The Box Score: Men’s Basketball

BY TOM CLOS | DECEMBER 06, 2012 6:30 AM

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The Iowa men’s basketball team has gotten nice contributions from all players both young and old, but the schedule hasn’t really provided much of a test through nine games. A victory over Western Kentucky has been the squad’s most impressive win, while the only quality opponents Iowa has faced, Wichita State and Virginia Tech, both resulted in losses. Still, the Black and Gold look more talented as a whole than recent Hawkeye editions, and the wealth of talent the nationally ranked freshman recruiting class supplied this off-season appears to be paying dividends.

Free Throws Made — 168 (2nd in Big Ten, 6th in NCAA)

Iowa has attempted the fourth-most shots from the charity stripe (230) in the nation this season and has made the most of them. The Hawkeyes have lived at the free-throw line thanks to the team’s imposing post presence, led by sophomore forward Aaron White. White leads the team with 51-of-65 shooting from the line, and junior forward Melsahn Basabe is 27-of-36 on 1-pointers. The Black and Gold are one of three Big Ten teams in the top-10 in free throws made — No. 14 Minnesota ranks first, and No. 1 Indiana is tied with Iowa for sixth.

Total Blocks — 45 (2nd in Big Ten, 18th in NCAA)

With a highly touted incoming bunch of recruits comes increased depth, and that’s exactly what freshman center Adam Woodbury has given the Hawkeyes. His arrival sent Basabe to the sixth-man spot. and the junior has responded with a rejuvenated opening quarter of 2012. Basabe leads Iowa in blocked shots with 13, and Woodbury has turned away 10. Sophomore center Gabe Olesani has recorded 10 denials, and the three have collectively helped the Black and Gold post the second most rejections in the conference — the most belonging to the sizable Golden Gophers (70).

Total Turnovers Committed, G Devyn Marble — 24  (5th most in Big Ten)

This might not seem to be too severe, but keep in mind that the Hawkeyes haven’t seen anything close to the caliber of guards they will see when Big Ten play rolls around. Marble has put up some solid numbers this season (14.4 ppg, 3.4 apg), but 5-turnover performances against Gardner-Webb and Wichita State have forced the junior to admit that he would like to cut down on his giveaways.

The recent addition of freshman guard Anthony Clemmons to the starting lineup has pushed Marble to the small-forward position, and with it, the Hawkeyes hope, will come better ball security.

Team 3-Point Percentage — 31.1 percent (8th in Big Ten, 182nd in NCAA)

Simply put, the Hawkeyes have been completely lost from behind the arc this season. The team has gone 50-of-161 from long-range and again, the defenses they have lined up against aren’t the most imposing in the world. Sophomore guard Josh Oglesby’s contributions off the bench will be vital if Iowa is to make the NCAA Tournament, but so far the sharpshooter is an anemic 13-of-43 from 3-point land.

Former starter Zach McCabe, along with Marble and newcomer guard freshman Mike Gesell, are equally inept from downtown; the trio has combined to turn in a 30-of-85 performance through nine contests. No game highlighted the team’s struggles with 3s more than the recent victory over South Dakota in which the Black and Gold shot 2-of-16 (12.5 percent) from long range.

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