“I was joking in the locker room afterwards that I felt like I was Luka. I thought I was gonna get 40.” said Ryan Kriener.
All joking aside, Kriener showed up in a big way in Iowa’s win over Michigan.
“Kriener was spectacular, so it starts with that,” Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery said. “In the first half he was the difference in that big run.”
The senior finished with 14 points and the best plus/minus rating on the team. An efficient effort from a guy who’s not at the top of opposing scouting reports.
“I definitely like the role of the underdog a little bit more. It’s something I’ve definitely gotten used to over my time here.” said Kriener.
Luka Garza says that mentality has helped Kriener blossom offensively.
“He’s one of the toughest guys to guard, not only on our team, but in the country, for me, but you can only see that because I go against him every single day,” said Garza. “I have the ultimate confidence in him. We all do.”
Kriener is also one of the anchors on the defensive end.
“I’m a big believer in your scouting, your preparation, the mental aspect to it.” said Kriener. “Whenever we get a scouting report, I try to learn every single call that the other team has. I try to learn every single tendency they have.”
Fran McCaffery says that studiousness is making Kriener more than an afterthought to Big Ten opponents.
“I guarantee that staff watched every game we played, probably twice… If you’re watching tape, you appreciate Ryan Kriener,” said McCaffery.