rebrača out of foul trouble.

The flipside is that Iowa’s bench has struggled a bit this season. Josh Dix getting going was a welcome sign on Monday and Tony Perkins hopeful return should slide Ulis back to the bench. However, I wonder if Perkins is 100%, could Fran start both Perkins & Ulis as better defenders against Clemson’s backcourt. It could allow Payton Sandfort to provide some heft for Iowa’s reserves.

About the Tigers

Season averages: Team / Opponent

PPG: 73.4 / 61.2
RPG: 34.2 / 31.2
APG: 16.0 / 10.4
TOPG: 10.8 / 14.6
FG%: 46.8% / 39.7%
3P%: 39.1% / 37.5%


Brad Brownwell, 13th season at Clemson, 21st overall
Record: 222-167 (.571) at Clemson, 389-252 (.607) overall

Returning Leaders:

PPG: PJ Hall 15.5; Hunter Tyson 10.0
RPG: Hall 5.8 (1.7 ORPG); Tyson 5.5 (1.3 ORPG)
APG: Chase Hunter 1.8; Hall 1.6
FG%: Hall 49.3%; Tyson 46.6%
3P%: Alex Hemenway 40.6%; Tyson 34.7%

Presumed starters ($) & 2022-23 stats:

G - #1 Chase Hunter, Jr, 6’3”, 204 lbs: 16.2 PPG, 4.8 APG, 52.7% FG, 68.4% 3P, 31.6 MPG
G -#12 Alex Hemenway, Sr, 6’4”, 195 lbs: 10.0 PPG, 55.9% FG, 48.0% 3P, 31.0 MPG
G - #11 Brevin Galloway, Grad, 6’3”, 210 lbs: 11.8 PPG, 2.8 APG, 1.8 SPG, 50.0% FG, 27.8% 3P, 28.4 MPG
F - #5 Hunter Tyson, Grad, 6’8”, 217 lbs: 12.4 PPG, 9.6 RPG, 2.6 ORPG, 2.0 APG, 39.6% FG, 33.3% 3P, 31.2 MPG
F/C - #10 Ben Middlebrooks, So, 6’10”, 242 lbs: 1.4 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 9.0 MPG

Last 5 games:

W - v Loyola (Maryland), 72-41
W - v Bellarmine, 76-66
W - v USC Upstate, 81-70
L - @ South Carolina, 60-58
W - v The Citadel, 80-69

2023 KenPom: ($)

AdjEfficiency: +11.59 (65)
AdjOffense: 107.4 (60)
AdjDefense: 95.8 (69)
AdjTempo: 67.4 (259)


AdjEfficiency: +11.36 (71)
AdjOffense: 110.1 (49)
AdjDefense: 98.8 (101)
AdjTempo: 66.3 (227)

Bart Torvik: 63

Evan Miyakawa: 65

How to Watch

Date: Friday, November 25th
Time: 6:00 pm CT
Opponent: Clemson Tigers (4-1, 0-0); Atlantic Coast Conference; Clemson, SC
Location: The Arena at NW Florida State; Niceville, FL
Radio: Hawkeye Sports Network (John Swisher & Bob Hansen)
TV: CBS Sports Network (Brad Johansen & Steve Lappas)
Streaming: CBS Sports