It has to stop sooner or later.
Really, it has to stop. At this pace it's not a question of if, but rather when. The NCAA thought their rule changes would help fix the lack of scoring in basketball and it clearly is. However, is it really worth an additional 30 minutes of game time and all the additional points coming from free throws? Is it really worth removing the ability for teams to play defense in fear of giving up easy points?
Iowa shot 49 free throws today, which almost totaled the 56 shots they took from the field. The end result was a slow game pushing close to two and a half hours and decided entirely at the charity stripe. Iowa ended up winning by eight points in a game where they shot a worse percentage than their opponent and made fewer field goals and three pointers. While Iowa struggled shooting the ball, they found a way to get to the line 33 times more than the Mavericks.
Somewhere in the back of my mind I remember Northwestern shooting 3 free throws in an entire game versus the Buckeyes.
Of course as hard as it was to watch, it worked for the Hawkeyes as free throws helped them avoid an upset from a Nebraska-Omaha squad that came to play. While Iowa spent a good majority of the game sleep walking, Nebraska-Omaha gave Iowa everything they could handle. Led by CJ Carter's 22 points, Nebraska-Omaha built a 7 point lead heading into the half and held the lead until under 10 minutes remaining.
Iowa was led in scoring by Aaron White, who added 20 points. The only other starter to reach double digits for the Hawkeyes was Roy Devyn Marble, adding 15 on the day. Of course 21 of their 35 points were from the free throw line but you'll take what you can get in tight games like these. Aaron White had a particularly good day on the glass, leading the way with 15 rebounds.
Two things that will need to be worked on for the Hawkeyes are three point shooting and turnovers. Iowa's outside shooting was towards the bottom of the Big Ten last year and today's 3 of 14 three point showing isn't going to cut it. They also committed 18 turnovers, a number that will cost them games if they don't cut down on carless ballhandling. Nonetheless, they did what good teams should do in these situations and found a way to pull out the win on an off day.
Iowa's next outing will be this Thursday against Maryland-Eastern Shore.