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Iowa at Purdue: Preview, Odds, & How to Watch

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Rick Mount is coming home against the team he lit up almost half a century ago.

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Our Most Hated Rivals are feeling it of late. They knocked off the No. 1 team in the country a few days ago and they are playing in the Rose Bowl today. They came within a handful of plays of being in the College Football Playoff too. It is time to bring them down a notch.

The Rivalry aside, it is already a big game in the Big Ten standings. Iowa not only announced they were a contender with the win over Michigan State, they conveniently beat Michigan State (one of the three consensus contenders before league play started. Since Purdue happens to be one of the other consensus contenders it makes for an early big game.

It is also a big game because Purdue will be likely favored in the following five games before going to Iowa City. That means a victory sets Purdue up for a nice early run in conference.

Opponent

Iowa Hawkeyes

Location:

Iowa City, IA

Date:

1/2/2016

Venue:

Mackey Arena (14,846), West Lafayette, IN

TV:

Big Ten Network

Radio Stream:

TuneIn

Satellite Radio:

SIRI 136, XM

Odds:

Purdue by 8.5

Tickets:

As low as $60 on Stubhub

Tipoff:

6pm

KenPom Ranking:

14 of 351

RPI:

21

Blog Representation:

Black Heart Gold Pants

2015-16 Record:

10-3, 1-0 Big Ten

All-time series

Purdue leads 87-73

Last Purdue win:

67-63 at Purdue on 1/24/2015

Last Iowa Win:

83-76 at Iowa on 3/2/2014

2014-15 Record:

22-12, 12-6 Big Ten

Last NCAA appearance:

2015 (27 appearances) 3 Finals Fours, last in 1980

Coach:

Fran McCaffery (106-78 in 5th year at Iowa, 355-255 overall, 3-6 vs. Purdue)

Iowa has had a pretty good season that was made even better by knocking off the Spartans on Tuesday. The first two losses came in competitive games to Notre Dame and Dayton in the Advocare Invitation down in Orlando. Those are both respectable losses to probable NCAA teams. The final loss came at Iowa State where they pretty much choked. No, really. It was a choke job. Iowa led 49-35 at the half, 62-42 with about 16 minutes left, and 82-74 with 103 seconds left.

You can't say they are afraid to play on the road though. Iowa State was a heated rival and ranked 4th nationally in that game. They aren't going to be afraid to come into Mackey Arena.

The Hawkeyes are led by Jarrod Uthoff, who is having an all-Big Ten type of season. The 6'9" senior is 3rd in scoring in the Big Ten at 17.6 per game, 16th in rebounding at 6.2 per game, and is even ahead of A.J. Hammons in blocks at 3.2 per game. Uthoff is getting it done all over the floor, much like Robbie Hummel back in the day. He is shooting an impressive 45.8% form three and 50.3% from the floor overall. If you foul him you might as well put them on the board, as he is 83.3% from the line.

Peter Jok, a 6'6" junior is also having a solid year at 13.8 points per game. He is the only player on the team with more three-point attempts than Uthoff and he shoots at a 38.6% clip from long range.

Iowa also has size to deal with Hammons/Haas inside. Adam Woodbury, the Big Ten's most infamous player for eye-poking, averages 8.8 points and 6.2 rebounds in the middle. Let's face it, everyone hates Woodbury and would not mind seeing Isaac Haas body slam him. Haas must break him, but I fear Isaac is just too nice.

Purdue also needs to look out for Mike Gesell on the perimeter. Gesell is shooting 47.1% from three, but he is a savvy player that picks his spots very well. He had18 points last year at Purdue and got many of them by relentlessly attacking the basket. If he sees a weakness, he is going to attack it.

Uthoff, Jok, Gessel, and Woodbury are all familiar names for the Hawkeyes. There are a few new contributors too. Dom Uhl is a big German that throws in 7.2 points per game. Anthony Clemmons is a senior that has come into his own to score 8.2 per game. Nicholas Baer and Dale Jones round out the regular contributors.

Iowa scares me because they shoot the ball really well. They are hitting 40% from three and 47.2% from the floor overall. This is a team that is going to test out defense both on the perimeter and inside. They average 83 points per game, which is 35th nationally. This is a good team and they pushed the Boilers well in Mackey Arena last season.

What we need is the blessing of Mount. The Legend himself is coming home for the first time in decades. He played in the first game ever in Mackey Arena and blessed it with a 28 point performance while playing on a broken foot. Rick is coming home, and Purdue needs its three main shooters to start hitting shots again. To me, Purdue has been taking several good shots, but they haven't been falling. The man with the perfect jump shot is coming home for his day, however. By his mere presence alone I think the shots start falling and Purdue defends its home court.