With just one Big Ten game on Monday’s schedule, all eyes will be on Iowa. The Hawkeyes, losers of four straight, will look to gain confidence before they host No. 19 Iowa State on Thursday.
Big Ten Game of the Day:
-Iowa vs. Stetson
- Time/TV: 7:00PM ET / ESPNU
- SportsLine Spread: Iowa (-17)
Iowa (3-5) has five games to right the ship before they open the Big Ten Conference season at Purdue on Wednesday, Dec. 28.
They should have an opportunity to get the wheel facing in the right direction when Stetson (4-5) visits Iowa City on Monday.
The Hatters have lost five of their last seven games, only notching wins over Florida A&M and Florida College during that stretch. Iowa will be the first Power 5 Conference team that Stetson has faced this season. The Hatters are 1-10 all-time against the Big Ten, having recorded a 58-56 win at Purdue in 1990.
With that being said, Stetson can put the ball in the basket. The Hatters are scoring 78.2 points per game, led by 18.6 points per game from Derick Newton. They have a number of guys who can get it done, as Myles Divine is adding 15.6 points per game, Luke Doyle averages 12.0 points per game and Angel Rivera chips in 10.0 points per game.
Doyle had a team-high 21 points as five players scored in double figures during Saturday’s 101-69 win over Florida College.
Iowa hasn’t slowed anybody this season. The Hawkeyes are giving up 85 points per game, including 96.7 points per game in three consecutive losses to Memphis, Notre Dame and Nebraska-Omaha.
The Hawkeyes have struggled protecting the paint all year, and gave up 40 points in the lane to Omaha. Iowa has also been outrebounded by 0.5 rebounds per game this season, but they shouldn’t have too much trouble against a similarly undersized Stetson team that has a minus-7.9 rebounding margin.
Iowa averages 89.8 points per game and should be able to fill it up all year.
Peter Jok is having a huge start to his senior season, leading the Big Ten with 25.0 points per game while shooting 46.0 percent from the field, 41.9 percent from the 3-point line and 95.3 percent from the free-throw line. Jok is coming off a 33-point performance in Saturday’s 98-89 loss to Nebraska-Omaha.
One of Iowa’s issues is that Jok is one of just two players to start all seven games this season. The other, sophomore forward Nicholas Baer, is averaging 6.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.0 block in just 22.9 minutes per game.
Freshmen Jordan Bohannon and Cordell Pemsl have moved into the starting lineup over the last two games. They each looked comfortable against Florida College, with Bohannon making 6-of-12 from behind the arc to finish with 20 points and six assists, and Pemsl adding 18 points on 6-of-7 shooting.
Pemsl has replaced freshman Tyler Cook in the starting lineup. Cook, who is averaging 13.7 points and 5.3 rebounds per game, will miss his third straight game with a broken finger.
Monday is looking like a shootout. Superior athletes typically stand out in that style of game, and Iowa should have the advantage in that category.
A win over Stetson won’t mean much in the grand scheme of things, but Iowa needs to start stacking up wins if they’re going to turn the tide.