Defense wins games, period and Lily. We cannot forget Lily
I know, out of the remaining games Rutgers is the one that worries me the most. I actually do think Iowa is capable of running the table in the Big Ten. I know they won't, they will lose a couple. But it takes a disaster at the 3 point and free throw line, like the Gonzaga game, to lose.lol That’s 23-4 or 24-3 and regular season champs, 1 seed in BTT, 1 seed in NCAA Tournament and possible National Championship.
what are the odds a player who averages single points per game. Is 2-10 in 3pt shooting for the year, Goes 8-9 from 3 point range for the game. 4-4 in OT. Not very high at all. I personally don’t care about a Big Ten title. Getting to the sweet 16 or higher is the most important
So looking ahead who on the Northwestern team is due to break out of a shooting funk?Granted, small sample size but, based on the last 3 games, the odds seem to be growing quickly against Iowa. Gonzaga came in averaging somewhere around 3-4 3's / game and goes 13 / 26. Minnesota comes in avg around 8 3's / game and makes 17, including Johnson, who, as you noted was shooting 20% and goes for 89% against Iowa.
None of this is surprising. Few, if any, teams are going to match up with the Hawks size and length, so, of course they are going to be launching 3's all game. Compound that with, for pretty much all of eternity, Iowa's defensive woes - especially against the 3 - have been common knowledge. There is a library full of box scores where Iowa was the slump-buster for the other team "finding their stroke".
Knowing that Iowa isn't going to magically improve it's defense - again, especially against the 3 - this is a year where we really need that "luck" factor to be better than it usually is - where we get "lucky" that the other team is missing shots. Historically, Iowa has ranked very bad in this Ken-Pom metric - over the last 5 seasons, avg Luck ranking is 212th of 357 teams (includes a high of 63rd in 2019). So far in 2020-21, Hawks are coming in at 273rd. Ugh!
Bottom line - Iowa's Achilles heel is nothing new this year. The recipe for living up to this year's potential has always been offense and outscoring others, knowing the other team is going to get high 70's / low 80's.
That's what makes last night and Gonzaga all the more frustrating. Not that we give up the 3 ... it's that they make theirs and the Hawks don't - both at an unGodly clip. You just can't have Jo-Bo and Joe-Vies going 3 for 14 (Minny) and 3-13 (Zaga) and expect to win, when the other team shoots 40+% from 3.
Quick glance at their stats ... NW is already a good 3-pt shooting team - 42.7%. Audage is due - has shot the most 3's (34) at only 24% - but the others are shooting over 50%!So looking ahead who on the Northwestern team is due to break out of a shooting funk?
Don't even want to fathom losing that one, but they're 2-0 in the league.
I've probably posted a dozen times on KenPom's "luck". Iowa was in the bottom 10% four of the first eight years Fran was here.
A lot of it had to do with losing close games, which usually comes from critical defensive breakdowns.
Fran through 2018 was 22-49 in games decided by six points or less, a number which has improved since then.