Over .500 (11-9)

Robert Read, Sports Reporter

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Halfway through its Big Ten schedule, Iowa is at a bit of a crossroads. The Hawkeyes followed up a five-game winning streak by dropping two in a row.

The most recent loss to Minnesota makes Iowa’s season record 16-5 (5-5 Big Ten).

In the two games, Iowa has stayed competitive for large stretches of the game, only to stumble into situations in which defensive liabilities and an inability to score forfeit the lead.

While Hawkeye fans may have a sour taste in their mouths at the moment, there are still plenty of chances to revive a promising season.

So many chances, in fact, that I predict Iowa to finish the season 11-9 in the Big Ten.

Tough matchups remain against the likes of Michigan and Maryland, and rematches against Ohio State and Wisconsin loom.

That being said, two games each against Indiana and Rutgers are on the docket, both of which are near the bottom of the Big Ten.

Throw in Northwestern at home, and Iowa has plenty of favorable matchups ahead to climb the totem pole in the Big Ten.

As all Hawkeye basketball enthusiasts will scream at the top of their lungs, the defense for the Hawkeyes must improve for a Big Ten record above .500 to become reality.

Such shooters as Jordan Bohannon and Joe Wieskamp also have to be involved in the offense, unlike in the loss to Minnesota, in which the two were held scoreless for most of the game.

Iowa has a good core of talent and has proved that it is capable of coming back from a losing skid.

If head coach Fran McCaffery can make the necessary adjustments, the Hawkeyes should have themselves positioned well when the Big Ten Tournament approaches.

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