Iowa has gone from a compressed Big Ten men’s basketball schedule to one with an eight-day stretch between games, so let’s use a little of that time to look at some random statistics.
• Jordan Bohannon is important to the No. 7 Hawkeyes. Really important.
The senior guard has averaged 11.5 points and shot 45.2 percent from 3-point distance in Iowa’s 12 wins. In its three losses, Bohannon averaged 3.0 points and made just 1 of 20 treys.
On the flip side, senior center Luka Garza is averaging 30.0 in Iowa defeats, 26.2 in wins. When Garza has more help, the Hawkeyes are potent. No revelation, that, but it matters nonetheless.
• The Hawkeyes have out-rebounded all eight Big Ten foes in going 6-2. Their rebound margin of plus-7.6 in conference games is the league’s best. Keegan Murray and Jack Nunge have made differences in several ways, not the least of which is rebounding.
That’s significant. In Big Ten play last season, Iowa was plus-0.8 in rebound margin and went 11-9.
• Iowa is 3-1 in league road games. It was 2-8 last year and 11-28 over the last four seasons. Its last winning Big Ten road record was 5-4 in 2015-16.
The Hawkeyes have won their last three Big Ten road games. The last time they topped that was when they won six in a row, the last three of the 2014-15 season and first three of 2015-16.
• Iowa beat Rutgers by two points and Maryland by 22 in its first two games of this month. The impressions those two games gave were that Rutgers was really good, Maryland not so much.
Since then, Rutgers is 1-3 and Maryland is 3-1.
• Iowa’s Joe Wieskamp led the Big Ten in free throw percentage last season at .856. He missed just 16 foul shots out of 111. This season, he has missed 19 of 60, and is at .683.
Garza shot 65.1 percent from the line last season. He’s up to 75.5 this season, and is at 81.5 in Big Ten play. He is 31-of-36 (86.1 percent) over his last six games.
Given that Garza has been fouled 96 times over 15 games and has shot more free throws (106) than any three other Hawkeye starters combined, that is big.
• Murray is second on the Hawkeyes in points per 40 minutes in Big Ten games, with 18.9. The freshman forward started fast against North Carolina Central and Southern University, but there has been no dip.
Murray has at least eight points in five of Iowa’s last six games and is averaging 6.0 rebounds over the last five contests.
He averages only 14.7 minutes, but Murray leads Iowa in steals with 17 and is second in blocked shots with 18. He has made 57.8 percent of his field goals and 78.3 percent of his free throws.
• ESPN’s Joe Lunardi has issued 11 sets of NCAA tournament brackets since Dec. 1. He has had Iowa playing 10 different teams in the first round. The latest was Sam Houston State. He has Iowa as a No. 2 seed, Sam Houston State as a No. 15.
The 12-5 Bearkats take a nine-game winning streak into their game against Texas A&M Corpus Christi Wednesday night.
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