After-thoughts from Iowa’s 81-70 victory over Nebraska:
--Peter Jok appeared to be healthy in his first game back after missing two games with a back ailment, but he clearly was a bit tentative at times and didn’t shoot very well. He was 0 for 4 on 3-point field goal attempts, two of which were wide open, but he found other ways to help his team win. Jok admitted he needed a game to “ease’’ back into things.
--Even with Jok back, Brady Ellingson played more than 20 minutes for the third straight game and continued to produce in a big way. He scored 11 points, including some of the biggest points of the second half, and had a career-high five assists for the second straight game. During the current three-game winning streak, he is 12 for 19 from the field, 10 for 14 from 3-point range, and has 13 assists with no turnovers.
--Only four Iowa players played more than 20 minutes Sunday and only two of them — Jok and Jordan Bohannon — were starters. Ellingson played 25 off the bench and Nicholas Baer 24.
--Fran McCaffery never fails to mention it when his team has a very high ratio of assists to made field goals and he pointed it out again Sunday when the Hawkeyes had 22 assists on 27 baskets. It’s the second straight game they have had assists on 80 percent of their field goals, which is a very high number.
--Nebraska is as rough and physical on defense as any team in the Big Ten, but the Hawkeyes adjusted to it well and were equally physical in the second half. “We stayed composed,’’ freshman Tyler Cook said. “We tried to match their physicality but we stuck to our game plan.’’
--One red flag for the Hawkeyes was rebounding. Nebraska had 13 offensive rebounds in the second half and managed to stay in the game longer than it should have because of that. The Hawkeyes need to get more than three rebounds apiece from their starting post players, Cook and Ahmad Wagner.
--The Hawkeyes, now up to sixth place in the Big Ten at 6-5, are coming into perhaps the most challenging part of their schedule. Four of their next six games are on the road against good teams at tough places to play — Minnesota, Michigan State, Maryland and Wisconsin. And one of the two home games in that stretch is against a talented, if underachieving, Indiana team.