Discussion Forum

IGT vs Iowa 2020, The Palestra, 2 p.m. Saturday Jan. 4 (BTN)

Fran McCaffery had a great career at Penn.

Most analytics seem to favor Iowa’s season so far.

Will update when the polls are released:

10:51 a.m. updated Sagarin
2:00 p.m. updated polls

12/30 A.M. Penn State Iowa Rank Diff (’+’ = PSU better) Prediction/Note*
NCAA NET 15 24 +9
KenPom 23 18 -5 Penn State 77-76, 53%
Sagarin 19 16 -3 Iowa -0.5 Neutral,
Penn State -3.5 home
ESPN BPI 22 18 -4 Penn State, 50.2%
T-Rank 19 20 +1 Penn State, 78-77 (-0.2) 51%
Haslam 17 11 -6 Iowa 77.71-76.12 (-1.59) Neutral,
Penn State 77.91-75.90 (-2.01) Home
USA Today / Coaches 21 25
AP 21 23

* Not sure how analytics sites will treat the Palestra; KenPom terms it “Semi-Home”


12/30 7:45 a.m., lowest price for pair:

  • Stub Hub – $88.35+fees/per, upper corner
  • Vivid seats – $87+fees/per, upper corner
  • Seatgeek --$86 incl fees/per, behind basket, last row lower section
  • Gametime didn’t have any
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2 games in a row I’ll be able to watch the first half from the airport

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YouTube TV / Fox Sports app saves you the embarrassment of having to ask for Penn State basketball at an airport bar.

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Iowa fans are a lot like Penn State fans - so down on their coach that they don’t realize how good they are this year.

Fan base also overreacted to the DePaul loss in game 2. After the Blue Demons rained threes in the opening minutes on a 19-2 run, Iowa played them even after that. But the damage was done to their psyche, and the season towel was thrown in.


I might have the biggest negative gap for us. Penn State, 24th and Iowa, 14th. They have shown they have so many ways to score against very tough defenses.

San Diego State, Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa State, and Cincinnati all had their worst defensive performances of the season vs Iowa.

I think we’ll be favored - based on what everyone else has and it being a quasi-home game - but I don’t think we should be.

Our B game will not cut it here.

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Hold serve


I watched a lot of Iowa-Cincinnati and calmed down a bit.

Cincinnati did not make shots. Open 2s, open 3s. Nothing too well-defended.

Iowa was under 1.0 points per possession.

  • Iowa broke Cincy’s zone press easily at first, but had much more difficulty when ball pressure increased. Iowa runs a pretty good looking zone press without a ton of ball pressure, so it probably sees it a lot in practice.

  • Iowa started and played with four guards most of what I watched.

  • Can’t let Garza receive the ball in the post - ever - or it’s over.

  • Iowa played some zone in the half court but it’s not as long as classic Syracuse and Cinc was able to get into the middle and the post.

  • When Garza was being rested, Iowa struggled mightily at both ends. He’s much more physical this year, might be possible to get him in foul trouble. Watkins and Stevens low might be more than the Hawkeyes can deal with as presently constituted. Of course, Garza could pretty quickly get both of those guys in foul trouble, too.

  • Iowa had a lot of unforced turnovers early, and probably can’t count on that.

  • Iowa’s three-point shooting often bailed it out, or resulted in crazy caroms that the Hawkeyes nabbed.

  • Iowa would get a lead and smell blood.

  • Garza stepped out and shot a three without blinking after clanging the first two.

Iowa might get more used to playing without Bohannon in the next week or so, but before the Cincinnati game I was thinking that Penn State would be lucky to win. Now it is probably going to be a dog fight, but if Penn State plays well, should be in it the whole way.


Iowa Team Sheet

Had to do that for the Maryland game. Listened to the first half on the ride down (TuneIn radio) to parking (near the airport), then watched the 2nd half there. The treat was listening to the pre-game show.

Iowa 1050 798 158 153 292 1.14
Opponents 896 785 130 184 188 0.97
Penn State 1045 831 165 168 263 1.10
Opponents 857 772 137 206 252 0.90

Iowa has been held to < 1.0 points per possession three times in 13 games this season, but also put up a lot of points against the No. 22 and No. 15 defenses - in losses.

Iowa Offense vs Best Defenses, Sorted by Adjusted Defensive Efficiency

Opponent Outcome Points Iowa PPP Opp AdjDE Rank
San Diego St. L 73 1.07 15
Texas Tech W 72 0.99 16
Michigan L 91 1.23 22
Penn State TBD ? ? 27
DePaul L 78 0.95 46
Cincinnati W 77 0.99 51
Minnesota W 72 1.11 56


Despite defensive struggles, Iowa has held three top-50 offenses under a point per possession. Two of those - Iowa State and Syracuse - were road wins.

Iowa Defense vs Best Offenses, Sorted by Opponent Adjusted Offensive Efficiency Rank

Opponent Outcome Opp Points Opp PPP Opp AdjO Rank Opp AdjO
Michigan L 103 1.39 21 110
Iowa St. W 68 0.99 24 109.7
Minnesota W 52 0.80 32 108.5
Penn State TBD ? ? 36 107.8
San Diego St. L 83 1.22 46 107.2
Syracuse W 54 0.84 49 106.49

Updated with the polls

12/27 A.M. PSU Iowa Rank Diff (’+’ = PSU better) Prediction / Note
NCAA NET 15 24 +9
KenPom 23 18 -5 Penn State 77-76, 53%
Sagarin 19 16 -3 Iowa -0.5 Neutral, Penn State -3.5 home
ESPN BPI 22 18 -4 Penn State, 50.2%
T-Rank 19 20 +1 Penn State, 78-77 (-0.2) 51%
Haslam 17 11 -6 Iowa 77.71-76.12 Neutral, Penn State 77.91-75.90 Home
USA Today/Coaches 21 25
AP 21 23
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This will be a good test for the predictive metrics. Sounds like a mid 70s 1-3 point win for psu.

Based on this comment I don’t think you understand metrics/variance/statistics at all.

This could be 75-72, 96-77, 84-83 or 66-60. None of those scores would prove or disprove anything. One result almost literally means nothing.

got 'em


Oh, you’re just a troll. Assumed you were a serious adult.

So what is the point of the predictions? I assume those are the model means.


So is this considered a home or neutral court game for PSU?

Home game that was moved from the BJC to Philly.


Forgot to drag the note down from the original post: