Needless to say, that game was about as horrible as it possibly could have been. The Badgers came out hot from the field, hitting 3 of their first 4 three point attempts, and Iowa was quickly down 13-4 after just four minutes of play. Things didn't get much better from there, as Wisconsin was red hot from long range most of the game and when they did miss, they were usually securing second chance opportunities via the offensive glass.
The Hawkeyes never led in this one, and they were pretty much blown out of the Kohl Center from the tip. Sometimes nothing goes your way, and that's what happened on Tuesday night for McCaffery's squad. The only thing Iowa can do now is move on. This game is thankfully over.
Four Factors in Review
First Half Points Per Possesion: Iowa 0.66, Wisconsin 1.35
First Half Possessions: 26
Second Half Points Per Possession: Iowa 1.18, Wisconsin 1.68
Second Half Possessions: 28
Points Per Possession: Iowa 0.93, Wisconsin 1.52
Wisconsin's defense broke Iowa's will in this one. The Badgers play a pack line defense, in which they don't focus so much on turnovers, but instead focus on staying in front of their man at all costs. If that means they need to switch on ball screens then that is what they will do. And because all of their starters are 6'4" or taller and can play basically any position on the court, they are rarely at a disadvantage when they do switch guys. All of this allows them to make sure the opposing offense can't get into the middle of the defense where things can breakdown. It also helps to ensure that just about every shot is contested, especially from three point range.
Bo could rest his head easy after this one because that's exactly what they did against Iowa on Tuesday. And, predictably, Iowa's shot selection suffered, as a result.
(All shot charts are courtesy of Shot Analytics.)
By my count, Iowa attempted just 10 of their 46 field goal attempts "near the rim." That is only 22% of their attempts from the field and that is their lowest since playing in Chapel Hill back in December. Since 15 of their field goal attempts were from long distance that means that Wisconsin forced Iowa to settle for a long two on 21 of their 46 field goal attempts (46%). That's less than ideal for a team lacking shooters the way Iowa does, and it's also less than ideal for drawing fouls, which is something that is very important for this Hawkeye team.
And don't let the overall 50% eFG% and 1.18 points per possession (PPP) in the second half fool you, Iowa's offense was bad when it mattered. The Hawkeyes were floating around 0.70 PPP for most of the game, and their offense didn't start to really score points until after the ten minute mark in the second half. In the first 30 minutes of the game, Iowa scored 30 points on 42 possessions (0.71 PPP) against Wisconsin's main guys. In the final 10 minutes of play, Iowa scored 20 points (thanks to knocking down 4 of their final 6 three point attempts) on just 12 possessions (1.67 PPP) against some of Wisconsin's main guys, but a lot of their bench people too. No matter how good those last 10 minutes look, it was still a horrible day for the offense.
Unfortunately, it was also a pretty horrible day for the defense too. The first half was a bit better than the second, seeing how Iowa looked defeated on the defensive side of the ball after halftime. But neither half was something they are going to look back on with pride.
There seemed to be two portions to this game for Wisconsin's offense. The first portion of the game was when Wisconsin buried their threes. That occurred for the first 27 minutes of the game or so, when they shot 9-18 from long range between tip off and the thirteen minute mark after halftime. At that point, Wisconsin had scored 53% of their points from beyond the arc. That will bury just about any team, but Iowa especially so, considering they would have to catch up using two point shots or free throws. Three point shooting just isn't their thing.
But from the thirteen minute mark, Wisconsin only attempted 4 three pointers the rest of the game and missed all of them. You would think that would leave the door open for a possible late comeback for Iowa, right? Nope. Wisconsin then began attacking the rim at will on offense and scored 20 of their final 29 points in the paint. Nothing went right on defense all night long.
We all knew coming into this game that Wisconsin never turns the ball over, but I don't think anybody believed it was literally never. Wisconsin's 1 turnover against Iowa came in the second half on a shot clock violation. That's it. There were not errant passes, offensive fouls, travels, etc. Nothing. I have no idea how that is possible, but here we are.
As for Iowa, Wisconsin's defense doesn't press the turnover issue all that much. Sure, they will take the ball if you're looking to give it to them, but they aren't going to hyper-aggressively jump the passing lanes. Somehow, though, Iowa turned the ball over 9 times. 9 wouldn't normally be considered that many, but a) there were only 54 possessions in this game; and b) Wisconsin turned the ball over 1 time. Just once.
And, if all of that wasn't bad enough, Wisconsin outscored Iowa 11-1 in points off turnovers.
These next two categories are the two big ones for Iowa's offense, and they bombed both of them miserably.
The Hawkeyes are normally a strong offensive rebounding team, but the Badgers are also a very strong defensive rebounding team. You would expect it to at least be a great battle, right? Again, nope. It was all Wisconsin on the defensive glass. Iowa came away with 6 of their 28 available misses on the night. Their season average is around 35% and they only secured 21% of them against Wisconsin.
As bad as the offensive rebounding may have been, though, the defensive rebounding probably takes the cake here. Iowa and Wisconsin both came into this game weak in this category. Iowa's been around average on the defensive boards this year, while Wisconsin has been below average. The Badgers were anything but below average when it came to crashing the offensive glass on Tuesday night, though. Of the 32 possible offensive rebounds, Wisconsin came away with a ridiculous 15 of them. And in the second half, they grabbed 9 of the possible 15. That's just pathetic on Iowa's part.
Yet somehow it actually could have been worse because Wisconsin only logged 9 second chance points out of those 15 opportunities. But while both teams ended up with 9 second chance points on the night, all those offensive rebounds still helped Wisconsin run the clock down and slow the game to 54 possessions. So even though they didn't take full advantage of their second chance opportunities when it came to scoring, Wisconsin still was able to suck the air out of the game and leave the Hawkeyes with fewer possessions to attempt their comeback.
Free Throw Rate
The stat that I think is the most important for the success of this offense was the complete opposite of successful in this one. Aaron White had a little bit of success getting to the foul line, but he still had only 6 attempts and even worse, he only made 3 of them. The rest of the team couldn't figure out how to get the Badgers to foul them, and when they did get to the charity stripe, they weren't sinking their free ones either, as they shot a meager 4-10 from the line as a team.
Wisconsin, on the other hand, got to the free throw line 19 times and made 15 of them. I think that about explains it.
Overall: Iowa won 0 out of the 4 Factors
If we don't take into account minutes played, Wisconsin's trio of Dekker, Kaminsky, and Hayes finished this game with the highest adjusted game score. Dekker finished in the top spot with an adjusted game score of 20, followed by Kaminsky at 16.2, and Hayes at 15.3.
Jarrod Uthoff was the only Iowa player to get close to Wisconsin's top three, putting up an adjusted game score of 15. His per minute adjusted game score was also the best out of any Iowa player that played most of the game and was just behind Dekker and Kaminsky for Wisconsin. Overall, he finished with 12 points on 5-10 shooting (2-5 from outside), 2 rebounds (1 offensive), and 1 block.
I know Uthoff didn't have a terrible game, but the fact that he was only able to get 2 rebounds on the night hurt Iowa in this one.
What also hurt Iowa was the fact that Aaron White didn't have a great game, either. He only mustered 7 points on 2-5 shooting from the field and 3-6 shooting from the line.
White also only grabbed 3 rebounds, but did block a shot on defense.
As for the rest of the team, there was simply no help when Iowa's two main guys didn't go off. Peter Jok had 7 points, but it took him 8 field goal attempts to score those 7 points. Adam Woodbury had a pretty good rebounding night, but couldn't get anything going down low and got abused quite a bit by Frank Kaminsky on the other end of the floor. Gabe Olaseni played 19 minutes and only logged 2 defensive rebounds, 1 block, and 3 fouls. Mike Gesell and Josh Oglesby didn't add a whole lot of anything, and Dom Uhl had a few nice moments, but still looked like a freshman at times.
Trey Dickerson and Anthony Clemmons had nice second halves, so that was nice to see, especially from Dickerson. We haven't seen him since Big Ten play started, and it sucks that he had to see the court this way, but he didn't look all that terrible during his 10 minutes of run. I wouldn't mind seeing Fran trying to get him into the rotation a little more the rest of the season, as long as he can keep his turnovers down. The one thing I liked that he brought to the game was his speed. Iowa can't beat Wisconsin in a down tempo game, so it may not be a bad idea to give him a little time against Wisconsin next time to see if he can't get the transition game going against the Badgers.
Before I go, let's hit a few bullet points.
- Let's get Adam Woodbury's eye pokes and elbows out of the way. I thought it was hard to determine intent on the Nigel Hayes eye poke and the elbow to Duje Dukan, but that Frank Kaminsky eye poke was as blatant as I've ever seen. I get that Woodbury is frustrated because that game was probably a thousand times worse to experience on the court than it was to watch from the comfort of my own living room. But no matter how frustrated you get, there is never a good excuse for losing your composure like that. Really, there is never a good time to poke an opposing player in the eye, but doing so while your team is getting their ass kicked is really not a good look. Knock it off, Adam.
- Thanks to Wisconsin's bevy of rebounds -- they grabbed 62% of all available rebounds, by the way - and their +8 turnover margin, they finished the game with 17 more scoring opportunities (including free throw possessions) than the Hawkeyes. That's easily the biggest disparity of the year for Iowa, and when you give the #1 Kenpom-ranked offense in the nation that many extra opportunities at scoring, you are basically guaranteed to get blown out.
- Aaron White had one dunk vs. Wisconsin. UNI was the last game in which he did not have at least 1 dunk in. That means he is currently on a seven game streak. Here is the updated table:
|Aaron White Dunk-O-Meter||Freshman||Sophomore||Junior||Senior||Career|
|Field Goals Made||136||140||143||84||503|
With that blowout behind us, let's hope Iowa can refocus and forget this game ever happened. They should probably use it for motivation for next weekend's game against Wisconsin, but I hope they can get focused for the two 7-footers that Purdue is going to throw at them this Saturday. With the trouble Iowa had on the boards and scoring in the paint against the Badgers, those could be rather large issues against the Boilermakers too.