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The Box Score: Inside Iowa men's basketball statistics

BY TORK MASON | FEBRUARY 05, 2013 5:00 AM

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The Iowa men’s basketball team is now at the midway point of its Big Ten schedule and stands at 3-6 in conference play. Only once has the team failed to put itself in position to win the game, but a variety of woes continue to hold the Hawkeyes back.

The team is still searching for a go-to option in crunch time, and right now, the two obvious choices for that role are struggling.

Field-goal percentage in Big Ten play: G Devyn Marble, 27.4 percent

Marble has had tremendous difficulty putting the ball through the rim in conference play. The junior shot 41 percent from the floor in the nonconference slate before being guarded by Indiana’s Victor Oladipo — one of the nation’s best defenders — and went 1-for-14 against the Hoosiers on New Year’s Eve.

But since sitting out the Hawkeyes’ game against Michigan State on Jan. 10, Marble hasn’t looked like the same player he was just a month ago. Head coach Fran McCaffery and Marble himself have both said he isn’t suffering from any lingering effects of his injury, but Marble has shot just 7-for-34 from the floor in his last four games and been held to a combined 28 points in those games.

Team field-goal percentage, last four games: 35.5 percent

Marble hasn’t been the only one having issues scoring efficiently as of late. Over the last four games, three of which resulted in losses, the Hawkeyes have shot just 35.5 percent from the floor as a team — in contrast to their 42.7 percent average on the year.

Over that stretch, Aaron White is shooting 41.7 percent, well below his season average of 52 percent. He has had fewer opportunities to run the floor and collect transition baskets, forcing him to score in the half-court game.

Freshman Mike Gesell is 12-for-32 from the floor, which is slightly lower than his 39.5 percent clip for the season.

With the team’s top three scorers each in some degree of a slump, the Hawkeyes seem to have no answer when an individual has to take over the game in crunch time.

Free-throw percentage in Big Ten play: F Aaron White, 66.7 percent

White has been one of the team’s best free-throw shooters this season and currently holds a 72.8 percent rate from the charity stripe. But since the beginning of Big Ten play, the sophomore has fallen into a funk.

White is shooting 66.7 percent from the line in conference play after shooting just over 10 percent better than that in the nonconference slate. Remove his games against Wisconsin and Penn State, in which he went a combined 23-for-26, and his conference average falls to 50 percent in Big Ten games.

Missed free throws have had a hand in several of the Hawkeyes’ losses this season, and they need players such as White to rebound from slumps if they expect to start winning close games.


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