The #25 Iowa Hawkeyes (4-0) take on the Clemson Tigers (4-1) in the semifinals of the Emerald Coast Classic. The last time these two met, Iowa lost 71-55 in Fran McCaffery’s sophomore season. The Hawks are 2-1 all time.
This continues a rematch of sorts, with Iowa receiving Ws against Seton Hall and Nebraska Omaha, two teams they’ve previously lost matchups to.
The Tigers’ non-conference roster is 348th, according to KenPom, with their only loss coming en route to No. 140 South Carolina.
Below are a few thoughts, some additional details on Clemson and how to watch.
Who wins the fight from the outside? The Tigers are 39.2% from deep this season behind backcourt duo Chase Hunter & Alex Hemenway, who are 25/44 combined so far this season. The rest of the team? 18/65. So yeah, don’t let any of these catch fire.
The way Clemson counters that is superb ball movement, with an assist on 60.2% of her possession, good for 38th in the country. Against Iowa’s game against Seton Hall, I noticed a different off-ball defense as Iowa maneuvered screens. They clipped under them, using length to contest the shot to prevent the dribbling drive action from entering the lane without a switch. Does this return to Stymie Clemson’s ball motion?
On the other hand, Clemson allows 41.9% of opponent’s shots to come from deep, which allows for 37.5%. Both rank in the 280s. Part of that is the sell-off to limit inside shots (41.3% – 20th in the country) and they’ll put Iowa to work with a duration of 18.9 seconds, about the 15th longest in the country.
Threes are good shots as long as Iowa doesn’t settle for them. Kris Murray was absolutely under fire last game but had cavalry from unlikely sources – Ahron Ulis, Connor McCaffery and Josh Dix were 7/11 combined. With Clemson likely to bag the paint, those shots will likely be available for Ulis & Connor…if they can capitalize, they’ll put Iowa in a great position to win.
Can the Hawks keep up with Clemson’s bench? It’s a slightly strained question as Clemson’s top scorer of 2022 PJ Hall comes off the bench while returning from injuries. The senior big is doing well internally, 55.5% of his career from two, and isn’t afraid to take a three (30.8% last year). He’s also good at drawing and converting fouls with a 41.9% FT rate (career 77.6%). Could be a game where we see Josh Ogundele a little earlier than usual to help Iowa keep Kris Murray and Filip Rebrača out of dire trouble.
The downside is that Iowa’s bench has struggled a bit this season. Josh Dix gaining momentum was a welcome sign on Monday and the hopeful return of Tony Perkins should push Ulis back onto the bench. However, I’m wondering if Perkins is 100%, Fran could start both Perkins and Ulis as better defenders against Clemson’s backcourt. It could allow Payton Sandfort to add some weight to Iowa’s reserves.
average values of the season: team / opponent
PPG: 73.4 / 61.2
Roleplay: 34.2 / 31.2
APG: 16.0 / 10.4
TOPG: 10.8 / 14.6
FG%: 46.8% / 39.7%
3P%: 39.1% / 37.5%
Brad Brownwell, 13th season at Clemson, 21st overall
Record: 222-167 (.571) at Clemson, 389-252 (.607) overall
PPG: PJ Hall 15.5; Hunter Tyson 10.0
RPG: Hall 5.8 (1.7 ORPG); Tyson 5.5 (1.3 ORPG)
APG: Jagdjäger 1.8; Hall 1.6
FG%: Hall 49.3%; Tyson 46.6%
3P%: Alex Hemenway 40.6%; Tyson 34.7%
Presumed Starters ($) & Statistics 2022-23:
G – #1 Chase Hunter, Jr, 6’3″, 204lbs: 16.2 PPG, 4.8 APG, 52.7% FG, 68.4% 3P, 31.6 MPG
G – #12 Alex Hemenway, Sr, 6’4”, 195 lbs: 10.0 PPG, 55.9% FG, 48.0% 3P, 31.0 MPG
G – #11 Brevin Galloway, Grad, 6’3″, 210lbs: 11.8 PPG, 2.8 APG, 1.8 SPG, 50.0% FG, 27.8% 3P, 28.4 MPG
F – #5 Hunter Tyson, Grad, 6’8″, 217lbs: 12.4 PPG, 9.6 RPG, 2.6 ORPG, 2.0 APG, 39.6% FG, 33.3% 3P, 31 .2MPG
F/C – #10 Ben Middlebrooks, also, 6’10”, 242 lbs: 1.4 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 9.0 MPG
Last 5 games:
W – v. Loyola (Maryland), 72-41
W – v. Bellarmine, 76-66
W – vs. USC Upstate, 81-70
L – @ South Carolina, 60-58
W-v The Citadel, 80-69
2023 KenPom: ($)
AdjEfficiency: +11.59 (65)
AdjAttack: 107.4 (60)
AdjDefense: 95.8 (69)
Adaptation Speed: 67.4 (259)
AdjEfficiency: +11.36 (71)
AdjAttack: 110.1 (49)
AdjDefense: 98.8 (101)
Adaptation Speed: 66.3 (227)
Bart Torvik: 63
Evan Miyakawa: 65
Date: Friday, 11/25
Time: 6:00 p.m. CT
Opponent: Clemson Tigers (4-1, 0-0); Atlantic Coast Conference; Clemson, SC
Location: The Arena in NW Florida State; Niceville, FL
Radio: Hawkeye Sports Network (John Swisher & Bob Hansen)
TV: CBS Sports Network (Brad Johansen & Steve Lappas)
Stream: CBS sports