We’re in Seattle for Iowa’s matchup with Gonzaga. Here’s what Iowa needs to do to advance to the Sweet 16. Plus, our pick to click for tonight.
Get Aaron White the ball
White won’t have the matchup disadvantage he had against Davidson, but then again, Davidson may be the only team that throws out four-guard lineups consistently.
That being said, White is still Iowa’s best player and playing the best basketball of his career. If Iowa’s going to win, he’s going to have a big game, as has been the case for most of the year.
Get the guards going offensively
Mike Gesell scored 15 points and had 6 assists against Davidson. He also had no turnovers. Peter Jok scored 12 points, including two 3-pointers. For most teams, that kind of production from its guards would be expected. For Iowa, it’s gravy.
Iowa revolves so heavily around its frontcourt that in many games it hasn’t needed scoring from its guards. But in the NCAA Tournament, and against Gonzaga, Iowa’s guards are going to need to consistently play well if the Hawkeyes want any chance of winning.
They don’t need eye-popping numbers, but if they’re efficient and don’t turn the ball over, it’ll be a welcome contribution for the Hawkeyes.
Don’t let Gonzaga dictate the action or tempo
When UNI’s Seth Tuttle met with the media the other day, he said something that stood out to me. He was asked about the tempo of the game and whether it needs to speed up. He said no and that one of the fun things about college basketball was that each team had the opportunity to dictate how the game would be played.
He’s right, and while it might not always be the prettiest, the team that dictates the pace of the game typically wins.
Iowa and Gonzaga play at a similar pace, so the Hawkeyes don’t need to worry about that. But the Bulldogs are much more efficient, and where Iowa could get in trouble is if it gets into a scoring match with Gonzaga, seeing who can put up the most points the fastest. If this happens, Iowa likely loses.
Pick to click — Gabe Olaseni
If I wanted to take the easy way out, I would pick White, who has dominated recently. But I’m going to go out on a limb and say Olaseni.
Gonzaga’s center, Przemek Karnowski, is a big guy, but he isn’t exactly running up and down the floor and jumping out of the gym. I think this is where Olaseni can have an advantage. He’s athletic, can get up and down the floor, and might be able to wear Karnowski down.