Head Coach: Fran McCaffery
Location: Iowa City, IA
Coach's Nickname: White Magic
Mascot: Herky the Hawk
KenPom rank: 18
Point Spread: Iowa by 16
A/FGM: 63.9% (7th in Div 1)
3pt%: 40.1% (3rd in Div 1)
- Jack Nunge - out
Hoiberg goes into great detail about what went down during last year's B1G tournament where he came down with the flu at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. Said Iowa is so good that Nebraska could play great and they still could lose by 20. Noted that Yvan isn't playing because he's not in the rotation right now but he's still putting in the same work at practice. "Absolutely" was the response when asked if he'd welcome Thorir and Kobe coming back next year. The staff has talked with them and they'll sit down about it after the season.
Trey McGowens Presser
This was one of the more informative/meaty player interviews I've ever seen. When asked about the difference in the last couple of games, Trey talks about him being more of a facilitator who knows he can score but is trying to get his teammates involved. Credited Thor and Lat for the increase in movement on the offense. When asked how they had their biggest win of the season with Teddy gone, he thought everyone had to step up and they did. In regards to the new starting lineup, mentions being locked in on defense first and then their energy second; guys like Kobe and Thor moving without the ball gets everyone else moving. When asked about Kobe and Thor coming back McGowens tries to not start laughing because he has been working on these guys.
Players to watch: Luka Garza
Garza is the odds on favorite to be the POTY in college basketball. He's among the conference leaders in points, rebounds, and blocks. At this point it's all about how much damage he's going to do offensively in addition to putting your bigs into foul trouble
Players to watch: Connor McCaffery
Nebraska loves to take away the paint so look for Nebraska to sag off of McCaffery on the paint at points to help down on Garza and is Connor hitting tonight
The injury of Jack Nunge has left Garza as the only center on the team. Team features sets of brothers in the McCafferys and Murrays
- Due to injury Bohannon is in his 5th year and still functions as the PG/tough shot taker
- CJ Fredrick doesn't shoot a ton but they go in. Over 50% from 3 in conference and on the season.
- Weiskamp is yet another good 3pt shooter
- Legacy Hawkeye Keegan Murray is playing key minutes for the Hawks at the 4 and might need to slot in at the 5. The 6'8" forward brings 3 level scoring and rim protection. Twin brother Kris is at the end of the bench; they're the sons of former Hawkeye Kenyon Murray.
- Patrick McCaffery is taller than his brother at 6'9" and is more aggressive with his shot but like his brother are among the few Hawkeyes with inconsistent outside shots
- Joe Toussaint is PG depth
In these uncertain times, we're bringing back the "Fredcon Alert System" so you can get a feel for the intensity level of HCFH at any time.
Let's get this out of the way: Iowa is going to pass the ball around and either throw it in to Garza or else take a 3. Defensively after baskets they'll roll out some 2/3rds court pressure; it's all about trying to slow you down. Hopefully at some point Fran will get mad.
Really the more interesting thing these days is that Nebraska looks offensively like a Fred Hoiberg team. The players and the ball are moving around which in turn is generating open looks that guys are hitting. With as talented as Teddy Allen was, you could see why we spent so much time and effort trying to fit him into this offense. Everyone noticed the ball got stuck with him but the dynamic that might not have been so obvious was this deference often seemed to be intentional; why wouldn't we get the ball to Teddy more? The remaining team has seemed to step up their game and Hoiberg has seemly found the right PG for his offense in Trey McGowens: someone who is more than capable of getting his own shot at any time but realizes the importance of getting everyone else involved. McGowens also seems to be someone who doesn't need to hold onto the ball. Seems like we might be seeing the progress we'd been hoping for before Bryce McGowens gets to town.
Fred Hoiberg has typically had Fran McCaffery's number in the past but Iowa has one heck of a team. Between that history and the beatdown Nebraska put on Rutgers, the Hawkeyes won't be sleepwalking into this game. Feels like Nebraska can hang with anyone these days but do they have enough juice to play 40 minutes?
Prediction: Iowa 85 - Nebraska 72