Hawkeye Men Open Big Ten Action at Wisconsin

Jan. 3, 2006

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Iowa (10-3, 0-0) begins Big Ten Conference action at Wisconsin (10-2, 0-0), Thursday, Jan. 5. Game time is 7:05 p.m. at the Kohl Center (17,142) in Madison. Iowa earned its fourth straight victory with a 60-50 win at Saint Louis Dec. 30 in its final non-conference game. Wisconsin had its six-game win streak come to an end with a 73-64 loss at Pittsburgh on Dec. 31.

Radio: Iowa games are broadcast on the Hawkeye Radio Network. Gary Dolphin handles the play-by-play with color commentator Bob Hansen. The Hawkeye Radio Network coverage includes a 60-minute pre-game show. Television: ESPN Regional will carry the game to a network of stations that includes KGAN Cedar Rapids, KDSM Des Moines, WBQD Quad Cities and KYOU Ottumwa, along with cable systems in Mason City, Sioux City, Omaha/Council Bluffs, Kansas City, MO and St. Louis, MO. Larry Morgan and Mike Kelley will call the action.

Iowa has played 2,357 games since beginning basketball in 1902. Overall Iowa’s record is 1,407-950 (.597). That includes an 880-306 (.742) record in home games, a 526-644 (.450) record in games away from Iowa City, a 664-653 (.504) mark in Big Ten games and a 286-80 (.781) record in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Iowa has compiled a 286-80 (.781) record in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa is 132-67 (.663) in Big Ten games and 154-13 (.922) 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 78-25 (.757) home record under Coach Steve Alford, including a 51-4 (.927) mark in non-conference home games. Iowa’s current streak of 23 consecutive non-conference home wins ranks 16th-longest among Division I programs.

Iowa is listed among teams receiving votes in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today coaches polls. Iowa has been ranked as high as 12th this season (AP, 12/5/05), its highest ranking since early in the 2001-02 season. Iowa, that season, moved as high as seventh (Nov. 26) in the Associated Press rankings and eighth (Nov. 19) in the coaches poll. Iowa was ranked for nine consecutive weeks during the 2005 season, moving as high as 14th in both polls. Wisconsin is ranked 24th in the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll.

Iowa is 5-1 under Coach Steve Alford in the initial Big Ten Conference game of the season. The Hawkeyes began Big Ten action a year ago with a 65-63 loss to Michigan in Iowa City, marking Iowa’s first loss to start Big Ten play in nine seasons. That loss also snapped a string of 12 straight home wins to begin conference action. Iowa began Big Ten play in 2001-02 against Wisconsin, taking a 69-57 win in Iowa City. Iowa has won its first Big Ten road game of the season in three of six seasons under Alford, including an 83-68 win at Minnesota in 2003-04. The Hawkeyes won at Penn State in 2001 and at Northwestern in 2003. Iowa lost it initial Big Ten road game in 2000 (at Michigan State), 2002 (at Ohio State) and 2005 (at Ohio State).

In NCAA statistical rankings, Iowa is sixth in fouls per game (14.4), 11th in field goal defense (35.9%), 14th in scoring defense (55.1) and 25th in blocked shots per game (5.6). Individually, Jeff Horner ranks seventh in assists per game (6.4), Erek Hansen is 10th in blocked shots per game (2.9) and Greg Brunner is 33rd in rebounds per game (9.9).

The Iowa basketball program reached 1,400 wins (now at 1,407) with a 79-46 victory over Texas-San Antonio on Nov. 26. Iowa is one of 34 NCAA Division I programs with as many as 1,400 wins. Iowa’s basketball history includes 71 winning seasons and 22 years in which the Hawkeyes have won 20 or more games. Iowa (with 21) is one of 31 programs to earn more than 20 invitations into the NCAA Tournament.

Iowa seniors Greg Brunner and Jeff Horner are two of 30 seniors from Division I basketball programs around the nation who have been named as candidates for the Bayer Advantage Senior CLASS Award. The award, now in its fifth year, is presented annually to the nation’s senior player-of-the-year. CLASS is an acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School. The award was launched during the 2001-02 season in response to the trend of college players leaving college early to turn professional. The nomination of Brunner, from Charles City, and Horner, from Mason City, make Iowa one of seven programs to have two candidates among the list of 30 players. Sportscaster Dick Enberg, who initiated the idea for the award and now serves as honorary Chairman, will announce the winner during the CBS telecast of the NCAA Men’s Final Four in April.

Senior guard Jeff Horner returned to action in Iowa’s most recent outing after missing four games with a partially torn posterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. The injury occurred during Iowa’s game at Northern Iowa Dec. 6. Horner made a solid return in Iowa’s 60-50 win at Saint Louis, collecting 17 points and six assists in 36 minutes. Horner had played in 102 consecutive Iowa games over the past four seasons, missing just one start, before missing four games. He surpassed 500 career assists in the game at Northern Iowa and ranks fourth in career assists with 507. Horner ranks 16th in career scoring with 1,220 points and ranks among Iowa’s career leaders in three-point field goals and three-point attempts. Horner, this season, is averaging 12.5 points and 6.4 assists per outing.

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 277-163 (.630), including a 121-86 (.585) 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 fourth among Iowa’s head basketball coaches in total wins. 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 and his 10 wins rank as the most among all Big Ten coaches in the event. 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 4-9 vs. Wisconsin (3-9 while at Iowa) and 3-7 vs. Badger Coach Bo Ryan.

Coach Steve Alford has collected 121 victories as Iowa’s head coach, a total that ranks fourth on Iowa’s list of coaches in career wins. Alford recently moved past Bucky O’Connor, Iowa’s head coach from 1952-58 (he also was Iowa’s head coach for 11 games in 1950), who earned 114 wins as Iowa’s basketball coach. Iowa’s top three coaches in career wins are Tom Davis (269), Lute Olson (168) and Rollie Williams (139).

Bo Ryan is in his fifth season at Wisconsin after leading the Badgers to back-to-back Big Ten regular season titles in 2002 and 2003. The Badgers won the Big Ten Tournament title in 2004. He was named Big Ten Conference Coach of the Year in both 2003 and 2004. Ryan has posted a 103-39 record with the Badgers. Ryan is in his 22nd season as a college head coach, with a career record of 486-142. Ryan moved to Madison after posting a 30-27 record in two seasons at Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Ryan’s UW-Milwaukee team posted a 15-13 record in 2001, including a narrow 83-79 loss to Iowa in Iowa City. Ryan was the head coach at Wisconsin-Platteville for 15 seasons, leading that school to four NCAA Division III national titles (1991, 1995, 1998, 1999) and eight conference titles. Overall his record at Platteville was 353-76. Ryan has been named national Coach of the Year four times. He is the winningest coach in Division III history and was the winningest coach in the NCAA (all divisions) in the 1990’s. He served as an assistant coach for the gold-medal winning USA team at the 1995 World University Games and an assistant coach for the gold-medal winning North team at the 1993 U.S. Olympic Festival. Ryan previously was an assistant at Wisconsin for eight seasons (1977-84), working under Bill Cofield and Steve Yoder. Ryan is 6-3 vs. Iowa (6-2 while at Wisconsin) and 7-3 vs. Hawkeye Coach Steve Alford.

Iowa Coach Steve Alford and Wisconsin Coach Bo Ryan first coached against each other in the NCAA Division III championship game in 1995. In that game, Ryan’s Wisconsin-Platteville team defeated Alford’s Manchester College team by a 69-55 margin. Alford and Ryan also met in 2001 when Alford’s second Iowa team opened the season with an 83-79 win over Ryan’s Wisconsin-Milwaukee team in Iowa City.

Iowa holds a 75-68 advantage in the series that began with a 30-9 Wisconsin win in 1909 and the Badgers have won the last five meetings. Wisconsin won both meetings last season by three points, including a 72-69 decision in Madison during the regular season and a 59-56 win in the 2005 Big Ten Conference Tournament. Wisconsin won 54-52 in Iowa City in the only meeting in 2004 and the Badgers won both meetings in 2003, 74-61 in Madison and 61-53 in Iowa City. Iowa won two of three meetings in 2002, the first time the teams had ever met three times in the same season. In 2002, the Hawkeyes won in Iowa City and lost in Madison before defeating the Badgers in the quarter-finals of the Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis. Iowa and Wisconsin have met three times at the Big Ten Tournament, with the Badgers winning twice. Wisconsin won in Chicago in 1999 and 2005 and Iowa won in Indianapolis in 2002. Wisconsin holds a 44-27 advantage in games played in Madison and the Badgers have won the last four meetings there. Iowa is 2-4 at the Kohl Center, winning there in 2000 (61-55) and 1998 (79-76) before dropping games there in 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2005. The teams meet for a second time March 4 in Iowa City in the final regular season game for both teams.


  • Iowa’s Steve Alford holds a 12-9 record vs. Wisconsin as a player and coach. Indiana won all eight games vs. Wisconsin during Alford’s playing career. As a coach, Alford is 4-9 vs. the Badgers. Alford’s Southwest Missouri State team defeated Wisconsin in the first round of the 1999 NCAA Tournament and Wisconsin has won nine of the 12 meetings since Alford became the Iowa coach.
  • Wisconsin Assistant Coach Gary Close was an assistant coach at Iowa for 13 seasons (1987-99). He later was the head boys basketball coach at Regina High School in Iowa City for three years, leading his team to the state tournament his last two seasons.
  • Will Ryan, Wisconsin’s Director of Basketball Operations, is the oldest son of Badger Coach Bo Ryan. Will Ryan played under his father at both Wisconsin-Platteville and Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
  • Wisconsin is 17-0 in home games following road losses under Bo Ryan. The Badgers are 65-3 in home games under Bo Ryan, including a 31-1 record in Big Ten home games.

Wisconsin won both meetings last season, winning 72-69 in Madison (Feb. 9) during the regular season and 59-56 in Chicago (Mar. 12) in the semi-finals of the Big Ten Tournament. In Madison, the Badgers used a 13-0 scoring run midway through the second half to key the victory in the regular season. The Hawkeyes led 52-39 with 12:44 remaining before the Badgers rallied to take a 56-54 advantage with 4:46 to play. The score was tied for the final time at 56-56 with 4:28 left before Wisconsin scored five straight to gain control. Iowa closed to within two points twice, the last at 63-61 with 2:19 to play. From there the Badgers stayed in control, icing the win by hitting 11-14 free throws over the final four minutes. Wisconsin scored the first four points of the game before Iowa took its first lead on a three-point basket by Greg Brunner. Two Wisconsin free throws as time expired left the teams tied at 34-34 at intermission. Iowa led for the first 14 minutes of the second half before the score was tied at 54-54 near the end of Wisconsin’s scoring run. The Badgers shot 46.5% from the field compared to 45% for Iowa. Wisconsin shot 56.3% in the second half, while the Hawkeyes shot 52% in the opening 20 minutes. Iowa made eight treys compared to five for Wisconsin, but the Badgers made 27-35 free throws, compared to 7-14 for Iowa. The Hawkeyes had a season-low six turnovers. Brunner led Iowa’s attack with 27 points, hitting 12-21 field goals. Jeff Horner added 19 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals, with no turnovers in 40 minutes. Adam Haluska added 16 points. Guard Kammron Taylor led the Badgers with 26 points, while Mike Wilkinson had 20 points and seven rebounds. Alando Tucker added 13 points and eight rebounds.

Alando Tucker tossed in a 22-foot shot at the buzzer to lift the Badgers past Iowa 59-56 in the semi-finals of the Big Ten Tournament. Neither team was able to take control in the opening half. Wisconsin led by six points early and by five later in the half before Iowa came back to trail by one, 27-26, at intermission. The Badgers controlled the early portion of the second half, building a 43-33 advantage with 12:23 remaining. Iowa guard Mike Henderson answered with seven straight points as Iowa pulled to within one, 43-42, with 10 minutes to play. The teams traded baskets the rest of the way until two free throws by Erek Hansen tied the score at 54-54 with one minute remaining. Wisconsin took the lead on a basket by Mike Wilkinson with 32 seconds to play before Iowa set up for a final shot. Following a timeout, Iowa went for the win on a three-point attempt by Adam Haluska. That shot was off the mark before Greg Brunner got a tip-in to tie the score again with 3.7 seconds to play. After each team took a timeout, Wisconsin got the ball to Tucker, who raced up court and fired the game-winning shot just before the final horn. Iowa shot 45.5% from the field, compared to 41.1% for the Badgers, and Iowa held a 32-31 rebounding margin. The Hawkeyes also shot 80% from the foul line and collected six blocked shots. Brunner led Iowa in scoring with 18 points, raising his career total over the 1,000 point mark. Jeff Horner added 12 points and Haluska scored 10. Brunner also led the team with seven rebounds, while Hansen added nine points and six rebounds. Wisconsin was led by Tucker with 20 points and Zach Morley with 17 points and six rebounds.


  • During non-conference action, Iowa posted a 2-1 record vs. ranked teams. The Hawkeyes defeated Kentucky (67-63) and North Carolina State (45-42) and lost to Texas (59-68).
  • Iowa had made more free throws (193) than its opponents have attempted (184).
  • Iowa is 6-0 when scoring between 70-80 points, 4-1 when scoring between 60-70 points and 1-2 when scoring less than 60 points. Iowa is 9-0 when holding its opponent to less than 60 points, 2-2 when holding its opponent between 60-70 points and 0-1 when the opponent scores over 70 points.
  • Iowa is 7-1 when collecting more assists than the opponent, 2-2 when the opponent has more assists and 2-0 when assists are equal.
  • Iowa is 7-2 when having fewer turnovers than its opponent and 4-1 when the opponent has fewer turnovers.
  • Iowa is 4-1 when collecting more steals than its opponent, 6-2 when the opponent has more steals and 1-0 when steals are equal.
  • Iowa has had four players or more score in double figures in four games, with a season-best five players in the win over Maryland-Eastern Shore. Iowa is 0-0 when six players score in double figures, 1-0 when five players score 10 points or more, 3-0 when four reach double figures, 4-1 with three in double figures and 3-2 when two are in double figures.
  • Iowa is 11-2 when leading at halftime, 0-1 when trailing at intermission and 0-0 when tied at halftime.
  • Iowa is 9-1 when controlling the opening tip and 2-2 when not controlling the tip.
  • Iowa is 4-2 in games decided by 10 points or less, 3-1 in games decided by five points or less and 0-1 in overtime.
  • Iowa has held five opponents to 50 points or less and eight to under 60 points. Only four Iowa opponents have shot as well as 40% from the field.
  • Iowa has won at least 11 games before the start of Big Ten play four times in seven years under Coach Steve Alford. Along with the 11 wins this season, the Hawkeyes won 12 games prior to Big Ten play last season and 11 games in both 2001 and 2002.
  • Under Steve Alford, Iowa is 35-6 when shooting at least 50% from the field, including 2-0 in 2005-06.
  • None of Iowa’s opponents have shot 50% from the field. Iowa allowed just four opponents to shoot at least 50% from the field last season, and Iowa was 3-1 in those games. Iowa was 0-5 when its opponent shot at least 50% from the field in 2004.

Iowa closed the non-conference portion of the schedule with a 60-50 win at Saint Louis, earning its fourth straight win. The Hawkeyes used a 15-5 scoring run over the final five minutes of the first half to take a 36-28 advantage at the break. Iowa maintained its advantage throughout the second half, but led by just five after two Billiken free throws with two minutes remaining. Jeff Horner connected on a three-point basket to beat the shot clock with 1:22 remaining to give Iowa some breathing room. Saint Louis was never closer than six the rest of the way. Both Horner and freshman Tony Freeman added a pair of free throws in the final minute to secure the win. Horner returned to action for the first time since suffering a knee injury on Dec. 6. He collected 17 points, six assists and two steals in 36 minutes. Junior Adam Haluska hit 4-6 three-pointers and matched Horner with 17 points. Greg Brunner led Iowa with eight rebounds and Carlton Reed scored six points, hitting two key three-point baskets in the first half to key Iowa’s flurry at the end of the period. Iowa shot 42.9% from the field and a season-best 52.6% (10-19) from three-point range. The Hawkeyes held Saint Louis to 36% shooting, including 2-13 (15.4%) from three-point range.

Wisconsin dropped a 73-64 decision at Pittsburgh in its final non-conference game. Pitt shot 55.1% from the field in the game, compared to 42.1% for the Badgers. The Panthers held a 35-16 scoring advantage from the bench as reserve Sam Young hit 7-11 field goals while scoring 16 points and grabbing five rebounds. Wisconsin trailed 35-28 at halftime and improved its second half shooting to 45.5% after shooting just 37.5% in the opening half. The Badgers were led by Alando Tucker with 25 points and seven rebounds. Tucker was the only Badger to score in double figures, while forward Jason Chappell added seven rebounds and center Brian Butch led the team with five assists and two steals.

Iowa held Arizona State to just 12 first half points in a 62-43 win in Iowa City. That marks the lowest first half total scored by an Iowa opponent in 207 games under Coach Steve Alford. The previous low of 15 points was scored by Northwestern in Iowa’s 72-55 win in the first round of the 2001 Big Ten Tournament in Chicago. Arizona State made 6-23 (26.1%) field goal attempts in the first half, missing three three-point attempts and two free throw attempts.

The 45 points scored by Iowa in a win over North Carolina State marks the fewest points scored by Iowa since the Hawkeyes scored 49 in a 49-51 loss at Northwestern on March 3, 2004. The point total is the lowest for Iowa in a winning effort since a 50-49 win at Drake on Nov. 11, 2002. The 45 points are the fewest by an Iowa team in a winning effort in Carver-Hawkeye Arena since a 42-39 win over Northwestern on Jan. 12, 1984. The 45 points match the lowest total scored by Iowa under the direction of Steve Alford, as the Hawkeyes lost a 45-54 contest at Wisconsin on Feb. 23, 2000.

Iowa’s defense has led the way as the Hawkeyes won 11 of their first 14 games. Iowa opponents are averaging just 55.1 points per game, shooting 35.9% from the field and 29.6% from three-point range. Iowa has collected 102 steals and forced 237 turnovers while collecting 78 blocked shots. The Hawkeyes have held 13 opponents under 70 points and have won the rebounding battle in 11 games. Iowa ranks high nationally in scoring defense, field goal defense and blocked shots.

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. Iowa forced 23 turnovers by Texas-San Antonio in a recent 79-46 win and North Carolina State was guilty of 24 turnovers.

Senior forward Greg Brunner has raised his career rebounding total to 814, moving into fifth place on Iowa’s career list. Brunner also ranks 15th in career scoring (1,232) and is eighth (90) in career blocked shots. Brunner had his seventh double-double of the season vs. Robert Morris (15 points, 10 rebounds), giving him 27 in his career, most among active players in the Big Ten Conference. He leads Iowa in rebounding (9.9) and is averaging 14.1 points per game.

Senior guard Jeff Horner has become just the fourth Iowa player ever to total over 500 assists. Horner ranks fourth in career assists with 507, he ranks 16th in career scoring (1,220) and he has 475 rebounds. In career numbers, Horner also ranks third in three-point field goals (210) and second in three-point attempts (569). Horner needs just two steals to move into Iowa’s top 10 in that category. Horner is 10 assists away from matching B.J. Armstrong for third place in career assists and needs just four three-point field goals to move into second place in that career category.

Iowa’s players have been sharing the honors. Senior forward Greg Brunner was named the Most Outstanding Player as Iowa opened the season with two wins in the regional rounds of the Guardians Classic. At the Classic finals, where the Hawkeyes defeated Kentucky before losing to Texas in the championship game, junior guard Adam Haluska was named to the all-Tournament team after scoring 23 points vs. the Longhorns. Senior guard Jeff Horner was named MVP of Iowa’s Hawkeye Challenge, while Brunner and Haluska were named to the all-tournament team as well. Horner recorded a scoring and assist (12-10) double-double vs. Fairfield and added 19 points against Valparaiso. Brunner had 23 points and 11 rebounds vs. Fairfield and nine points and 13 rebounds vs. Valparaiso. Haluska, in the two games, totaled 25 points and 11 rebounds.

Senior Erek Hansen played a key roll as Iowa defeated Fairfield and Valparaiso to win the Hawkeye Challenge in early December. In the win over Fairfield, Hansen matched his career-high with seven blocked shots and added eight points and six rebounds. He added six points, five rebounds and three blocks in the win over Valpo. Hansen matched his career scoring high with 14 points at Iowa State and he added seven rebounds and four blocked shots. He has collected three blocked shots or more in nine of 14 games. Hansen is averaging 6.2 points and 4.1 rebounds and he leads the Big Ten with 2.9 blocked shots per game.

Junior guard Mike Henderson played a key role in Iowa’s win over Valparaiso in the title game of the Hawkeye Challenge, as he has improved his numbers in several categories from a year ago. Henderson matched his season scoring high with 15 points, hitting 5-6 field goals and 4-5 free throws, against Valpo. Henderson also had six rebounds and five assists. He added 10 points vs. Arizona State and had 12 points, eight rebounds and four assists vs. Drake. Henderson is averaging 7.6 points and 4.4 rebounds per outing, improving his shooting to 42.9% from the field and 80.4% from the free throw line. Henderson has scored in double figures in five games this year after scoring 10 or more points just three times in his first two seasons.

Junior guard Adam Haluska has started all 78 games he has played in his career, Haluska’s consecutive starts streak ranks fifth longest among all Division I players, according to STATS — Chicago. Haluska trails Gerry McNamara (Syracuse), Joe Herber (West Virginia), Patrick Sparks (Kentucky) and Donald Wilson (Portland). Haluska is averaging 14.1 points and five rebounds per game. He has scored in double figures in 12 games and he had a career-high six assists in a win over Drake. Haluska hit two crucial three-point baskets in the final 96 seconds against Drake and he added 18 points and nine rebounds in a win over Robert Morris. Haluska scored 17 points in Iowa’s win at Saint Louis, hitting 6-10 field goals and 4-6 treys. His career scoring total stands at 949 points. He has led Iowa in steals in six games.

Senior forward Greg Brunner and senior guard Jeff Horner are two of 50 players named as pre-season candidates for the Naismith Trophy, presented annually to the Player of the Year. Brunner was named the Most Valuable Player in the Iowa City regional of the Guardians Classic. Brunner is averaging 14.1 points and 9.9 rebounds per game, shooting 45.8% from the field and 69% from the foul line. He has recorded seven double-doubles in 14 games. He ranks fifth in career rebounds (814), eighth in blocked shots (90) and 15th in career scoring (1,232). Horner had a season-high 19 points vs. Valparaiso, 10 assists in a win over Fairfield and 17 points vs. Saint Louis in his return to action after missing four games. He is averaging 12.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 6.4 assists per game. Horner ranks 16th in career scoring (1,220) and fourth in career assists (507). Brunner has played in all 107 games in his career, with 95 starts. Horner played in 102 consecutive games (with 101 starts) before missing four games due to injury.

Seniors Greg Brunner and Jeff Horner joined Iowa’s 1,000 Point Club as juniors a year ago and now rank 15th and 16th, respectively, in career scoring. Brunner has scored 1,232 career points and ranks fifth (814) in career 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. He also ranks eighth in career blocked shots (90). Horner has scored 1,220 points and is the only Iowa player ever to score over 1,000 points, grab over 400 rebounds (475) and distribute over 400 assists (507). Horner was honorable mention all-Big Ten a year ago. In addition to Brunner and Horner, junior Adam Haluska has 949 career points, with 284 of those coming during his freshman season at Iowa State.

Iowa Coach Steve Alford has led five of his Hawkeye teams to key wins over ranked opponents in November. Those victories have included:

  • Iowa defeated top-ranked Connecticut 70-68 in the semi-finals of the 1999 Coaches vs. Cancer event in New York’s Madison Square Garden in Alford’s first game as the Hawkeye head coach. The Huskies were the defending NCAA national champions. The Hawkeyes fell to Stanford in the title game.
  • Iowa defeated 12th-ranked Memphis 75-71 in the semi-finals of the 2001 Guardians Classic at Kansas City’s Kemper Arena. After losing to fifth-ranked Missouri (77-78) in the finals, the Hawkeyes later that season defeated the Tigers (ranked second at the time) 83-65 in Columbia.
  • Iowa defeated 16th-ranked Louisville 70-69 in overtime in the 2003 Wooden Classic in Indianapolis.
  • Iowa defeated 11th-ranked Louisville (76-71) and 13th-ranked Texas (82-80) on back-to-back days at the Maui Invitational a year ago. The Hawkeyes fell to North Carolina, the eventual NCAA champion, in the finals.
  • After two opening round wins in Iowa City, Iowa defeated seventh-ranked Kentucky 67-63 in the semi-finals of the 2005 Guardians Classic in Kansa City. The Hawkeyes fell to second-ranked Texas in the finals.
  • As part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, Iowa defeated 21st-ranked North Carolina State 45-42 Nov. 30, 2005 in Carver-Hawkeye Arena, giving the Hawkeyes their second win over a ranked opponent in the first six games of the season.

Steve Alford has posted a 20-31 record against ranked opponents as Iowa’s head coach, including a 2-1 mark in 2005-06. The Hawkeyes defeated seventh-ranked Kentucky (67-63) and 21st-ranked North Carolina State (45-42), while dropping a 68-59 decision to second-ranked Texas. Alford’s Hawkeye teams are 7-13 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 Kentucky (67-63 in 2005-06), 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 13 losses to top 10 teams have been three times to No. 1 (Duke, 2001-02 and Illinois twice in 2004-05), once to second-ranked (Texas, 2005-06), 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 51 games against ranked teams, Alford and his Iowa team are 7-9 in home games, 10-11 at neutral sites and 3-11 when playing ranked teams in their home arena.

Iowa has outscored its opponents 473-344 in the first half and 459-417 in the second half. Iowa has led at halftime in 13 games and the Hawkeyes have outscored their opponent in the second half in 10 games. The second half scoring was even (20-20) vs. NC State and Iowa was outscored 11-7 in its one overtime period.

In its nine home games, Iowa has outscored its opponents by a 70-50.2 margin, shooting 44.3% from the field while holding its opponent to 33.8% shooting. Iowa holds a 41.7-34.8 rebounding advantage. In five games away from Carver-Hawkeye Arena (two neutral site games), Iowa has been outscored 61.8-64.0. The Hawkeyes are shooting 38.2% from the field while opponents are shooting 39.6% and Iowa is being out-rebounded by a 37.6-38.6 margin.

Iowa won its own Hawkeye Challenge in early December with victories over Fairfield (75-59) and Valparaiso (72-59). The Hawkeyes have won their own tournament 23 times in the 24-year history of the event. Seniors Greg Brunner and Jeff Horner, along with junior Adam Haluska, were named to the all-tournament team, with Horner earned the Most Valuable Player award.

Iowa made its second appearance in the Guardians Classic and was runner-up for the second time in five seasons. This season the Hawkeyes defeated Maryland-Eastern Shore, Colgate and Kentucky before falling to Texas in the title game. Junior Adam Haluska was named to the all-tournament team in Kansas City, while senior Greg Brunner was named the Outstanding Player in the Iowa City regional portion of the event.

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.

Six teams on Iowa’s 2005-06 schedule were in the initial national rankings, including both opponents who reached the semi-finals of the Guardians Classic. Texas was ranked second by the AP and third by the coaches, Michigan State fourth by the AP and fifth by the coaches, Kentucky ninth and10th, Illinois 17th in both, Indiana 23rd and 22nd and Iowa State 25th and 23rd. Additionally, five Hawkeye opponents were listed among teams receiving votes, including North Carolina State (ranked 21st at the time of Iowa’s win on 11/30/05), Ohio State, Wisconsin, Michigan and Northern Iowa. The Hawkeyes will play 10 games against the six rated opponents and a total of 16 games against opponents who were either ranked or receiving votes in the pre-season rankings.

Iowa’s captains are seniors Greg Brunner and Jeff Horner. Brunner, a native of Charles City, has started 95-107 games in his career and ranks among Iowa’s career leaders in scoring, rebounds and blocked shots. 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 102 of 103 games in his career, missing four games in December due to an injury. He has led the team in assists in each of the last three seasons and ranks among Iowa’s career leaders in scoring, assists and three-point field goals.

Iowa has faired well while taking part in regular-season tournaments over the past 24 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 23 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, the 2004 Maui Invitational and the 2005 Guardians Classic.

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.

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 saw the Hawkeyes meeting teams from nearly every major conference in the nation. The Hawkeyes participated in the Guardians Classic to begin the season, advancing to the championship game, defeating seventh-ranked Kentucky before falling to second-ranked Texas. Iowa’s non-conference home schedule was highlighted by games vs. Arizona State of the Pac 10 Conference and North Carolina State of the Atlantic Coast Conference. Iowa also hosted 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. Additional non-conference home games were against Drake and Robert Morris. The schedule included non-conference road games at Northern Iowa, Iowa State and Saint Louis. Iowa’s schedule includes 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 Texas (NCAA).

Is there a hero among you, your friends, your family? Coach Steve Alford and the Iowa Hawkeyes are looking for heroes, people who have gone above and beyond to help others. “There are wonderful things being done each day in every community across the state of Iowa by outstanding people,” said Hawkeye Coach Steve Alford. “Our basketball staff feels the “Heroes Among Us” program is an easy way to salute the friends and neighbors of ours who are making a different in the lives of their friends and neighbors.”

Nomination forms for the “Heroes Among Us” program are available online at hawkeyesports.com, the official web site of the Iowa Hawkeyes. Fans can print their nomination form by visiting the men’s basketball home page and clicking on the “Heroes Among Us” line under the “Features” heading.

The UI will select one here to be saluted at each Hawkeye home game throughout the remainder of the season. The hero, and the individual who nominated them, will be provided pairs of tickets to the game and a $10 gift certificate to the Official Iowa Hawk Shop. The hero will also be recognized when they are in attendance.

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: Jan. 10, 16, 23 and 30; Feb. 6, 12, 20 and 27; and March 6, 13 and 20.

Iowa hosts defending Big Ten champion Illinois on Saturday, Jan. 7 (1:05 p.m.) on ESPN. The Hawkeyes are then idle until playing Jan. 14 at Penn State.