#129 Northern Iowa Men's Basketball 2018-2019 Preview

Northern Iowa Panthers
2018-2019 Overall Rank: #129
Conference Rank: #6 Missouri Valley
 Northern Iowa Logo
The Missouri Valley Conference had one good team last season and basically the other nine were a mess of teams hovering around the .500 mark. The Panthers finish the season with a 16-16 overall record and were towards the bottom of that mess in conference play with a 7-11 record. The tie for seventh in MVC play was the worst finish ever under Coach Ben Jacobson since he took over the program prior to the 2006-2007 campaign. Moving up to the middle or even towards the top of the pecking order will not take much improvement and this group should be able to at least win a few more games.
2017-18 Record: 16-16, 7-11
2017-18 Postseason: None
Coach: Ben Jacobson
Coach Record: 250-150 at Northern Iowa, 250-150 overall
Key Departed Players:
Bennett Koch, Forward, 12.7 ppg
Klint Carlson, Forward, 9.8 ppg
Juwan McCloud, Guard, 6.6 ppg
Hunter Rhodes, Guard, 4.1 ppg
Ted Friedman, Center, 1.1 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Tywhon Pickford, Sophomore, Guard, 9.1 ppg
Isaiah Brown, Junior, Guard, 6.2 ppg
Wyatt Lohaus, Senior, Guard, 9.3 ppg
Spencer Haldeman, Junior, Guard, 6.1 ppg
Austin Phyfe, Sophomore, Forward, 3.2 ppg
Key New Players:
Biggie Goldman, Junior, Forward, JC Transfer
Trey Croft, Junior, Guard, JC Transfer
AJ Green, Freshman, Guard
Trae Berhow, Sophomore, Guard, Transfer from Pepperdine, not eligible
Northern Iowa boasts plenty of talent on the perimeter. Tywhon Pickford had a very promising freshman campaign, averaging 9.1 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. If the 6-4 sophomore can be more consistent with his outside shooting, he will score in bunches. Wyatt Lohaus, at 9.3 points per game, is the team’s top returning scorer. Lohaus is also the senior leader of this team. Juniors Isaiah Brown and Spencer Haldeman are capable shooters as well. AJ Green should make an impact as a freshman and Coach Jacobson also adds junior college transfer Trey Croft. Croft was a big time scorer at Iowa Central Community College and should at least be able to knock down some three-pointers this year. The bigger concern is in the frontcourt where Bennett Koch and Klint Carlson need to be replaced. The only returning forward on the roster with any significant experience is Austin Phyfe. The 6-9 sophomore played fewer than ten minutes per game last season. Another junior college transfer, Biggie Goldman, will be asked to make an impact in the frontcourt. He may not be a huge scoring threat, but he can stretch the defense with his outside shooting ability. Northern Iowa should be fine in the rebounding department with guards like Pickford attacking the glass, but it is on the defensive end of the floor where the lack of frontcourt experience could emerge as a big problem.
Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI/CIT
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 64.3 (339th in nation, 10th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 62.2 (4, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 42.0 (306, 10)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.6 (49, 4)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.2 (226, 5)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 33.5 (257, 9)
Free-Throw Percentage: 72.1 (143, 4)
Rebound Margin: 1.8 (114, 3)
Assists Per Game: 10.8 (337, 10)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.4 (41, 1)

Madness 2018 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#74 AJ Green