The Box Score: Inside Iowa Men's Basketball statistics
The Iowa men’s basketball team has weathered the proverbial storm that was its first six games of Big Ten play and is in fine position to break the program’s seven-year NCAA Tournament drought. Senior guard Devyn Marble’s 14.9 points per game leads the team, and sophomore forward Aaron White has become one of the conference’s most prolific players by averaging 13.5 points and 6.2 rebounds per contest. The Black and Gold have also enjoyed contributions from a deep bench that can pose problems for opponents from all spots on the floor.
Total Blocks: F Gabe Olaseni, 20 (11th in the Big Ten), F Melsahn Basabe, 19 (13th in the Big Ten)
The Hawkeyes have featured a pair of the conference’s best shot blockers off the pine in Olaseni and Basabe. Both are averaging more than a block a game and each has provided crucial minutes in helping Iowa become one of the most improved defensive teams in the country. Olaseni has recorded five multiple-block games with a season-high 4 coming against South Carolina State, while Basabe has recorded four multi-block games including a pair of 4-block contests against Central Michigan and Western Kentucky.
Team Assists per Game: 16.5 (1st in the Big Ten, 17th in the NCAA)
Improving the overall talent in the backcourt was probably the Black and Gold’s biggest objective this past off-season, and the freshman point guards have not disappointed fans. Anthony Clemmons has quickly become one of the Big Ten’s top distributors, averaging 4.1 assists each contest, seventh most in the league. Counterpart Mike Gesell hasn’t been too shabby himself, averaging 3.1 dimes per game, good for 13th in the conference. The duo’s passing abilities have naturally resulted in much more offensive output from the Hawkeyes as a whole — the team’s 73.9 points per game is the 35th most in the NCAA.
Team Free Throw Percentage: 71.5% (2nd in the Big Ten)
Overall, Iowa has been one of the most consistent teams from the charity stripe, hitting more than 71 percent of its free throws. Marble and White have helped the most — each is among the top-10 free throw shooters in the Big Ten. Marble’s 79.3 percent shooting is the fifth, and White’s 75.2 is good for eighth. Still, as good as the Hawkeyes have been from the line, they have missed several chances in clutch spots — most notably in close losses to Indiana and Michigan State.
Team 3-Point Percentage: 30.2% (10th in the Big Ten)
The Hawkeyes continue to be almost powerless from beyond the arc. The team’s 30.2 percent success rate is only higher than Nebraska and Penn State, which each feature sub-30 3-point percentages. Sophomore guard Josh Oglesby has been Iowa’s biggest offender in this department — the reserve has made just 23-of-80 (28.8 percent) 3-point tries, and Gesell and junior forward Zach McCabe are a combined 33-of-113 (29 percent). The only Iowa player who has been remotely efficient from long-range has been Marble — his 24-of-64 (37.5 percent) performance this season has been by far the best. The Hawkeyes are almost a full 11 percentage points behind the conference’s top 3-point shooting team, Indiana (41.3 percent).
In today's issue: