For the Huskies, today’s 9AM matchup with Iowa (Big Ten), their first high major opponent of the season, is another step up in competition — a recurring theme of the Puerto Rico Clasico.
A High Major Matchup
Iowa is coming off a great season where the made it to the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament.
Fortunately, the best player from that team has graduated, i.e., Iowa post Megan Gustafson even won a the AP 2018-2019 Player of the Year award in women’s college basketball.
This has significantly changed Iowa’s playing style to a more perimeter oriented attack.
However, so far the Iowa Hawkeyes are equally efficient in transition offense, as well as half-court postup and isolation play.
Iowa’s #25 Monika Czinano is a dominant force in the post and she could be a huge problem if Darcy Rees and the freshman bigs, Ali Bamberger and Quay Miller, can’t contain her.
The Hawkeyes almost never run Pick and Roll so that should not be an issue for the Huskies defense.
Similar Offensive Style, Just More Efficient From Three
Iowa’s Three-Point Rate is similar to the Huskies, however, Iowa is in the Top 50 for Three-point shooting percentage and Effective Field Goal shooting percentage.
So once again, the Huskies ability to defend and discourage three-point opportunities is a major key to victory.
Iowa’s #24 Gabby Marshall is an elite spot-up shooter and is the main threat the Huskies must be aware of at all times.
Other than shooting the three, Iowa’s offense is eerily similar to the Huskies offense in many ways.
Both Iowa(75.4) and Washington (75.2) average an almost identical number of possessions per 40 minutes so their pace will be similar.
Iowa averages 80.5 points per game versus Washington’s 75.7 points.
Iowa averages 19.7 assists per game versus Washington’s 19.5 assists.
Iowa’s Assists to Turnovers ratio is 1.23, while Washington’s is 1.26 Asst/TOs.
UW’s Defense is Its Advantage
Washington’s advantage is defensively.
Besides denying Iowa three-point shot opportunities, the turnover margin will be the other major key to victory.
Washington is 8th best in the nation at affecting Opponent’s Assist to Turnover ratio (0.41) so Iowa’s efficiency in that area should be disrupted by the Dawgs.
The Huskies are also 6th in the nation with 13.3 steals per game , while Iowa averages only 6.5 steals per game.
Washington’s forces turnovers at a much higher rate than Iowa 25 turnovers per game versus only 14.5 for Iowa.
Although the Dawgs should dominate defensively. expect there to be a gut check at some point when Iowa smacks the Huskies in the mouth with a barrage of three-pointers.
It will be interesting to see how Jody Wynn’s Huskies respond to the challenge.
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