After-thoughts from Iowa’s 65-45 loss to Wisconsin:
— Iowa’s players seemed to handle Thursday’s loss pretty well. They seemed a little down but insisted that they’re unconcerned about the team’s recent offensive doldrums. It’s admirable. Then again, it’s a little concerning that they aren’t more concerned. The Hawkeyes have lost three straight games by 14 or more points, they haven’t shot well in weeks and with each passing loss, they drop about one notch in the projected NCAA tournament seeds. Maybe it’s time to get concerned.
— The offensive issues that led to the Hawkeyes scoring 20 fewer points than in any previous game this season seemed to stem from movement. There was a lot of standing around, waiting for the guy with the ball to create something. They did a terrible job of moving without the ball in this one.
— Rebounding has not been much of a problem for Iowa this season. It had only four previous games in which the opposing team had much of an advantage on them in that department and the Hawkeyes won two of those games. But it was a huge problem Thursday. Wisconsin, not really noted for its rebounding, grabbed 15 offensive rebounds and scored 23 second-chance points. The final rebound totals were 49 to 29 and in the second half it was 29 to 10.
— Here is how bad things were after halftime: The Hawkeyes had 23 points and 10 rebounds in those last 20 minutes. Ethan Happ had 16 points and 10 boards all by himself. Happ is very versatile and plays with great energy but after handling him very well in the first half, the Hawkeyes managed to make him look really good in the second half.
— You do have to admire the way Wisconsin plays defense. There’s nothing spectacular about it but there are almost no breakdowns of any kind, no mental lapses, very few openings for opposing teams to exploit. The Badgers likely don’t have the horses to make a big run in the NCAA tournament but they will be a pain in the neck for everyone who has to face them.
— Tyler Cook was held scoreless for the first time in 88 games at the college level. He got off only six shots and a couple of them were those mid-range jumpers that he makes about 10 percent of the time. He also did not attempt a free throw for only the third time season. All of those games have come during the current tailspin with the other two being recent losses to Maryland and Ohio State. It seems opposing teams have figured out how to defend him without hacking him.
— The foul differential is a good indicator of how much standing around Iowa did. The Hawkeyes went to the free throw line a season-low six times and only forced the Badgers into 13 fouls. Meanwhile, the Hawkeyes committed a season-high 25 fouls.
— Only two Iowa players had more assists than turnovers in the game: Riley Till and Austin Ashe, both of whom got in there in mop-up time.
— Luka Garza played only about 14 minutes and it wasn’t all because of foul trouble. He did finish the game with three fouls but all the Hawkeyes’ other primary frontcourt players — Cook, Ryan Kriener and Nicholas Baer — each had four fouls and still played many more minutes than Garza in the second half.
— Wisconsin correctly lists Happ as being from Milan, Illinois, but the Kohl Center public address announcer a couple of times proclaimed him as being from “South Milan, Illinois.’’ No such place.