Hawkeyes Set for Guardians Classic Semi-Finals

Nov. 18, 2005

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Iowa (2-0) meets Kentucky (2-0) in the semi-finals of the Guardians Classic Monday, Nov. 21. Game time is 8:05 p.m. at Municipal Auditorium (9,000) in Kansas City, MO. The opening semi-final game pits Texas (2-0) vs. West Virginia (2-0) at 6:05 p.m. The Hawkeyes opened the season with wins over Maryland-Eastern Shore (86-41) and Colgate (73-51), while Kentucky advanced with wins over South Dakota State (71-54) and Lipscomb (67-49). The semi-final winners will meet at 9:05 p.m. Tuesday, while the consolation contest is at 6:05 p.m. Tuesday.

Radio: Iowa games are broadcast on the Hawkeye Radio Network. Gary Dolphin handles the play-by-play with color commentator Bob Hansen. Television: ESPN2 will carry the game to a national cable audience. Brent Musburger and Bill Raftery will call the action.

Iowa has played 2,345 games since beginning basketball in 1902. Overall Iowa’s record is 1,398-947 (.596). That includes an 873-306 (.740) record in home games, a 525-641 (.450) record in games away from Iowa City, a 664-653 (.504) mark in Big Ten games and a 279-80 (.777) record in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Iowa is ranked 20th in the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll and the Associated Press rankings. This marks the first time the Hawkeyes have opened the season in the top 25 since 2001-02. Iowa, that season, was eighth in the first coaches poll and ninth in the Associated Press rankings. Kentucky is ranked ninth in the Associated Press poll and 10th in the coaches poll.

Iowa has compiled a 279-80 (.777) record in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa is 132-67 (.663) in Big Ten games and 147-13 (.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 71-25 (.740) home record under Coach Steve Alford, including a 44-4 (.917) mark in non-conference home games.

Seven teams on Iowa’s 2005-06 schedule are in the initial rankings, including all three opponents who have reached the semi-finals of the Guardians Classic. Texas is ranked second by the AP and third by the coaches, Michigan State fourth by the AP and fifth by the coaches, Kentucky ninth and10th, West Virginia 14th and 15th, Illinois 17th in both, Indiana 23rd and 22nd and Iowa State 25th and 23rd. Additionally, five Hawkeye opponents are listed among teams receiving votes, including North Carolina State, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Michigan and Northern Iowa. The Hawkeyes have a potential 10 games against the seven rated opponents and a total of 16 potential games against opponents who are either ranked or receiving votes.

All four regional hosts in the Guardians Classic advanced to the semi-finals. Along with Iowa and Kentucky, Texas advanced with wins over Southern University (89-56) and Samford (77-33), while West Virginia defeated Louisiana Monroe (88-69) and Wofford (61-41). Iowa is the only semi-final team that has previously participated in the Guardians Classic, placing second to Missouri in the 2001 event that was held at Kemper Arena in Kansas City. As is the case this season, all four semi-final teams in the 2001 event (Iowa, Missouri, Memphis and Alabama) were in the national rankings.

Iowa is making its second appearance in the Guardians Classic. The Hawkeyes, that season, defeated Maryland-Eastern Shore (89-59) and Boston University (90-61) in Iowa City. Iowa defeated Memphis 75-71 in the semi-finals before a 78-77 last-second loss to Missouri in the title game.

As a team, Iowa holds Guardians Classic records for free throws in a tournament (83), free throw attempts (114) and rebounds (177). Those numbers are from Iowa’s four games in the 2001 event. Individually, Reggie Evans holds the Guardians Classic records for rebounds in a tournament (49) and free throw attempts (39), while Luke Recker holds the tournament record for free throw percentage (94.7%, 18-19). Both Evans and Recker were named to the 2001 Guardians Classic all-tournament team.

Previous champions in the Guardians Classic include Missouri in 2001, Creighton in 2002 and 2004 and South Carolina in 2003.

IOWA COACH Steve Alford
Steve Alford (pronounced ALL-ford) is in his seventh season as the head coach at the University of Iowa and his 15th season as a college head coach. Alford holds a career record of 268-160 (.626), including a 112-83 (.574) 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 41-55 (.427) in Big Ten games. Alford is 8-6 in the NCAA Tournament (3-3 in Division I and 5-3 in Division III) and 2-4 in the NIT. His record in the Big Ten Tournament is 10-5 in six seasons. Iowa won the tournament in 2001, returned to the title game in 2002 and just missed the championship game in 2005. Alford led Iowa into the second round of the 2001 NCAA Tournament in his second season and the Hawkeyes returned to the NCAA Tournament in 2005. Iowa advanced to the NIT in 2002, 2003 and 2004. 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. In 2004 he was one of five players selected to ESPN’s Big Ten Conference Silver Anniversary team. Alford is 0-1 vs. Kentucky and Wildcat Coach Tubby Smith.

Coach Steve Alford collected win No. 100 as Iowa’s head coach in a 73-63 victory over Air Force on Dec. 28, 2004. Career victory No. 250 came in the 88-53 win over Centenary in early December. His career mark stands at 268-160. Alford is 112-83 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 Coach Steve Alford faced Kentucky three times as a player during his career at Indiana from 1984-87, helping the Hoosiers win two of the three meetings. Alford did not see action in Indiana’s 63-58 loss to the Wildcats during the 1986 season. In the three games Alford averaged 22.1 points, while shooting 62.8% from the field and 83.3% from the free throw line.

Iowa Coach Steve Alford, while in the third grade in 1974, competed in a basketball free throw contest in Municipal Auditorium. As a contestant in the Elks National Hoop Shoot free throw contest, Alford won city, district and state titles. Alford made 24-25 attempts to win the regional title to advance to the national competition at Kansas City’s Municipal Auditorium. Once in Kansas City, Alford was unable to capture the national title in his age group. Another contestant who failed to win his division in Kansas City that year was Chris Mullen, who would go on to a standout college (St. John’s) and NBA basketball career. Alford and Mullen were NBA teammates with the Golden State Warriors.

Tubby Smith is in his ninth season as the Kentucky head coach and his 15th season overall as a college coach. Smith has compiled a career mark of 345-120, including a 221-58 record with the Wildcats. Smith posted a 79-43 record in four seasons as the head coach at Tulsa and he was 45-19 in two seasons at Georgia. Smith is 1-0 vs. Iowa and Hawkeye Coach Steve Alford.

Iowa used a 24-4 scoring run midway through the second half to regain control in taking a 73-51 win over Colgate in the second round. After leading 42-24 at halftime, Iowa saw the Raiders close to within six points, 49-43 with 13 minutes, before regaining control. The Hawkeyes shot 51.5% from the field in the first half, racing to a 23-6 advantage in the opening nine minutes. Iowa shot 49.1% for the game, compared to 42% for Colgate. Iowa held a 36-29 rebounding advantage and forced 18 turnovers. Senior forward Greg Brunner led Iowa with 16 points, while Adam Haluska added 14 and Jeff Horner 13. Brunner and Erek Hansen each had eight rebounds, while Horner added eight assists and six rebounds.

Iowa had too much experience and too much depth for a young Maryland-Eastern Shore team as the Hawkeyes opened the season with an 86-41 win over the Hawks. UMES, with three freshmen and a transfer in the starting line-up, never led and trailed 44-20 at halftime. Iowa jumped to a fast start, shooting 45% from the field in the first half while holding UMES to 33.3% shooting. Iowa improved its shooting touch to 60% in the second half and ended the night shooting 50.8% from the field and 71.4% from the free throw line. The Hawkeyes also held a 47-36 rebounding advantage and forced 25 turnovers while collecting 17 steals. Five Iowa players scored in double figures, with seniors Greg Brunner and Jeff Horner leading the way with 16 points each. Adam Haluska added 12 points and Mike Henderson and Seth Gorney each scored 10. Doug Thomas led Iowa with 10 rebounds and Brunner had seven. Gorney was 5-5 from the field and added five rebounds.

Senior forward Greg Brunner was named the Most Valuable Player in the Iowa City regional. Brunner scored 16 points in each of the two Iowa wins and averaged 7.5 rebounds. The Charles City native shot 57.1% from the field and 77.8% from the free throw line. He added four assists, two steals and two blocked shots.

Iowa’s defense has led the way as the Hawkeyes have won two exhibition games and two regular season contests. In the exhibition games, Iowa allowed opponents just 42 points per game. The two opponents shot just 27.3% from the field and 29.5% from three-point range. Iowa also registered 31 steals and 13 blocked shots. In the two regular season wins, Iowa allowed its opponents just 46 points per game. Iowa’s field goal defense is 33.9% and opponents are shooting 24% (6-25) from three-point range. The Hawkeyes have forced 43 turnovers and collected 25 steals.

In its season opening win over Maryland-Eastern Shore, Iowa collected 17 steals while forcing 25 turnovers. The 17 steals are the most by a Steve Alford coached Hawkeye team. Iowa had not had as many as 17 steals in a game since collecting 18 steals in an 84-74 win over Penn State on Jan. 27, 1999, a string of 205 games. Tony Freeman, Adam Haluska, Jeff Horner and Doug Thomas led the way with three steals each, while eight of the 12 Hawkeyes who played collected at least one steal. Iowa added eight steals in the win over Colgate. Iowa’s record for steals in a game is 23. The 25 turnovers are the most by an Iowa opponent since Liberty University was guilty of 24 turnovers on Dec. 22, 2002.

Kentucky holds a 5-2 advantage over Iowa and the Wildcats have won the last three meetings. The teams last met on Mar. 17, 2001 when the Wildcats scored a 92-79 win in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in Long Island, NY. Three of the seven meetings have taken place in the NCAA Tournament, with Iowa winning in 1956 (89-77 in Iowa City, regional final) and the Wildcats winning in 1997 (75-69 in Salt Lake City, second round). Kentucky was the defending NCAA champion when the Wildcats defeated Iowa in Salt Lake City and the Wildcats returned to the title game that season before falling to Arizona and former Iowa Coach Lute Olson. Iowa is 1-1 vs. the Wildcats in Iowa City, 1-2 in Lexington and 0-2 at neutral sites.

Ninth-ranked Kentucky used a hot shooting performance to earn a 92-79 win over 24th-ranked Iowa in the second round of the 2001 NCAA Tournament when the teams last met. The Wildcats shot 58.5 % from the field in the game, including 54.2% (13-24) from three-point range. Iowa closed to within four points early in the second half after trailing 45-33 at intermission. The Kentucky lead was eight points with just under eight minutes remaining when back-to-back three-point baskets by Tayshaun Prince gave the Wildcats breathing room. Dean Oliver closed his Iowa career with a 26 point performance, hitting 8-14 field goal attempts, including 6-9 three-pointers. Reggie Evans added 18 points and 13 rebounds and Rod Thompson scored 11. Kentucky was led by Prince with 31 points, while Marquis Estill scored 22 and Keith Bogans added 12 points and seven rebounds.

Iowa and Kentucky met five common opponents last season. Iowa defeated Louisville (76-71) in Maui and Indiana (71-57) in Iowa City, while dropping games to North Carolina (106-92) in Maui and Cincinnati (76-64) in Indianapolis. Iowa split two games with Michigan State, losing to the Spartans (64-75) at home and defeating MSU (71-60) in the Big Ten Tournament. Kentucky lost to North Carolina (91-78) in Chapel Hill, defeated Indiana (73-58) in Louisville, won at Louisville (60-58), defeated Cincinnati (69-60) in Indianapolis and lost to Michigan State (94-88, 2OT) in the NCAA regional final in Austin.

Iowa forward Greg Brunner and Kentucky guard Patrick Sparks were teammates last summer on the United States team that won the gold medal at the World University Games. Iowa guard Jeff Horner also participated in the tryouts for the U.S. team. The U.S. team also included West Virginia’s Mike Gansey.


  • Iowa and Kentucky were in the same regional in the NCAA Tournament a year ago, playing back-to-back first round games at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis, where Kentucky defeated Eastern Kentucky and the Hawkeyes lost to Cincinnati. Kentucky defeated the Bearcats in the second round.
  • The last time the teams met, in the second round of the 2001 NCAA Tournament, Iowa was led by a senior point guard from Mason City, Iowa. Dean Oliver led Iowa with 26 points, four assists and three steals in that game, hitting 8-14 field goal attempts and 6-9 three-pointers. Iowa’s current point guard, Jeff Horner, is a senior from Mason City. Both Oliver and Horner were coached at Mason City HS by Bob Horner, Jeff’s father.
  • When the teams last met in 2001, Iowa’s roster included three players who would go on to play in the NBA. Reggie Evans currently plays for Seattle and Jared Reiner is currently with the Phoenix Suns. Oliver, like Evans a senior in 2001, played the majority of one season with Golden State before continuing his professional career overseas.

Iowa holds an all-time 13-12 record vs. current members of the Southeastern Conference. Iowa’s last contest vs. an SEC opponent resulted in a 63-61 loss to Louisiana State in the first round of the 2002 post-season NIT in Iowa City. Hawkeye Coach Steve Alford is 1-4 vs. the SEC as a head coach, with a 1-1 record vs. Tennessee and single losses to Kentucky, Louisiana State and Mississippi State.

Iowa holds an all-time record of 1-4 in Kansas City, including an 0-2 record in Municipal Auditorium and a 1-2 record in Kemper Arena. Iowa last played in Kansas City early in the 2001-02 season, taking part in the 2001 Guardians Classic. Iowa defeated Memphis 75-71 and lost to Missouri 78-77 in Kemper Arena. Iowa competed in the 1955 Final Four in Kansas City, falling to LaSalle (76-73) in the semi-finals and Colorado (75-54) in the consolation game. Those games were played in Municipal Auditorium. In 1983, Iowa concluded its season in Kansas City in the final game for Lute Olson as Iowa’s head coach. Iowa lost to Villanova 55-54 at Kemper Arena in the regional semi-finals.

Iowa played eight neutral site games in 2004-05, posting a 5-3 record. The Hawkeyes were 2-1 at the EA Sports Maui Invitational, defeating Louisville and Texas before falling to North Carolina in the title game. Iowa defeated Texas Tech at the United Center on Dec. 21 and posted a 2-1 record in the Big Ten Tournament at the United Center in Chicago. The Hawkeyes ended the season with a loss to Cincinnati in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis.

Iowa has faired well while taking part in regular-season tournaments over the past 23 years. In that time Iowa has won the Great Alaska Shootout (1986-87), the Cal-Irvine Anteater Classic (1986-87), the Maui Classic (1987-88), the San Juan Thanksgiving Shootout (1992-93), the San Juan Christmas Shootout (1997-98), the Big Ten Conference Tournament in 2001 and its own invitational 22 times. In addition, Iowa was runner-up in the 1985-86 Far West Classic, the 1987-88 All-College Tournament, the 1988-89 Chaminade Classic, the 1991-92 Tampa Tribune Holiday Invitational, the 1994-95 Rainbow Classic, the 1995-96 Great Alaska Shootout, the 1999-00 Coaches vs. Cancer Classic, the 2001-02 Guardians Classic, the 2002 Big Ten Conference Tournament and the 2004 Maui Invitational.

Iowa made its 21st appearance in the NCAA Tournament in 2005, falling to Cincinnati in the opening round at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis. Iowa earned the bid after posting a 21-win season, including wins over Purdue and 10th-ranked Michigan State in the 2005 Big Ten Tournament. The Hawkeyes hold an overall record of 27-23 in the tournament, advancing to the Final Four in 1955 (fourth), 1956 (second) and 1980 (fourth). Iowa had advanced to at least the second round in its last 10 tournament appearances before last season. Iowa reached the regional championship in 1987 and lost in the regional semi-final in 1988 and 1999.

Three experimental rules are being used in the Guardians Classic. The experimental rules include the following:

  • Moving the three-point line one-foot behind the current three-point line to create a new experimental distance of 20 feet, 9 inches.
  • Widening the free throw lane by one foot on each side (Please note that the experimental lane will serve both as the three-second lane and the free throw lane.
  • Placing a restricted area arc which is to be three feet from the center of the basket ring.

Iowa’s captains are seniors Greg Brunner and Jeff Horner. Brunner, a native of Charles City, has started 32 of 33 games and averaged 14.7 points and 8.3 rebounds last year. He earned second team all-Big Ten honors in 2005 and placed second in the league in rebounding in each of the past two seasons. Horner, a Mason City native, has started 92 of 93 games over the past three seasons. He has led the team in assists in each of the last three seasons and a year ago averaged 14 points and 4.5 rebounds per game.

Iowa returns five starters and 11 lettermen from 2005. The returning starters include three players, Greg Brunner, Adam Haluska and Jeff Horner, who earned all-Big Ten recognition a year ago. Iowa returns 84.6% of its scoring from 2005, 90.9% of its rebounding, 81.6% of its assists and 78.5% of its steals. Iowa’s returning players shot 45.5% from the field, 38.7% from three-point range and 71.9% from the free throw line. The Hawkeyes return their statistical leader from last season in all categories,

The following is information on Iowa basketball tickets for this season. Iowa basketball tickets may be purchased in person at the athletic ticket office at the north entrance of Carver-Hawkeye Arena or at the Iowa City/Coralville Convention and Visitors Bureau information desk inside Coral Ridge Mall. Tickets may also be purchased online at www.hawkeyesports.com, or by calling 1-800-IA-HAWKS.

  • Season tickets for all home games are available at a cost of $387
  • Season tickets for faculty/staff for all home games are $313
  • Student tickets are $95
  • Single game tickets are available for all home games for $25
  • Single game student tickets are available for home games for $15
  • Fan may purchase an eight-game ($184) or four-game ($100) ticket package, selecting the games they wish to attend from a collection of conference and non-conference games pre-determined by the UI.
  • A two-game holiday package is available for $50 for games vs. Robert Morris (Dec. 22) and Illinois (Jan. 7).
  • Youth tickets ($10) are available for games vs. Drake (Dec. 20), Robert Morris (Dec. 22) and Penn State (Mar. 1)
  • Discounted tickets to select home games and earmarked for purchase by groups of 24 or more are also available for purchase. For information about group tickets, fans should call the UI Group Sales Office at (319) 335-9328.

The Iowa roster includes 16 players, including 10 who played prep basketball in the state of Iowa. The squad includes five seniors, four juniors, four sophomores and three freshmen. Along with the 10 Iowans, there is one player from California, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Texas and St. John’s, Antigua.

Seniors Jeff Horner and Greg Brunner joined Iowa’s 1,000 Point Club a year ago. Horner has scored 1,124 points (ranks 24th) and is the only Iowa player ever to score over 1,000 points, grab over 400 rebounds and distribute over 400 assists. Horner was honorable mention all-Big Ten a year ago. Brunner has scored 1,051 career points (ranks 35th) and he has 691 rebounds. Brunner has ranked second in Big Ten rebounding in each of the past two seasons. He was named second team all-Big Ten last season and earned a gold medal at the World University Games last summer. Brunner ranks ninth in career blocked shots (86) and is near Iowa’s top 10 in career rebounds.

Iowa has outscored its opponents 86-44 in the first half and 73-48 in the second half. Iowa has led at halftime in two of two games and the Hawkeyes have outscored their opponent in the second half in both games to date.

Iowa is seeking a sixth straight winning season, a streak that would rank as the second longest in the history of Iowa basketball. Iowa enjoyed seven straight winning seasons from 1950-56. Iowa has had five consecutive winning seasons on four occasions, 1979-83, 1985-89, 1995-99 and 2001-05. Iowa is one of four Big Ten teams to post a winning season in each of the last five years, joining Illinois, Michigan State and Wisconsin. Iowa advanced to post-season play for the fifth straight season a year ago, returning to the NCAA Tournament.

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). Harrison coached Iowa to five straight winning seasons from 1944-48, Lute Olson coached Iowa to 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.

Every Iowa game throughout the 2005-06 season will be televised. Iowa will appear on national cable television (ESPN and ESPN2) as many as 11 times. Hawkeye games not selected for national coverage will be televised regionally by ESPN Plus, while several conference games will be televised throughout the Big Ten Conference viewing area as part of the Big Ten regional network agreement with ESPN Plus.

Iowa’s non-conference schedule has the Hawkeyes meeting teams from nearly every major conference in the nation. The Hawkeyes are participating in the Guardians Classic to begin the season, advancing to the semi-finals with Kentucky, Texas and West Virginia. Iowa’s non-conference home schedule is highlighted by games vs. Arizona State of the Pac 10 Conference and North Carolina State of the Atlantic Coast Conference. Iowa will also host Fairfield, Tulane and Valparaiso in the Hawkeye Challenge and Maryland-Eastern Shore, Colgate and Utah Valley State in the first round of the Guardians Classic. Iowa will meet Texas-San Antonio, Drake and Robert Morris in home games as well. Non-conference road games are at Northern Iowa, Iowa State and Saint Louis, along with the Guardians Classic. Following are pre-season views on some of Iowa’s non-conference opponents:

  • Kentucky is picked to win the Southeastern Conference and is ranked third nationally by Street & Smith’s
  • Texas is picked to win the Big 12 and is ranked fifth nationally by Street & Smiths
  • Iowa State is picked third in the Big 12 and is ranked 12th nationally by Street & Smith’s
  • Northern Iowa is picked to win the Missouri Valley by Street & Smith’s and advance to the NCAA Sweet 16
  • North Carolina State is picked fourth in the Atlantic Coast Conference by Street & Smith’s
  • West Virginia is picked fifth in the Big East and ranked 22nd nationally by Street & Smith’s
  • In the Big Ten, Street & Smith’s picks Michigan State (8th), Indiana (17th), Michigan (19th) and Illinois (21st) among its top 25
  • Iowa opponents in Lindy’s top 25 include Michigan State (3rd), Texas (5th), Wisconsin (14th), North Carolina State (15th), Ohio State (16th), West Virginia (17th), Kentucky (19th) and Illinois (22nd). Lindy’s has Iowa ninth.
  • Iowa opponents in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll include Texas (3rd), Michigan State (5th), Kentucky (10th), Illinois (17th), Indiana (22nd) and Iowa State (23rd). Iowa is 20th.
  • Iowa opponents in Sports Illustrated’s pre-season top 20 include Texas (2nd), Michigan State (4th), West Virginia (12th), Kentucky (13th), Northern Iowa (17th) and Illinois (19th). Iowa is 18th.

Senior forward Greg Brunner ranked second in the Big Ten in rebounding in each of the last two seasons. With the leading rebounder not returning last season or this season Brunner is the Big Ten’s top returning rebounder for the second straight year. This marks the fourth time in the last five seasons Iowa has had the top returning rebounder. Reggie Evans led the league in rebounding in 2001 and returned to defend his title in 2002. Jared Reiner led the Big Ten in rebounding in 2003 and returned in 2004.

Iowa’s Hawkeye Challenge, Friday and Saturday, Dec. 2-3 in Carver-Hawkeye Arena, features Tulane meeting Valparaiso in Friday’s opening game and Iowa hosting Fairfield in the second game. All three teams are taking part in the tournament for the first time, while Fairfield and Tulane are making their first-ever trip to Iowa City and Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa defeated Valparaiso in Iowa City in the first round of the 2003 NIT.

For the first time since the 2001 season, Iowa will host a game in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa returns to the event by hosting North Carolina State Nov. 30 in a game televised by ESPN2. The Hawkeyes hold a 1-3 record in the event. Iowa lost to Maryland in Baltimore in 2000 before defeating Georgia Tech in Iowa City in 2001. Iowa lost to Duke at the United Center in Chicago in 2002 and lost at Florida State in 2003. Iowa did not participate in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge in 2004 and 2005. The Hawkeyes have not played North Carolina State since a 102-96 double-overtime loss to the Wolfpack in the second round of the 1989 NCAA Tournament. North Carolina State holds a 3-2 series advantage over Iowa, but the teams have never met in Iowa City.


  • Iowa’s schedule includes as many as 16 games against teams that advanced to post-season play a year ago, including 14 games against teams that were in the NCAA Tournament. That includes two games against Illinois (NCAA), Indiana (NIT), Michigan State (NCAA), Minnesota (NCAA), and Wisconsin (NCAA), single games vs. Arizona State (NIT), Iowa State (NCAA), North Carolina State (NCAA), Northern Iowa (NCAA), Kentucky (NCAA) and either Texas (NCAA) or West Virginia (NCAA).
  • North Carolina State will be the first team from the Atlantic Coast Conference to play in Carver-Hawkeye Arena since Georgia Tech defeated Iowa 79-78 in the NIT at the conclusion of the 2003 season.
  • Arizona State will be the first team from the Pac 10 Conference to play in Carver-Hawkeye Arena since Iowa defeated UCLA 88-71 on Dec. 22, 1990. Iowa’s last contest against a Pac 10 team came in the championship game of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic in 1999-00. Stanford defeated Iowa 72-58 at Madison Square Garden in New York, handing Iowa its first loss under Steve Alford after the Hawkeyes had defeated Connecticut, the top-ranked team in the nation and the defending NCAA champion, in the semi-finals. The Hawkeyes will play a return game in Tempe during the 2006-07 season.
  • Valparaiso last visited Iowa City for the first round of the 2003 NIT when Iowa scored a 62-60 win. The Crusaders were coached at the time by Scott Drew, who had taken over for his father, long-time Valparaiso Coach Homer Drew. When Scott left Valpo to take over at Baylor, Homer returned from retirement as the head coach. Bryce Drew, Homer’s son and Scott’s brother, is in his first season on the Crusader coaching staff.
  • Iowa will look for its second straight mythical state title after sweeping Drake, Iowa State and Northern Iowa a year ago. Iowa hosts Drake, and former Hawkeye Coach Tom Davis, but must travel to both Iowa State and Northern Iowa to face teams that were also in the NCAA Tournament a year ago.

Steve Alford has posted an 18-30 record against ranked opponents as Iowa’s head coach, including a 3-7 mark in 2005. Iowa, last season, defeated 11th-ranked Louisville (76-71), 13th-ranked Texas (82-80) and 10th-ranked Michigan State (71-69), 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, at #20 Wisconsin (72-69), 75-65 to top-ranked Illinois in Iowa City, 59-56 to #22 Wisconsin in the Big Ten Tournament and 64-76 to #23 Cincinnati in the NCAA Tournament. Alford’s Hawkeye teams are 6-12 when playing teams ranked in the top 10, including wins over top-ranked Connecticut (70-68 in 1999-00), second-ranked Missouri (83-65 in 2001-02), fifth-ranked Ohio State (67-64 in 1999-00), seventh-ranked Illinois (78-62 in 2000-01), eighth-ranked Illinois (68-61 in 2002-03) and 10th-ranked Michigan State (71-69 in 2005). The 12 losses to top 10 teams have been three times to No. 1 (Duke, 2001-02 and Illinois twice in 2004-05), once to third-ranked (Illinois, 2000-01), twice to fourth-ranked (Michigan State, 1999-00 and 2000-01), twice to fifth-ranked (Tennessee, 2000-01 and Missouri, 2001-02), once to ninth-ranked (Kentucky, 2000-01) and three times to 10th-ranked (Michigan State, 2000, Illinois, 2002 and Michigan State, 2005). In the 48 games against ranked teams, Alford and his Iowa team are 6-9 in home games, 9-10 at neutral sites and 3-11 when playing ranked teams in their home arena.


  • For the first time ever, Iowa, in 2005, played all four teams that advanced to the Final Four. During the course of the season, Iowa played six games against the Final four teams, posting a 2-4 record. Iowa was the only team in the nation to play all of the Final Four teams, while Iowa and Duke were the only teams to collect two wins against the four teams.
  • The 19 wins mark the highest regular season victory total for Iowa under Steve Alford and the most for Iowa since 1998. Iowa won 18 regular season games in 2001 on the way to posting a 23-12 final record.
  • As a team, Iowa ranked 15th nationally in blocked shots per game (5.4). Individually, Erek Hansen ranked 19th in blocked shots per game (2.6) and Jeff Horner ranked 27th in assists per game (5.5).
  • Iowa closed the regular schedule with three straight victories for the first time since 1997. It also marks the first time since 1987 in which Iowa closed the season with three straight wins, when two of the wins were on the road.
  • Iowa had not won its final two road games of the season since 1991 when Iowa won at Indiana and at Northwestern in the final two road games.
  • 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 eighth-ranked Illinois 68-61.

Iowa set three team records during the course of the 2005 season. The Hawkeyes set a single-game record for free throw percentage (100%) in the first game of the year, making all 20 of their attempts in a win over Western Illinois. Iowa established a season record with 174 blocked shots and a single game record with 12 blocked shots. The previous season record of 165 blocks was set in 32 games in 1993. The Hawkeyes had 12 blocks vs. three opponents, including North Carolina, UNC Greensboro and Saint Louis. The previous record of 11 blocked shots was set in an 80-65 win at Drake on Jan. 4, 1993.

Also in 2005, Iowa set three Carver-Hawkeye Arena team records. Iowa established a new mark when by shooting 67.5% (27-40) from the field in a win over Air Force. That percentage ranks as the second best ever for an Iowa team in a single game. The Hawkeyes set a record for free throw accuracy with the 100% (20-20) performance against Western Illinois. Iowa set a new high with the 12 blocked shots in wins over UNC Greensboro and Saint Louis.

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 from 7-8:30 p.m. and the dates are Nov. 28; Dec. 5, 8, 12 and 19; Jan. 10, 16, 23 and 30; Feb. 6, 12, 20 and 27; and March 6, 13 and 20.

Iowa will meet either Texas or West Virginia Tuesday evening in Kansas City. Game times are 6:05 and 9:05 p.m. for the consolation and championship contests. Iowa’s next home game is Saturday, Nov. 26 when the Hawkeyes host Texas-San Antonio at 12:05 p.m.