March 7, 2006
Led by first team selection Greg Brunner and Defensive Player of the Year Erek Hansen, five members of Iowa’s men’s basketball team earned recognition on the 2006 all-Big Ten Conference teams.
Along with Brunner and Hansen, Doug Thomas was named Sixth Man of the Year and Jeff Horner and Adam Haluska earned third team honors. Iowa was the only Big Ten team with five players represented among the honorees.
“I’m extremely happy for the guys to be recognized for what they have accomplished,” said Hawkeye Coach Steve Alford. “It’s great for them and the program. It’s an honor to have five players recognized and a reflection of the balance we have on this team.”
Brunner, a senior from Charles City, was named to the first team by both league coaches and media. He leads the Big Ten in rebounding (9.7) and is averaging 14.2 points per game. Brunner is Iowa’s career rebounding leader (967) and ranks 10th in career scoring (1,462). He was second in the league in rebounding as a sophomore and junior and earned second team all-conference honors a year ago. Brunner is the first Hawkeye since Andre Woolridge (1997) to earn first team honors.
Hansen, a senior center from Bedford, TX, was named Defensive Player of the Year after leading the Big Ten in blocked shots (2.7) for the second consecutive season. Hansen started all 30 games, averaging 6.7 points and 3.8 rebounds while shooting 57.7% from the field. Hansen was named to the five player all-Defensive team selected by the coaches. He is the second Iowa player to earn the Defensive Player of the Year honor, as center Acie Earl was recognized in 1992.
Horner, a senior from Mason City, was a third team selection by both coaches and media, earning all-Big Ten recognition for the fourth straight year. Horner fought through a December knee injury to average 13.1 points, 5.7 assists and four rebounds per game. He led the Big Ten in assists for all games.
Horner is Iowa’s career assist leader (590) and career leader in three-point field goals (251) and attempts (683). He ranks 11th in career scoring with 1,435 points and had recorded over 200 points, 100 assists and 100 rebounds in each of his four years.
Haluska earned third team recognition from Big Ten coaches and was honorable mention by the media. The junior from Carroll earned honorable mention honors as a sophomore. He is averaging 14.1 points and 4.6 rebounds while scoring in double figures in 25 of 30 games. He is fourth in Big Ten free throw percentage (84.6%) and has scored 1,174 career points.
Iowa, the second seed, opens play in the Big Ten Conference Tournament Friday, meeting either Michigan or Minnesota at 5:40 p.m. CT at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.