Closin' the Book

April 21, 2004

Final Notes for 2003-04 Iowa Basketball
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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. After starting the season with nine wins in its first 13 games, Iowa played the final 16 games without four players who had combined to average 30 points and 17 rebounds per game.

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 won four of eight road games, clinching sole possession of fourth place with a win at Purdue in the final regular season game. For the first time since 1987-88, Iowa did not lose consecutive games in Big Ten play. Michigan State was the only other Big Ten team to avoid back-to-back losses in conference play and just two teams won more conference road games.

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 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.

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.

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.

Completing its fourth straight winning season in 2004, Iowa is one of just four Big Ten teams to have an overall winning record in each of the past four years. The other conference schools with four straight winning seasons include Illinois, Michigan State and Wisconsin.

Iowa next season will be seeking a fifth straight winning season, a streak that would match the second longest consecutive winning seasons record in the history of Iowa basketball. Iowa’s longest streak of consecutive winning seasons is seven, from 1950 through 1956. Pops Harrison, Bucky O’Connor and Rollie Williams all coached the Hawkeyes during those years. Only a 10-10 record in 1949 kept Iowa from 13 consecutive winning seasons (1944-56).

Lute Olson coached Iowa to five straight winning seasons from 1979-83, George Raveling and Tom Davis combined to coach Iowa to winning seasons from 1985-89 and Davis coached Iowa to winning seasons from 1995-99.

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.

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.

Sophomores Jeff Horner and Pierre Pierce were named co-Most Valuable Players for their play during the 2003-04 season. Both also earned third team all-Big Ten honors. Pierce led Iowa in scoring (16.1), while ranking second in assists (107) and third in rebounding and steals.

Horner was second in scoring (13.0), while leading the team in assists (123), free throw percentage (.860) and three-point accuracy (.425).

Senior Brody Boyd and sophomore Greg Brunner shared the Chris Street Award, which is presented annually to a Hawkeye player, or players, who best exemplify the spirit, enthusiasm and intensity of Chris Street. Boyd is a native of Dugger, IN who started all 29 games during his final season. Boyd averaged 11.1 points per contest and led the Big Ten with 68 steals. Boyd’s thefts, this season, rank fourth best for a single season. He ranks 10th with 143 career steals. Boyd also ranks second in career three-point field goal attempts (544) and third in made three-pointers (193).

Brunner, from Charles City, averaged 10.9 points per game and was Iowa’s top rebounder with an average of 8.2 per game. Brunner ranked second in Big Ten rebounding, for all games and in Big Ten games only. Brunner also led the Hawkeyes in field goal percentage (.549) and was second on the team with 32 blocked shots.

Three members of the men’s basketball program earned academic all-Big Ten recognition, including Jared Reiner, Greg Brunner and Kurt Spurgeon. Reiner, a finance major with a 3.26 GPA, earned the Big Ten honor for the third straight season. Brunner (3.08, communication studies) and Spurgeon (3.53, management) were recognized for the first time in their careers.

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 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. Michigan won the NIT and Iowa State advanced to the semi-finals.

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.

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).

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.

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.

Iowa opens practice for the 2004-05 season on Saturday, Oct. 16. The 2004-05 schedule will be released this summer, following approval by the UI’s Board in Control of Athletics and the Big Ten Conference.