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Iowa at Michigan State: Preview and Sparty stats

Can the Hawks get back on track against the Spartans?

Syndication: Asbury Park Press Nick King/Lansing State Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Iowa Hawkeyes (12-7, 4-4) put their three-game winning streak against the Michigan State Spartans (13-7, 5-4) with a road trip to East Lansing later tonight. Iowa is 2-6 at the Breslin Center under Fran McCaffery and & 6-14 overall. So yeah, half of Iowa’s wins against MSU under Fran have happened in the last two years.

Michigan State has had an absolutely wild season and started out 5-4 with a wins over Kentucky & Villanova but losses to Gonzaga, Alabama, Notre Dame, and Northwestern. The schedule cooled and they went on a seven-game winning streak that included dubs over Michigan and Wisconsin. Senior Malik Hall, who’s experienced injury trouble all season, went out against Illinois and hasn’t come back. They’re 1-3 in those games.

Statistically, it’s been awhile since they’ve had one of those throwback Tom Izzo squads. Their offensive rebounding has tailed off (28.2% rate) as has their interior scoring (48.2%). Add to it, they’re not getting to the foul line. But they can shoot the hell out of the ball at 37.4% from behind the arc and continue to be strong defensively. They force misses and don’t let opponents rebound those misses.

From a Big Ten race perspective, both teams are fighting for that coveted double bye. Just one game separates the 3rd place team in the conference (Northwestern & Michigan) and 8th (Iowa). A win for either team would bolster their tournament resume, but especially Iowa’s as the Spartans at home being a lock of a Q1 win, presuming the bottom doesn’t fall out of them.

How does Iowa bounce back from their loss at Ohio State?

Flat out...not impressed by anyone’s performance on Saturday. Totally flat in an eminently winnable game. Didn’t see Fran call a timeout at any point in the game so it seemed like Iowa lacked some top-down urgency. Maybe he just wanted to put the whole game on film and do the coaching on Sunday? I hope that was the case. I think it would bode well for tonight.

One area Iowa’s struggled defensively recently is letting shooters shoot. Brice Sensabaugh, & Jett Howard were a collective 11/18 from deep. MSU starts three shooters over 40% - Tyson Walker, Joey Hauser, & Jaden Akins. Ahron Ulis did a good jobs keeping Cam Spencer under wraps for the bulk of Iowa’s game at Rutgers and suspect he’ll be tasked with trailing Walker. Kris Murray on real concerns there but Connor McCaffery was the primary matchup on Howard & Sensabaugh...will he get Akins? Connor will have a size advantage over Akins he didn’t against Howard & Sensabaugh so maybe that ameliorates the matchup tonight.

Offensively, Iowa had rare struggles with turnovers against OSU. Sparty doesn’t really emphasize that defensively but they may identify that as an opportunity tonight. Iowa’s offense has similarly been sticky from a two-point percentage standpoint. While I think Fran has over emphasized postups for Filip Rebrača, his percentage down low hasn’t really suffered (turnovers have though). It’s been Iowa’s guards who have struggled from two, of late, with Tony Perkins, McCaffery, & Sandfort going 2/12 from inside the arc. Ideally, Iowa can spread MSU out like they did against Maryland which allows Perkins to get cleaner looks at the basket.

About the Spartans

Season averages: Team / Opponent

PPG: 69.7 / 65.8
RPG: 37.1 / 32.7
APG: 15.0 / 12.7
TOPG: 11.0 / 9.6
FG%: 44.7% / 40.5%
3P%: 37.4% / 30.5%


Tom Izzo: 28th season at Michigan State, 28th overall
Record: 679-274 (.712)

Statistical Leaders:

PPG: Tyson Walker 14.3, Joey Hauser 13.8
RPG: Hauser 7.7 (1.8 ORPG), Mady Sissoko 6.8 (1.7 ORPG)
APG: AJ Hoggard 6.1, Walker 2.6
FG%: Sissoko 56.5%, Jaxon Kohler 50.0%
3P%: Jaden Akins 43.6%, Walker 41.2%

Most used starters ($) & 2022-23 stats:

G - #11 AJ Hoggard, Jr, 6’4”, 205 lbs: 12.7 PPG, 6.1 APG, 3.8 RPG, 41.5% FG, 29.2% 3P, 2.6 TOPG, 30.3 MPG
G - #2 Tyson Walker, Sr, 6’1”, 180 lbs: 14.3 PPG, 2.6 APG, 44.8% FG, 41.2% 3P, 1.2 SPG, 33.5 MPG
G - #3 Jaden Akins, So, 6’4”, 190 lbs: 8.6 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 39.4% FG, 43.6% 3P, 25.1 MPG
F - #10 Joey Hauser, Gr, 6’9”, 220 lbs: 13.8 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 2.2 APG, 48.0% FG, 40.9% 3P, 33.7 MPG
C - #22 Mady Sissoko, Jr, 6’9”, 240 lbs: 5.6 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 56.5% FG, 22.0 MPG

Last 5 games:

L - at Indiana, 82-69 (1/22)
W - v Rutgers, 70-57 (1/19)
L - v Purdue, 64-63 (1/16)
L - at Illinois, 75-66 (1/13)
W - at Wisconsin, 69-65 (1/10)

2023 KenPom: ($)
AdjEfficiency: +15.54 (40)
AdjOffense: 111.3 (52)
AdjDefense: 95.8 (37)
AdjTempo: 64.7 (305)


AdjEfficiency: +14.76 (42)
AdjOffense: 111.9 (31)
AdjDefense: 97.1 (67)
AdjTempo: 67.5 (147)

NET: 41

Bart Torvik: 35

Evan Miyakawa: 27