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Purdue Basketball: Iowa Preview

Purdue returns home looking to even up their Big 10 record before the holiday conference break.

Syndication: HawkCentral Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen / USA TODAY NETWORK

University of Iowa Hawkeyes (5-2, 0-0) - KenPom #37

Basic Information

Location: Iowa City, Iowa

Type of School: Public Research University

Mascot: Herky the Hawk

Head Coach - Fran McCaffery

Seasons at Iowa: 14

Career Record: 517-355

Conference Championships: 4 (3 at Siena, 1 at UNCG)

Conference Tournament Championships: 6 (1 at Lehigh, 1 at UNCG, 3 at Siena, 1 at Iowa)

NCAA Appearances: 12 (6-12)

Final Four Appearances: 0

Kenpom Style of Play

() = National Ranking per Kenpom


Adj. Efficiency: 118.3 (15)

Avg. Poss. Length: 14.6 (6)


Adj. Efficiency: 102.1 (111)

Avg. Poss. Length: 17.1 (163)

Adjusted Tempo

74.8 (9)

Kenpom 4 Factors

() = National Ranking per Kenpom


Effective FG%: 54.6 (45)

Turnover %: 14 (5)

Off. Reb. %: 31.7 (116)

FTA/FGA: 26.6 (294)


Effective FG%: 48.2 (127)

Turnover %: 18.3 (148)

Off. Reb. %: 30.3 (202)

FTA/FGA: 24.4 (35)


Iowa Starters

Position Number Player Class Height Weight Previous Team Minutes Points Rebounds Assists Steals Blocks
Position Number Player Class Height Weight Previous Team Minutes Points Rebounds Assists Steals Blocks
Point Guard 11 Tony Perkins Sr. 6'4" 205 28.3 13.9 4.1 4.2 1.7 0.5
Shooting Guard 4 Josh Dix So. 6'5" 200 17.9 6.6 2.3 1.8 0.6 0.2
Small Forward 20 Payton Sandfort Jr. 6'7" 215 27 14.2 6.9 2.9 0.6 0.1
Power Forward 23 Ben Krikke Sr. 6'9" 245 Valparaiso 28.6 16.9 5.4 1.8 0.6 0.1
Center 32 Owen Freeman Fr. 6'10" 230 19.4 11.1 6.1 0.7 1.1 1.8

Iowa Bench

Position Number Player Class Height Weight Previous Team Minutes Points Rebounds Assists Steals Blocks
Position Number Player Class Height Weight Previous Team Minutes Points Rebounds Assists Steals Blocks
Point Guard 2 Brock Harding Fr. 6'0" 162 13.4 3.9 0.7 3.2 1.1 1
Shooting Guard 5 Dasonte Bowen So. 6'2" 183 16.9 6.1 1.7 2.6 0.6 0.1
Small Forward 24 Pryce Sandfort Fr. 6'6" 205 10.5 3 1.4 0.6 0.2 0.1
Power Forward 13 Ladji Dembele Fr. 6'8" 250 11.5 2.1 2.1 0.4 0.6 0.3

Playing Style

Fran hasn’t changed his stripes. He wants to push the pace, take early shots, and outscore his opponent.

When Iowa runs, which is pretty much any time they have an opportunity, Purdue can’t run back to the paint and then run out to shooters because Iowa won’t hesitate to pull the dribble on an open transition 3. They’re not the best finishers at the rim, but they make up for that by pulling up and taking open 8-footers as defenders instinctively bail to defend the rim. Iowa makes you guard them the entire time, not just at the rim and behind the 3-point line. In fact, Iowa is 325th in the nation in 3-pointers attempted/field goals attempted. They take open 3’s, but they don’t play exclusively for 3’s and layups. If an Iowa player doesn’t like the feel of a 3-pointer, he’ll step in and pull the trigger instead of jacking up a rushed 3. I appreciate that. If it weren’t for Fran being a total...ahem...I would enjoy watching Iowa play basketball.

Ben Krikke could be an issue for the Boilermakers in the half court. The Valpo transfer has a sweet pick-and-pop game from mid-range. He sets free throw (and free throw extended) picks, and then squares up. If the center drops, he pulls the trigger on a 12-footer. His game reminds me of late-career Tim Duncan, including a sweet bank shot jumper that I haven’t seen since Timmy D. Zach’s going to give him those shots all night. If he hits them like he did against Creighton (11-18), I’m not sure Purdue has a solution.

Let’s hope he misses.

When he’s not picking and popping, Fran likes to clear out a side and let Krikke go one-on-one with the opposing team’s center. He’s a good ball handler, and once he gets a shoulder past, he bullies his way to the rim. Look for Iowa to run everything through him early to both pull Zach away from the basket and try to pick up a couple of cheap fouls on the perimeter.

Outside of Krikke, Iowa runs an egalitarian half-court offense. They play 10 deep, and everyone is a threat to shoot. They like to run curls off Krikke screens and don’t hesitate to pull up and take an open jumper. It’s a throwback offense that reminds me of basketball before the math nerds ruined it. Since most teams don’t play in the mid-range anymore, they struggle to defend teams that do. Several times against Creighton and Oklahoma, you can see the center drop to defend a drive that never materializes because the Iowa player is confident enough in their shot to take a wide-open 10-foot jumper instead of trying to finish over two players at the rim.

Iowa can score. They’ve failed to hit 80 once this season (no surprise it came in a 67-79 loss to Oklahoma). I expect them to score against Purdue. They’re going to get up as many shots as possible. It’s up to Purdue to make those contested, inefficient shots.

Note to Matt Painter:

When Iowa gets rolling, they can put points in a hurry. Please, don’t wait to call a timeout until after they’ve turned a 12-point lead into a 3-point lead. Let’s go ahead and burn a timeout after they hit 2 quick transition 3’s instead of waiting for the 3rd to drop.


The good news is Iowa is not a good defensive team. My only concern is they’re mostly terrible at stopping teams that attack the rim off the dribble, and Braden Smith is the only player that regularly attempts to dribble inside the 3-point arch with the intention of getting to the basket. As strange as it sounds, it wouldn’t surprise me if Fletcher Loyer’s sneaky drive game comes into play in this one. Iowa is going to close out hard on Purdue’s shooters and dare them to drive the ball. Purdue is going to have to decide if they want to keep chucking 3’s over closing defenders (didn’t go so well against Northwestern) or if they want to dribble drive closing defenders and get a wide-open shot.

Purdue will inevitably throw the ball to Edey in the post. That makes sense because he’s the best player in college basketball when it comes to scoring in the post. Last season Fran sent a double team from the top to dig down on Edey anytime he caught the ball in the mid-post, and sent a big-to-big double against him in the low post. I expect the same again tonight. Iowa will challenge Purdue’s supporting cast to beat them. That could be a mistake. Purdue can actually shoot at home most of the time.

In last season’s matchup, Zach was the 3rd leading scorer behind Smith (24) and Loyer (17). I always say that I like Edey going one-on-one in the paint. I love it when Edey is actually part of the offense instead of the entire offense.

I’d like to see that again tonight. If Painter gives Smith an opportunity to go at the Iowa guards, he could put up an efficient 30 points.

In Conclusion:

Iowa and Northwestern are the inverse of each other. Northwestern wants to slow the game down to a crawl, and Iowa wants to play in a full sprint. Oddly enough, they both have the same issue on defense.

You can out-athlete Iowa. In their two losses, Creighton and Oklahoma spread them out and ran a layup drill all night. Is Painter willing to let Smith, Jones, and Loyer do the same thing? He did last season (minus Jones, of course), but when things tightened up against Northwestern, he went away from his guards and put the game squarely on Zach’s shoulders. Iowa would love the same game plan from Painter tonight.



Purdue - 92

Iowa - 79

Confidence: 88%


Purdue - 87

Iowa - 80

If this were in Iowa City or Purdue was playing with a different basketball than they prefer, or if Iowa relocated to New Jersey; I would give the Hawkeyes a punchers chance. They get hot, Purdue goes cold from deep, and they could outscore the Boilermakers.

This game is in Mackey. Purdue is angry embarrassed. I don’t see them dropping 2 in a row to start the conference season. I expect Iowa to hang around, but not close enough to challenge down the stretch.