The Daily Iowan’s exams — Iowa vs. Davidson

The Daily Iowan’s men basketball reporter Jacob Sheyko lists three things Iowa must do to win its first game of the NCAA Tournament. Also, his pick to click.

SEATTLE, Washington — We’re here in Seattle for Iowa’s matchup with Davidson in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. We’ll have updates throughout and after the game, via Twitter and dailyiowansports.com.

Until then, here are some keys for Iowa in its matchup.

Guard Davidson’s shooters

Has this been mentioned yet? In my time here in Seattle, I think I’ve heard more questions about Davidson’s shooters directed at Iowa players than any other question.

There’s a reason for that, Davidson is one of the best 3-point shooting teams in the nation, as we covered here, and also here.

It’s no mystery what the Wildcats are going to do on offense. Therefore, if Iowa stops that aspect of their offense, it’ll likely stay in Seattle for two more days.

Crash the offensive glass

The funny thing about the constant questions about Davidson’s shooters is that for every small shooter it places on the floor, it opens up another opportunity for Iowa to exert its will in the paint.

Iowa will enjoy an overwhelming size advantage down low. It’s starting lineup is 26 inches taller than Davidson’s, making it more important than any other game to be aggressive on the glass and turn those offensive rebounds into points.

Iowa’s at its best when its frontcourt is playing well and producing offensively, that’ll be no different today.

Value possessions

Davidson typically has four guards on the floor at once. Despite this, they don’t play at an overwhelmingly fast pace —Kenpom has them ranked as the 70th fastest-paced team in the country. However, the Wildcats combat this by being extremely efficient in their half-court offense.

Not only does Davidson shoot 47.1 percent from the field (39.7 percent from three), but it rarely turns the ball over — just 9.58 times per game.

This will place an emphasis on Iowa’s offensive possessions, and the Hawkeyes ability to take advantage of each and every one of them.

Davidson is not likely to beat themselves against Iowa. The Hawkeyes have to make sure they don’t either.

Pick to click — Mike Gesell and Anthony Clemmons

I’m going to cheat on this one by picking two players. I’m assuming — which is dangerous in itself — that Iowa will be able to dominate down low against Davidson. This means that this game will likely be determined the Hawkeyes ability to make sure Davidson doesn’t go bonkers from 3-point land.

Nobody will be more instrumental in this than Gesell and Clemmons, who will also need to provide some offensive relief for Iowa.

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