I don’t own a Tesla. I probably never will. Even if I had the money, I’d probably invest in a nice SUV like a Chevy Tahoe or a Ford Escape. Or maybe I’ll just drive my Honda Civic until it inevitably breaks down.
Not because I don’t like Elon Musk (before he became the owner of Twitter, that is) or due to any vendetta against electric vehicles. While the ride itself is expensive, Tesla is the only manufacturer that makes the parts — and they’re not cheap.
There’s one way to fix a Tesla — there’s more than one way to win a basketball game. Teams can play suffocating defense, dominate the glass or take good care of the ball. Most good teams can do more than one of these things well — and can still win on nights they don’t.
The Purdue Boilermakers are built like a Range Rover and drive like a Ferrari. The Kansas Jayhawks remind me of an Aston Martin. And before I get carried away with this, the Iowa Hawkeyes are a low-end Tesla… with a lot of issues.
The worn-out battery’s died on the highway numerous times. There’s a power steering line that’s long overdue to be replaced. But — when it runs smooth, there’s few other cars you’d rather drive.
What I mean by that is, this team can go toe-to-toe with anybody in the tournament — as long as nobody forgets to charge the car before taking it out of the garage. Or in other words — not go ice cold from three.
In conference play in 2022-2023, Iowa averages 44% shooting from deep in wins. That would be four percentage points better than the best shooting team in the country. In losses? 24%… which would be the worst.
We all have that friend that lives life on the razor’s edge, and the Auburn Tigers are the one that implores you to ride a motorcycle with no helmet. They allow just 28% from long distance, the fifth lowest mark among all NCAA teams. Not to mention they have the 28th best overall defense.
But again, this is not a Jeep Wrangler you can drive through blazing hot sand. This puppy’s got to stay on the road, and that means to continue shooting — and making 3-pointers.
In conference play, when Iowa makes 10 or more 3-pointers, they’re 7-2. Less than 10? 3-8.
Now while this car only drives one way, it sure helps to have a good DJ in the passenger seat, proper inflation of the tires and a charging station nearby. While Tesla’s have no engines — Kris Murray is the spark that ignites Iowa’s offense.
Overall, the team is 11-3 when Kris Murray scores 19 or more. When he’s scoring efficiently, this team is tough to beat. It wouldn’t hurt to see some additional scoring from a player like Payton Sandfort, who had 26 and 22 off the bench against Michigan and Michigan State. Or Tony Perkins, who dropped 32 and 22 against Illinois and Maryland.
It’s been an ugly finish to the season for Iowa, and they reap what they sow. If they don’t score, they don’t win. The Hawkeyes have the 292nd scoring defense in the country. Every signature win this year has been on the back of an offense that was putting the ball in the basket at a high rate.
It’s not a safe bet — and one I wouldn’t make — but if this Tesla can stay on the road with a decent charge, anything can happen. But you can’t drive it like it’s an SUV — you drive it the way it was meant to be driven.
Who knows, maybe this black-and-gold machine can power its way to Fran’s first Sweet 16.
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