The best way to start your day is right here at Landof10.com as we prepare you for everything you need to know about Iowa sports. We’ll share our Hawkeyes Wake-Up Call here with you at 8:30 a.m. (ET) Monday through Friday.
So let’s get to it. Here is your Wake-Up Call for Thursday, Jan. 5.
The newcomers unite
Tyler Cook can impact a game. He dropped 24 on Seton Hall in November.
Cordell Pemsl can impact a game. He scored 21 points against Stetson in December.
Now, it’s time to see how they can impact a game together when Iowa heads to Nebraska on Thursday night (9:06 p.m. ET, BTN).
“Both of them have had ability to sort of be a guy that we go to,” Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said. “They’ve had double-figure games. They’ve had monster games and I think everybody knows how good they can be.
“Now, they just have to figure out how to blend together and I thought the other night was a great first step for both of them.”
McCaffery wants to see how the two play in their second start together. This is great news for those intrigued by the long-term future of a team starting four freshman.
The Wake-Up Call wrote in December Iowa needed to learn what happened when Cook and Pemsl played together.
How do the two natural power forwards control the paint together? How do they switch off screens? Most importantly, how do they control the defensive glass?
There is a lot to learn. The sooner they do the better Iowa will be, not just this season, but in the years to come.
When the Hawkeyes will face the Cornhuskers it seems like anything could be in play because, well, anything is in play with Nebraska. The Cornhuskers lost to Gardner-Webb and beat Southern by only five points, but also they beat No. 24 Indiana and Maryland on the road. Consider yourself warned if something crazy goes down in Lincoln.
|Team||KenPom Ranking||Adjusted O||Adjusted D|
|Iowa (9-6)||74||110.5 (49th)||101.5 (129th)|
|Nebraska (8-6)||81||103.9 (159th)||96.0 (52nd)|
Rebound. Rebound. Rebound. McCaffery will harp about it if Iowa doesn’t do a good job on the glass.
Rebounding is arguably what the Cornhuskers do best. They’re 64th nationally with a 34.1 offensive rebounding percentage, according to KenPom.com. Opponents have taken advantage of Iowa on the glass throughout the season. It will be on Cook, Pemsl and every other big to slow down Nebraska and Ed Morrow Jr, who averages 8.4 rebounds a contest.
There were two constants in the two Nebraska wins to open league play. Guards Tai Webster and Glynn Watson Jr. scoring, and strong defensive play.
Webster and Watson Jr. combined for 82 points while shooting 44.8 percent. The two are volume shooters. Iowa can’t afford not to make them work for their points.
Nebraska opponents shot a combined 39.2 percent. If the Hawkeyes can’t slow down Webster and Watson Jr. or put the ball through the cylinder themselves it’s going to be tough to pick up their first Big Ten road win.
Defending the Outback Bowl
One thought jumped out about the Iowa defense while reviewing the Outback Bowl film — it wasn’t that bad of a day.
There were several big plays, including the 85-yard Mark Thompson touchdown reception with at least 4 missed tackles, which stand out.
But the initial impression of the defense was worse than what a rewatch showed. Iowa gave up 331 yards and the defense was responsible for allowing 17 points, but one touchdown was off a pick-6 and twice the defense held Florida to field goals after C.J. Beathard threw interceptions in Iowa territory.
No one will say this was the best defensive game of the season, but it was better than it seemed on Monday.
All-Pro NFL Hawkeyes
Two former Iowa offensive lineman made the Pro Football Focus All-Pro Team, which was revealed on Wednesday.
Baltimore OG Marshal Yanda was a first-team selection while Green Bay OT Bryan Bulaga was honorable mention.
Yanda graded out as the top guard in the league and didn’t allow a sack all season. Bulaga was the 17th-ranked offensive tackle in the league by PFF.