Iowa basketball makes its debut in the AP Top 25 this season after beating Seton Hall away



Iowa basketball is in the top 25 in the AP poll as the Hawkeyes finish 25th in week three of the college basketball season.

The Hawkeyes are 3-0 at Seton Hall last week and picked up a road win at Seton Hall last week. Iowa now faces a pivotal stretch of the non-conference season after tonight’s home game against Nebraska-Omaha.

After tonight’s game against the Mavericks, Iowa will travel to Florida to compete in the Emerald Coast Classic. The first game of the weekend is on Friday, November 25 at 7pm CT when the Hawkeyes take on Clemson.

In the second game, Iowa plays either TCU or Cal the following day.

The Hawkeyes have promised a lot in the first three games of the season. KenPom, one of the most trusted college basketball analysis sites, ranked the Hawkeyes 15th nationally.

Iowa was outperformed in the scoring department Chris Murray, who averages 21.7 points per game and shoots 56 percent from the field and 41 percent from three. Iowa has a total of five players averaging double figures along with Murray as Patrick McCaffery, Tony Perkins, Philip Rebracaand Payton Sandford all average between 10.7 and 14.7 points per game.

Iowa also looked stronger defensively early on than last year. Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery said a major reason was the buy-in and composition of that roster.

“I think we can,” McCaffery said when asked if this Iowa team could be better defensively this winter. “We have the ability to do that. We can put pressure on the ball. We can be in the fast lane. When you start looking at defensive numbers it’s all about rebounding because when you give up second shots, this is usually a high percentage shot, it’s an offensive rebound kickout, open 3, it’s an offensive rebound put back, that’s a high percentage shot.

“Shot percentages against your team and effectiveness in terms of point production will go down. But if you narrow them down to one and we put pressure on the ball and get our defense back, we can all get under the ball and communicate, switch, don’t switch, how we play, ball screens, all that stuff is great, but you have to get recoil.

According to KenPom, Iowa is ranked No. 3 on offense and No. 58 defensively in the country in three games. Competition will resume in the coming weeks as following the Emerald Coast Classic, the Hawkeyes’ high-major non-conference opponents will consist of Georgia, Duke and Iowa State.

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