The #25 Iowa Hawkeyes (5-0) return to the court in Niceville, FL to face the TCU Horned Frogs (4-1) in the championship of the Emerald Coast Classic. The Horned Frogs followed Iowa’s 74-71 win over Clemson with a 59-48 BARNBURNER victory over California.
TCU entered the season ranked 14th, not out of line where KenPom had them (16). Meager performances against Arkansas Pine-Bluff, Lamar, and Northwestern State (their only loss) saw their KenPom rating plummet and AP ranking follow suit.
The initial ranking wasn’t without merit as they were an overtime away from making the Sweet 16 last year and bring back a bulk of that talent. KenPom has them ranked 24th in minutes continuity and in the top third of experience. With that level of carryover, though, there isn’t necessarily the same ability to be much different than they were last year.
One example: last year’s effective field goal percentage of 48.7% (232nd) has actually decreased despite the level of competition through five games this season to 46.9% (272nd). The flipside, though, is like those vintage Jamie Dixon Pittsburgh squads, is they rebound the hell out of the offensive glass. They ranked 1st last year with an ORB% of 37.9% and are at 36.0% this season.
Below are a couple other thoughts, some additional details on TCU, and how to watch.
Can Kris Murray bounce back? He’s not gonna write home about last night’s shooting performance - 4/17 including 0/5 from deep - but Murray filled in the gaps with defense and rebounding (12) to get Iowa over the hump. They didn’t really need his scoring, as Patrick McCaffery got the Hawks off to hot starts in both halves, so the 10 points he provided proved to be enough.
Yet it’s good to see stars play like them and against a team with no rest is the perfect opportunity for Murray to fill it up. TCU is a tough matchup, though, as they limit three point attempts and contest every shot. They also do a good job of not fouling, though, taking the physicality right back to them could bear fruit at the line for Murray who is a sterling 16/16 at the line this season but taken just two attempts over the last two games.
How does Iowa match the Horned Frogs’ interior? As mentioned at the top, TCU misses plenty of shots but rebounds them with aplomb. Filip Rebrača has done well in this young season, matching the number of games he had 10+ rebounds last year with three. But the beef TCU has down low is unique to opponents Iowa has faced so far this season and Josh Ogundele - good in four minutes last night - may be a requirement tonight.
But what happens if foul trouble (self-imposed or otherwise) impacts Iowa’s bigs? Can Iowa manage the boards with Riley Mulvey or a wonky Connor McCaffery-at-center lineup?
About the Horned Frogs
Season averages: Team / Opponent
PPG: 73.4 / 62.0
RPG: 40.8 / 33.8
APG: 16.0 / 11.8
TOPG: 11.8 / 15.4
FG%: 42.4% / 38.8%
3P%: 24.3% / 34.3%
Jamie Dixon: 7th season at TCU, 20th overall
Record: 120-85 (.585) at TCU, 448-208 (.683) overall
PPG: Mike Miles 15.4; Emmanuel Miller 10.3
RPG: Miller 6.2 (2.4 ORPG); Eddie Lampkin 6.2 (3.1 ORPG)
APG: Miles 3.8; Micah Peavy 1.1
FG%: Lampkin 60.6%; Xavier Cork 60.0%
3P%: Chuck O’Bannon 33.8%; Miles 29.5%
Notes: TCU has started five different lineups in all 5 games so this is a big time guess but Emmanuel Miller (13.3 PPG, 5.8 RPG in 4 games) missed last night with a back injury
G - #13 Shahada Wells, Jr, 6’0”, 183 lbs: 6.2 PPG, 5.0 APG, 33.3% FG, 22.2% 3P, 25.8 MPG
G - #1 Mike Miles, Jr, 6’2”, 195 lbs: 21.3 PPG, 3.3 APG, 4.3 RPG, 46.5% FG, 26.7% 3P, 32.7 MPG
G - #11 Rondel Walker, 6’5”, 180 lbs: 5.0 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 37.5% FG, 35.0% 3P, 22.0 MPG
F - #5 Chuck O’Bannon, Sr, 6’6”, 215 lbs: 9.8 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 2.0 ORPG, 30.4% FG, 21.4% 3P, 23.2 MPG
C - #4 Eddie Lampkin, So, 6’11”, 263 lbs: 5.0 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 3.0 ORPG, 47.6% FG, 21.8 MPG
Last 5 games:
W - v California, 59-48
W - v Louisiana Monroe, 95-60
L - v Northwestern St., 64-63
W - v Lamar, 77-66
W - v Arkansas Pine Bluff, 73-72
2023 KenPom: ($)
AdjEfficiency: +13.71 (55)
AdjOffense: 106.3 (82)
AdjDefense: 92.6 (34)
AdjTempo: 69.4 (139)
AdjEfficiency: +17.02 (26)
AdjOffense: 108.7 (74)
AdjDefense: 91.7 (15)
AdjTempo: 65.9 (246)
Bart Torvik: 54
Evan Miyakawa: 43
How to Watch
Date: Saturday, November 26th
Time: 6:00 pm CT
Opponent: Texas Christian Horned Frogs (4-1, 0-0); Big 12 Conference; Ft. Worth, TX
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