Men's basketball Box Score: Inside Hawkeye Basketball Statistics


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The Box Score is a weekly segment in which a Daily Iowan basketball reporter uses statistics to contextualize Iowa basketball’s performance over the course of the season.

With such a small sample at hand, it’s difficult to draw accurate conclusions and contextualize the team’s performance thus far. But what we can do is identify trends and use evidence to see if those trends should be expected to continue.

Iowa has played and defeated two subpar teams. After beating North Carolina-Wilmington on Nov. 8, the Hawkeyes needed a second-half comeback to defeat Nebraska-Omaha.

Some statistics from those games could be considered random — because the lack of a significant sample — but here are a few that may develop into significant storylines in 2013.

Devyn Marble — 5-of-18 shooting from the field (27.8 percent)

Iowa’s most gifted offensive player isn’t shooting well, and he knows it. What’s keeping the Southfield, Mich., native effective on the floor, though, is his awareness and ability to get to the free-throw line with regularity.

Despite shooting 27.8 percent from the field and just 12.5 percent (1-8) from behind the arc in his first two games, the senior is driving to the basket often, which has resulted in 16 free-throw attempts. He also converts 75 percent of his shots near the rim.

Marble recognized that his shot wasn’t falling in Iowa’s 83-75 win over Nebraska-Omaha. He eventually decided to drive more and finished with 15 points, even though he shot poorly.

Iowa certainly needs to improve its outside shooting, and head coach Fran McCaffery has said he’ll continue to encourage Marble to shoot. But if the senior can handle the inevitable body contact that comes with driving to the basket, the strategy of creating offense through free throws and high-percentage opportunities near the rim should become a mainstay in Marble’s game.

Team Defense — 57 points allowed per game (5th in Big Ten, 20th in NCAA)

This is a skewed number because of the strength of Iowa’s competition. But it shouldn’t be surprising to see the Hawkeyes near the top in this statistic later in the season.

In 2012, just five Big Ten teams fared better than the Hawkeyes in terms of points per game allowed. And with more depth and length on the perimeter this year, one could infer that the Black and Gold are going to be more difficult to score on than they were a season ago.

Add in McCaffery’s substituting players in and out of games extremely often — which will keep players fresh — and the argument that Iowa will be one of the country’s better defensive teams strengthens even more. Hawkeye fans should be excited about this team’s defensive potential.

Defensive Rating — Aaron White 68.3 (6th in Big Ten)

Author and statistician Dean Oliver developed this stat as a way to quantify a player’s defensive ability. The statistic aims to estimate the number of points a player allowed per 100 possessions on the floor.

In White’s case, the rating of 68.3 is very telling. Though the junior has had the fortune of facing inferior opponents thus far in 2013, the stat does indicate that White is becoming a more complete player.

The Strongsville, Ohio, native has always been praised for his ability to score and create offense, but his defense has never received the same attention.

If White can sustain his recent play on both ends of the floor, opposing teams will have a very difficult time finding rhythm offensively, and the Hawkeyes will be a very difficult team to beat in 2013.

*Numbers are accurate through Monday.

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