Know Your Enemy: Iowa Hawkeyes

If you need another reason to see the basketball game, a few of the football players will be there signing autographs with the Big Ten Trophy.

The Hawkeyes are coming into the game 12-7 and 2-4 in the conference. They beat struggling Wisconsin at home in OT on Wednesday.  Here’s KenPom’s scouting report, and Iowa’s Statsheet page.

Iowa plays ridiculously slow and shoots a lot of threes.  They turn the ball over and aren’t a strong rebounding team. They don’t have a lot of firepower unless they heat up from the outside. PSU matches up well. Iowa doesn’t have the guards to contain PSU’s backcourt speed. They’ll have a tough time guarding Jamelle Cornley, as well. However, an x-factor in this game is Iowa C David Palmer. The RS Junior has played sparingly to say the least over the last 3 years, but a sprained ankle to starter Cyrus Tate has allowed him to get some playing time, and he sure has taken advantage. He logged 19 points and 8 rebounds against Purdue and 21 points and 7 boards against Wisconsin. Andrew Jones will have to match up with him. As far as Cyrus Tate, there’s still questions whether he’ll play with the bum ankle. However, coach Lickliter hinted in his press conference that he will see some playing time today. He won’t make a huge difference however, especially if Palmer keeps his play at the same level.

PREDICTION: Iowa isn’t anything imposing, but they aren’t a pushover. However, PSU has become a very tough team at home, winning 8 of their last 9 Big Ten games. I expect another PSU W today in a must win situation. The line’s set at 6, so I’ll take PSU to cover. Too much offense from PSU for Iowa to handle. But if the Nittany Lions let the Hawkeyes dictate the tempo and Palmer’s a force inside, this game could get very interesting.

Be sure to check out HHV’s preview.

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