Aaron Jordan: A-
After a few quiet games, it was nice to see Aaron drain a few shots again. He was smart on offense, didn’t turn the ball over, and made quite a few shots. It was nice to see him get back into a rhythm, especially against a Big Ten opponent. Not to mention Jordan had a pretty block late in the game, showing he even has some versatility. He finished with 18 points on 6-of-10 shooting and 4-of-8 from three point range. Jordan also led the team with four assists.
Trent Frazier: A-
Early on in the game, Trent was looking much sharper than his eight point, 3-of-8 shooting performance at Michigan. Late in the second half, though, I was troubled by some of his shot selection. After leading by a large margin, I thought he did have a few questionable shot selections that gave Iowa something to work with. But I think to a certain degree those are growing pains he will work though. I had to up his grade a little since he was the one that sent it into overtime.
Greg Eboigbodin: B+
Spicey G is continuing to look more and more comfortable, particularly on the offensive side of the ball. Greg finished the game with XXXX. He also had plenty of good passes on offense, and was able to make some good plays on the defensive end. If Underwood can work him into a role-playing situation and Greg can get some blocks and boards here and there, I think he would be a nice part of the future of this rotation.
1st Half Defense: A-
It was really solid, until the final few minutes, mostly due to fouls. The Hawkeyes made 14 free throws in the first half (on 14 attempts), which kept the game within striking distance. But until late in the first half, the Illini had allowed fewer than 35 points and were suffocating Iowa on defense. The Hawkeyes looked simply outmatched for a big stretch, and much of that was thanks to how Illinois pressuring the ball. There’s a reason John Beilein was impressed with how the team played last week.
Shot Selection: C
Part of the reason the Illini were up by as much as 20 in the first half was simply because they were making shots. The Illini were 8-of-11 from three point land at one point in the first half, and shot 54% overall going into the locker room. It’s hard to be down with percentages like that. Still, Illinois could have been up by more. At the start of the second half, those jump shots stopped falling and the offense didn’t seem as impressive anymore.
As I mentioned, the Hawkeyes got to the foul line WAY too much in the first half. Down the stretch, even though the Illini were up by double-digits, they made enough mistakes to allow Iowa to stay within a reasonable margin. By the end of the game, when Illinois was trying to fight back, Iowa was in the double bonus and still had fouls to give on the Illini. The only stat you need to know: Iowa was 33-of-40 from the line. Illinois was 11-of-14.
Note: No one gets an “A” or “A+” after losing to Iowa at home.