On Wednesday, December 6 the #4 Iowa Hawkeyes' Women's Basketball team will travel to Iowa State for another installment in the territorial rivalry. Iowa should win this decisively, but why? Let's take a look.
Iowa State sits at an average record of 4-3, more than likely a strictly .500 post after the #4 Iowa Hawkeyes come to town. Their offense will be a harbinger of 75 points per game, a stat that beats many undefeated teams in the college women's basketball world. Just looking at the numbers, Iowa State doesn't appear to have trouble scoring which begs the question, why the lackluster record?
In their three losses, they haven't played anyone particularly noteworthy, Vanderbilt the best team on that slate with one singular loss to top 3 NC State. Their other losses to other unranked Syracuse and Drake tell a story of a decent team with decent odds that cowers at slightly better than normal odds.
Offensively, Iowa State is 199-422 on FGs and are shooting an okay 34.9% from 3PT land. In fact, the offense doesn't appear to have an identity posting only just above right made 3PTs per game. Where they are faulted often is the lack of efficient possessions carrying a whopping total of over 15 TOs per game. Their 6'2 Forward Addy Brown receives the most minutes at 228 through seven games and leads just barely on TOs per minutes.
Usually, non-conference schedules are to be the win racker-uppers and it's difficult to imagine how Iowa State could perform against better opponents. Theoretically, the best teams they played, they lost to giving up a high total of 84.6 points per game in each of those three losses.
The blocks are low at about four per game and what fans start to see is a team that lacks size in the paint. In terms of rebounds, the total DREB of 219 isn't spectacular, especially considering the competition they've faced thus far.
Following the logic that it's easier to defend a bad team than it is to score on them, we can look at defensive stats carrying a bit more weight on the level of competition they've faced. In their best win, which could possibly be Butler, they have a stunning defensive performance holding their opponent to 21.9% 3PT shooting and 33.3 on FGs overall. Butler outdid them in FTs but applying the previous logic, many of these misses from the field tends to be a smaller team that can't quite compete with the bigger schools on shooting anyway.
Power hungry, Iowa State doesn't appear to separate from the lack of opponents as they post 82.5 PPG in wins. What does this mean? Well, supposedly it's possible to say that the gap between Iowa State and the unranked opponents they lost too is bigger than the gap between Iowa State and the poor teams they beat up on.
#4 Iowa Hawkeyes are #4 for a reason and Iowa would likely be top two still if Caitlin Clark didn't suffer from a flu earlier this season. Unless another virus rips through the team, Iowa should take this game handedly by at least fifteen. This rivalry hasn't been close in a bit and with a top five team rolling in, there should be a little but if a fight at first. But sorry Cyclones, this one isn't meant to be today.