There was a point in Iowa's Sunday game against Michigan where it all came apart. Michigan, which had struggled from the field for the first 13 minutes of the contest, had made four straight shots. Yet the Hawkeyes were hanging with Michigan, trading shots with the Wolverines for more than three minutes. With 3:15 left in the first half, Anthony Clemmons fouled Trey Burke on a shot attempt with the score tied 29-29. It was Clemmons' second foul, sending him to the bench for the remainder of the half. Three minutes earlier, Mike Gessel had also committed his second foul, so the Clemmons violation took away Iowa's two primary ballhandlers and left the team in the hands of Roy Marble.
Iowa traded a couple more hoops with Michigan before the lack of a point guard took hold and the levy broke. In the last minute of the half, Iowa stopped looking inside and took a trio of three-point shots, missing them all. Michigan hit two layups, drew two fouls, and made four free throws. Michigan extended their lead from three to eleven, and the balloon was popped. Michigan outscored Iowa 36-15 over the first 15 minutes of the second half and coasted to a 95-67 victory.
Trey Burke, who missed his first three shots and had just two points when Clemmons went out of the game, scored 19 points and dished out 12 assists. Burke did not miss a field goal attempt in the last 25 minutes of the game. Glenn Robinson III shot 8/13 from the field en route to 20 points and 10 rebounds. Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 19 points with five assists and five boards. Every Michigan starter shot over 50 percent from the field, and the Wolverines shot a staggering 58.9% on the day, including 45.5% from behind the arc.
Iowa's players from MIchigan led the way: Marble scored 14 and Clemmons scored 12 with seven assists. Nobody else was in double figures. Iowa shot a respectable 47.6 percent on two-point attempts, and their 35.0 percent shooting from three wasn't horrible. They ran into a buzzsaw for the second consecutive game, and after sixty minutes of trying to run with the nation's best offenses, the wheels finally came off.
HOT SPORTS TAKES
RDM, Machine. There is little doubt that Roy Marble is Iowa's best player, but when Gessel or Clemmons are not in the game and Marble assumes point guard duties, the Hawkeyes become extremely dependent on the perimeter jumper (especially Marble's perimeter jumper). Iowa's offense is dependent on the ball getting into the paint and pulling defenders where they do not want to go. When the ball is in Marble's hands, movement stops and the Marble isolation game takes hold. It's not entirely ineffective unless Marble is struggling from the field -- the Indiana game -- but the lack of movement in the frontcourt means that passes that would go from Clemmons and Gessel to White and Woodbury instead go to McCabe and Oglesby.
It's Time We Talked About Josh. Oglesby, who is supposed to be Iowa's best outside shooter, went 0/4 from three Sunday and scored just two points. Oglesby is now 19/66 from behind the arc this season. That's 28.8 percent. Zach McCabe is shooting 12/44 (27.3 percent) from deep. And these two are supposed to be our deep threats. The season is half-over, and this isn't improving, and there's no real Plan B.
Ding'd. Adam Woodbury had a better game than his statistics showed, but he looked tired in the second half. Melsahn Basabe is playing on two bum wheels. Aaron White played less than half of Sunday's game. And this was after almost a week off. Iowa is two games into the Big Ten season and looks exhausted up front, with Michigan State coming to town Thursday. It's the biggest short-term concern.