Feb. 17, 2005
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Iowa (16-8, 4-7) hosts top-ranked Illinois (26-0, 12-0) Saturday as the teams meet for a second time. Game time is 11:06 a.m. in Carver-Hawkeye Arena (15,500). The game is sold out.
The Hawkeyes lost to Purdue 66-63 in West Lafayette Wednesday night, while Illinois scored an 83-63 win at Penn State. The Illini defeated Iowa 73-68 in overtime in Champaign Jan. 20.
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. Westwood One/CBS Radio will broadcast the game to a national audience, with Dave Sims and Dick Tarrant calling the action.
Television: ESPN will carry the game to a national cable audience, outside the states of Iowa and Illinois. Dave Barnett and Stephen Bardo will call the action.
ESPN Regional will carry the game to a network of stations throughout Iowa and Illinois, including KGAN in Cedar Rapids. Wayne Larrivee and Greg Kelser will call the action.
Iowa has played 2,334 games since beginning basketball in 1902. Overall Iowa’s record is 1,391-943 (.596). That includes an 870-305 (.740) record in home games, a 521-638 (.450) record in games away from Iowa City, a 661-652 (.503) mark in Big Ten games and a 276-79 (.777) record in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
IOWA IN CARVER-HAWKEYE ARENA
Iowa has compiled a 276-79 (.777) record in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa is 131-66 (.665) in Big Ten games and 145-13 (.918) in non-Big Ten games. Iowa has drawn over five million fans for men’s basketball games since the arena opened in 1983. Iowa has posted a 68-24 (.739) home record under Coach Steve Alford, including a 42-4 (.913) mark in non-conference home games.
IN THE RANKINGS
For the first week since Nov. 22, Iowa is not listed among teams receiving votes in either the Associated Press or ESPN/USA Today coaches polls. The Hawkeyes were ranked for nine consecutive weeks, climbing as high as 14th in the Associated Press poll on Jan. 3. Iowa began the season receiving no votes in either poll. The Hawkeyes are 48th in the RPI rankings and 28th in the Sagarin Ratings.
Illinois is the top ranked team in both polls and has held that position each week since Dec. 6.
BRUNNER EARNS BIG TEN HONOR
Junior forward Greg Brunner was named Big Ten Player of the Week for his efforts in Iowa’s two games last week, a 72-69 loss at #20 Wisconsin and a 64-54 home win over Northwestern.
Brunner (6-7, 245), a native of Charles City, IA, averaged 21.5 points and 5.5 rebounds in the two games. He had 27 points and seven rebounds at Wisconsin, hitting 12-21 field goals. He added 16 points against Northwestern, while also collecting four rebounds, three steals and two blocked shots. He added 19 points and 10 rebounds in the loss at Purdue this past Wednesday.
Brunner has scored in double figures in 13 straight games and in 22 of 24 for the season. He is averaging 14.9 points and eight rebounds per game and has nine double-doubles this season. Brunner ranks second in the Big Ten in rebounding for all games and in Big Ten games only. The weekly honor is the second for Brunner, as he was also honored early last season after leading Iowa to wins over Drake and Louisville.
IOWA SECURES FIVE IN A ROW
With 16 wins in 24 outings, Iowa has clinched a fifth straight winning season, a streak that matches the second longest consecutive winning seasons streak 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.
IOWA HAS 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 during non-conference action 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.
DATE SET FOR MICHIGAN GAME
Iowa’s final regular season game at Michigan will be played Saturday, March 5. The start time is 11:17 a.m. CT. ESPN Plus will televise the contest throughout the Big Ten Conference viewing area.
HALUSKA EARNS ACADEMIC HONOR
Sophomore guard Adam Haluska has been selected to the CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine District VII academic all-America team. Haluska’s name will now be placed on the national ballot for academic all-America honors. Haluska is a finance major with a 3.46 grade point average. He is in his first season of action at Iowa after redshirting during the 2003-04 season.
Haluska (6-5, 210) is a native of Carroll, IA. He has started all 24 games, scoring in double figures in 18 games. He is averaging 13.3 points and 3.8 rebounds per game, shooting 46.3% from the field and 80% from the foul line. Haluska scored a career-high 24 points vs. Michigan State and led Iowa with 20 points and eight rebounds against Northwestern. He has scored 20 or more points in five games and also has collected 31 assists and 22 steals.
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 261-156 (.626), including a 105-79 (.571) 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 38-53 (.418) 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 2-7 vs. Illinois and 2-3 vs. Illini Coach Bruce Weber.
ILLINOIS COACH BRUCE WEBER
Bruce Weber is in his second season as the head coach at Illinois, but he is no stranger to Big Ten basketball. Weber was an assistant coach at Purdue from 1981-98 before taking over as the head coach at Southern Illinois prior to the 1998-99 season. Weber is now in his seventh year as a head coach and his career mark stands at 155-61, including a 52-7 record at Illinois and a 103-54 mark in his five seasons at Southern Illinois. Weber also served as an assistant coach for one season at Western Kentucky (under Gene Keady) before his stint at Purdue.
Weber guided Illinois to the Big Ten regular season title a year ago as the Illini closed the regular season with 10 straight wins. The Illini fell to Wisconsin in the title game of the Big Ten Tournament and advanced to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament.
Weber led Southern Illinois to three post-season appearances in his five years, including NCAA Tournament invitations in 2002 and 2003. The Salukis earned Missouri Valley Conference titles in both 2002 and 2003 and advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2002.
Weber is 3-0 against Iowa and he holds a 3-2 record vs. Hawkeye Coach Steve Alford.
Illinois holds a 71-64 advantage in the series that began with a 46-36 Iowa win in 1908. The Fighting Illini won the first meeting, 73-68 in overtime Jan. 20 in Champaign. A year ago, Illinois defeated Iowa 88-82 Jan. 17 in Champaign and 78-59 Feb. 25 in Iowa City. Illinois has won seven of the last nine meetings. The teams met just once in 2002 and 2003, with Illinois winning at home in 2002 and Iowa winning at home in 2003. Prior to 2001-02, Iowa and Illinois had met at least twice in every season since 1974. Illinois has been ranked in the top 25 in seven of the nine meetings since Steve Alford has been Iowa’s head coach.
Iowa holds a 50-16 advantage in games played in Iowa City, including a 15-6 margin in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa had won two straight meetings in Iowa City before Illinois won in 2004.
- Illinois began its current 19-game home winning streak in 2004 with an 88-82 win over Iowa. During the win streak only one other game has been closer than that six point margin, and that was the 73-68 overtime win over Iowa this season. The other 17 wins have been by eight points or more.
- With the Illinois ranking listed first, Illinois and Iowa rank first and second in the Big Ten in three-point FG percentage, first and third in scoring offense and assists per game, first and fourth in turnover margin and second and fourth in steals per game.
- Both Iowa Coach Steve Alford and Illinois Coach Bruce Weber were head coaches in the Missouri Valley Conference before taking their current positions in the Big Ten. Alford was the head coach at Southwest Missouri State for four seasons and Weber was the head coach at Southern Illinois for five years. The two coaches met twice during the 1998-99 season, with Alford’s team winning 76-62 and 72-68 (OT).
- Illinois Coach Bruce Weber was an assistant coach at Purdue when Iowa Coach Steve Alford was a player at Indiana. Purdue won five of eight meetings against Indiana during Alford’s playing career.
- Illinois’ Jack Ingram is a transfer from Tulsa. Ingram played against Iowa early in the 2000-01 season as a freshman, when Iowa scored a 66-65 win in the finals of the Gazette Hawkeye Challenge. Ingram had three rebounds in that contest. Ingram had eight points and four rebounds in the first meeting this season.
- Tracy Webster is in his first season on the Illinois staff. Webster played at Wisconsin and was an assistant coach at Purdue last season. Illinois is the only team Iowa has not played at least once in the Big Ten Conference post-season tournament.
IOWA FALLS IN OT AT ILLINOIS
Iowa forced an overtime session, but couldn’t pull off the upset in a 73-68 loss at top-ranked Illinois on Jan. 20. Greg Brunner’s basket with four seconds remaining forced the overtime period, but Illinois outscored the Hawkeyes 8-3 in the extra period to stay unbeaten.
Defense was the key for Iowa, as the Hawkeyes held Illinois to 32.8% shooting from the field, a season low. The teams traded baskets throughout much of the first half before Illinois used a late scoring spurt to build a 34-25 halftime advantage.
The Illinois led by 13 points with just under 15 minutes to play when Iowa rallied. Two three-point baskets by Jeff Horner and a trey by Pierre Pierce closed the game and the Hawkeyes tied the score at 52-52 with nine minutes to play on a basket by Erek Hansen. The Illini increased the advantage to six points with 1:05 to play when Iowa rallied again. Pierce hit another three-pointer and Adam Haluska scored on a dunk with 20 seconds to play. After an Illinois free throw, Brunner tied the game with his drive in the lane.
Illinois led the entire overtime period, but the margin was just one point with 1:16 to play following another basket by Brunner. Illinois got a basket by Luther head with 39 seconds remaining and Iowa was unable to score again. Along with holding Illinois with its defense, Iowa was able to connect on 44.3% of its field goals. The Illini, however, held a 23-6 scoring advantage from the free throw line, attempting 31 free throws to just 12 attempts for Iowa. Pierce led the Hawkeyes with 22 points. Brunner added 16 points and 11 rebounds, Haluska scored 12 points and Horner added nine points, six rebounds and four assists.
Illinois was led by Luther Head with 25 points and six steals. Dee Brown added 12 points, James Augustine had 14 rebounds and Deron Williams added eight assists.
ALFORD VS. TOP TEAMS
Iowa Coach Steve Alford has faced the top-ranked team in the nation four times in his career as a Division I head coach, including three games as Iowa’s head coach. Alford is 1-3 in those games against No. 1 teams. In Alford’s final game as the head coach at Southwest Missouri State, top-ranked Duke defeated Alford’s squad 78-61 on Mar. 19, 1999, in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. Duke went on to the championship game, losing to Connecticut in the finals.
In Alford’s first game as the Iowa head coach, Nov. 11, 1999, the Hawkeyes defeated Connecticut 70-68 in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic in Madison Square Garden. The Huskies were the defending NCAA champions and were ranked No. 1 in the nation to start the season.
Early in the 200-02 season Alford and the Hawkeyes met top-ranked Duke at the United Center in Chicago and the Blue Devils scored an 80-62 win. That game, on Nov. 27, 2001, was part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Duke won the 2001 NCAA title before losing to Indiana in the 2002 Sweet 16.
Earlier this season, top-ranked Illinois scored a 73-68 win overtime win over the Hawkeyes in Champaign.
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 261-156. Alford is 105-79 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 FALLS AT PURDUE
Purdue rallied in the final eight minutes to defeat Iowa 66-63 in West Lafayette. The Hawkeyes led 55-48 with just under eight minutes remaining when Purdue scored nine straight points to take a 57-55 advantage with 3:49 to play. Greg Brunner made a free throw before Purdue scored on a three-point basket for a 60-56 lead with 1:49 remaining. Purdue scored its final six points from the foul line to hold on for the win. Adam Haluska cut the margin to two points (60-58), and after two Purdue free throws Brunner added a pair of free shots to make it 62-60 wiuth10 seconds remaining. Jeff Horner scored Iowa’s final points on a three-point basket with four seconds left to cut the deficit to 64-63. Iowa got off a desperation shot after two more Boilermaker free throws, but it was a hurried half court shot that was off the mark.
Iowa’s biggest advantage in the game came with 3:42 left in the first half as the Hawkeyes held a 31-22 advantage, but Purdue rallied to take a 36-35 halftime advantage. Iowa shot 41% from the field and 41.2% from three-point range in the game, but just 62.5% from the foul line. The Hawkeyes held a 39-32 rebounding advantage, but committed 14 turnovers, compared to seven for the Boilermakers.
Brunner led Iowa with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Adam Haluska added 10 points and Jeff Horner and Mike Henderson each added 11. Haluska and Alex Thompson had five rebounds and Horner added four assists.
ILLINOIS SHOOTS PAST PENN STATE
Illinois shot 66.7% from the field in racing to a 52-30 halftime advantage and the Fighting Illini went on to an 83-63 win at Penn State Wednesday. Illinois connected on 22-33 shots in the first half, including 8-14 (57.1%) three-point attempts, while the Nittany Lions shot just 37.5% in the opening 20 minutes.
Illinois cooled to shoot just 40% in the second half, but the Illini also held a 33-27 rebounding advantage and forced 15 Penn State turnovers.
Roger Powell led Illinois with 21 points as he connected on all 10 of his field goal attempts. Dee Brown added 19 points and 11 assists, Luther Head scored 16 points and James Augustine added 10. The Illini were credited with 27 assists on their 34 made field goals.
NOT GETTING THE CLOSE ONES
Iowa, in 11 Big Ten games, has lost two games in overtime, two road games by three points each and another by two points at home. The Hawkeyes lost to Michigan 63-65 to open Big Ten play and dropped a 69-72 decision at #20 Wisconsin and a 66-63 contest at Purdue. Iowa has lost overtime games at top-ranked Illinois (68-73) and at Northwestern (74-75). Iowa’s four conference wins, all at home, have been by six, 14, 15 and 10 points. Even with the 4-7 Big Ten record, Iowa has outscored its league opponents by a 67.5 to 66.8 margin.
On the season, Iowa is 8-5 in games decided by 10 points or less, with the five losses coming in conference action.
LEADER ACROSS THE BOARD
Sophomore Adam Haluska led Iowa in the win over Northwestern, leading the Hawkeyes in points (20), rebounds (eight), assists (five) and steals (four), field goals (seven), three-point field goals (four) and free throws (two). Haluska hit 7-14 field goals, 4-6 treys and 2-3 free throws, while committing just one turnover and collecting no personal fouls.
Haluska’s performance marks the first time one player had led Iowa in scoring, rebounding, assists and steals in one game since the 2002-03 season. Jeff Horner, as a freshman, led Iowa to a 68-61 win over 8th-ranked Illinois in Iowa City, collecting 16 points, 11 rebounds, five assists and four steals.
NO SECOND CHANCE FOR WILDCATS
In Iowa’s 64-54 win over Northwestern, the Hawkeyes did not allow the Wildcats to collect any offensive rebounds. Iowa won the rebounding battle by a 34-22 margin and all 22 of Northwestern’s rebounds came on Iowa missed shots. That game marks the first time in 183 games that a Steve Alford coached Iowa team did not allow an opponent an offensive rebound.
The previous low was by Wisconsin, as the Badgers had just one offensive rebound in Iowa’s 61-55 win in Madison on Jan. 29, 2000.
IOWA HAS FEWEST TURNOVER TOTAL
Iowa was guilty of just six turnovers in the recent loss at Wisconsin, a season-low and the lowest number for Iowa in 183 games under Coach Steve Alford. For the second straight game, the Hawkeyes had just one turnover in the second half. The Hawkeyes are 6-8 in 14 games under Alford in which they commit less than 10 turnovers, with five of those games taking place this season.
OPPONENTS HITTING FREE THROWS
Iowa attempted more free throws than its opponent in its first 15 games of the season. Over the last nine games, Iowa’s opponents have attempted more free throws in seven games, with the free throw attempts being equal in two games. In the loss at Wisconsin, the Badgers converted 27-35 attempts, compared to 7-14 for Iowa. Against Michigan State, Iowa made 32-42 free throw attempts, compared to 23-29 for MSU. In the most recent win over Northwestern, the Wildcats had an 18-10 advantage in attempts, with both teams shooting just 50%. Purdue made 15-20 free throws compared to Iowa’s 10-16. In Iowa’s two overtime losses on the road, the Hawkeyes did not attempt a free throw in the opening half.
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 137 blocked shots in 24 games. Iowa’s top three season totals for blocked shots include 165 in 1993, 161 in 1992 and 153 in 1991.
NEW FACES CONTRIBUTE EARLY
Several new faces have been big contributors in Iowa’s 24 games. The newcomers are averaging 22.7 points and 11.8 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 and Northwestern. 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 added nine rebounds, and he had eight rebounds vs. Michigan State.
Sophomore Adam Haluska has scored in double figures in 18 of 24 games, including a career-high 24 points vs. Michigan State, 21 vs. Drake and Texas Tech and 20 in home wins over Iowa State and Northwestern.
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 had a career-best five assists in the win over Purdue and added eight points at Northwestern.
Newcomers contributed 31 points and 13 rebounds vs. Western Illinois, 37 points and 11 rebounds vs. North Carolina, 39 points and 15 rebounds in the win at Drake, 29 points and 18 rebounds vs. Michigan State, 27 points and 19 rebounds vs. UNC Greensboro, 28 points and 19 rebounds vs. Purdue and 22 points and 15 rebounds vs. Centenary.
ANOTHER STRONG SCHEDULE
As has been the case in recent years, the Iowa schedule is very demanding. Eight of Iowa’s 13 non-conference games were against teams that advanced to post-season play a year ago. Iowa this season is 8-6 against teams that were in post-season play a year ago, including a 5-4 record vs. teams that were in the 2004 NCAA Tournament.
Iowa took part in the EA Sports Maui Invitational early in the season, defeating #11 Louisville and #13 Texas, while falling to #11 North Carolina. The Hawkeyes lost to top-ranked Illinois in overtime, lost to 10th-ranked Michigan State 75-64 and dropped a 72-69 decision at #20 Wisconsin.
The non-conference slate also included Northern Iowa, Iowa State, Texas Tech and Air Force and Saint Louis, teams that participated in post-season play a year ago.
Iowa will play 16 games against teams that advanced to post-season play a year ago.
NON-CONFERENCE SCHEDULE STRENGTH
According to the February issue of Basketball Times, Iowa’s non-conference schedule ranked as the 18th-strongest in the nation. Among Big Ten teams, only Indiana (7th), Wisconsin (8th) and Purdue (12th) played stronger non-conference schedules. The remaining Big Ten teams and their ratings included Illinois (66), Michigan (106), Michigan State (142), Minnesota (148), Ohio State (159), Northwestern (214) and Penn State (276).
At the time the ratings were compiled, Iowa was one of eight teams ranked in the top 25 that also had a top 25 non-conference strength of schedule. The other teams on that list included Wake Forest, Kansas, North Carolina, Arizona, Georgia Tech and Wisconsin.
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 17-27 record against ranked opponents as Iowa’s head coach, including a 2-4 mark in 2004-05. Iowa, this season, has defeated 11th-ranked Louisville 76-71 and 13th-ranked Texas 82-80, with losses to 11th-ranked North Carolina (92-106), at No. 1 ranked Illinois (68-73), in overtime, to 10th-ranked Michigan State (64-75) at home and at #20 Wisconsin, 72-69.
Alford’s Hawkeye teams are 5-11 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 11 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 three times to 10th-ranked (Michigan State, 2000, Illinois, 2002 and Michigan State, 2005).
In the 44 games against ranked teams, Alford and his Iowa team are 6-8 in home games, 8-8 at neutral sites and 3-11 when playing ranked teams in their home arena.
HANSEN ON BLOCKS CHART
Junior center Erek Hansen has collected 70 blocked shots in 23 games, moving among Iowa’s leaders in blocks for a season and career. A year ago Hansen blocked 40 shots in 22 games. The 70 blocks rank fifth best for a single season and his 110 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 5.3 points and 2.7 rebounds while shooting 43.5% from the field and 71.4% 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 JUST MAKES IT HAPPEN . . .
Junior guard Jeff Horner has been Iowa’s most versatile player, ranking among national leaders in assists and three-point field goals while averaging 13.5 points per game. Horner is averaging 5.4 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 1.6 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.
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. His 62 made three-point baskets this season tied as the ninth-best single season total, as he had 65 three-pointers a year ago.
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 21 points in the win at Drake and 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.
Horner played 40 of 45 minutes at Northwestern, collecting seven points and six assists, with no turnovers, and he added 16 points, nine assists and just one turnover in the home win over Indiana. Against Michigan State he had 13 points with just one turnover, and he had 19 points, five rebounds, four assists and no turnovers at Wisconsin. Horner added 11 points, six rebounds and four assists in a home win over Northwestern.
He is shooting 41.6% from the field, 44% from three-point range and 75.6% from the free throw line. Horner was named to the all-tournament team at the Maui Invitational and he was co-MVP of Iowa’s Gazette Hawkeye Challenge.
Horner’s career totals include 957 points, 400 rebounds and 392 assists. He is on target to become the only member of Iowa’s 1,000-point Club to also total over 400 rebounds and 400 assists.
. . . WITHOUT MANY MISTAKES
As Iowa’s point guard, Jeff Horner leads Iowa in minutes played (35.9 per game), and he handles the ball the majority of the time. In Iowa’s most recent seven games, Horner is averaging 12.9 points and 4.1 rebounds, with 33 assists and 13 turnovers, while playing 262 of the possible 285 minutes.
Horner had nine assists and just one turnover in a win over Indiana, six assists and no turnovers in an overtime loss at Northwestern and four assists and no turnovers at Wisconsin. Horner is averaging one turnover every 18.7 minutes in the last seven games.
For the season, he has one or no turnovers in nine of 24 games and he is averaging just one turnover for every 14.4 minutes of action.
BRUNNER WORKING THE BOARDS
Junior forward Greg Brunner is Iowa’s top returning rebounder from a year ago. He is averaging eight rebounds for the season and 8.5 in conference games, ranking second in the Big Ten for all games and league games. Brunner ranks second among current Big Ten players with nine scoring and rebounding doubles-doubles this season and he ranks first with 18 in his career.
Brunner had a career-high 28 points at Northwestern, hitting 11-17 field goals and 6-8 free throws, and he also had three blocked shots. Brunner has raised his career total to 77 blocks, moving in to 10th on Iowa’s list of career leaders. At Wisconsin he had 27 points (12-21 FGs) and seven rebounds and he added 16 points and a solid defensive effort in the home win over Northwestern. At Purdue he collected 19 points and 10 rebounds.
Brunner was named Big Ten Player of the Week for his play against Wisconsin and Northwestern. Brunner earned the recognition for the second time in his career, as he was honored early in the 2004 season after leading Iowa to wins over Drake and Louisville.
Brunner had 13 points and 11 rebounds vs. Minnesota, 16 points and 11 rebounds in the overtime loss at Illinois and 13 points and nine rebounds vs. Indiana. 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 Indiana and eight on three occasions.
Brunner has scored in double figures in 22 games, with 16 points and seven rebounds vs. Michigan State. He is shooting 53.7% from the field and 70.3% from the foul line. He was named to the all-tournament team of Iowa’s Gazette Hawkeye Challenge.
HALUSKA HEATS UP
Sophomore Adam Haluska scored a career-high 24 points in the loss to Michigan State, including 9-11 free throws, and he added six rebounds. He added 16 points in a loss at Wisconsin and led Iowa with 20 points and eight rebounds in a home win over Northwestern. At Purdue, he added 12 points and five rebounds. In Iowa’s last four games, Haluska is averaging 18 points and five rebounds, shooting 46% from the field.
Haluska scored 21 points in wins over Texas Tech and Drake and he has scored in double figures in 18 of 24 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 had career-bests of five assists and four steals in the win over Northwestern.
He scored 15 points and collected two steals in a win over Minnesota, he added 12 points, six rebounds and two steals at Illinois, he had 12 points and two assists at Northwestern and he added 16 points against Wisconsin.
In his first season at Iowa, Haluska is shooting 46% from the field, 40% from three-point range and 80% from the free throw line while averaging 13.3 points and 3.8 rebounds per game.
THOMAS HELPS ON THE GLASS
Junior Doug Thomas is making a major contribution to Iowa’s rebounding efforts, as he is third on the team with an average of 4.7 per game. He had nine rebounds and 14 points in a win over Purdue and eight rebounds vs. Michigan State.
Thomas had nine rebounds in his first game as a Hawkeye and added 10 in a win over UNC Greensboro. Thomas had six points and six rebounds in the win over Texas Tech, he had five rebounds in the overtime loss at Illinois and he had eight points vs. Indiana. The 14 points vs. Purdue matched his season high. Thomas is averaging 4.6 points while shooting 54.8% from the field.
HENDERSON SETTLES IN
Sophomore Mike Henderson is getting settled as a member of the starting line-up, playing well in Iowa’s last three games. Henderson collected a career-high 11 points at Purdue, he had eight points in the win over Northwestern and he had five rebounds and two assists in games last week vs. the Wildcats and at Wisconsin.
Henderson is a solid defensive player as well. In Iowa’s win over Northwestern, Henderson played a key roll in holding Wildcat guard T.J. Parker to just two points on four field goal attempts.
SCORING BY HALVES
Iowa has outscored its opponents 835-762 in the first half and 951-846 in the second half, and the Hawkeyes have been outscored 17-11 in two overtime periods. Iowa has led at halftime in 14 of 24 games and the Hawkeyes have outscored their opponent in the second half in 15 games.
- Iowa has played two overtime games, losing in single overtime at Illinois and at Northwestern. Iowa was 2-0 in overtime games a year ago, defeating Louisville in single overtime on a neutral court and winning at Indiana in two overtimes.
- Iowa suffered consecutive Big Ten losses for the first time since 2003 when it dropped games to Michigan and Ohio State, and Iowa also dropped consecutive games to Michigan State and Wisconsin. 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 is 12-1 when scoring between 70-89 points and 7-0 when holding its opponent to less than 60 points.
- Iowa is 12-3 when collecting more assists than the opponent, 12-3 when having fewer turnovers and 10-3 when collecting most steals than the opponent.
- Iowa has had four players or more score in double figures in 13 of 24 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, 8-3 when four reach double figures, 4-4 with three in double figures and 2-1 when two are in double figures.
- Iowa has four players averaging between 13.3 and 17.8 points per game and four players averaging between 4.5 and 8.0 rebounds per outing.
- Iowa is 13-1 when leading at halftime, 3-6 when trailing at intermission and 0-1 when tied at halftime.
- Iowa is 9-5 when controlling the opening tip and 7-3 when not controlling the tip.
- Iowa is 8-5 in games decided by 10 points or less, including 0-2 in overtime.
- Under Steve Alford, Iowa is 32-6 when shooting at least 50% from the field, including 7-1 this season.
- North Carolina, Northern Iowa and Northwestern (second meeting) are the only Iowa opponents to shoot at least 50% from the field this season, and Iowa is 2-1 in those games. Last season, Iowa was 0-5 when its opponent shot at least 50% from the field.
CAPTAINS NAMED FOR 2005
Iowa’s captains are juniors Greg Brunner and Jeff Horner. Brunner, a native of Charles City, started 26 of 29 games last season. His 8.2 rebounds per game were a team best and ranked second in the Big Ten. Horner, a Mason City native, has started 79 of 80 career 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 a year ago.
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: Feb. 21, 28; and Mar. 7.
Iowa visits Minnesota Wednesday, Feb. 23 (7:05 p.m.) and travels to Penn State Saturday, Feb. 26 (11:17 a.m. CT). Iowa’s final contest of the regular season, at Michigan, has been set for 11:17 a.m. CT Saturday, March 5.