March 15, 2004
THE SETTING Iowa (16-12, 9-7) meets Saint Louis (18-12, 9-7) Tuesday, March 16 in the first round of the 2004 National Invitation Tournament. Game time is 6:05 p.m. at Family Arena (10,500) in St. Charles, MO. Iowa posted a 9-7 record in Big Ten play to earn sole possession of fourth place, while Saint Louis posted a 9-7 record in Conference USA. The winner of the Iowa vs. Saint Louis game will play the winner of the Purdue at Notre Dame contest.
IOWA EARNS FOURTH PLACE FINISH Iowa ended the Big Ten season with a 9-7 record (16-12 overall), earning sole possession of fourth place. The Hawkeyes accomplished their best finish under Coach Steve Alford, despite losing four players during the course of the season. The Hawkeyes played the majority of the Big Ten season with seven scholarship players and nine players overall, missing four players who had combined to average 30 points and 17 rebounds from earlier in the season. The Hawkeyes have won four of their last seven games and five of nine. Iowa did not lose consecutive games in Big Ten play and won four of eight road games. Two of the three most recent losses, to Wisconsin and at Northwestern, were by margins of one and two points, respectively.
ON THE AIR Radio: Iowa games are broadcast on the Hawkeye Radio Network. Gary Dolphin handles the play-by-play with color commentator Bob Hansen. Television: ESPN2 will carry the game to a national cable audience.
IOWA HISTORY Iowa has played 2,309 games since beginning basketball in 1902. Overall Iowa’s record is 1,375-934 (.595). That includes an 858-303 (.739) record in home games, a 517-631 (.450) record in games away from Iowa City, a 657-644 (.505) mark in Big Ten games and a 264-77 (.774) record in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
IOWA IN CARVER-HAWKEYE ARENA Iowa has compiled a 264-77 (.774) record in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa is 127-64 (.665) in Big Ten games and 137-13 (.913) in non-Big Ten games. Iowa has drawn over five million fans for men’s basketball games since the arena opened in 1983, surpassing the five million mark when 14,268 fans saw Iowa defeat Ohio State Jan. 24, 2004. Iowa has posted a 56-22 (.718) home record under Coach Steve Alford, including a 33-4 (.892) mark in non-conference home games.
IOWA VS. RANKED FOES Having played six games against ranked opponents this season, Steve Alford has posted a 15-23 record against ranked opponents as Iowa’s head coach, including a 2-4 mark in 2003-04. Iowa, this season, defeated 16th-ranked Louisville 70-69 in overtime and 24th-ranked Purdue 71-61 in Iowa City. Iowa lost at 22nd-ranked Missouri, 76-56, at 25th-ranked Illinois, 88-82, lost 54-52 to 14th-ranked Wisconsin in Iowa City and lost 78-59 to 23rd-ranked Illinois in Iowa City. Alford’s Hawkeye teams are 5-8 when playing teams ranked in the top 10, including wins over top-ranked Connecticut (70-68 in 1999-00), 2nd-ranked Missouri (83-65 in 2001-02), 5th-ranked Ohio State (67-64 in 1999-00), 7th-ranked Illinois (78-62 in 2000-01) and 8th-ranked Illinois (68-61 in 2002-03). The eight losses to top 10 teams have been once to top-ranked (Duke, 2001-02), once to 3rd-ranked (Illinois, 2000-01), twice to 4th-ranked (Michigan State, 1999-00 and 2000-01), twice to 5th-ranked (Tennessee, 2000-01 and Missouri, 2001-02), once to 9th-ranked (Kentucky, 2000-01) and once to 10th-ranked (Illinois, 2002). In the 38 games against ranked teams, Alford and his Iowa team are 6-7 in home games, 6-7 at neutral sites and 3-9 when playing ranked teams in their home arena.
IOWA VS. RANKED TEAMS These are Iowa’s most recent wins vs. nationally ranked opponents:
At Home: 71-61 over 24th-ranked Purdue, 1/7/04 On the Road: 67-63 over 20th-ranked Tulsa, 12/28/02 Neutral Court: 70-69 (OT) over 16th-ranked Louisville at Wooden Tradition in Indianapolis, 11/29/03
IOWA COACH Steve Alford Steve Alford (pronounced ALL-ford) is in his fifth season as the head coach at the University of Iowa and his 13th season as a college head coach. Alford holds a career record of 245-147 (.625), including an 89-70 (.560) record at Iowa, a 78-29 (.729) record in four seasons (1992-95) at Div. III Manchester College and a four-year record (1996-99) of 78-48 (.619) at Southwest Missouri State. He is 34-46 (.425) in Big Ten games at Iowa. Career win No. 200 for Alford came in 2002 in a 78-53 win at Iowa State. Alford is 8-5 in the NCAA Tournament (3-2 in Div. I and 5-3 in Div. III) and 2-3 in the NIT. Alford led Iowa to the 2001 Big Ten Conference Tournament title and into the second round of the NCAA Tournament in his second season with the Hawkeyes. Iowa earned a return trip to the title game of the Big Ten Conference Tournament in 2002 and advanced to the NIT in post-season play in both 2002 and 2003. The Hawkeyes set a Big Ten Conference Tournament record with seven straight wins over two seasons (2001-2002) before a last-second loss in the first round of the 2003 tournament. Alford’s record in the event is 8-4 in his five seasons. Alford led Southwest Missouri State to the NCAA Sweet 16 in 1999 and in 1995 Manchester advanced to the NCAA championship game before suffering its first defeat of the season. Alford is a 1987 graduate of Indiana, where he led the Hoosiers to the 1987 NCAA title. Alford was a member of the 1984 U. S. Olympic team that earned the Gold Medal and he was the 26th player selected in the NBA Draft following his senior season. Alford played four seasons in the NBA before beginning his coaching career. At Indiana, Alford started 120 of 125 games in four seasons. He served as team captain in 1987 when the Hoosiers were 30-4. Steve concluded his college career as Indiana’s all-time scoring leader with 2,438 points and he holds the Indiana record for career steals with 178. He was a consensus first team All-American and the Big Ten MVP as a senior. Alford is a member of the Manchester College M Association Hall of Fame and the Indiana University Athletics Hall of Fame. In 2001 he was named one of the “Top 50 Athletes” in the history of the state of Indiana and was selected as a member of the 15-man Indiana University all-Century team. Alford is 3-1 vs. Saint Louis and 0-2 vs. Billiken Coach Brad Soderberg.
SLU COACH BRAD SODERBERG Brad Soderberg is in his second season as the Saint Louis head coach after serving as a Billiken assistant for one season. Soderberg was the head coach at Wisconsin for one season before joining the staff at Saint Louis. Soderberg led his first Billiken team to a 16-14 record as SLU earned its way into the NIT. Soderberg is 34-26 in two seasons at Saint Louis and his 10-year record as a college head coach stands at 165-99. He was the head coach at Loras College in Dubuque for five seasons (1989-93), posting a 79-45 record there. He was 36-18 in two years (1994-95) as the head coach at South Dakota State. Soderberg was an assistant coach at Wisconsin from 1996-00 before leading the Badgers to a 16-10 record as the Wisconsin head coach in 2000-01. Soderberg was also an assistant coach at Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Colorado State, Fort Hays State and Loras before moving into the head coaching ranks. Soderberg posted a 2-0 record vs. Iowa and Coach Steve Alford at Wisconsin during the 2000-01 season.
THE COACHES ARE NO STRANGERS Iowa Coach Steve Alford and SLU Coach Brad Soderberg are no strangers. Along with meeting as head coaches twice during the 2000-01 season, they met in previous coach positions. Alford’s Southwest Missouri State team defeated Wisconsin in the 1999 NCAA Tournament when Soderberg was a Badger assistant. Iowa and Wisconsin split two games in 1999-00 when Alford was in his first year as the Hawkeye head coach at Soderberg was a Badger assistant and Soderberg led Wisconsin to two wins over Iowa during the 2000-01 season. Overall, Wisconsin won five of nine games against Iowa when Soderberg was a Badger assistant coach.
ALFORD NAMED TO ESPN TEAM Iowa Coach Steve Alford was named to ESPN’s Big Ten Conference Silver Anniversary team, honoring Big Ten players from the past 25 years. Alford led Indiana to the 1987 NCAA championship and was a member of the 1984 USA Olympic team that won the gold medal. Other members of ESPN’s team are Kevin McHale, Minnesota, Glenn Robinson, Purdue, Mateen Cleaves, Michigan State and Jim Jackson, Ohio State.
THE SERIES Iowa holds a 9-6 advantage in the series that began with a 35-19 Iowa win in 1926. Iowa also won the most recent meeting, taking a 68-56 win during the 2000-01 season in the consolation game of the Rainbow Classic in Hawaii. Iowa holds a 5-3 advantage in games played in Iowa City and the Billikens are 3-1 vs. Iowa in games played in St. Louis. Iowa has not played at Saint Louis since a 65-58 loss in December, 1962. The last three meetings have taken place on neutral sites. Along with Iowa winning in Honolulu in the most recent meeting, Iowa defeated Saint Louis 83-80 in the semi-finals of the Chaminade Classic in December, 1988 and the Hawkeyes defeated Saint Louis 80-77 in overtime in the championship game of the Los Angeles Classic in December, 1967. Iowa has not played at Saint Louis since a 65-58 loss there in December, 1962.
THE LAST MEETING Iowa defeated Saint Louis 68-56 in the third place game of the Rainbow Classic in December, 2000. Iowa built a 35-21 halftime advantage in earning the win, forcing 19 Billiken turnovers and holding Saint Louis to 37.3% shooting. Iowa held a 26-13 advantage in made free throws, as the Hawkeyes had 43 attempts compared to 23 attempts for Saint Louis. Guard Dean Oliver led Iowa with 19 points, while Maurice Jeffers led Saint Louis with 18 points and 11 rebounds.
THEY’RE STILL PLAYING Three current Iowa players and two Saint Louis players saw action when the teams last met early in the 2000-01 season. Jared Reiner was in the starting line-up for Iowa, scoring two points and grabbing three rebounds. Reserve Brody Boyd added eight points and reserve Glen Worley had four points and three rebounds. For Saint Louis, Josh Fisher had two points and a rebound and Chris Sloan added two points, three rebounds and two assists.
IOWA VS. SAINT LOUIS NOTES Iowa is 33-23 all-time against current Conference USA members, including a 70-69 overtime win over Louisville earlier this season at the Wooden Tradition in Indianapolis, IN. Iowa has played 12 of the 14 current members, having not played East Carolina or Tulane. Conference USA placed six teams in the NCAA Tournament, compared to three for the Big Ten Conference. While Iowa was 0-4 against the Big Ten teams in the NCAA Tournament, Saint Louis was 4-7 vs. the Conference USA teams in the NCAA field. Saint Louis plays its home games at the Savvis Center in St. Louis, but that arena is not available. The Billikens have never played a home game at Family Arena in St. Charles. Louisville is the only common opponent Iowa and Saint Louis played this season. Iowa defeated the Cardinals 70-69 in overtime in the Wooden Tradition, while Louisville scored a 75-48 win at Saint Louis on March 3. Both Iowa and Saint Louis were also in the NIT last season. Iowa defeated Valparaiso and Iowa State before a last second loss to Georgia Tech. Saint Louis lost a 62-52 decision at home to Minnesota in the first round as Minnesota went on to finish fourth in the NIT last season. Iowa played one game in the state of Missouri this season, dropping a 76-56 decision at Missouri. Other than playing at Missouri, Iowa’s last game in the state of Missouri was in Kansas City. Participating in the Guardians Classic to open the 2001-02 season, Iowa won two home games to advance to the finals at Kemper Arena. In Kansas City, Iowa defeated Memphis 75-71 and lost to Missouri 78-77 in the championship game. Iowa avenged that loss later in that season, taking an 83-65 win over the second-ranked Tigers in Columbia. Saint Louis assistant Angres Thorpe was an assistant coach at Loras College in Dubuque from 1993-96. Tony Breitbach, director of Sports Medicine at Saint Louis, is a native of Dubuque, IA and a graduate of the University of Iowa, where he was a student athletic trainer. Saint Louis freshman Bryce Husak is a native of Mt. Vernon, IA. The 7-0 center is red-shirting this season. The winner of the Iowa at Saint Louis game will play either Purdue or Notre Dame. Iowa has defeated Purdue twice this season, 71-61 in Iowa City and 63-62 in West Lafayette. Iowa and Notre Dame have not met since the Fighting Irish scored a 77-68 win at South Bend in the second round of the 1990-91 pre-season NIT.
IOWA VS. THE NCAA FIELD Iowa played eight games against seven teams that earned bids to the NCAA Tournament, posting a 2-6 record. Iowa defeated Louisville in the Wooden Tradition in Indianapolis and Eastern Washington in the Gazette Hawkeye Challenge. The Hawkeyes lost two games to Illinois and single games to Northern Iowa, Texas Tech, Michigan State and Wisconsin. Another team in the NCAA field, Illinois-Chicago, did not play Iowa, but lost two games while taking part in Iowa’s Gazette-Hawkeye Challenge.
IOWA VS. THE NIT FIELD Iowa has posted a 3-4 record against four teams that are participating in the NIT. That includes two wins over Purdue, a 1-2 record vs. Michigan and a loss at Iowa State and at Missouri
ABOUT THE NIT The National Invitation Tournament, which began in 1938, one year before the NCAA, is the oldest post-season college basketball tournament. The NIT expanded from 32 to 40 teams last season for the first time. The semi-finals will be played March 30 and the finals April 1, at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
IOWA IN THE NIT Iowa is making its fifth appearance in the post-season National Invitation Tournament (NIT). Iowa defeated Valparaiso 62-60 and Iowa State 54-53 before losing 79-78 to Georgia Tech in the 2003 NIT, leaving its record in the tournament at 5-5, including a 4-4 record in the post-season event. Iowa defeated DePaul (96-87) and Ohio University (66-62) before losing to Penn State (67-64) in the 1995 NIT. Iowa met DePaul at the Mark of the Quad Cities and hosted games vs. Ohio and Penn State. In 10 games in the NIT, Iowa’s contest vs. DePaul marks the only game the Hawkeyes have played outside the state of Iowa. Iowa lost to Georgia (100-93) in the first round of the 1998 event and lost to Louisiana State (63-61) in the first round in 2002. Both of those games took place in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The 100 points by Georgia in that 1998 contest marks the last time an Iowa team has allowed an opponent to reach the century mark. Iowa also took part in the pre-season NIT in 1991, defeating Temple 73-71 in Iowa City before losing 77-68 at Notre Dame.
ALFORD AS A PLAYER Iowa Coach Steve Alford participated in the 1985 NIT as a sophomore at Indiana. The Hoosiers advanced to the championship game before losing to UCLA. Scoring 102 points in five games, Alford was the leading scorer in the NIT that season.
ALFORD AS A COACH Iowa Coach Steve Alford holds a 2-3 record while coaching in the NIT. His Southwest Missouri State team lost 77-66 at North Carolina State in the first round of the 1997 event. Iowa lost 63-61 to Louisiana State in a first round game in Iowa City in 2002. Iowa last season defeated Valparaiso 62-60 at home and Iowa State 54-53 on the road in the NIT before a 79-78 home loss to Georgia Tech.
LEADING THE LEAGUE Iowa had three different players lead the Big Ten in a statistical category during the 16-game league season. Sophomore Jeff Horner led the Big Ten in free throw percentage (91.8%), senior Brody Boyd led the league in steals (2.7 per game) and sophomore Erek Hansen led the league in blocked shots (2.5 per game). Horner, in Big Ten games only, also ranked second in three-point percentage (51.2%), 3rd in three-point field goals per game (2.7), 4th in assists (4.0), 9th in scoring (14.3), 12th in field goal percentage (50.8%) and assist/turnover ratio (1.4) and 16th in rebounding (5.5).