#103 Northern Iowa Men's Basketball 2021-2022 Preview

Northern Iowa Panthers
2021-2022 Overall Rank: #103
Conference Rank: #4 Missouri Valley
 Northern Iowa Logo
Back in 2019-2020, Northern Iowa went 25-6 and won their first Missouri Valley Conference regular season title since 2009-2010. Last season did not go nearly as well. The Panthers finished the year with just ten wins and for the first time under long time Coach Ben Jacobson, the team had a losing record both overall and in conference play. But with nearly everybody back and a healthy AJ Green, UNI will attempt to quickly turn things around and have 2021-2022 look a lot more like 2019-2020 than 2020-2021.
2020-21 Record: 10-15, 7-11
2020-21 Postseason: None
Coach: Ben Jacobson
Coach Record: 301-189 at UNI, 301-189 overall
Key Departed Players:
Evan Gauger, Guard, 1.8 ppg
Key Returning Players:
AJ Green, Junior, Guard, 22.3 ppg
Treae Berhow, Senior, Guard, 13.0 ppg
Austin Phyfe, Junior, Forward, 12.4 ppg
Bowen Born, Freshman, Guard, 11.2 ppg
Noah Carter, Sophomore, Forward, 11.2 ppg
Nate Heise, Sophomore, Guard, 7.6 ppg
Antwan Kimmons, Sophomore, Guard, 6.0 ppg
Tywhon Pickford, Senior, Guard, 4.9 ppg
James Betz, Sophomore, Forward, 3.8 ppg
Tytan Anderson, Freshman, Guard, 2.5 ppg
Cole Henry, RS Freshman, Forward, 2.2 ppg
Goanar Mar, Senior, Guard, 1.6 ppg
Drew Daniel, Freshman, Guard, 0.3 ppg
Derek Krogmann, RS Freshman, Forward, 0.3 ppg
Key New Players:
Landon Wolf, Freshman, Guard
Michael Duax, Freshman, Guard
Chase Courbat, Freshman, Guard
Two years ago Green was the MVC Player of the Year and averaged 19.7 points per game. Last year he was well on his way to repeating that success before a hip injury ended his year after just three games. Obviously, without Green, Northern Iowa struggled, but the experience gained by the rest of the team should pay dividends this year. Four other double-digit scorers are back, led by Trae Berhow and his 13.0 points and 3.0 assists per game. Bowen Born had a superb freshman year, leading the team in made three-pointers and made free-throws. He may have to wait another year for his breakout campaign with Green coming back, but Born will be a star in the MVC sooner or later. Austin Phyfe and Noah Carter will again lead the frontcourt. Phyfe led the Panthers with 7.3 rebounds and Carter is a 6-6 forward that can hit the glass and knock down some shots from long range. Those five are proven players who will turn things around immediately for UNI. They have plenty of experienced depth too with players like Nate Heise, Antwan Kimmons, Tywhon Pickford and James Betz. As long as this group stays healthy, Northern Iowa will have their sites set on a conference title.
Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI/CIT
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 69.5 (220th in nation, 6th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 71.2 (200, 9)
Field-Goal Percentage: 44.3 (161, 7)
Field-Goal Defense: 45.3 (258, 8)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.4 (155, 5)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 32.5 (230, 8)
Free-Throw Percentage: 68.3 (252, 8)
Rebound Margin: 2.3 (108, 5)
Assists Per Game: 13.2 (172, 7)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.1 (172, 9)