The Box Score: Inside Hawkeye Basketball Statistics


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Tuesday’s loss to Michigan State was Iowa’s most disappointing of the year, not because the Hawkeyes necessarily should have beaten the Spartans, but because everything seemed to align for the Hawks to come away with what would have been a signature victory.

Michigan State’s best player — Big Ten leading scorer Gary Harris — was held to 9 points. The Spartans had to play without two of their biggest contributors in Adreian Payne and Branden Dawson. Iowa took 23 more shots at the free-throw line than Michigan State. And, the game was played in front of a boisterous and rowdy Carver-Hawkeye crowd.

At 16-5 overall and 5-3 in the Big Ten, it will be difficult for Iowa to claim the conference’s regular-season title without a significant amount of help. Not all hope is lost, though, as Iowa still has plenty of opportunity to secure a favorable seed in the Big Ten Tournament and build a strong résumé for the eventual seeding of the NCAA Tournament at season’s end.

Team Free Throw Shooting — 72.3 percent (88th in NCAA, 7th in Big Ten)

The Hawkeyes had several opportunities to put the Spartans away via free throws, but they shot just 69.8 percent (30-of-43).

Many peg this as the reason Iowa may not go as far as some experts think the team will. And those opinions do hold legitimate merit.

Iowa shoots an extremely high number of free throws (636 thus far in 2013-14, sixth most in the nation), meaning a large portion of its offense is based on the team’s ability to get to the free-throw line and convert.

If Iowa continues to shoot a poor percentage from the line, though, it will make it difficult for it to win tough games against the Big Ten’s elite. 

Zach McCabe — Shooting 33 percent from the field in conference play

It’s no secret McCabe has struggled a bit lately. The senior fouled out in just 14 minutes of play against Michigan State.

Against conference opponents, McCabe has shot just 33 percent from the field (13-of-39), which includes a paltry 25 percent success rate from behind the arc (4-of-16). In Iowa’s 13 nonconference games, the Sioux City native scored in double figures eight times. But in the Hawkeyes’ conference slate, McCabe has yet to score in double figures in eight games played.

He still brings some value on the defensive end of the floor, regardless of how poorly he’s shooting. But if the senior continues to show his recent performances are more than just a slump, head coach Fran McCaffery may choose to lean on other capable options late in games.

Josh Oglesby — 132.4 offensive rating (2nd on team)

College Basketball Reference’s offensive rating is a statistic that attempts to measure the number of points a player produces per 100 possessions.

Because Oglesby has only appeared in nine games this season, he doesn’t meet the minimum requirements for the site’s overall leaderboard in the statistic. But if he were eligible, his rating of 132.4 would rank 19th in the country and second on the Iowa roster, behind only Aaron White.

Oglesby is shooting the ball extremely well after returning from a foot injury that sidelined him for over a month. In the Cedar Rapids native’s sophomore campaign, he shot just 26.9 percent from 3-point range. But this year in limited action, he has shown a large improvement in his outside game, knocking down 57.7 percent of his shots from deep.

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