John Beilein has had a lot of success against the Hawkeyes as of late. However, Iowa, similar to Michigan’s last two opponents, is desperate for a victory.
Fran McCaffrey’s Hawkeyes have lost two straight after winning 10 of their previous 11. The reason behind this mini-slump? Defense.
Iowa has given up 82 and 92 to Michigan State and Minnesota, respectively — including a 50-point half in each game. This may be just what the doctor ordered for a Michigan offense that has averaged less than a point per possession the last four outings.
Scoring has not been a problem for Iowa all season.
Tyler Cook and Luke Garza average 16.6 and 14.8 points respectivey, but what makes the Hawkeyes so dangerous is what’s around them. The three guards who flank Iowa’s front court all shoot above 37.5 percent from deep.
Joe Wieskamp scores 11 points per game and shoots 43.2 percent from deep. Jordan Bohannon and Isaiah Moss both add slightly more than 10 per game, respectively shooting 37.6 and 46.2 percent behind the arc.
McCaffrey’s offense attacks you with its forwards, which opens up a barrage from the perimeter. For the Wolverines, the worst thing that can happen is getting beat off the dribble, allowing spot-up opportunities for the Hawkeyes.
Iowa has victories against Ohio State, Northwestern, and Oregon, so they’re capable of doing some damage when they bring their best game.
Michigan has won back-to-back #GrindHouse games — i.e., they’ve won scoring in the 60s while holding their opponent under 50. Part of this is due to a very low pace of play and strong defense, but Michigan’s offense needs to pick it up.
While Isaiah Livers and Ignas Brazdeikis put up efficient lines against the Buckeyes, Jordan Poole and Zavier Simpson shot a combined 10-27 from the field. Poole’s momentum threes and Simpson’s overall historic night rightfully overshadowed poor shooting performances from both.
However, this is a team with National Championship aspirations. Last year, Michigan’s offense was not able to pick up the slack against Villanova in the National Championship game, and it’s worth noting that this team has been in an offensive funk for most of the year. Jon Teske was 1-for-4 and Charles Matthews shot 3-of-8 in Ann Arbor Tuesday night.
With Iowa’s defense ranking outside the top-100 per Ken Pomeroy, this is the offense’s chance to get back on track.
How To Watch:
Teams: No. 5 Michigan Wolverines (20-1) vs. No. 25 Iowa Hawkeyes (16-5)
Date: Friday, February 1
Location: Carver-Hawkeye Arena — Iowa City, Iowa
Tipoff: 7:00 p.m.
Television: FS1 (FoxSportsGo Link Here)