Alford: A "Golden" Opportuity to Start Another Streak

Jan. 23, 2006

Steve Alford hopes the house is gold Tuesday night when Iowa squares off against Indiana at 8 p.m. on the hardcourt of Carver-Hawkeye Arena in the first-ever “Gold Rush Game.” However, if he really has his druthers, he hopes the Hawkeyes can do what they did after their loss at Wisconsin.

“We came back from a road loss and rattled off three straight wins,” said Alford, whose team will play its second straight game on ESPN tomorrow night when the league-leading Hoosiers pay their annual visit to Iowa City. A limited number of tickets remain available for purchase.

Alford noted proudly that Iowa was the first team in the league to win three conference games in a row. He knows a win Tuesday would be big for lots of reasons.

“There haven’t been that many big, key road wins in the league and that’s what Indiana is playing for on Tuesday, a very significant victory on the road. Conversely, we’re looking to draw even with them (in the loss column) and continue our success at home,” said Alford.

“Black Out Saturday in Kinnick last fall was a great atmosphere. Kind of eerie, actually. So,we’re hoping to have a little fun and give our fans a chance to be a little student-like because, as you know, the Hawks Nest does a pretty good job of being gold on game night.”
UI Coach Steve Alford on some of the thinking behind the “Gold Rush Game”

Is the key to victory stopping the inside game of the Hoosiers or the outside game of IU?

“It’s a pick your poison situation,” said Alford. “(Marco) Killingsworth is capable of putting 40 on you, but, if you make him your only focus, the guards can hit you with 40.

“We’re going to need to play very good team defense and to be very aware of where everyone is. We can’t afford to lose track of their guards.”

As for Iowa’s performance at Michigan State last Saturday afternoon, Alford said it’s forgotten.

“The team reported last night at 5:30. We talked about it and at 5:40 it was history. It was forgotten,” said Alford. “Not a lot visiting teams win in the Breslin Center and, frankly, not many will this year if they continue to play like that.”

Now, back to the “Gold Rush Game.”

“Black Out Saturday in Kinnick last fall was a great atmosphere. Kind of eerie, actually,” said Alford. “So,we’re hoping to have a little fun and give our fans a chance to be a little student-like because, as you know, the Hawks Nest does a pretty good job of being gold on game night.”

Alford did confirm that the Hawkeyes themselves will participate in the “Gold Rush.”

“We’ll be in our gold – not yellow – uniforms,” he said with a smile.