From what little I paid attention to, Northwestern certainly looked like it knew what it was doing.
All five Wildcat starters scored in double-figures. Twenty-two assists and a puny seven turnovers. A 13-of-25 night of 3-point shooting. Eleven steals to just two for the opponent.
Yep, Northwestern knew what it was doing.
Iowa? Not so much.
That’s two straight road games (Indiana, Northwestern) where the Hawkeyes made an opposing offense look like something completely un-Big Ten-ish.That’s nine double-digit losses among Iowa’s 12 defeats. (It has 13 wins.)
That’s this season’s Iowa team. A couple of home wins (Minnesota, Penn State), then a step back. Now we wait until next Thursday to see if Iowa can regroup on the road when it goes to Penn State, which will surely be 2-11 and alone at the bottom of the league’s standings by then.
It’s a limited squad. We knew that in November. It has produced enough rays of hope to make this season tolerable, especially compared to the four preceding dismal years. But it’s limited. Things are likely to get better. Just not significantly so within the next month.
Northwestern (15-8) has a difficult remaining schedule. But it has won three Big Ten games in a row. Someday, Iowa will do so, too. Maybe next season.
Meanwhile, thanks to whomever shot and posted the following. Before Wisconsin played at Minnesota Thursday night, Badgers Coach Bo Ryan had his players get the hang of chasing loose balls and sliding off the Williams Arena elevated court. The last player to try it (and they all did) was redshirting freshman Jarrod Uthoff of Cedar Rapids.
Wisconsin won in overtime. Whether this drill helped, I don’t know. But if it got the Badgers one loose ball they otherwise wouldn’t have tracked down out of fear …