The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Behind enemy lines

Peter Kim
Iowa center Adam Woodbury penetrates Gardner’Webb’s defense at the Carver-Hakweye Arena on Friday, Nov. 13, 2015. The Hawkeyes defeated the Bulldogs, 76-59. (The Daily Iowan.Peter Kim)

The Iowa-Iowa State men’s basketball game is the marquee game on the Hawkeyes’ schedule before the new year. The Daily Iowan’s Ian Murphy and the Iowa State Daily’s Ryan Young, the respective beat writers, talked about the matchup Wednesday.

Ian Murphy: With five starters averaging in double figures, who figures to be the player to watch for Iowa State?

Ryan Young: I would say probably, as always, you could look at Georges Niang. I’m really curious to see his matchup with Uthoff and see how they can work out together, and see if he can still come into double figures, and do what he’s been doing all season against that strong of a matchup.

Murphy: Woodbury versus McKay I think will be a matchup to watch to see how well Woodbury will do against a smaller, quicker rebounder like that. How do you think that will go?

Young: I’ve watched Woodbury all four years he’s been at Iowa, I’ve followed him pretty close, he’s gotten better and I’ve been decently impressed. Obviously we didn’t get that matchup last year with McKay being out, but it’ll be interesting to see how he keeps up with McKay because I think McKay is definitely much faster, and a little more versatile than he is.

To see if he can keep up and still lock McKay down and you know, keep him out and stop him from hitting the boards like he does, I think he pulled down 19 last week, to shut him down I’d be very impressed. That’ll be one of those keys for Iowa if they’re going to win this game.

Murphy: To go along with that, if Iowa State is going to win this game, what does it have to do?

Young: I think it just needs to play its game. I think the Cyclones need to block out the fact that it’s Iowa and all the hype around this and just do what they’ve been doing. When they’ve run into trouble this year is when they shut down on offense, they quit sharing the ball, they rush things and they just start shooting. We saw that against Buffalo the other night where they went on a run against Buffalo where they scored four points in nine minutes or so, so if they can sit back and play their game and not freak stressed or whatever in that situation, I think they’ll be fine.

Young: White is gone from last year, so how have they so far been able to balance replacing him, and how will that come into effect against Iowa State [today]?

Murphy: Uthoff has been the go to guy this year, and he will be tomorrow. He had a career high on Monday night, with 27 in 24 minutes, and if he can do that tomorrow, that will be huge for Iowa. They’ve also gone to Peter Jok more, he’s got a green light to shoot this year. I think he averages about 12 points per game. So far the competition has left something to be desired.

They’ve shot much better from three than they have in the past, which if they can go stroke for stroke for stroke with Iowa State on that I think it will be a closer game than people expect.

Young: With Iowa State being No. 4 and Iowa losing the last two, how does Iowa look coming into the game mentally?

Murphy: They’ll tell it’s just like any other game. Fran McCaffery doesn’t install the scout team until two days before the game, so when we talked to the players on Monday night, they didn’t have a whole lot to say other than it will be loud, and then that’s why you play college basketball is to play the best team in the country.

Young: For Iowa to come into Hilton and get a win, what are they going to have to do?

Murphy: I think Uthoff’s going to have to have the game of his life, Jok’s going to have the game of his life. Those two are the two big scorers, and then it’ll come down to who they can go to on the bench. The bench has been a little thin so far.

Dom Uhl is going to see some time, as is Nicholas Baer and Brady Ellingson, but the starters are going to have to log big minutes, and it’s going to have to come down to Uthoff and Jok shooting lights out again.

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