Jan 22, 2014; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes forward Aaron White (30) shoots over Michigan Wolverines guard Nik Stauskas (11) in the second half at Crisler Arena. Michigan won 75-67. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan @ Iowa: Keys To The Game

What do you know, another top 20 matchup in the Big Ten.  This time the Iowa Hawkeyes will welcome the Michigan Wolverines to town looking for a little revenge.  The first time these two teams met in Ann Arbor, the Wolverines edged the Hawkeyes by a score of 75-67.  Iowa had the chance to make some plays down the stretch to possibly close in on the Wolverines, but made some mental errors and couldn’t quite pull it out.

For Iowa, hopefully they are able to execute better this time around with the home crowd behind them.  Let’s take  look at some keys to the game for both teams.

For Michigan:

Spike Albrecht!

Believe it or not, Albrecht was huge in the game in Ann Arbor for Michigan.  He only had 7 points, but he dished out 7 assists, and had 4 steals.  He gives John Beilein the spark that his team needs off the bench.  He made the start in Ann Arbor, but that was due to Derrick Walton Jr. being sick.  Not sure who will start on Saturday.  He has the ability to hit from anywhere on the court and is a good floor manager.

Forward play!

Jon Horford and Jordan Morgan will be big in this game.  Iowa is big and they rebound well.  Morgan was huge in the game in Ann Arbor.  He was 5-6 from the field, had 12 points, and 7 rebounds.  Glenn Robinson was key on the glass as well, he pulled in 9 total boards and had 4 offensive rebounds that led to second chance points for Michigan.

For Iowa:

Control Stauskas!

Holy crap did Nik Stauskas kill the Hawkeyes in Ann Arbor.  He went for 26 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists, while also shooting 4-9 from behind the arc.  He has evolved his game from being just a shooter last year to being as complete of a guard there is in the country.  Iowa threw several different defenders at him, but it didn’t matter.  Stauskas can’t score more than 20 if Iowa wants to win this game, especially with the way Iowa has been scoring.

Bench players!

Iowa’s bench was nonexistent in the game at Michigan.  The five of them totaled just 8 points for the entire game.  With the way Gabriel Olaseni has been playing, I highly don’t this happens again.  However, other guys will need to step up as well.  It’d be nice if Zach McCabe would break out of his funk and a steady dose of Jarrod Uthoff would be key as well.

Michigan comes into this game as the 10th ranked team in the country and Iowa comes in at 17 in the AP Poll.  Iowa will get a game where they aren’t favored in and they will be the underdog.  I think Iowa has had trouble dealing with being favored so far this season, there last game against Ohio State at home is a good example of this.  This game is set for 1:00 p.m. CT on Saturday afternoon.  Iowa needs this game if they want to stay in the race for the Big Ten title.

 

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