Jan. 24, 2005
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Iowa (14-4, 2-3) is back on the road Wednesday at Northwestern (8-9, 1-4) as the Hawkeyes return to the state of Illinois for the second time in seven days before returning home for their next two contests. Game time is 7:05 p.m. in Welsh-Ryan Arena (8,117).
Iowa defeated Purdue 71-57 Saturday in Iowa City, while Northwestern comes into the contest following Saturday’s 65-62 loss at Penn State.
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: ESPN Regional will carry the game to a network of stations that includes KGAN Cedar Rapids, KDSM Des Moines, KCAU Sioux City, KYOU Ottumwa and KGWB Quad Cities. Wayne Larrivee and Shon Morris will call the action.
Iowa has played 2,328 games since beginning basketball in 1902. Overall Iowa’s record is 1,389-939 (.597). That includes an 868-304 (.741) record in home games, a 521-635 (.451) record in games away from Iowa City, a 659-647 (.505) mark in Big Ten games and a 274-78 (.778) record in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
IN THE RANKINGS
In the Jan. 17th rankings, Iowa was ranked 23rd by the Associated Press and 24th in the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll. Iowa began the season receiving no votes in either poll. The Hawkeyes are 23rd in the RPI rankings and 22nd in the Sagarin Ratings.
IOWA OFF TO FAST START
With 12 wins in its first 13 games, Iowa enjoyed its best start under Coach Steve Alford. Iowa, in 2001, posted a 10-1 mark to start the season and ended the year with a 23-12 overall record. Iowa began both the 1997-98 and 1998-99 seasons with a 13-1 record.
Iowa’s nine-game win streak matched the best streak for an Iowa team under Alford, as the Hawkeyes opened the 2000-01 season with nine straight wins. The Hawkeyes also had six-game win streaks in 2003-04 and 2001-02.
Iowa has 12 non-conference wins (not including post-season) for the first time since 1988-89.
PIERCE SURPASSES 1,000 POINTS
Junior guard Pierre Pierce is the 36th player in Iowa basketball history to reach 1,000 career points. Pierce has scored 1,032 points in 82 games, an average of 12.6 per outing, to rank 35th in career points. Pierce had a career-high 31 points in the recent loss at Ohio State, becoming the first Hawkeye player to scored over 30 points in a game since Luke Recker had 31 points in a win at Missouri in December, 2001. He added 22 points in the overtime loss at Illinois.
Guard Dean Oliver was the most recent Iowa player to reach 1,000 points in three seasons, surpassing the milestone in his junior season in 1999-00. Glen Worley, a senior a year ago, is the most recent member of the 1,000-Point Club. Along with Pierce at 1,032 points, junior Jeff Horner currently has 880 career points and junior Greg Brunner is at 788 points.
Iowa has had three 1,000-point scorers on the roster in the same season on three occasions. Jess Settles, Kenyon Murray and Chris Kingsbury in 1996, Roy Marble, B.J. Armstrong and Jeff Moe in 1988 and Marble, Armstrong and Ed Horton in 1989.
RECOGNITION ON THE NET
Iowa’s basketball program has been well recognized on the internet for its play during the non-conference portion of the season.
- On espn.com, ESPN analyst Dick Vitale selected the Hawkeyes as his “Team of the Week” for their 83-53 win over Texas Tech.
- CollegeInsider.com selected sophomore guard Adam Haluska as its “Star of the Week” for his play in the win over Texas Tech. Haluska matched his career high with 21 points, hitting 7-9 field goals, 3-3 three-pointers and 4-5 free throws.
- CollegeInsider.com selected Coach Steve Alford for its “Mid Season” Jim Phelan Coach of the Year honor. The Jim Phelan Coach of the Year honor is awarded in March.
- Gregg Doyel, writing for cbssportline.com, recently featured the Iowa guard court of Jeff Horner, Pierre Pierce and Adam Haluska as one of the best in the nation.
IOWA COACH Steve Alford
Steve Alford (pronounced ALL-ford) is in his sixth season as the head coach at the University of Iowa and his 14th season as a college head coach. Alford holds a career record of 259-152 (.630), including a 103-75 (.579) 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. Alford ranks fifth among Iowa’s head basketball coaches in career wins and he is 36-49 (.424) in Big Ten games at Iowa. 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. A year ago he was one of five players selected to ESPN’s Big Ten Conference Silver Anniversary team, honoring Big Ten players from the past 25 seasons. Alford is 5-4 vs. Northwestern and 4-4 against Wildcat Coach Bill Carmody.
NORTHWESTERN COACH BILL CARMODY
Bill Carmody is in his fifth season at Northwestern and his ninth year as a college head coach. Carmody holds a career mark of 153-98, which includes a 61-73 mark at Northwestern. Carmody posted a record of 92-25 in four seasons at Princeton University, where he was a member of the basketball staff for a total of 18 seasons. His record in Ivy League games as the head coach at Princeton was 50-6 and Carmody led Princeton to four straight post-season appearances. Carmody was the head coach at Fulton County (NY) Community College for one season, 1975-76, he was an assistant coach at Union College from 1976-80 and he was an assistant at Providence College for one season before joining the staff at Princeton in 1982. Carmody is 4-4 vs. Iowa and Hawkeye Coach Steve Alford.
Iowa holds a 102-49 advantage over Northwestern in the series that began with a 24-23 Wildcat win in 1905. Iowa won nine straight games in the series before Northwestern has come back to win four of the last eight meetings, including a 77-68 win in Iowa City and a 51-49 win in Evanston in 2004. Last year marked the first time since 1959 in which the Wildcats won both meetings against the Hawkeyes. Iowa has won 19 of the last 24 meetings overall.
Iowa holds a 42-33 advantage in games played in Evanston, but the Wildcats have won three of the last four home games against Iowa. Iowa had won eight straight games in Welsh-Ryan Arena prior to losses in 2001 and 2002. The Hawkeyes scored a 68-63 win in Evanston in 2003 before the Wildcats took a 51-49 win last season. Northwestern visits Iowa City Feb. 12.
NORTHWESTERN SWEPT BOTH A YEAR AGO
Northwestern swept both meetings a year ago, winning 77-68 in Iowa City in the second Big Ten game for both teams and won 51-49 in Evanston in the second to last game of the regular season.
Northwestern used an 11-1 scoring spurt over the final five minutes of the first half to gain control in Iowa City, and the Wildcats went on to record a 77-68 win in Iowa City Jan. 10. Shooting 52.7% from the field, Northwestern maintained the advantage over the final 25 minutes of the game. Iowa used a pair of three-point baskets, two free throws by Jared Reiner and a basket by Greg Brunner to cut a 15-point deficit to five points with 16 minutes remaining, but Northwestern responded with nine straight points to regain control and Iowa was never closer than nine points the rest of the way.
Along with the 52.7% shooting from the field, Northwestern made 8-20 (40%) three-point attempts and 11-13 (84.6%) free throws. The Wildcats recorded 12 steals while forcing 21 Iowa turnovers.
Iowa shot 47.8% from the field and made 8-18 (44.4%) treys. The Hawkeyes, however, made just 61.5% (16-26) of their free throws.
Pierre Pierce led Iowa with 23 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three steals. Jeff Horner added 13 points, eight rebounds, three assists and three steals and Brunner scored 11 points.
Four Wildcats scored in double figures, with Vedran Vukusic scoring 22 to lead the way. Mohamed Hachad added 18 points, Davor Duvancic added 14 and T.J. Parker scored 11 points and added five assists.
Northwestern used a 17-foot jump shot with seven-tenths of a second remaining to take a 51-49 win March 3 in Evanston. Iowa led 9-3 in the early going of the first half, before a 9-0 run gave Northwestern a 15-11 advantage. The teams were tied at 25-25 at intermission. With Iowa trailing 24-22 late in the half, Pierre Pierce suffered an eye injury and he did not return. In the first 17 minutes Pierce had four points, five rebounds and four assists.
Iowa led throughout the early going of the second half, leading by as many as six points on three occasions. Northwestern rallied, taking a 45-40 advantage on a three-point basket with 2:49 to play. Iowa’s Kurt Spurgeon connected on two free throws and Brody Boyd added a three-pointer to tie the score with 2:09 left. Two free throws by Glen Worley gave Iowa the advantage before a three-pointer by Vedran Vukusic put Northwestern ahead with 1:10 remaining. Northwestern increased the advantage to 49-47 on a free throw before Iowa’s Jeff Horner tied the score with two free throws with 14 seconds remaining. From there Northwestern worked the ball to Vukusic, who hit the game winner. Vukusic had missed all nine of his shots before hitting his last two attempts in the final 70 seconds.
Greg Brunner led Iowa’s attack with 19 points and 11 rebounds, as Iowa had just one player score in double figures. Erek Hansen added six points, seven rebounds and four blocked shots. J.J. Parker, Jitim Young and Davor Duvancic all scored 14 points for the Wildcats and Duvancic added nine rebounds.
IOWA, WILDCAT NOTES
- Iowa’s Jeff Horner and Greg Brunner were summer teammates with Northwestern’s Mike Thompson at the 2001 USA Basketball Men’s Youth Development Festival. Those three played for the North Team that captured the gold medal with a 4-1 record. Horner scored in double figures in all five games, with a high of 18 points in the semi-finals. He also tied a Festival record with seven steals in one game. Brunner averaged 5.8 points and 3.6 rebounds in the five games. Thompson, who began his career at Duke before joining the Wildcats, averaged 9.4 points and 5.0 rebounds.
- Iowa and Northwestern have played two common foes within the Big Ten. Iowa lost to Michigan (63-65) in Iowa City and lost 68-73 at Illinois in overtime. Northwestern lost at Michigan 61-71 and lost to Illinois 66-78 in Evanston.
- Pierre Pierce, a native of Westmont, is the only player from Illinois on the Iowa roster.
ALFORD REACHES 100 HAWKEYE WINS
Coach Steve Alford collected win No. 100 as Iowa’s head coach in the 73-63 victory over Air Force. Career victory No. 250 came in the 88-53 win over Centenary in early December. His career mark stands at 259-152. Alford is 103-75 at Iowa, moving into fifth place on the Iowa list for coaching victories.
Iowa’s top four coaches in career wins include Tom Davis (269), Lute Olson (168), Rollie Williams (139) and Bucky O’Connor (114).
IOWA WINS AT HOME OVER PURDUE
Iowa used another strong defensive effort and a boost from the bench in taking a 71-57 win over Purdue in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes held Purdue to 30.4% shooting from the field in the first half, as the Boilermakers scored just 10 points in the first 17 minutes of the game. By that time, Iowa had built a 25-10 advantage on the way to a 38-20 halftime margin.
Iowa scored the first basket of the second half and was never threatened over the final 20 minutes. Iowa led 71-52 with 1:28 remaining before the Boilermakers scored the final five points to leave the final margin at 14 points, the closest Purdue came in the second half.
For the game, Iowa held Purdue to 40% shooting from the field, while the Hawkeyes shot 45%. Iowa won the rebounding battle by a 38-35 margin and collected 10 steals while forcing 19 turnovers. Iowa was guilty of just eight turnovers in the game and collected 20 assists on 27 field goals.
Junior Greg Brunner posted his fourth straight scoring and rebounding double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds, while reserve Doug Thomas matched his career scoring high with 14 points and added nine rebounds. Jeff Horner added 13 points and Pierre Pierce had eight points while matching a career-high with eight assists. The Hawkeyes got 21 points and 14 rebounds from the bench, as freshman Carlton Reed complemented Thomas with three points and five assists.
NORTHWESTERN RALLY FALLS SHORT
Northwestern rallied in the closing minutes at Penn State, but came up just short in a 65-62 loss. The Wildcats held a 28-27 halftime advantage before falling behind in the second half. Northwestern used a 14-4 run at the end of the game to cut the deficit to 63-62 with three seconds remaining before a pair of free throws sealed the win for Penn State.
Northwestern played without center Mike Thompson, and the Nittany Lions responded by holding a 41-17 rebounding advantage. Penn State also hit 14-26 (53.8%) of its three-point attempts and held a 5-1 scoring advantage from the foul line. Penn State attempted eight free throws, Northwestern just four, and the Wildcats lost despite having just six turnovers.
Four Wildcats scored in double figures, with Vedran Vukusic scoring 17 to lead the way. Vince Scott scored 14 points in his first start of the season, Mohamed Hashad had 12 points and Davor Duvancic 11. Scott made all five of his field goal attempts, including four three-pointers, and he added five assists.
HAWKEYES AMONG NCAA LEADERS
As a team, Iowa ranks seventh nationally in blocked shots per game (6.2), 18th in assists (16.4), 23rd in three-point percentage (39%) and scoring (77.3) and 25th in field goal percentage (47%).
Individually, center Erek Hansen is fourth in blocked shots (3.7) and guard Jeff Horner is ninth in three-point field goal percentage (46.9%), 15th in assists per game (5.5) and 21st in three-point field goals per game (2.5).
HAWKEYES ADD TO THE ROSTER
Ryan Kennedy (6-7, 210) is a sophomore forward who has joined the Iowa basketball team as a walk-on. Kennedy attended Roosevelt High School in Des Moines as a prep.
Kennedy earned honorable mention all-conference recognition as a prep senior, serving as team captain and earning team MVP honors.
HAWKEYES TIE BLOCK RECORD, AGAIN
Iowa set its second single-game record of the season in a loss to North Carolina and tied that record in wins over North Carolina-Greensboro and Saint Louis. The Hawkeyes blocked 12 shots in each of those games to break the previous record of 11, set in an 80-65 win at Drake on Jan. 4, 1993.
Junior center Erek Hansen led the way with five blocks against the North Carolina and UNC Greensboro, and he had seven in the win over Saint Louis.
The Hawkeyes have 112 blocked shots in 18 games. Iowa’s top three season totals for blocked shots include 165 in 1993, 161 in 1992 and 153 in 1991.
IOWA SETS FREE THROW MARK
Iowa set school and Carver-Hawkeye Arena records in its opening win over Western Illinois by making all 20 of its free throw attempts. Six Hawkeyes contributed to the record, with Pierre Pierce and Erek Hansen each making four.
The previous best for a perfect free throw percentage (18-18) came in a win at Indiana in 1979. The previous record for Carver-Hawkeye Arena was 94.7%, when Iowa made 18-19 attempts vs. Wisconsin in 2001.
The Hawkeyes are shooting 70.9% (73-103) from the free throw line through five Big Ten games.
NEW FACES CONTRIBUTE EARLY
Several new faces have been big contributors in Iowa’s 18 games. The newcomers are averaging 22.7 points and 11.4 rebounds per outing.
Junior college transfer Doug Thomas scored 14 points and led Iowa with nine rebounds in the opening win over Western Illinois, and he added 10 rebounds vs. UNC Greensboro. Thomas added eight points and five rebounds vs. North Carolina, he had six rebounds in the win over Texas and five rebounds at Illinois. In the win over Purdue, Thomas matched his scoring high with 14 points and he added nine rebounds.
Sophomore Adam Haluska has scored in double figures in 13 of 18 games, including a career-high 21 points vs. Drake and Texas Tech and 20 in a home win over Iowa State.
In the win at Drake, freshman Carlton Reed scored 14 points, while freshman Alex Thompson added five rebounds in the win over Texas Tech. Seth Gorney played a key defensive role and had five rebounds in a win over Minnesota and Reed added a career-best five assists in the win over Purdue.
Newcomers contributed 31 points and 13 rebounds in the opening win, 37 points and 11 rebounds vs. North Carolina, 39 points and 15 rebounds in the win at Drake, 22 points and 15 rebounds vs. Centenary, 27 points and 19 rebounds vs. UNC Greensboro and 28 points and 19 rebounds vs. Purdue for their best showing in Big Ten play.
TWO STRAIGHT OVER RANKED TEAMS
Iowa’s back-to-back wins over Louisville and Texas marks the second time Iowa has won consecutive games against ranked opponents under Coach Steve Alford. The Hawkeyes, during the 2002-03 season, defeated 20th-ranked Michigan State 68-64 and 8th-ranked Illinois 68-61.
IOWA VS. RANKED FOES
Steve Alford has posted a 17-25 record against ranked opponents as Iowa’s head coach. Iowa, this season, has defeated 11th-ranked Louisville 76-71 and 13th-ranked Texas 82-80, with losses to 11th-ranked North Carolina and at No. 1 ranked Illinois, in overtime.
Alford’s Hawkeye teams are 5-10 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 10 losses to top 10 teams have been twice to top-ranked (Duke, 2001-02 and Illinois, 2004-05), 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 twice to 10th-ranked (Michigan State, 2000 and Illinois, 2002).
In the 42 games against ranked teams, Alford and his Iowa team are 6-7 in home games, 8-8 at neutral sites and 3-10 when playing ranked teams in their home arena.
HANSEN ON BLOCKS CHART
Junior center Erek Hansen has collected 63 blocked shots in 17 games, moving among Iowa’s leaders in blocks for a season and career. A year ago Hansen blocked 40 shots in 22 games. The 63 blocks rank fifth best for a single season and his 103 career blocks ranks fifth among Iowa’s career leaders. Hansen had a career-best seven blocked shots vs. Iowa State and Saint Louis and he had six blocks in a win over Texas Tech and a loss to Michigan. He has blocked five or more shots in seven games, and he is averaging 6.7 points and 3.0 rebounds while shooting 45.1% from the field and 70.4% from the free throw line. He had a career-high 14 points vs. Northern Iowa and he had 11 points and six rebounds vs. Texas.
HORNER OFF TO FAST START
Junior guard Jeff Horner is off to a fast start, ranking among national leaders in assists and three-point field goals while averaging 13.8 points per game. Horner is averaging 5.5 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game. Horner had a career-high 27 points in the win over Texas and he led the Maui Invitational in scoring with 63 points in three games. He added 21 points, eight rebounds and six assists in a win at Drake.
Horner made 15-23 three-point attempts in the three games in Hawaii, moving into Iowa’s top 10 in both three-pointers and three-point attempts. Horner was named Big Ten Player of the Week for his play in Maui. The honor is the second of Horner’s career, as he earned it last Feb. 9 after leading Iowa to a double-overtime win at Indiana. He added his first career scoring and assist double-double in the win over UNC Greensboro with 14 points and a career-best 11 assists. He added 16 points and nine rebounds in the win over Northern Iowa. Horner scored Iowa’s final five points in the last 95 seconds against the Panthers and he added 12 points and seven assists in a win over Iowa State.
He is shooting 44.8% from the field, 46.9% from three-point range and 78.6% from the free throw line. Horner was named to the all-tournament team at the Maui Invitational and he was co-MVP (with teammate Pierre Pierce) of Iowa’s Gazette Hawkeye Challenge.
PIERCE WELL BALANCED
Junior guard Pierre Pierce is proving to be one of the most versatile players in the Big Ten Conference. Pierce is averaging 17.6 points, 4.2 assists and 5.4 rebounds per game and he leads the team (and the Big Ten) with 44 steals. He has scored in double figures in 17 games, has at least five assists in eight games and five or more rebounds in 13 games.
Pierce is averaging 18.8 points in Big Ten games, including a career-high 31 points vs. Ohio State, where he made 12-20 field goal attempts and 5-8 free throws. He added 18 points and eight rebounds in a win over Minnesota and 22 points and five assists in an overtime loss at top-ranked Illinois. Playing just 29 minutes in the home win over Purdue, he scored eight points and matched his career-high with eight assists.
While leading the Hawkeyes in scoring, Pierce continues to prove his worth in all phases. He leads the team in steals and is second in rebounds and assists. At Illinois, Pierce held Deron Williams, the pre-season Big Ten Player of the Year, to a season-low four points. In the win over Minnesota, he held leading scorer Vincent Grier to just six points. Grier had averaged over 17 points a game in Minnesota’s first 15 games, scoring in double figures in every game. Pierce held Grier to 1-6 shooting from the field.
Pierce made a three-point basket in the final minute to lead Iowa in a win over Texas, scoring 18 points vs. the Longhorns and 16 points vs. Louisville in Iowa’s first two games of the Maui Invitational. He added 15 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals in a win over Texas Tech and had 24 points vs. Saint Louis. Pierce was named co-MVP (along with teammate Jeff Horner) of Iowa’s Gazette Hawkeye Challenge.
BRUNNER WORKING THE BOARDS
Junior forward Greg Brunner is Iowa’s top returning rebounder. He is averaging 8.4 rebounds for the season and 10.4 in conference games, ranking second in the Big Ten for all games and first for league games only. Brunner ranks second among current Big Ten players with eight scoring and rebounding doubles-doubles this season (including the last four games) and 17 in his career. Brunner had 13 points and 11 rebounds vs. Minnesota and 16 points and 11 rebounds in the overtime loss at Illinois.
Brunner, who ranked second in the Big Ten in rebounding last season, had a season-best 13 rebounds in the win over Iowa State and he has 11 rebounds in six games. He had 10 rebounds vs. Louisville, nine vs. UNC Greensboro and eight on three occasions. Brunner has scored in double figures in 16 games, with a season-high 23 in the win over Northern Iowa. He is shooting 52.5% from the field and 72.1% from the foul line. He was named to the all-tournament team of Iowa’s Gazette Hawkeye Challenge.
HALUSKA HITS NEW HIGH
Sophomore Adam Haluska scored a career-high 21 points in wins over Texas Tech and Drake as he has scored in double figures in 13 of 18 games. Playing against his former school, he added 20 points in a win over Iowa State, hitting 4-8 treys. Haluska had 19 points in the loss to North Carolina and 17 points vs. UNC Greensboro. He matched his career-high of four assists in the win over Northern Iowa and played an outstanding defensive game.
His best game in Big Ten play came in the win over Minnesota, where he scored 15 points and collected two steals. He added 12 points, six rebounds and two steals at Illinois.
In his first season at Iowa, Haluska is shooting 47% from the field and 80.3% from the free throw line while averaging 12.8 points and 3.6 rebounds per game.
THOMAS HELPS ON THE GLASS
Junior Doug Thomas is making a major contribution to Iowa’s rebounding efforts, as he is fourth on the team with an average of 4.5 per game. Thomas had nine rebounds in his first game as a Hawkeye and added a season-best 10 in a win over UNC Greensboro. Thomas had six points and six rebounds in the win over Texas Tech and he had five rebounds in the overtime loss at Illinois. He matched a career-high with 14 points in a home win over Purdue, hitting 7-13 field goals, while also collecting nine rebounds.
Thomas is averaging 4.9 points while shooting 58.6% from the field and 72.4% from the foul line.
SCORING BY HALVES
Iowa has outscored its opponents 633-570 in the first half and 755-648 in the second half, and the Hawkeyes have been outscored 8-3 in one overtime period. Iowa has led at halftime in 11 of 18 games and the Hawkeyes have outscored their opponent in the second half in 13 games.
- Iowa suffered consecutive Big Ten losses for the first time since 2003 when it dropped games to Michigan and Ohio State. In 2003, Iowa lost at Indiana (in OT) on Mar. 1 and at Michigan State Mar. 5. This marks the first season Iowa has lost its first two conference games of the season since 1993-94, when the Hawkeyes lost their first four league games.
- Iowa’s contest at Drake was the only true road game for the Hawkeyes in non-conference play. Iowa played three neutral site games at the EA Sports Maui Invitational and played Texas Tech at the United Center in Chicago.
- In the 70-63 win over Iowa State, Iowa held the Cyclones without a three-point basket as ISU missed all six of its attempts. That marks the first time an Iowa opponent did not make at least one three-point basket since early in the 2001-02 season, when Iowa State missed all eight of its three-point attempts in a 78-53 loss to Iowa in Ames.
- As a team, Iowa set two Gazette Hawkeye Challenge tournament records and tied a third, in a win over UNC Greensboro. The Hawkeyes set a tournament record and tied their own school record with 12 blocked shots. That record was set earlier this season in a loss to North Carolina. Iowa also shot 57.9% (11-19) from three-point range to set a tournament record and the 11 three-point field goals tied a tournament mark.
- Iowa attempted more free throws than its opponent in its first 15 games of the season before Minnesota (30-29) and Illinois (31-12) both had more attempts than the Hawkeyes in consecutive games.
- Iowa is 11-0 when scoring between 70-89 points and 5-0 when holding its opponent to less than 60 points.
- Iowa’s overtime loss at top-ranked Illinois is the only time in 11 games the Hawkeyes have lost when having more assists than the opponent.
- Iowa’s home loss to Michigan is the only time in 12 games the Hawkeyes have lost when having fewer turnovers and the only time in 10 games they have lost when collecting more steals.
- Iowa has had four players or more score in double figures in 12 of 18 games, with a season-best six players in the win over Western Illinois.
- Iowa is 1-0 when six players score in double figures, 1-0 when five players score 10 points or more, 8-2 when four reach double figures, 2-1 with three in double figures and 2-1 when two are in double figures.
- Iowa has four players averaging between 12.8 and 17.6 points per game and four players averaging between 4.5 and 8.4 rebounds per outing.
- Iowa is 11-0 when leading at halftime and 3-4 when trailing at intermission.
- Iowa is 8-2 when controlling the opening tip and 6-2 when not controlling the tip.
- Iowa is 7-2 in games decided by 10 points or less and 0-1 in overtime.
- Under Steve Alford, Iowa is 31-6 when shooting at least 50% from the field, including 6-1 this season.
- North Carolina and Northern Iowa are the only Iowa opponents to shoot over 50% from the field this season. Last season, Iowa was 0-5 when its opponent shot at least 50% from the field.
SEEKING FIVE STRAIGHT IN `05
Iowa is seeking a fifth straight winning season, a streak that would match the second longest consecutive winning seasons record in Iowa basketball history. 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.
TRI-CAPTAINS NAMED FOR 2005
Iowa’s tri-captains for the season include juniors Greg Brunner, Jeff Horner and Pierre Pierce. Pierce, a native of Westmont, IL, started all 29 games a year ago, leading the team in scoring (16.1) while averaging 5.7 rebounds per game. Brunner, a native of Charles City, started 26 of 29 games. His 8.2 rebounds per game were a team best and ranked second in the Big Ten. Horner, a Mason City native, has started all 69 games over the past three seasons. He led the team in assists in each of the last two seasons while also averaging 13 points and 5.3 rebounds last year.
THE RETURNING CAST
Iowa returns three starters and six lettermen from 2004. Those six returning lettermen last season scored over 1,200 points and totaled over 600 rebounds. The six players, in 2004, scored 60.1% of Iowa’s points, had 56.9% of the rebounds, 67.5% of the assists, 64.4% of the blocked shots and 45.2% of the steals.
In 29 games, a sophomore led Iowa in scoring 26 times and a sophomore was the top rebounder in 22 games. The Hawkeyes return their statistical leader from last season in all categories, with the exception of steals (Brody Boyd). The 13-man squad includes one senior, six juniors, two sophomores and four freshmen. The roster includes eight Iowans, plus one player from California, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Texas.
NEWCOMERS GAIN ATTENTION
Iowa’s class of newcomers includes seven players. That list includes juniors Doug Thomas and Justin Wieck, sophomore Adam Haluska and freshmen J.R. Angle, Seth Gorney, Carlton Reed and Alex Thompson.
The group is ranked the second best incoming class in the Big Ten and 20th in the nation by Hoop Scoop in the June issue of Basketball Times.
Street and Smith’s ranks the group as the top incoming class in the Big Ten and names Thompson on the all-Midwest team on its list of Top 100 Freshman.
Lindy’s rates the incoming class as 14th best nationally and lists Haluska fourth among its top 10 transfers. Athlon Sport’s also lists Haluska among the top transfers in the nation and rates the overall class fourth best in the Big Ten.
HALK TALK WITH Steve Alford
Fans of the University of Iowa basketball program may join Iowa Coach Steve Alford and radio announcer Gary Dolphin each week during the season for the “Hawk Talk with Steve Alford” radio call-in show. The show takes place each week at Carlos O’Kelly’s Mexican Café in Iowa City. The show airs from 6-7:30 p.m. on the following dates: Jan. 24, 31; Feb. 7, 14, 21, 28; and Mar. 7.
IOWA ON THE TUBE
Every Iowa game throughout the 2004-05 will be televised. Iowa appeared on national cable television (ESPN and ESPN2) in three games in the Maui Invitational and in games vs. Texas Tech (ESPN2) and at Illinois (ESPN). Iowa games not selected for national coverage will be televised regionally by ESPN Plus, while several conference games are scheduled to be carried throughout the Big Ten Conference viewing area as part of the Big Ten regional network agreement with ESPN Plus.
Iowa will host Indiana Saturday, Jan. 29 (4:05 p.m.) on ESPN. The Hawkeyes are then idle until hosting Michigan State Saturday, Feb. 5 at 1:32 p.m.