Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Illinois Fighting Illini Preview 01/11/18

Florence Fletcher
January 12, 2018

Expectation is swagger, confidence - maybe both are lacking. Winless. The Hawkeyes' struggles extended out of conference play, too, with losses to Louisiana-Lafayette and South Dakota State in the Cayman Islands. That led to Mo Wagner getting going and Duncan Robinson getting going. You have to go take it. What we have to do to prepare to play them?' "Now, we have to take it".

Iowa's in the same boat as IL in the Big Ten. January 11 marked the first time the Hawkeyes scored 100 or more points in a Big Ten game since 1995 and the first time doing so on the road in conference play since 1988.

"Michigan made one change in the second half and Leron and Kipper didn't guard it right one time". "We got it down to 13 at halftime and that's a manageable number". The Hawkeyes expected to contend for an upper-division Big Ten finish and return to the NCAA Tournament. In two of the last three conference games, whenever he's gone off the floor, Iowa's offense disappeared.

"Frazier is quite a player", McCaffery said.

Iowa scores 100+ points in a Big Ten road game for the first time since beating Michigan State, 103-87, on March 3, 1998. They run a lot of motion, so they test your principles. They are a team that will press us a little bit. "Those are things we can show them on film, and yet once the speed of the game happens and the size of the other team happens and the coverage they have, we've got to grow in those areas".

Underwood has clearly become frustrated with his team's repeated tendency to play one good half and one poor half.

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The Hawkeyes are led by 6-foot-9 sophomore center Tyler Cook, who average 14.7 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. Junior Nicholas Baer made 1-of-2 free throws to give Iowa a 91-90 lead before sophomore Tyler Cook slammed home a dunk off a set play to put the lead to 93-90. "They will test your defensive principles and that's something we have to be solid in". They want to play fast. "They'll pitch it ahead and shoot it quick".

The Iowa and IL men's basketball programs both seek their first Big Ten victory this season in a pivotal game at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT at State Farm Center in Champaign, Ill.

Illinois: Fran McCaffery pointed out Tuesday in his teleconference that he had "not seen them not be connected defensively". "It's simple passing and catching". Kipper Nichols put together a solid performance for IL, leading both teams in scoring with 17 points on 6-for-11 shooting.

So does IL coach Brad Underwood. He has to go dunk that ball. "We've got guys that will make shots, but we need guys to become makers instead of shooters".

Iowa's 104 points were the most it has scored against IL in the teams' series. The Illini (10-10 overall, 0-4 Big Ten) dropped a pair of overtime games to Northwestern and Maryland in December and recently lost at Minnesota and MI by 10 points apiece.

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