MUBB Takeaways: Iowa embarrasses Golden Eagles

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Golden Eagles shoot ten percent from three in the first half

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MUBB Takeaways: Iowa embarrasses Golden Eagles

Photo by Nolan Bollier/nolan.bollier@marquette.edu

Photo by Nolan Bollier/nolan.bollier@marquette.edu

Photo by Nolan Bollier/nolan.bollier@marquette.edu

Photo by Nolan Bollier/nolan.bollier@marquette.edu

Iowa 89, Marquette 61

Team Leaders:
Points: Haanif Cheatham (12)
Rebounds: Henry Ellenson (8)
Assists: Duane Wilson, Henry Ellenson and Haanif Cheatham (3)

Marquette struggled in their first two games of the season, but on Thursday night the Golden Eagles had their biggest wake-up call thus far. The Hawkeyes dominated nearly every facet of the game, defeating the Golden Eagles by 27. It wasn’t close from the get-go.

“I don’t want to talk about being young anymore,” Wojciechowski said. “I’ve seen 17, 18-year-olds play their butts off. The youth has nothing to do with tonight.”

The frustrating thing for the Golden Eagles is that nearly all the issues they had tonight were the same as against IUPUI.

“We’ve had a bunch of quick turnarounds,” Wojciechowski said. “There’s a fine line between how much you’re practicing, talking about these things, and trying to be fresh for the game. Obviously after a game like this you have to go back to the drawing board.”

Three point struggles continue

It was clear from the start that the three wasn’t there for the Golden Eagles, and they just kept shooting it. Marquette’s aim was worse than stormtroopers in the original Star Wars trilogy. The team missed its first 11 shots from outside before Duane Wilson finally drained one from long range. The team shot 2-of-19 (10 percent) from three in the first half and 7-of-30 (23 percent) overall.

“We have not shot the ball well,” Wojciechowski said. “It’s a fine line. Our gameplan was to attack the paint on the drive with post passing. But also, when a guy has a wide open shot you want to (shoot)… We shot way too many jump shots.”

Through three games, Henry Ellenson seems like less of a three-point shooter and more of a player that can hit from three every once and a while. He was 0-for-4 tonight. Wilson was 2-for-9 and is now 17 percent from long range on the season. Even Sandy Cohen, who has been the team’s most lethal threat from outside, only shot 1-for-5.

The bright spot was Haanif Cheatham, who hit both his threes.They were his first made three pointers of the season.

Defense still a cause for concern

The Golden Eagles were unable to fix the defensive woes that haunted them in the first two games. Pick-and-roll was still causing the big men to lose their man, and the guards had trouble rotating fast enough to beat some of the Hawkeyes’ quick triggers.

“Our defense has been horrible,” Wojciechowski said. “I’d like to play man-to-man, but I think our offense is affecting our defense. We’ve turned it over too much and we’ve let missed shots affect our effort on the defensive end.”

Iowa was able to find holes in the Golden Eagles’ defense, especially on the perimeter. The Hawkeyes shot 54 percent from outside, led by Peter Jok (4-for-6) and Jarrod Uthoff (2-for-3).

“The reality is, it’s not the x’s or the o’s,” said Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery. “It’s not the what, it’s the who. When you’ve got guys that are experienced who can make plays and recognize throwback, bring it off the ball screen, hit the high post, go high-low, skip it to the weak side, move side-to-side, it puts a lot of pressure on the zone defense.”

The Hawkeyes were even able to pull off an alley-oop straight through the Marquette defense in the first half. The guard was able to pass the ball from the top of the key straight to a leaping Dom Uhl in the paint.

Henry shut down

Matched up against 6-foot-9 Jarrod Uthoff, Iowa’s Preseason All-Big Ten senior forward, and 7-foot-1 Adam Woodbury all night, Ellenson received the first rude awakening of his collegiate career. Ellenson shot just 1-for-8 for three points, while collecting eight rebounds and dishing three assists. He also committed three turnovers.

“People are gameplanning for him, and that’s new,” Wojciechowski said. “He’s going to be on the top of everybody’s scouting report…we have to help him better and he can play better.”

Ellenson was matched up against Woodbury for much of the game because Luke Fischer was forced to sit due to foul trouble. Marquette’s star forward will need to quickly forget this performance, because he’s got an even tougher test waiting for him on Monday in the form of LSU’s Ben Simmons – the projected No. 1 overall pick in next year’s NBA draft.

Turnovers piling up

Marquette has started the season with games of 11, 21 and 19 turnovers. 17 turnovers per game won’t get you into the postseason at the college level, plain and simple. Cheatham, who was Marquette’s most reliable guard in the first two games, turned the ball over seven times in 24 minutes. Surprisingly, he was the only Golden Eagle with a positive plus-minus differential at plus-8.

Wilson, who had been the biggest problem in this category, turned the ball over just twice on Thursday. However, Marquette’s sloppy play, especially passing into crowded lanes, is a big issue.

Heldt gets first playing time

With Matt Heldt making it into tonight’s game, Wojciechowski has now used all of his scholarshipped players. Wojciechowski initially opted with a small lineup in his first few rotations, playing Sacar Anim at power forward and moving Ellenson to center, but his hand was eventually forced by Luke Fischer’s foul troubles.

Heldt looked lost in the paint in his first outing, struggling to defend Iowa’s large lineup. He missed his only attempted shot.

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