Hoops surfs wave of sharing


The Daily Iowan; Photos by Josep

Iowa guard Jordan Bohannon soars into the paint during a men’s basketball game in Welsh-Ryan Arena in Evanston, Illinois between Iowa and Northwestern on Sunday, Jan. 15, 2017. The Wildcats defeated the Hawkeyes, 89-54. (The Daily Iowan/Joseph Cress)

By Blake Dowson 

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The Iowa men’s basketball team is in the midst of its first three-game winning streak since it won five consecutive games from Dec. 5 to Dec. 22.  in nonconference play.

Now the team has won three-straight games  against Ohio State, Rutgers, and most recently Nebraska, to move to 6-5 in the Big Ten.

Team basketball has been the mantra over the last two weeks, first because senior Peter Jok had to miss a couple games and again when the team reintegrated him into the new efficient offense.

Here is a look into the statistics behind the Hawkeyes’ three-game winning streak.

Opponent 3-point field-goal percentage — 24 percent

As efficient as the Hawkeyes have been on the offensive end, they have been almost as good on the other end of the floor. And the scary part for Iowa’s next opponents is that they are only getting better.

Ohio State hit on 7-of-22 from behind the arc, Rutgers finished at 4-of-15, and Nebraska made only 3-of-20 3-point attempts.

However, the Hawkeyes could do a better job rebounding all of those misses — they’ve been outrebounded by a fairly wide margin over the past three games.

Four guys in double figures each game

This is an impressive statistic. It shows how balanced the team has been and how willing the players have been in sharing the ball. It’s a team that seems to be filled with a bunch of guys without egos, which, added with the talent the roster boasts, is a recipe for success in the future.

But the most impressive part of this statistic is that there have been seven different guys to score in double figures. Still not impressed? Five of them are freshmen. Tyler Cook and Jordan Bohannon have scored at least 10 points in each game, and Isaiah Moss, Ryan Kriener, and Cordell Pemsl have all gotten to the mark. Jok added 12 points against Nebraska, and Brady Ellingson has been in double figures twice.

Field goal percentage — 49 percent

The Hawkeyes have been getting a lot of easy baskets in the past three games. Pemsl has earned a reputation as a high-percentage scorer, and you know what you’re going to get out of him every night. The surprise has been Ellingson and everything he has done for the team.

Ellingson was a role player and one who wasn’t seeing a heavy load of minutes. It wasn’t until Jok left the lineup with his back injury that Ellingson emerged. He has led the Big Ten in 3-point shooting percentage for much of the year, but the volume of shots has gone up considerably the past three games — he’s 12-of 19 overall.

Assisted baskets

One of the problems with the team early on this year was its willingness to let Jok try to find his shot in any way necessary, waiting for him to run off screens or take his man one-on-one.

There’s been a turnaround, however, during the winning streak. It started when Jok left the rotation, but it continued against Nebraska when he returned.

Against Ohio State, the Hawkeyes assisted on 21 of their 32 baskets.  In the Rutgers game, they assisted on 24 of 30. In Jok’s return, they assisted on 22 of 27. That’s 75 percent of the buckets the team gets.

That’s a recipe for success for right now and for the future.

McCaffery seems to have found a lineup and rotation that he likes, and the team is clicking at the right time.

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