March 29, 2004
IOWA EARNS FOURTH PLACE FINISH IN BIG TEN
Iowa ended the Big Ten season with a 9-7 record, earning sole possession of fourth place. Iowa posted a 16-13 overall record, earning its fourth straight winning season and fourth straight post-season appearance. The Hawkeyes accomplished their best Big Ten 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 began the season with six straight wins, including an overtime decision over Louisville. The non-conference season also included losses to Northern Iowa, Texas Tech, Missouri and Iowa State, four teams that advanced to post-season play, and a win over Eastern Washington, an NCAA Tournament participant.
Despite the loss of two players who were ruled academically ineligible after the first semester, Iowa began the Big Ten season with two wins in its first three games. After the win at Minnesota on Jan. 13, a stress fracture was discovered in the right foot of Jared Reiner, and the senior center missed the rest of the season. Senior Sean Sonderleiter left the team at the end of January, leaving Iowa with nine players.
Those nine Hawkeyes played well over the final 12 games of the season. Iowa did not lose consecutive games in Big Ten play and won four of eight road games, clinching sole possession of fourth place with a win at Purdue in the final regular season game. While Iowa posted a 3-3 record in games decided by one or two points, those three narrow losses all took place at the end of the season. Iowa lost to Wisconsin when a last second three-point shot by Jeff Horner was just off target. Northwestern defeated Iowa by two points on a basket with less than one second remaining after leading scorer Pierre Pierce was injured and forced to watch the second half. Saint Louis ended Iowa’s season in the first round of the NIT, hitting a three-point basket as time expired in a 70-69 decision.
Iowa was led by young players in nearly all statistical categories. The top two scorers, Pierce Pierce and Jeff Horner, along with leading rebounder Greg Brunner, were all sophomores. Brunner led the team in field goal percentage and Horner was the leader in three-point and free throw percentage. Horner (123) and Pierce (107) were first and second in assists, respectively, and Erek Hansen, another sophomore, led the team with 40 blocked shots.
Iowa has played 2,310 games since beginning basketball in 1902. Overall Iowa’s record is 1,375-935 (.595). That includes an 858-303 (.739) record in home games, a 517-632 (.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 34-4 (.895) mark in non-conference home games.
HORNER, PIERCE EARN BIG TEN HONORS
Sophomore guards Jeff Horner and Pierre Pierce earned all-Big Ten recognition for their play during the 2004 season. Both earned third team honors on the coaches team and the media team.
Pierce led Iowa in scoring at 16.1 points per game. He scored in double figures in 26 of 29 games while also averaging 5.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game. Pierce, for all games, ranked sixth in the Big Ten in scoring, 10th in assists per game and 15th in rebounding. He also averaged 15.7 points and 5.4 rebounds in 16 conference games, helping Iowa to a fourth place finish. Pierce scored 20 or more points in eight games, including a career-high 28 vs. Michigan in the Big Ten Tournament.
Horner earned third team recognition after being an honorable mention selection as a freshman. Horner averaged 13 points, 4.2 assists and 5.3 rebounds per game. He scored 20 points or more in eight of Iowa’s final 16 games. Horner improved his play during the Big Ten portion of the season, guiding Iowa to a 9-7 league record. In Big Ten games, Horner shot 50.8% from the field, 51.2% from three-point range and 91.8% from the free throw line, making 56-61 free throws.
Horner in Big Ten games only, ranked first in free throw percentage, second in three-point percentage, third in three-point field goals per game, fourth in assists, ninth in scoring, 12th in field goal percentage and 16th in rebounding. Proving their consistency, Horner and Pierce have each scored over 200 points and collected over 100 rebounds and 100 assists in each of their two seasons. They are two of just eight players in Iowa history to reach those totals in a single season and they are the only two Hawkeye players to reach those totals in more than one season. Pierce (716) and Horner (632) both have over 600 career points.
IOWA VS. RANKED FOES
Playing six games against ranked opponents in 2003-04, 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, in 2003-04, 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 COACH Steve Alford
Steve Alford (pronounced ALL-ford) has completed 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 245-148 (.623), including an 89-71 (.556) 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 2-4 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 2002, 2003 and 2004. 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 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.
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 posted a 3-5 record against five teams that participated in the NIT. That includes two wins over Purdue, a 1-2 record vs. Michigan and a loss at Iowa State, at Missouri and at Saint Louis.
NIT LAST SECOND LOSSES
In five appearances in the post-season National Invitation Tournament, Iowa has been eliminated on a last second shot on three occasions. In 1994-95 Penn State earned a 67-64 win in the third round when PSU’s Pete Lisicky nailed a three-point basket with 2.1 seconds to play. In 2003, Georgia Tech’s B.J. Elder scored on a jumper from the lane with two seconds remaining for a 69-68 win and in 2004 Saint Louis hit a three-point basket as time expired for a 70-69 win. In 2002, LSU rallied for a 63-61 win as Iowa missed a three-point attempt with five seconds left.
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).
WORLEY SURPASSES 1,000 CAREER POINTS
Senior Glen Worley scored 1,060 points to become the 35th player at Iowa to reach 1,000 career points. The native of Coralville, who attended Iowa City West HS, played in all 101 games during the first three years of his Iowa career before missing the first four games of this season due to injury. He averaged 8.4 points over the 126 games he played for the Hawkeyes to rank 30th in career scoring. He had a season-high 20 points in Iowa’s double-overtime win at Indiana and a season-high 10 rebounds in the win at Ohio State.
Worley also totaled 552 career rebounds, becoming the 20th Hawkeye player to surpass both 1,000 points and 500 rebounds. Worley is also the third Iowa player to reach 1,000 career points while playing for Coach Steve Alford. Previously, the most recent addition to Iowa’s 1,000-Point Club was Reggie Evans, who scored 1,054 points and had 794 rebounds during his two-year career (2001-02). Dean Oliver (1998-01) ranks seventh on Iowa’s career scoring list with 1,561 points. Oliver played his final two seasons under Alford and reached the 1,000-point plateau as a junior.
REINER SUFFERS STRESS FRACTURE
Senior center Jared Reiner underwent surgery Jan. 16 to repair a stress fracture in his right foot and missed the final 16 games of the season. Reiner’s injury initially occurred in mid-December, but x-rays did not show a stress fracture. The injury was discovered when Reiner had additional x-rays taken following practice Jan. 15. The 6-11, 255-pound Reiner is a native of Tripp, South Dakota. He played in Iowa’s first 13 games, averaging 10.5 points and 7.2 rebounds per game, while also collecting 11 blocked shots.
Reiner played a key role in Iowa’s win at Minnesota, collecting 11 points and a team-high eight rebounds while playing just 17 minutes due to foul problems. Reiner also played a major role in Iowa’s 71-61 home win over Purdue, with 14 points, eight rebounds and four assists.
His career numbers include 79 starts and 109 games played, with a 5.7 scoring average and an average of 4.7 rebounds per game. He led the Big Ten Conference in rebounding, for all games and conference games only, in 2003. Reiner earned honorable mention all-conference honors in 2003 and academic all-Big Ten honors in both 2002 and 2003.
ON THE ROAD IN THE BIG TEN
Iowa Coach Steve Alford led Iowa to four Big Ten road wins in 2004 and seven in the last two seasons. In Big Ten play, only Illinois (six) and Michigan State (five) won more road games as Iowa won at Minnesota, Indiana, Ohio State and Purdue. The Hawkeyes won three road games in 2003. Alford’s Iowa teams have won at least three Big Ten road games in three of five seasons.
NOT VERY OFTEN
Iowa’s 63-62 win at Purdue marked just the fourth time in 2003 Iowa won when scoring less than 70 points, as Iowa was 4-6 when scoring less than 70. The win at Purdue also marked just the third time Iowa won after trailing at halftime. The Hawkeyes were 3-9 when trailing at intermission.
NOTHING WAS FREE
In a home loss to Wisconsin, Iowa made three of four free throw attempts, all by Greg Brunner. Those totals are the lowest for a Steve Alford-coached Iowa team. Iowa’s previous low for made free throws under Alford was four, that in a game at Wisconsin during the 2003 season when Iowa had 10 attempts.
Iowa’s previous low number of attempts under Alford was eight, that taking place at Drake in 2002-03 and at home against Wisconsin in the 1999-00 season. Iowa made five of eight attempts in both of those games. The three made free throws are the lowest for an Iowa team since the Hawkeyes made just three of 12 attempts in a 53-50 loss at Illinois on 1/28/91. The four attempts are the fewest for an Iowa team since the Hawkeyes made five of five attempts in a 65-56 loss at Duke on 1/16/93.
IOWA 2-0 IN OVERTIME
With the win at Indiana in two overtimes, Iowa improved to 2-0 in overtime games in 2003-04. The Hawkeyes lost their two overtime games in 2002-03, at Indiana and to Purdue at home.
Iowa defeated Louisville 70-69 early in the season in one extra session. The double overtime at Indiana was the first for Iowa since a 99-94 home win over Missouri on Dec. 16, 2000. Iowa has won its last three games that have lasted two overtime periods and is 6-9 all-time in two overtimes. Iowa’s overall record in overtime games is 44-47.
HOME AWAY FROM HOME
Iowa’s 78-67 win at Ohio State marked Iowa’s fourth win in five games at OSU’s Value City Arena, and it was Iowa’s eighth win in its last nine visits to Columbus. The Hawkeyes won their final four games in St. John Arena, then won their first two games in OSU’s new home. After a loss at OSU in 2002, Iowa has won in Columbus in each of the past two seasons.
The 14 three-point field goals in the win over Penn State mark the highest number of treys made by a Steve Alford coached team at Iowa and equals the third-highest total in school history. Iowa’s school record for treys is 15, and that has happened on two occasions. Iowa’s previous best under Alford was 13 three-point baskets in a win over Southern Methodist in 2001-02.
Iowa’s three-point percentage of 60.9% (14-23) against Penn State is the third best long-range performance by an Alford coached Iowa team. Iowa shot 64.3% (9-14) from three-point range in a win at Minnesota in 2001-02 and in a win at Ohio State in 2000-01. The 60.9% shooting is the best for an Alford coached Iowa team in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa shot 60% (9-15) from three-point range in the win at Ohio State last week.
Under Alford the past five seasons, Iowa is 6-0 in games in which the Hawkeyes shoot at least 60% from three-point range. The Hawkeyes are 19-4 when shooting at least 50% from three-point range under Alford, including 11-1 at home, 5-2 on the road and 3-1 at neutral sites.
FREE THROW LEADERS
Sophomore Jeff Horner and senior Brody Boyd ranked among the best in the Big Ten in free throw percentage. In all games, Horner ranked third (86.0%) and Boyd was fourth (83.7%). In Big Ten games, Horner ranked first (91.8%) and Boyd seventh (83.1%).
Boyd missed consecutive attempts just once in 2003-04, his last attempt vs. Eastern Washington and his first attempt vs. Northern Illinois in the fifth and sixth games of the season. Horner missed consecutive attempts in a win over Northern Illinois and earlier missed three straight, his last attempt vs. UNC-Asheville and his first two attempts vs. Louisville.
Horner’s longest streak this season was 26 straight and Boyd’s longest streak was 17 in a row.
SOPHOMORES POST BIG NUMBERS
Four sophomores were a big reason Iowa posted a 16-13 overall record and placed fourth in the Big Ten Conference. Pierre Pierce, Jeff Horner, Greg Brunner and Erek Hansen lead Iowa in nearly all statistical categories. Pierce led the team in scoring (16.1), while Horner was second (13.0) and Brunner fourth (10.9). Brunner led the team in rebounding (8.2) and field goal percentage (.549), while Horner was the leader in three-point percentage (.425) and free throw percentage (.860). Horner also led the team in assists (123) and Hansen (40) and Brunner (32) ranked first and second in blocked shots.
As a group, the four sophomores scored 58.3% of Iowa’s points, had 55% of the rebounds, 63.4% of the assists, 41.8% of the steals and 64.4% of the blocked shots.
In 29 games, a sophomore led Iowa in scoring 26 times and a sophomore was the top rebounder in 22 games.
Iowa split its four games against the Big Ten opponents it played just once. Iowa won at Indiana and defeated Penn State at home. The Hawkeyes lost at Michigan State and lost to Wisconsin at home. Iowa defeated Ohio State, Minnesota and Purdue twice, won one of three games with Michigan and dropped two games to Illinois and Northwestern.
Iowa is the only Big Ten team that did not lose a conference game to a team with a less than .500 league record. The Hawkeyes also did not lose consecutive games in Big Ten play.
The 49 points scored by Iowa in the loss at Northwestern marks the lowest scoring game for Iowa since a 50-49 win at Drake in the second game of the 2002-03 season. The 24 points scored by Iowa in the second half are the fewest scored by Iowa in the second half during the 2003-04 season.
The 45 free throw attempts vs. Ohio State (first meeting) are a season-high for Iowa. In that win, 18 of the 45 attempts came in the final four minutes. The Hawkeyes averaged 25.2 free throw attempts per game, including 24.6 attempts in Big Ten games.
Iowa’s overtime win at Indiana was the first Iowa win in Bloomington since an 89-76 victory in 1997. Iowa lost in overtime at Indiana last season. It was also the first win in Bloomington for Iowa Coach Steve Alford, who has led his Iowa teams to wins in seven of 10 opponent arenas in the Big Ten. Alford coached Iowa teams have not won at Illinois, Michigan and Michigan State.
Iowa’s free throw percentage of 86.7% (13-15) at Indiana was its best percentage of the season, surpassing the 85% (17-20) at Saint Louis and the 83.3% (20-24) shooting at Michigan State. In the win over Penn State, all five Iowa starters had at least five rebounds and seven Hawkeye players had at least four rebounds.
Iowa’s 45-22 halftime lead over Penn State marked its biggest halftime advantage of the season. Iowa led by 21 points (46-25) at halftime in an 82-56 win over Wisconsin-Green Bay in the fourth game of the season.
The halftime deficit of 15 points (35-50) at Michigan State marked Iowa’s biggest halftime deficit of the season. The Hawkeyes earlier trailed Texas Tech by 12 points at halftime of a 65-59 loss.
Greg Brunner had a career-high 14 rebounds in the win at Indiana, surpassing the 13 he had in the loss at Michigan State. The 14 rebounds are also a single-game best for an Iowa player in 2003-04. Brunner scored and rebounded in double figures in seven of Iowa’s last 11 games.
For just the second time this season, five different Hawkeye players had at least one three-point basket in the win over Penn State. Iowa also had five players make a three-point basket in the opening game of the season. Iowa has also had four players make at least one three-pointer in six games.
Iowa’s single-game bests this season have included Pierre Pierce with 28 points vs. Michigan, a career-high. Pierce earlier this season had 26 points vs. UNC-Asheville and Illinois. Greg Brunner had 14 rebounds in the double-overtime win at Indiana, also a career-high. Brunner rebounded in double figures in eight games in 2003-04. Jeff Horner had a career-high nine assists in the win over Drake and senior Brody Boyd had seven steals in Iowa’s win over Northern Illinois.
Iowa matched a season-low with just eight turnovers in the home win over Ohio State. The Hawkeyes also had just eight in a loss at Northern Iowa. Iowa had less turnovers than its opponent in four of its last six games, winning three of the six.
HORNER TIES SCHOOL RECORD
Sophomore guard Jeff Horner tied Iowa’s school record for three-point field goal percentage in a game, making all six of his three-point attempts in a win over Penn State. Horner is one of just eight players in Big Ten history to make as many as six three-pointers in a game without a miss.
Jim Bartels made all of his six three-point attempts at Ohio State on Jan. 25, 1995 and Val Barnes was a perfect 6-6 vs. Penn State on 2/22/93. Barnes also made 5-5 three-point attempts vs. Centenary on 1/4/92 and Kent McCausland was 5-5 vs. Western Illinois on 11/22/96.
Horner over a three game stretch connected on nine straight three-point attempts. He made his last attempt in the closing seconds at Michigan, made all six of his attempts vs. Penn State and added his first two attempts at Michigan State. Horner connected on 6-13 three-point attempts earlier at Iowa State. The six made treys (vs. Iowa State and Penn State) tie the seventh-best single-game total at Iowa, while the 13 attempts vs. Iowa State equal the third best single game performance. The following comparisons show Horner’s improved numbers in Big Ten games:
BEST SHOOTING NOT ENOUGH
Iowa’s field goal percentage of 58% (29-50) at Michigan was the best single-game performance for Iowa in 2003-04. Iowa was 5-3 when shooting at least 50% from the field this year. However, Michigan shot 53.4% from the field in winning that contest. Illinois, in a win in Iowa City, shot 58.5% from the field, the best for an Iowa opponent all season. Iowa was 0-5 when the opponent shot at least 50% from the field.
The 58% shooting by Iowa in the loss at Michigan is the third best by an Iowa team in 160 games under Coach Steve Alford and the best percentage in a losing cause. Iowa shot 60% in a win over Northwestern during the 2001-02 season and 59.2% in a win over Penn State last season. Under Alford, Iowa has posted a 25-5 overall record when shooting at least 50% from the field.