The Box Score: Inside Iowa Hawkeye basketball statistics

BY BEN ROSS | FEBRUARY 12, 2014 5:00 AM

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Iowa basketball is flying high after an 18-point win against Michigan over the weekend. The Hawkeyes improved on some already good numbers against the Wolverines; let’s see how they stack up on the national level.

Assist/Turnover Ratio; Mike Gesell: No. 1 in Big Ten, 13 NCAA.

We all saw it against Michigan. Mike Gesell might not be Iowa’s best player, but he certainly could be the most important. He’s the one who got Devyn Marble the ball when he was open in a 26-point performance, and Marble, along with the rest of the Iowa offense, is at its best when Gesell is running the point. Gesell is averaging 3.2 assists this year for every time he turns the ball over, which is really quite good. He still had 10 points and 8 assists of his own against Michigan, while turning the ball over just once. It’s easy to give Marble all the attention, but he wouldn’t be dropping dimes if Gesell wasn’t the one running the offense.

Free- Throw Percentage: No. 7 in Big Ten, 72 NCAA.

I really thought Iowa would be ranked even lower when I looked this up. Iowa’s shooting from the charity stripe has been suspect all season, and many of its losses are blamed on poor takes when it gets free shots. Iowa missed 13 free-throws in a 2-point overtime loss to Michigan State, 7 in a 3-point loss to Iowa State, and bricked another 8 free throws in a 3-point loss to Wisconsin. Aaron White is Iowa’s only regular player that is shooting above 80 percent when he gets fouled. That might not be enough to cut it when Iowa is forced to win a game at the line.

Rebounds Per Game: No. 1 in Big Ten, 3 NCAA.

Iowa has been giving opponents the business on the boards lately, and that’s a big reason why it was able to get such a lopsided win over Michigan. The Hawkeyes reeled in 9 more rebounds than the Wolverines, which allowed them to control the ball and ultimately the game. Iowa’s rebound margin is even more impressive when you consider the kind of competition and big men its faced this season. The Black and Gold are averaging 10 more rebounds than its opponent each outing. You can’t score when you don’t have the ball, and Iowa is doing a good job of not allowing its opponent get a second chance with its shots.

3-pt Field Goal Percentage: No. 4 in Big Ten, 81 in NCAA.

It would be unfair to say Iowa lives and dies by long ball, but it sure does a better job of breathing life when the tre is falling. The Hawkeyes made 10 of its 17 three attempts against Michigan, but hit only 3 of 20 in a 76-69 loss to Ohio State on Feb. 4. It’s important Iowa finds other ways to score when it can’t rely on a 3-point crutch, otherwise games like Ohio State could become a common occurrence. Michigan, Michigan State, and Wisconsin are the conference foes shooting better than Iowa, and right now the Hawkeyes are 1-3 in games against those three. It can’t rely on shooting lights out like it did against Michigan, but getting a hot start from long range seems to make all the difference in the world for Iowa.

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