Jalen Hood-Schifino thrives & more Indiana basketball predictions vs. Iowa

Indiana Head Coach Mile Woodson talks with Jalen Hood-Schifino (1)
Indiana Head Coach Mile Woodson talks with Jalen Hood-Schifino (1) /
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No. 15 Indiana basketball faces its first test of 2023 against Iowa on the road on Thursday night. Who steps up for the Hoosiers in Big Ten play?

The Hoosiers have lost two straight games against Iowa and have not lost three straight games against the Hawkeyes since losing four straight from 2009-10 to 2010-2011. Indiana basketball is 3-1 in their last four games against Iowa when they are unranked and the Hoosiers are 6-1 against Iowa when IU is ranked in the top 25 since 2007-08.

In the Hoosiers’ last game against the Hawkeyes, Trayce Jackson-Davis led the way in the Big Ten semifinal, posting 31 points on 15-for-21 shooting and 10 rebounds in 38 minutes of action. It wasn’t enough to carry Indiana to the Big Ten title game in 2021-22, falling short on a banked three-pointer at the buzzer by Jordan Bohannon.

Here are my three bold predictions for No. 15 Indiana basketball as they face their first test of the new year against Iowa in Iowa City:

Three bold predictions for No. 15 Indiana basketball vs. Iowa:

Indiana basketball
Indiana’s Tamar Bates (53) and CJ Gunn (11) /

#3. Tamar Bates enters the starting lineup and comes up big with his jump shot in a high-scoring affair

Coach Mike Woodson announced on Monday, January 2 that Tamar Bates will be replacing Trey Galloway in the starting lineup for Thursday’s game against Iowa, and it’s about time we see “Scoop” play more minutes alongside Miller Kopp and Jalen Hood-Schifino.

In his last six games where he’s played 20 or more minutes, Bates is averaging 14.3 points on 58.9 percent shooting from the field and 51.6 percent shooting from beyond the arc, despite two of those six games resulting in losses for the Hoosiers.

With a playmaker and pass-first guard like Hood-Schifino playing with Bates and Kopp on the wing, it will open many more opportunities for open shots for those two sharpshooters, but also open things up for Trayce Jackson-Davis and Race Thompson in the post.

Expecting Bates to play nearly 30 minutes against Iowa, I think he will knock down at least three three-pointers and hit big shots late to give the Hoosiers a much-needed road victory.