Nebraska-Omaha (1-0, 0-0) at Iowa (1-0, 0-0)
4:30 PM EST
Line: Iowa -28.5
Series Record: Iowa 1-0
Last Meeting: Iowa 71-58 (1981)
Blog Representation: Black Heart Gold Pants
Iowa held UNC-Wilmington to 12 points in the first half and won big against an overmatched Seahawks team. Now Iowa will look to take care of business against the Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks. The Mavericks won their season opener in the last minute against MAC opponent Northern Illinois.
The Hawkeyes were never challenged in their first outing and will look to continue their hot start against Nebraska-Omaha. If Iowa can keep up at a similarly ferocious pace then it very well will be capable of spreading minutes around once again, as Iowa didn't have a single player in the opener play more than 20 minutes.
Jarrod Uthoff led the Hawkeyes in the opener with 14 points while Gabriel Olaseni had a strong outing with 8 points, 7 rebounds and 5 blocks in 17 minutes. With an opponent likely to start no one taller than 6'8 in the frontcourt, it could be another deadly night down low for Olaseni. He needs to improve his shooting (1 of 8 from the field) but his size should allow him to pick up plenty of blocks once again.
While the UNC-Wilmington game for Iowa was definitely impressive, it wasn't perfect. The Hawkeyes outside scoring is a serious issue that needs to be fixed if they want to compete with the top dogs of the Big Ten. Their opener showed little improvement as they only hit 33.3% of their three pointers and 66.7% from the free throw line. Also, it should be noted that with many games featuring an absurdly high number of fouls, Iowa only committed 10 in their opener.
Speaking of fouls, they were the catalyst for the Mavericks come from behind victory over Northern Illinois. Nebraska-Omaha had a poor night from the field, making 38.8% of their field goals and only connecting on 3 of their 17 three pointers. Luckily for the Mavericks, though, they managed to get to the line for 32 free throws, making 27 of them in a two point victory.
The Hawkeyes will need to focus on guard CJ Carter. Carter led the Mavericks in scoring on Friday, racking up 18 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists. No other player on the roster scored in double digits while forward Matt Hagerbaumer led the team in rebounding (7) off the bench. While the Hawkeyes avoided foul trouble, Nebraska-Omaha had two starters foul out in the opener and committed 23 fouls. If they want to keep it close against Iowa they'll need to cut down on fouls while forcing contact and getting themselves to the line.
Iowa absolutely throttled UNC-Wilmington in the opener and will look to continue their hot start today against Nebraska-Omaha. The Mavericks may be a bit more of a challenge but the team is undersized and will need to shoot the rock considerably better. If the Mavericks get into foul trouble early it will be a very long day, even more so if they can't draw fouls from Iowa.
When all is said and done the Hawkeyes should gobble up another cupcake and continue to impress in the early season.