How They Are Doing So Far:
Iowa has looked pretty good most of this season. They grabbed non-conference victories over teams like Oregon, Connecticut, Pitt and Iowa State. And the Hawkeyes did not lose against a non-conference opponent. They did start out Big Ten play with some problems though with losses to Wisconsin and Michigan State on November 30th and December 3rd, respectively. Once conference play returned in early January, Iowa was crushed by Purdue 86-70. That 0-3 Big Ten start was not promising, but since then the Hawkeyes have reeled off three conference wins in a row.
Last Time Out:
Iowa got their third Big Ten win on Saturday at home against Ohio State. It was a tight back-and-forth affair throughout much of the game before the Hawkeyes were able to pull away a little bit half way through the second stanza to secure the 72-62 victory. Four players scored in double figures, which is typical for this group. Luke Garza led the way with 16 points and fellow forward Tyler Cook added 15 points and a game high eight rebounds. Freshman Joe Wieskamp added ten points and seven rebounds. Those three scoring in double figures is not a surprise at all. Ryan Kriener adding 11 points is a bit of a surprise. He has been on a tear lately though, reaching double figures in three of the last four games after barely making an impact earlier in the campaign.
Who To Watch:
Tyler Cook, a 6-9 junior, is leading this team with 17.1 points and 8.3 rebounds. The big man also dishes out 2.6 assists per game. Cook is a consistent presence in the paint and that has really opened up the rest of the offense. It creates space on the perimeter and for Cook’s fellow forwards Luka Garza and Nicholas Baer. Garza is second to only Cook in scoring, averaging 12.9 points per game, while Baer adds 6.7. Those three can be a tough frontcourt for any team to deal with and, with the development of Ryan Kriener, the Hawkeyes have plenty of options in the frontcourt.
Who Else To Watch:
Joe Wieskamp, Jordan Bohannon and Isaiah Moss are the shooters on the perimeter. Wieskamp is a big 6-7 guard who averages 11.4 points and 5.0 rebounds. He has the size to attack the basket, but Wieskamp is also a very efficient three-point shooter. He is connecting on 42.4 percent of his 66 attempts from beyond the arc. Bohannon is the most prolific outside shooter, connecting on 36 long balls so far this season. He also dishing out a team high 3.1 assists.
Penn State is still searching for their first Big Ten victory. They will get a few before now and the end of the season and those will likely come at home. So far the Nittany Lions have hosted Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan in Big Ten play. This might just be their best opportunity to win a conference game yet. However, they are facing off against Iowa at a bad time and the Hawkeyes should be able to keep their Big Ten winning streak alive.