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Hawkeyes know Rutgers is no longer … Rutgers

IOWA City — There’s been a revolt in Big Ten men’s basketball this month.

Tuesday, after-lowly Penn State downed mighty Michigan. On Feb. 5, previously down-and-out Illinois defeated powerhouse Michigan State.

The factor that has kept Iowa (8-5 Big Ten, 19-5 total) on the initially-division side of the conference’s moat is it has not dropped game titles it was “supposed” to gain. The Hawkeyes should be immune to complacency heading into its game these days at Rutgers (5-9, 12-12) for one particular very good purpose:

Iowa was one particular of the league’s reduce-flooring tenants itself a period back.

Ok, there is a second purpose. Iowa arrived exceptionally near to losing its most-the latest game, an 80-79 dwelling gain above Northwestern Sunday.

Oh, there is also a third purpose: Popular sense.

“People look at the file and they just assume ‘Oh, this group is this and this. Iowa should get rid of them,’ ” explained Iowa forward Tyler Cook. “But the file does not indicate just about anything.

“When you go possibly on the street or at dwelling in opposition to anyone in this league, everybody wants to gain. Everybody here’s on scholarship. Everybody plays substantial-level Division I basketball. … Each and every one time you step on the courtroom you have received to be completely ready for war.”

Did we point out there is a fourth purpose? While they were 3-15 in the Big Ten last period, the Scarlet Knights rolled above the Hawkeyes 80-64 at Rutgers Athletic Center.

Which provides us again to the palace coup by the league’s have-nots. Rutgers isn’t NCAA match-completely ready this period, but it is not the method that entered the Big Ten as a doormat and received a good deal of sneaker prints implanted on its again. The Knights went 2-16, 1-17, 3-15 and 3-15 in their initially four seasons in the league. So 5-9 is development in Year 5.

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“Rutgers has genuinely been spectacular mainly because Steve (Pikiell) has experienced a likelihood to create it.” Iowa Mentor Fran McCaffery explained. “They’ve received additional players now.

“They’ve received some very good youthful athletic fellas that can enjoy in transition, that can enjoy quickly, that can enjoy 50 %-courtroom. They can defend. They’ve often defended. So there is a purpose why they’ve received 5 wins in our league and have been serious near on a few other individuals.”

“They’re genuinely disciplined this 12 months,” explained Iowa guard Jordan Bohannon, “one of the superior defensive teams in the meeting. So it is heading to be a grind.

“Geo Baker’s one particular of the superior guards in the state.”

Iowa has gotten wherever it is in the Big Ten standings mainly because it has gained 3 street game titles, and has not dropped to a group in the base third of the league. But recently, you just cannot distinguish the base third from the leading third.

“You look at Penn State,” McCaffery explained, “they conquer Michigan, and everybody was like amazed. They have 3 players that are as very good as any 3 players in the state. And you look at Rutgers’ talent now when compared to what it was 3 several years back, it is genuinely spectacular.

“I’m just really matter-of-actuality about it. I know who’s on each and every group. I know the mentor that they have, and each individual group is genuinely very good, and each individual group can conquer you on any provided day.”

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