clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Iowa vs Ohio State: Preview & Buckeye stats

The Buckeyes last win was against the Hawkeyes

Syndication: The Columbus Dispatch Joseph Scheller/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Iowa Hawkeyes (16-9, 8-6) return home to face a struggling Ohio State Buckeyes (11-14, 3-11) in the first of six straight rematches to close the season. The last time out featured one of Iowa’s most lackluster performances of the season with Fran McCaffery calling it “unacceptable.

Since the loss, Iowa’s defense hasn’t been a calling card but certainly improved from OSU’s 93-point outburst. The Hawks have allowed 72.8 points while going 4-2, with the points allowed being a slight downtick from their season average of 73.4. Ohio State, on the other hand, has returned to their losing ways with six straight losses to knock themselves out of the tournament picture despite still possession OK advanced analytics.

The season-long numbers belie just how bad they’ve been since the calendar turned to 2023: Bart Torvik ranks them as the 98th team since 1/1, ahead of only Nebraska & Minnesota in conference despite losing to both of them.

With the conference’s compression, though, this remains a hugely important game for Iowa with second-place Northwestern on deck for Sunday. Two straight wins would put Iowa in a tie for second with at least Northwestern while two losses could knock Iowa down to 11th.

Can Iowa rectify the issues from Columbus?

Two areas where Iowa underperformed was in turnovers (14) and rebounding (64.3% defensive rebounding rate).

There may be no stat more indicative for a loss than turnovers, as the Hawks have lost four of six games where they’ve turned it over 13+ times. Obviously, Iowa has lost while turning it over less than 13 times, and certainly that could happen again tonight. Yet I believe turnovers to be as much an indicator of how well the Hawks are locked in on a given night.

In each of last three games, Iowa has had just 17 total turnovers. Minnesota is an outlier in just how poor the Hawkeye offense was but the fact they stuck to what they wanted to do offensively and rarely forced things showed that sometimes the ball just doesn’t fall through the net. In the previous four games, Iowa had no less than 11 turnovers.

Also an issue from the first matchup was offensive rebounding. The Buckeyes are capable there, with the #4 offensive rebounding rate in conference play but Iowa allowed them to punch above that average to extend possessions and get easy baskets. Their 50% three point shooting was also the second highest Iowa’s yielded this season and all but one of Iowa’s losses has come to an opponent shooting above 35% from distance.

About the Buckeyes

Season averages: Team / Opponent

PPG: 73.7 / 67.8
RPG: 38.2 / 33.6
APG: 11.6 / 12.2
TOPG: 11.0 / 11.3
FG%: 45.6% / 41.8%
3P%: 35.6% / 31.0%


Chris Holtmann: 6th season at Ohio State, 12th overall
Record: 118-70 (.626) at Ohio State, 232-155 (.599) overall

Statistical Leaders:

PPG: Brice Sensabaugh 16.4, Justice Sueing 12.4
RPG: Zed Key 7.8 (3.2 ORPG), Sensabaugh 5.2 (1.2 ORPG)
APG: Isaac Likekele 2.7, Bruce Thornton 2.6
FG%: Felix Okpara 56.3% (13.0 MPG), Key 55.4%
3P%: Sensabaugh 43.0%, Thornton 37.0%

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

Sean McNeil & Isaac Likekele were shifted to bench roles last game as Chris Holtmann tries to find anything to work...they scored 41 points.

G - #2 Bruce Thornton, Fr, 6’2”, 215 lbs: 9.0 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 2.6 APG, 44% FG, 37% 3P, 29.6 MPG
G - #4 Sean McNeil, Grad, 6’4”, 205 lbs: 9.4 PPG, 2.1 RPG, 41% FG, 37% 3P, 29.3 MPG
F - #14 Justice Sueing, R Sr, 6’6”, 210 lbs: 12.4 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 44% FG, 23% 3P, 29.0 MPG
F - #10 Brice Sensabaugh, Fr, 6’6”, 235 lbs: 16.4 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 48% FG, 43% 3P, 23.7 MPG
F - #23 Zed Key, Jr, 6’8”, 255 lbs: 11.1 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 3.2 ORPG, 55% FG, 25.3 MPG

Last 5 games:

L - v Michigan State, 62-41 (2/12)
L - v Northwestern, 69-63 (2/9)
L - at Michigan, 77-69 (2/5)
L - v Wisconsin, 65-60 (2/2)
L - at Indiana, 86-70 (1/28)

2023 KenPom: ($)
AdjEfficiency: (51)
AdjOffense: 114.6 (25)
AdjDefense: 101.0 (95)
AdjTempo: 66.8 (213)


AdjEfficiency: (31)
AdjOffense: 115.5 (13)
AdjDefense: 99.3 (111)
AdjTempo: 65.0 (289)

NET: 53

Bart Torvik: 60
Since 1/1: 98

Evan Miyakawa: 44