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Friday night action in the Carver-Hawkeye Arena features the Ohio Valley's SIU-Edwardsville Cougars and the Big Ten's Iowa Hawkeyes. SIU-Edwardsville beat Quincy in their opener and will face a tall task here. They finished 10-21 last season and would love to make the tournament this time around. Iowa finished 23-12 and took a second-round exit from the dance at the hands of Tennessee. Tip is set for 9:05 PM ET and the game will be view-able on the Big Ten Network.
Cougars Look To ImproveSIU-Edwardsville brings in a new man at the helm of the operation in the form of Brian Barone. His last name may sound familiar as his father, Tony Barone Sr. was a long-time NBA coach and executive. His family connections helped him in recruiting this off-season bringing in the Wright twins. Lamar and Shamar are the sons of late NBA star Lorenzen Wright, who played for coach Barone's father during his tenure in Memphis. Much like their dad, the twins are tall and athletic and play the forward position.
The twins will join a team that brings back a lot of experience returning four starters from a year ago with three of those scoring double-digit points last season. Brandon Jackson will look to be the team leader after scoring 13.8 points a game last season to go with 6.4 rebounds. The backcourt duo of guards Tyresse Williford and Cameron Williams provide the speed and athleticism coach Barone needs to compete this season. The pairing combined to average 23.2 points per game a year removed. The biggest thing to watch this season will be to see how the defense improves after allowing 73.1 points per game in a poor showing last season.
Hawkeyes Hungry For MoreWe got out first glimpse at the '19-'20 Hawkeyes team Monday night when they played an exhibition game against Lindsey Wilson College and Iowa looked sharp after losing four players from a year ago. Joe Wieskamp scored 19, Luka Garza had 16 and CJ Fredrick tacked on 18 in an impressive Iowa debut. Coach's son Connor McCaffrey looked very sharp as a ball facilitator with 11 assists to just three turnovers. Jordan Bohannon is working his way back from surgery and played a couple of minutes in the exhibition game. He looks to return to his normal self over the next month or so.
Listen to portions of Wednesday's media availability as the Hawkeyes get set to open the regular season Friday! pic.twitter.com/i4pPfiB2q3— Iowa Basketball (@IowaHoops) November 6, 2019
It's a family affair this season for Iowa coach Fran McCaffrey as he brings in another son of his named Patrick to contribute to the forward position. He was a four-star recruit and looks to replace Tyler Cook who scored 14.5 points per game last season for the Hawkeyes. If Patrick looks as sharp as he did his senior year of high school, then he very well could find himself with conference and possibly national honors. Iowa led the Big Ten in scoring last season and looks primed for another run this year.
Trends for this game provided by covers.com
- Cougars are 7-20 ATS their last 27 non-conference games
- Hawkeyes are 5-2 ATS their last 7 non-conference games
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I like Iowa here in this game. The last time these two schools met it wasn't very pretty, with Iowa winning 111-50. I don't expect this game to be quite as ugly given that the Cougars retained some experience, but I do see Iowa winning easily. Iowa led the Big Ten in scoring last year and they are much more athletic and much better on the defensive side than the Cougars. If SIUE doesn't improve defensively, then it will be a long year for them. I expect Iowa to come ready to play and I like them to take care of business Friday night.
Prediction: Iowa Hawkeyes
Full-Game Total Pick
No total has been released for this game yet, but I fully plan on backing the over once it's released. SIU-Edwardsville was horrific on the defensively side a year ago, and I don't see much improvement coming either with the coaching change. I'm not sold on them just because they beat Quincy on opening night in what was basically an exhibition game as this Iowa team is on a whole different level. The Cougars, despite their struggles on one side of the ball, can score fairly efficiently and with the addition of the Wright twins I feel as their offensive production will increase. I could see Iowa easily cracking open 100 in this game and for those reasons I like the over.