After a fairly long lay off, the Iowa Hawkeyes will take the court on Sunday in their final non-conference game of the year. Iowa will welcome in Arkansas Pine-Bluff (2-8). The Hawkeyes will look to get back on track after losing a tough one last Friday to the Cyclones out in Ames. This should be no problem for a 10-2 Iowa team, but we’ll take a look at what each team needs to do to help their chances on Sunday afternoon.
For Arkansas Pine-Bluff:
The only way Arkansas PB stands a chance in this game is if they fight like they never have before. It’s pretty clear that this Iowa team is much better than they are and I’m sure they’ve already figured that out just by watching game tape. The Golden Lions need to bother the hell out of the Hawkeyes and just be pesky. That’s how teams that are less talented usually end up defeating better teams.
Another way smaller schools beat bigger schools is by playing together. If the Golden Lions can work the rock around the floor and get open looks the entire night, that will help their chances in Carver on Sunday. They don’t shoot well from the field, but if they can play together and find the best shot on the floor, that’ll give them a much better shot at hanging with the 25th ranked Hawkeyes.
Close the Door Early.
Don’t give Arkansas PB even the slightest bit of confidence because teams will usually run with it. The Hawkeyes need to come out right away and shut the door. They have struggled with this in the past, but going into Big Ten play won’t be the same. The teams are better and slow starts could spell trouble for the Hawkeyes over the coming months.
Get the Bench Back Into It.
The bench struggled a little bit last Friday in Ames with the exception of Jarrod Uthoff. Zach McCabe was 0-7 from the field on the night and others struggled to contribute as well. It is important that the bench’s confidence be through the roof going into Big Ten play because that is something that Iowa has that a lot of other teams don’t. The deep bench plays to their advantage and usually will spark a run or two during a ball game.
We could possibly see Josh Oglesby get back into the flow of things come Sunday, but there is no official report. It would be good to get the junior guard some floor time before conference play arrives.
Will all of this being said, I expect the Hawkeyes to run away with this one as the Golden Lions have struggled so far this year. They are currently riding an 8 game losing streak and the Hawkeyes will look to make it nine come Sunday.
Tip-off for the game is schedule for 1:00 p.m. central on Sunday afternoon.