After-thoughts from Iowa’s 89-67 loss to Purdue:
--While it was disheartening to be behind by more than 10 points for more than 35 minutes Wednesday, Iowa’s Big Ten-opening loss wasn’t nearly as embarrassing as what happened to a few other teams in the league (Indiana, Illinois and Penn State, for example). The Hawkeyes really just ran into a buzzsaw. When a team with the best power forward in the country and a gifted 7-foot-2 center makes 10 of 17 3-pointers in the first half, there’s not much you can do. If the Boilermakers continue to play like that, they’re a national championship contender.
--It wouldn’t be a shock to see Fran McCaffery shuffle his starting lineup Sunday when the Hawkeyes host Michigan. In fact, it would be a shock if he didn’t. Tyler Cook scored 12 points in his first game back from injury and Ahmad Wagner, who started ahead of him, had 0 points and 1 rebound although he had a hand in limiting Caleb Swanigan and Isaac Haas in the first half. Odds are, Cook gets the start Sunday.
--Another possible lineup change: Isaiah Moss had probably his worst game of the season against Purdue: 0 points, 0 rebounds, 2 turnovers and several defensive lapses in 18 minutes of action. Meanwhile, Brady Ellingson was 3 for 3 from 3-point range and scored 11 points. Ellingson has hit his last six 3-point attempts and is shooting 64 percent (16 for 25) from out there this season. It might be time to give him his first career start.
--Despite the loss, Nicholas Baer continued to prosper in a reserve role. He gave the Hawkeyes an obvious spark after they fell behind 25-6 and finished with 7 points and 7 rebounds in a team-high 27 minutes.
--As if things weren’t bad enough for the Hawkeyes, they had several missed dunks in the game. Cook had one that missed but it bounced up in air and fell through the hoop anyway. Moss also missed one and when Cordell Pemsl missed just 27 seconds into the second half, he also was slapped with a technical foul for hanging on the rim.
--One positive for Iowa: It did about as good a job on Swanigan as anyone has all season. He still finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds, but he was only 4 for 12 from the field. He had 20-plus points and 20-plus rebounds in each of his two previous games.