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

3 the Hawkeye charm

Iowa forward Jarrod Uthoff goes up for a layup against Nebraska forward Jack McVeigh during the Iowa-Nebraska game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016. The Hawkeyes defeated the Cornhuskers, 77-66. (The Daily Iowan/Margaret Kispert)

The arc that extends 20 feet, 9 inches from the basket in men’s college basketball is commonly known as the 3-point line.

What’s becoming known about the arc is the Iowa men’s basketball team’s semi-surprising ability to shoot from behind said line.

Iowa’s starting lineup is loaded with height, a 7-1 center in Adam Woodbury, a 6-9 stretch-4 in Jarrod Uthoff, and a 6-6 shooting guard in Peter Jok. That height makes some believe Iowa should dominate in the paint.

But Iowa has the 15th best 3-point percentage in the country, making 40.5 percent of attempts this season.

That’s third best in the Big Ten to Indiana, which shoots 44.3 percent from behind the line, and Michigan, the Hawkeye’s latest victims of the seven-game winning streak, at 42.2 percent.

Uthoff and Jok are leading the charge on the scoring front, averaging 18.6 and 13.9 points per game.

And while those two can seemingly score from anywhere, anytime, the Hawkeyes have relied on almost the entire team to find the net from behind the line.

RELATED: Hoops spirits remain high

Head coach Fran McCaffery had high praises for Jok, the reigning Big Ten Player of the Week.

“Ultimately, what you’re seeing is a guy who’s way more consistent at both ends of the floor,” McCaffery said. “We always knew he’d be good, but now, he’s an elite player.”

Jok leads on 3s with 36 on 93 attempts, good for a 38.7 percentage, but sophomore Dom Uhl leads the sharpshooters by percentage, shooting 54.5 percent.

“I mean, I think [Uhl’s] always been a good shooter. He’s always had great confidence in his 3-point shooting,” McCaffery said. “You look at him, and he’s playing relaxed.”

The bench, Uhl included, may be the team’s best asset; every player who regularly sees the floor, excluding freshman Ahmad Wagner, who has no 3-point attempts, is shooting better than 30 percent. Nicholas Baer, Brady Ellingson, and Uhl all have come off the bench at key times and made big 3s.

Baer provided a spark against Drake, a game the Hawkeyes ultimately won, 70-64, and Uhl, throughout the winning streak, consistently finds himself open at the top of the key.

The Hawkeyes have been known to let it fly of late, and they’ll have more than enough opportunity to against Rutgers tonight. The Scarlet Knights rank last in the Big Ten in scoring defense and 291st nationally in 3-point percentage.

Through six Big Ten games, the Knights’ opponents are averaging nearly 90 points per game.

The Hawkeyes won’t say they’re looking past Rutgers, a game Iowa should win by a large margin. As the bottom dwellers of the Big Ten, Rutgers doesn’t inspire the concern the way the likes of Indiana, Michigan State, or Ohio State do.

Whatever the challenges posed by Rutgers, the Hawkeyes have shot lights-out recently.


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