Though the college basketball slate for Thursday is small, it presents a battle for bragging rights in the state of Iowa as the Iowa Hawkeyes go on the road to take on the Iowa State Cyclones.
Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Iowa State Cyclones (-7, 157)
Though these teams play in different the same state, their approaches could not be more different as Iowa State has been a defense-oriented team since TJ Otzelberger became their coach while the Hawkeyes are an uptempo team looking to play games where they exceed 80 points.
The Cyclones are fifth in the country in points allowed on a per possession basis after ranking 15th in points allowed per possession last season. The ability to create turnovers has led to their defensive success, ranking third in the nation this season in turnovers forced per offensive play this season after leading the country in this category last season.
The Cyclones’ task is to shut down an Iowa offense that is currently 20th in the nation in points scored on a per possession basis, but their offense numbers are not the same on the road as they are at home.
Dating back to last season, Iowa has been a different offensive team on the road, averaging 20.4 points per 100 fewer in games played on a road or neutral court this season after scoring 21.1 points fewer per 100 possessions when away from home last season.
The outside shooting percentage dip for Iowa is also similar to what it was last season, as the team is making 39.2% of their 3-point attempts at home this season compared to 31.1% away from home after the team ranked 351st in the nation in 3-point shooting percentage away from home at 28.1% compared to 38.6% at home a season ago.
The inconsistent outside shooting for Iowa gets magnified for Iowa by the fact that the team has taken 70.6% of their field goal attempts from inside the arc, which is the 34th-highest percentage of the 362 Division I teams and faces an Iowa State defense that is seventh in the country in opponent 2-point shooting percentage at 40.5%.
Not only is Iowa’s overall offensive metrics different when away from home, but so is their tempo with the team averaging nearly seven full possessions per game fewer per game in games played away from home than at home.
Iowa State entered Wednesday 211th in the country in total possessions per game and have their own demonstrative home and road splits with their defense.
The Cyclones are allowing just 65.2 points per 100 possessions at home compared to 100 points per 100 possessions away from home, which in large part to playing all but games at home so far this season and much tougher competition away from home, but is a split that carries over from last season.
During the 2022-23 season, Iowa State allowed 19.5 points per 100 possessions fewer per 100 possessions in their home games than on the road, forcing a turnover on 28.1% of possessions at home last season compared to on 20.9% of possessions away from home.
Though the Iowa defense has plenty of deficiencies, entering Wednesday 202nd in the country in points allowed per possession, they have allowed opponents to shoot 29.7% from 3-point range in road games, which entered Wednesday ranked 62nd in the nation.
With the Iowa Hawkeyes’ offense and tempo diminished on the road and the defense of Iowa State far more effective at home, Thursday’s intra-state rivalry will involve more defense than anticipated.
The Play: Iowa vs. Iowa State Under 157