The Hawkeyes were ranked No. 3 just two weeks ago before losing two of their four most recent games, first to the top-ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs and then to the Minnesota Golden Gophers on Christmas Day.
Fixture: Iowa Hawkeyes vs Rutgers Scarlet Knights - NCAA Men's Basketball
Date & Time: Saturday, January 2, 2021, 2 PM ET
Venue: Rutgers Athletics Center, Piscataway, New Jersey
Iowa Hawkeyes Preview
The Iowa Hawkeyes have suffered their only two losses of the year in back to back weeks. However, they closed out 2020 with a bounce-back win against the No. 19 Northwestern Wildcats, 87-72.
The concern for the Iowa Hawkeyes is their away form. The Hawkeyes are 0-2 in both of their games that have been outside of the state of Iowa.
In general, the Hawkeyes' defense is their liability. According to the advanced analysis site Kenpom.com, they rank No. 2 in Division I for offensive efficiency, but 94th in defensive efficiency. Iowa is allowing 96.7 points per 100 possessions. During their two losses, the Big 10 squad is giving up 100.5 points a game.
The game against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights will be important for the Hawkeyes to prove they can play defense on the road.
Key Player - Connor McCaffery
Connor McCaffery is the key player for the Iowa Hawkeyes. For the Hawkeyes to get back-to-back wins in the Big 10, they will need to rely on scoring from every position.
McCaffery is averaging just 3.3 points and 4.5 assists in 24 minutes per game. The junior guard will need to be more aggressive on offense to keep the Rutgers Scarlet Knights' defense honest and not over shift on Luka Garza.
Iowa Hawkeyes Predicted Lineup
C Luka Garza, G Jordan Bohannon, G Connor McCaffery, G CJ Fredrick, G Joe Wisekamp
Rutgers Scarlet Knights Preview
The Rutgers Scarlet Knights are 3-1 in the Big 10 coming off an 81-76 home victory over the Purdue Boilermakers on Tuesday night.
The Scarlet Knights win over the Boilermakers was vital for their confidence as they head into their season's toughest stretch, playing 10 of their next 12 games against ranked opponents.
Against Purdue, Rutgers was finally able to improve its shooting from the free-throw line, going 14 of 17. Prior to Tuesday's game, the Scarlet Knights converted on just 60% from the charity stripe.
For the Rutgers Scarlet Knights to pull off an upset against the Iowa Hawkeyes, they will have to make every basket court and convert their foul shots at a high percentage.
Key Player - Myles Johnson
The key player for the Rutgers Scarlet Knights on Saturday will be Myles Johnson. The junior center will be matched up against the Hawkeyes best player, Luka Garza. If Johnson can use his 6'11" frame to control the Wooden Award's favorite, then the Scarlet Knights will have a chance at earning another win on their home-court.
Rutgers Scarlets Knights Predicted Lineup
C Myles Johnson, G Jacob Young, G Geo Baker, G Montez Mathis, G Paul Mulcahy
Iowa vs Rutgers Prediction
The Iowa Hawkeyes will grab their first road win of the season against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. Although the Hawkeyes struggle on defense, they will be able to put up enough offense to come away with the win.
Where to watch Iowa vs Rutgers
The game will be broadcast live on ESPN2.Published 31 Dec 2020, 05:17 IST