If anyone was worried about Iowa coming out rusty and Hampton keeping this game too close for comfort, well, you can breathe easy. The Hawkeyes had a little bit of a scoring drought in the first half when the starters left the court, but a 34-point explosion in the final 10 minutes of the half put the game out of reach.
Four Factors in Review
Points Per Possession: Iowa 1.23, Hampton 0.77
Iowa torched the nets in the first half, going 18-34 from the field and 6-11 from downtown (61.76% eFG%). That 34 point outburst that happened in the final 10 minutes was aided by the Hawkeyes hitting 4 of their 6 first half three pointers during that stretch. It was also aided by Aaron White scoring 12 of his 17 first half points during that timeframe.
The second half wasn't as kind to the Hawkeyes, as their eFG% dropped to slightly below average thanks to only hitting 3 of their 10 second half three point attempts. It wasn't just threes, though, as Iowa only went 8-17 from inside the arc, too. Luckily, the second half shooting performance didn't do much to hurt the Hawkeyes, as Hampton was below average from the field in both halves.
Just like with shooting, turnovers were a bigger issue for the Hawkeyes in the second half than in the first half. The good news, was that it didn't matter because Iowa won the overall turnover battle for the entire game.
Offensive boards were part of the reason that Iowa's regressed shooting and increased turnovers in the final 20 minutes of play didn't allow Hampton to get back into the game. The Hawkeyes did fine cleaning up misses in the first half, but they came away with 12 of their 18 available missed shots after halftime. That's pretty insane. This offensive rebounding blitzkrieg was a team effort, as Aaron White, Peter Jok, and Josh Oglesby had 2 and four other guys came away with 1. The Hawkeyes also got the benefit of the bounce, as they were rewarded with 2 team offensive rebounds in the second half.
Free Throw Rate
Is it any surprise who won this category? More times than not, the Hawkeyes will be the victors in this statistic with the way in which they get themselves to the line and abstain from putting their opponents there. But, to be thorough, I will dig a little deeper.
First off, Aaron White was his usual foul-drawing self. White attempted 10 free throws on the night, which was two more free throws than field goals attempted for him. White also made 7 of his free throws on the night. Additionally, Gabe Olaseni and Peter Jok both had 6 free throw attempts apiece against Hampton, and combined, the duo went 12-12 from the line. Those three were 19-22 from the charity stripe, which was great. The rest of the team was 4-11, which was not so great. It's only one game, though.
Overall: Iowa Won All Four Factors
The undisputed player of Friday night's game was easily Aaron White. Iowa's veteran redhead was crafty as ever in this one, as he put up 19 points on 6-8 shooting from the field and 7-10 shooting from the line. It should also be noted that White's only misses from the field were from beyond the arc. Because of course they were. White did all of this in his usual way, which meant he ran the court well, followed up misses -- including an insane tip-in on what was probably an ill-advised alley-oop lob from Sapp-- and played great defense. In his 21 minutes on the court (yes, he did all of this in only 21 minutes) he also reeled in 7 rebounds (4 offensive), dished out 6 dimes, came away with 2 steals and 1 block, while turning the ball over 0 times. Jarrod Uthoff was the more efficient player on the night, but Aaron White was responsible for more of Iowa's scoring attempts and he also used way more possessions, too. Against Hampton, Aaron White was the high volume, high efficiency player that every coach dreams of.
As for Uthoff, he looked positively stellar in his first game of the year. He did everything that we expect out of him, especially when it came to pulling the trigger from long range. His silky smooth shot was so good against the Pirates that he had a TS% of 109.24%. Sinking 4 of your 5 three point attempts will do that.
After putting together a great showing in the exhibition game, Anthony Clemmons continued to look great. Sure, it's against weak competition, but it's better than looking awful against weak competition. On the night, Sapp scored 12 points on 4-7 shooting (2-2 from three). He only had 1 assist, but he also had 1 steal and 5 defensive rebounds. I don't expect Sapp to score double figures against better competition, but if he can play his usual tough defense and knock down a couple of threes every game, that would be just neat.
White and Uthoff had great games, while Peter Jok and Gabe Olaseni joined Clemmons in playing very good games. Jok didn't shoot particularly well from the field (just 2-6), but he helped make up for that by getting to the free throw line and making all 6 free ones.
Olaseni also didn't shoot very well from the field. I mean, 3-6 is pretty good, but it's not all that great when you consider that most of his attempts came at or near the rim. Olaseni's touch is still lacking anytime he's not dunking or laying it in. However, drawing fouls and making free throws helps make up for that. Playing good defense also helps, and Iowa's big Brit did just that against Hampton, grabbing 7 offensive boards, 4 blocks, and 1 steal in 20 minutes on the court. His Twitter game was also on point the following day:
East London Block Party. Everyone's Invited. http://t.co/hPP7aPAdCs— Abodunrin G Olaseni (@agolaseni) November 15, 2014
Finally, some random tidbits from this game:
- Mike Gesell had a bad game. He continues to struggle finishing near the rim in traffic. Of course, it's only one game.
- Adam Woodbury showed some range from the top of the key. He needs to work on being more consistent with his footwork in the post, though.
- Josh Oglesby was ice cold when it came to putting the ball in the net, but he continued to run the pick and roll really well.
- Dom Uhl likes the three point shot a lot more than I thought he would. Again, small sample size.
- Trey Dickerson is fast. Too fast sometimes. He's going to make some "Wow" plays this year, but he's also going to leave us scratching our heads sometimes, too.
- The second unit struggled on offense, but I'm not yet worried. They will get better, and Fran won't let them struggle that long against better competition. He said in a recent press conference that he isn't big on making hockey-style line changes, so against Texas I imagine that he will slowly take the starters out and slowly insert them back in with the second team. Games like Hampton are good for Fran to try things he wouldn't normally try.
- Fran McCaffery's defense did their usual aggressive thing against the Pirates, racking up 9 steals on 17 Hampton turnovers. The odd thing was that Hampton was even more aggressive, as 10 of their 14 forced turnovers were steals. Well, maybe it wasn't all that odd, since they were 63rd in the nation in steal percentage last season. Still, it's weird to see a team have more steals than Iowa when the Hawkeyes have such a high total.
- Iowa took more three pointers than we are used to seeing against Hampton. I'm curious to see if this was just a result of how Hampton played them, or if we see this all year. With Uthoff being a bigger part of the offense, Clemmons possibly having a resurgence, Jok getting more playing time, and Oglesby doing his usual thing, this team could be pretty good from long distance.
All in all, it was a good first game of the season, and I really have no complaints. I'm just so excited that Iowa basketball is back, you guys.