PREVIEW: Five Things to Watch for as Hawkeyes Try to Upset Boilermakers

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The last meeting between the Iowa Hawkeyes and the Purdue Boilermakers was one the Hawkeyes would like to forget about. 

It was an 89-67 blowout that saw the Hawkeyes shoot 37.3 percent from the field and 23.5 percent from the 3-point line. 

The Hawkeyes have played three games since then and have won 2 of them. They are shooting a much improved 45 percent from the field in that stretch and have averaged 14 assists per game as well. One stat that is worrisome is the fact that the Hawkeyes are averaging 15.3 turnovers per game in that stretch, 1.3 more, per game, than assists. Anytime you average more turnovers than assists as a team, it’s a recipe to lose a lot of games.

But, when a team that is ranked in the top 25 in the country, like Purdue is currently (15), the intensity of the game will be amped up. If you are going to tune in to the game tonight, or if you’re deciding whether or not to even watch, there are some things you should watch for or some selling points to get you to watch the game.

The first thing you should know going into this game is how hot Peter Jok has been for the Hawkeyes. He is averaging 21.4 points per game for the last five games, and averaging 22.6 for the season. Not only that, but he has scored in double figures in every game this season. He is 1 of only 6 players nationally the last 20 years to average: 22 pts, 6 rbs, 2 asts & shoot better than 40% from 3-point range (via @IowaHoops). He will be key if the Hawkeyes want to come out of this game with a huge upset win.

Another reason the Hawkeyes should be excited about tonight’s matchup is the improved play of Freshman guard, Jordan Bohannon. The Hawkeyes have won every game in the last nine when he puts up at least five assists. He is also averaging nearly 40 percent shooting from the field for the last five games. He is the one that makes the offense run with his passing ability, so if the Hawkeyes, and Peter Jok, want to be successful tonight they need Bohannon to play well.

Upset potential in this game is the third reason to tune in. Although the Hawkeyes aren’t ranked and don’t have an amazing record at 10-7, they are playing on their home court and the fans at Carver-Hawkeye Arena will surely be pushing them to their best. They have already beaten a nationally ranked team earlier this season when they took down Iowa State, ranked 25th at the time, so that should give them confidence that they can complete another upset against the Boilermakers.

Anytime your team plays a great team, you want to watch. Two reasons why you want to do this; the opposing team is one of the best in the nation and there could potentially be an upset. You don’t want to be that person that wasn’t watching when your team took down the number 15 ranked team in the nation and all you can do is watch highlights on Sports Center the next day. It’s a Big Ten matchup and is sure to be intense, especially with the Hawkeyes getting their shot at home this time.

Last, but not least, Caleb Swanigan is playing tonight and that is surely a reason to watch. Swanigan is getting a lot of hype as one of the best players in the nation and watching how the Hawkeyes will try and quiet his game will be interesting. He has 14 double-doubles on the season and has 4 games where he posted at least 20 points and 20 rebounds. With such a great player coming into the Hawkeyes’ home arena, it will be a team effort in utilizing their team skills to try and silence the best big man in the country.

Tune in tonight and watch the game between the Hawkeyes and Boilermakers, because you might witness the second upset of the season for the guys in Black and Gold.

 – M. Handel