Jan. 8, 2007
Iowa (9-6, 1-0) hits the road for a Big Ten contest at Illinois (12-5, 0-2) Wednesday, Jan. 10. Game time is 7:05 p.m. at Assembly Hall (16,618). Iowa defeated Michigan State 62-60 Jan. 4 at home in its opening conference game before being idle over the weekend. The Hawkeyes have won four straight games and seven of their last nine. Illinois opened Big Ten play with a 71-61 loss at Michigan before a 62-44 loss to Ohio State Saturday in Champaign.
ON THE AIR
Radio: Iowa games are broadcast on the Hawkeye Radio Network. Gary Dolphin handles the play-by-play, along 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, KWQC Quad Cities, Metro Sports, Kansas City, MO, Cox Cable in Tulsa and Oklahoma City, OK and cable systems throughout the state of Iowa, including Council Bluffs-Omaha, Rochester-Mason City and Sioux City. The game can also be viewed as part of ESPN’s Full Court package. Wayne Larrivee and Doug Altenberger will call the action.
Iowa has played 2,392 games since beginning basketball in 1902. Overall Iowa’s record is 1,430-962 (.598). That includes an 896-307 (.745) record in home games, a 534-655 (.449) record in games away from Iowa City, a 676-658 (.507) mark in Big Ten games and a 302-81 (.789) record in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
IOWA IN CARVER-HAWKEYE ARENA
Iowa has compiled a 302-81 (.789) record in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa is 141-67 (.678) in Big Ten games and 161-14 (.920) in non-Big Ten games. Iowa has drawn over 5.4 million fans for men’s basketball games since the arena opened in 1983. Iowa has posted a 94-26 (.783) home record under Coach Steve Alford, including a 58-5 (.920) mark in non-conference home games. Iowa has won 26 of its last 27 home games and 10 straight Big Ten Conference home games. Two of the five non-conference home losses came in the National Invitation Tournament.
HAWKEYES SET ARENA RECORD
With the 62-60 win over 24th-ranked Michigan State, Iowa improved its home winning streak in Big Ten Conference games to 10 straight, the longest conference winning streak in the history of Carver-Hawkeye Arena, which opened in 1983. Iowa has not lost a Big Ten home game since a 75-65 loss to Illinois on Feb. 19, 2005. Iowa has won nine straight conference games in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on two occasions, the last occurring during the 1995-96 and 1996-97 seasons. Iowa’s record for consecutive home wins in league play is 14 straight. That mark was set during the 1980-81 and 1981-82 seasons when home games were played at the Iowa Field House.
COACH ALFORD EARNS WIN NO. 300
Iowa Coach Steve Alford gained career victory No. 300 in Iowa’s 62-60 home win over 24th-ranked Michigan State. Alford’s career record stands at 300-175 and he is in his 16th season as a college head coach. Alford is in his eighth season at Iowa, where he has posted a 144-98 mark, leading the Hawkeyes to six straight winning seasons and post-season appearances. Iowa won the Big Ten Conference Tournament in both 2001 and 2006.
COACH Steve Alford
Steve Alford (pronounced ALL-ford) is in his eighth season as head coach at the University of Iowa and his 16th season as a college head coach. Alford holds a career record of 300-175 (.632), including a 144-98 (.595) 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 third among Iowa’s head basketball coaches in career wins. Alford’s 300 career victories are the most in the nation among all head coaches who are 42-years old or younger. Alford has posted a 13-5 record in the Big Ten Conference Tournament, leading the Hawkeyes to the tournament title in both 2001 and 2006. His total wins and winning percentage in the event rank tops among all Big Ten coaches. Alford is 53-60 (.469) in Big Ten games and led Iowa to a second place finish (11-5) in the 2006 regular season. Alford is 8-7 in the NCAA Tournament (3-4 in Div. I and 5-3 in Div. III) and 2-4 in the NIT. Alford is the only Iowa coach to lead his Hawkeye teams to six consecutive winning seasons. Iowa has advanced to post-season action in each of the past six years and the Hawkeyes have won 20 or more games in three of his seven seasons. 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 and 2006. 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 3-9 vs. Illinois and 3-5 vs. Illini Coach Bruce Weber.
ALFORD THIRD IN CAREER WINS
Coach Steve Alford has 300 career wins and 144 victories as Iowa’s head coach. With Iowa’s win over Iowa State, Alford moved past Rollie Williams (139) for third place on Iowa’s career win list behind Tom Davis (269) and Lute Olson (168). Davis coached the Hawkeyes from 1987-99, Olson was the Iowa coach from 1975-83 and Williams coached the Hawkeyes from 1930-42 and in 1950-51.
ILLINOIS COACH BRUCE WEBER
Bruce Weber is in his fourth 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 ninth year as a head coach and his career mark stands at 204-75, including a 101-21 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 in his first year in Champaign in 2004. Illinois swept the Big Ten regular season and tournament titles in 2005 while advancing to the NCAA championship game, concluding the year with a 37-2 record. 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 5-1 against Iowa and 5-3 vs. Hawkeye Coach Steve Alford.
Illinois holds a 73-65 advantage in the series that began with a 46-36 Iowa win in 1908. Iowa won 63-48 last Jan. 7 in Iowa City before Illinois won 71-59 Feb. 25 in Champaign. The Fighting Illini won both meetings in 2005, 73-68 in overtime in Champaign and 75-65 in Iowa City. In 2004, Illinois defeated Iowa 88-82 in Champaign and 78-59 in Iowa City. Illinois has won nine of the last 12 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 11 of the 12 meetings since Steve Alford has been Iowa’s head coach, including No. 1 for both meetings in 2005. Illinois was ranked in the top 10 at the time of both games in 2006. Illinois holds a 56-14 advantage in games played in Champaign, where it has won six straight over Iowa and 17 of the last 18 meetings. Iowa’s last win at Assembly Hall came by a 78-72 margin during the 1998-99 season.
- 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 (1996-99) and Weber was the head coach at Southern Illinois for five years (1999-03). 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.
- Iowa freshman guard Tony Freeman and Illinois players Jeremiah Wise and Brian Carlwell are all from Maywood, IL. Freeman attended St. Joseph’s while Wise and Carlwell both attended Proviso East. Iowa’s Cyrus Tate is a native of Chicago.
- Tracy Webster is in his third season on the Illinois staff. Webster played at Wisconsin and was an assistant coach at Purdue before joining the Illini staff.
- Illinois is the only team Iowa has not played at least once in the Big Ten Conference post-season tournament.
SMITH AMONG FRESHMAN LEADERS
Iowa’s Tyler Smith ranks high among freshmen in the Big Ten in nearly all statistical categories. He is second in scoring (15.2) and assists (3.5), fourth in steals (1.33), fifth in rebounding (4.6), 10th in field goal percentage (.489), 11th in three-point FG% (.346) and 14th in free throw percentage (.685).
HENDERSON BACK IN ACTION
Senior guard Mike Henderson, who missed Iowa’s first seven games after suffering a hand injury in practice on Oct. 30, saw his first action of the season in Iowa’s win over Coppin State on Dec. 2. Henderson suffered a fracture to the pinkie finger on his right hand and underwent surgery two days later. Henderson had the cast removed Nov. 27 before playing eight minutes vs. Coppin State and 11 minutes vs. Northern Iowa. Henderson scored eight points in 15 minutes vs. Iowa State and played 26 minutes in the loss at Drake. He returned to the starting line-up for the first time vs. Georgia State and had a career-high nine assists and eight points. He added nine points, nine assists and three steals in a win over Texas Southern and six points, four assists and two steals in a win over Cornell. Henderson played a critical role in Iowa’s win over Michigan State, connecting on five of six free throw attempts in the final 40 seconds. Henderson’s two free throws with six seconds remaining gave Iowa a 62-57 advantage to seal the victory. Henderson (6-3, 200), a Waterloo, IA native, started all 34 games a year ago. He averaged 7.6 points and 3.9 rebounds per outing while shooting 46.4% from three-point range. He earned the team “Most Improved Award” at the conclusion of the season. As a junior Henderson scored in double figures in 11 games. He matched a career-high with 17 points in a win at Purdue and scored 16 points vs. Michigan State in the Big Ten Tournament and in a home win over Penn State. Henderson added 15 points and seven rebounds in an early season win over ninth-ranked Kentucky as Iowa was 11-0 when he scored in double figures.
- As a team, Iowa leads the Big Ten Conference and ranks fifth in the nation in free throw percentage, making 77% (181-235) of its attempts. Individually, Adam Haluska is shooting 90.3% (65-72) from the line to rank 18th.
- Iowa completed a five-game road swing in November that saw the Hawkeyes travel nearly 8,000 miles while competing in the Paradise Jam in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, along with playing single games at Arizona State and Virginia Tech. Iowa has played in four different time zones (Atlantic, Eastern, Central, Mountain). This marks the first time since early in the 2000-01 season that Iowa has played five straight games away from home. Like this season, that five-game stretch in 2000-01 also included three games at a neutral site (Rainbow Classic). Iowa’s longest consecutive road game streak under Steve Alford occurred in 1999-00 when the Hawkeyes played at Northern Iowa, Iowa State, Missouri and Drake, winning two of the four.
- Iowa shot a season-best 89.2% (33-37) from the free throw line in a win over Texas Southern. The made free throws and the free throw attempts are the most for Iowa since the Hawkeyes converted 32-42 in a home loss to Michigan State on 2/5/05.
- Iowa, in non-conference action, played seven opponents from six of the stronger leagues in the nation, including the Atlantic Coast (Virginia Tech), Big East (Villanova), Big 12 (Iowa State), Missouri Valley (Drake & Northern Iowa), Pac-10 (Arizona State) and Southeastern (Alabama).
- Senior guard Adam Haluska has started all 113 games in his career, a streak that ranks as the longest in the nation among current players.
- Senior guard Adam Haluska was recently named one of 50 candidates named to the pre-season Watch List for the Naismith Award, which goes annually to the Player of the Year.
- With 18 points in Iowa’s loss to Villanova, Adam Haluska became the 39th Hawkeye player to surpass 1,000 career points. Haluska is in his third season at Iowa and has 1,239 points to rank 16th on Iowa’s career list. His career total, including one season at Iowa State, stands at 1,523.
- Freshman Tyler Smith was named to the all-tournament team at the Paradise Jam. Smith scored in double figures in all three games. He led Iowa to its win over Toledo on the first round, collecting 28 points, six rebounds and five assists. Smith added 19 points in the loss to 10th-ranked Alabama and 13 points in the loss to Villanova.
- Four Hawkeye opponents (Alabama, Villanova, Arizona State, Drake) have shot better than 50% from the field. In 34 games a year ago, Iowa allowed just three opponents to shoot as well as 50% from the field. Those were road games at Michigan State, Purdue and Minnesota, with Iowa losing two of the three. Iowa is 4-12 over the past four seasons when its opponent shoots 50% or better from the field.
- Iowa is 29-35 vs. ranked teams under Coach Steve Alford. That includes a 14-9 home record, an 11-12 record at neutral sites and 4-14 mark in road games. Iowa is 1-1 vs. ranked opponents in 2006-07.
- Iowa is 3-0 when scoring 80 points or more, 3-0 when scoring between 70-80 points, 3-4 when scoring between 60-70 points and 0-2 when scoring less than 60 points.
- Iowa is 5-1 when holding its opponent to less than 60 points, 4-2 when holding its opponent between 60-70 points and 0-3 when the opponent scores over 70 points.
- Iowa is 7-2 when collecting more assists than the opponent, 1-4 when the opponent has more assists and 1-0 when assists are even.
- Iowa is 8-4 when having fewer turnovers than its opponent and 1-2 when the opponent has fewer turnovers.
- Iowa is 6-3 when collecting more steals than its opponent, 1-3 when the opponent has more steals and 2-0 when steals are equal.
- Iowa has had four players score in double figures in one game (Toledo) and three players score in double figures in 10 games.
- Iowa is 1-0 when four reach double figures, 6-4 when three score in double figures and 1-3 with two players in double figures.
- Iowa is 9-2 when leading at halftime and 0-4 when trailing at intermission.
- Iowa is 5-3 when controlling the opening tip and 4-3 when not controlling the tip.
- Iowa is 1-3 in games decided by 10 points, including a 1-3 record in games decided by five points or less.
IOWA STOPS MSU IN IOWA CITY
Iowa led from start to finish and made 5-6 free throws in the final minute to open Big Ten Conference action with a 62-60 home win over 24th-ranked Michigan State. The Hawkeyes led by as many as 13 points in the first half before the Spartans rallied to within four (32-28) at intermission. Iowa scored the first four points of the second half to regain control and built the advantage back to 13 with just under 12 minutes to play. Michigan State rallied in the final 12 minutes, but had the ball for just one possession with a chance to tie. The Spartans cut the margin to 57-55 before Mike Henderson hit two free throws with 37 seconds remaining for a four point margin. MSU scored a basket with 29 seconds to play before Henderson responded by making one of two free throws to give the Hawkeyes a three-point margin. A solid defensive effort by Iowa then forced MSU into a long three-point attempt with six seconds remaining. That shot was off the mark and Iowa’s Cyrus Tate grabbed the rebound. Henderson added two free throws with six seconds remaining for a five point cushion before the Spartans hit a three-pointer with less than a second left in the game. Iowa shot 42.6% from the field and 78.3% (18-23) from the free throw line and had a season-low seven turnovers. Adam Haluska once again led Iowa with a solid all-around performance. Haluska contributed 16 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals. Tate had his best game with 14 points (6-7 field goals) and nine rebounds and Tyler Smith added 10 points, four rebounds and four assists.
OHIO STATE WINS AT ILLINOIS
Illinois shot just 24.1% from the field in a 62-44 home loss to Ohio State Saturday. Illinois shot just 22.6% in the first half as the Buckeyes built a 36-22 halftime lead. The Illini improved to 25.9% shooting in the second half, but not well enough to overcome the halftime deficit. The Buckeyes built the advantage to as many as 24 points in the second half. Illinois made just 14-58 field goal attempts, including just 3-23 (13%) from three-point range. Ohio State shot 34.9% from the field in earning the road win and the Buckeyes held a 48-42 rebounding advantage. Warren Carter led Illinois with 11 points and eight rebounds, but he was the only Fighting Illini player to score over six points. Guard Chester Frazier matched Carter with eight rebounds and added three assists.
HALUSKA NAMED CAPTAIN
Senior Adam Haluska is Iowa’s 2006-07 team captain. Haluska is a native of Carroll, IA who has started every game for the Hawkeyes over the past three seasons. A year ago he earned third team all-Big Ten recognition. He has scored 1,523 career points, including 1,239 with the Hawkeyes to rank 16th in career scoring. Haluska ranks fourth among players who played just three seasons at Iowa, trailing Andre Woolridge (1,525), Don Nelson (1,522) and Bruce King (1,361). He was named the tournament MVP in Iowa’s Hawkeye Challenge after scoring 31 points and collecting nine rebounds and nine assists in the title game. His 36 points in a win over Georgia State match the most ever scored by an Iowa player in Carver-Hawkeye Arena and he was named Big Ten Player of the Week after leading Iowa to wins over Georgia State and Texas Southern. He added 14 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals in a win over Michigan State. Through 15 games Haluska ranks among Big Ten leaders in five statistical categories, including free throw percentage (1st), three-point field goals per game (1st), scoring (2nd), steals (T4th) and assists (15th).
EARLY SEASON HONORS FOR HALUSKA
Senior guard Adam Haluska has earned recognition for his action on and off the floor. Following are Haluska’s early season honors:
- Named the recipient of the 2006-07 Anson Mount Scholar/Athlete Award. The award is presented by Playboy Magazine and recognizes a student-athlete who excels in the classroom and on the court. The magazine will donate $5,000 to the University of Iowa general scholarship fund.
- Named to pre-season all-Big Ten team, as selected by vote of media representatives attending Big Ten Conference Basketball Media Day.
- One of 50 players named to the pre-season Watch List for the John R. Wooden all-America team.
- One of 50 players named to the pre-season Watch List for the Naismith Award, which goes each year to the national Player of the Year.
- Named Most Valuable Player in Iowa’s Hawkeye Challenge, collecting 31 points, nine rebounds and nine assists in the title game. He had eight points, five rebounds, four rebounds and three steals in an opening round win over Texas-Pan American.
- Named Big Ten Player of the Week after averaging 28.5 points per game in two Iowa wins. He shot 57.1% from the field, 50% from three-point range and 90% from the free throw line in wins over Georgia State and Texas Southern.
Haluska earned academic all-America honors last season and is a two-time academic all-Big Ten honoree. He earned third team all-Big Ten honors a year ago after averaging 13.9 points and 4.7 rebounds per game. He ranks among Iowa’s career leaders in three-point field goals and three point attempts.
HALUSKA OVER 1,000 POINTS
Senior guard Adam Haluska ranks as Iowa’s most honored player, both on the court and off. Along with earning third team all-Big Ten honors a year ago, Haluska is a two-time academic all-Big Ten honoree and a year ago he was recognized as an academic all-American. Haluska has scored 20 or more points in eight games this season, including a career-high 36 points vs. Georgia State and 31 vs. Coppin State. He added 21 points in a win over Texas Southern to earn Big Ten Player of the Week recognition. He added 29 points against Cornell with the best shooting performance of his career. He connected on 10-13 field goal attempts, including 6-9 three-pointers. He made all seven of his field goal attempts in the second half and ended the game hitting nine straight overall, including his last five three-pointers. He also collected four steals and three rebounds. Haluska made his first attempt vs. Michigan State, extending his consecutive streak to 10 straight field goals (six three-pointers) before missing. Haluska had a solid all around game against the Spartans, collecting 14 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals, with no turnovers in 37 minutes. Haluska has raised his career scoring total to 1,523, including 1,239 in three seasons at Iowa. He ranks 16th in career scoring and is fourth in career scoring among players who played just three seasons at Iowa. His 185 three-point field goals attempts last season rank sixth best at Iowa. He ranks fifth in career three-point field goals (169) and career attempts (457). Haluska began the season with 29 points in the win over The Citadel, matching his career high. He also added five rebounds and six assists. Haluska scored 24 points in close road losses at Arizona State and Virginia Tech and had 21 points and seven rebounds at Drake. He added 18 points vs. Villanova and increased his consecutive free throw streak to 21 (including three last season) before missing his final attempt vs. Villanova. He is shooting 90.3% (65-72) from the free throw line to rank 18th in the nation in free throw percentage. Haluska has started all 113 games he has played in his career. His consecutive starts streak ranks as the longest in the nation among all Division I players, according to STATS — Chicago. Haluska currently ranks second in the Big Ten in scoring (19.9 ppg). Along with his scoring, Haluska ranks among Big Ten leaders in four additional statistical categories, including leading the league in free throw percentage (90.3) and three-point field goals per game (3.2).
HENDERSON NUMBERS IMPROVED
Guard Mike Henderson played a key role in Iowa’s 2006 success, improving his numbers in several categories from his sophomore season while earning the team “Most Improved Award”. Henderson missed the first seven games of this season with a hand injury before returning to see limited action in Iowa’s last six games. He scored eight points in 15 minutes in the win over Iowa State and played 26 minutes at Drake. Henderson returned to the starting line-up in a win over Georgia State, scoring eight points while collecting a career-best nine assists in a season-best 30 minutes of action. He added nine points, nine assists and three steals in a win over Texas Southern and six points, four assists and two steals in a win over Cornell. Henderson played a solid defensive game in Iowa’s win over Michigan State and came up big at the end, connecting on 5-6 free throws in the final 40 seconds to secure Iowa’s victory.
SMITH STEPS FORWARD IN PARADISE
Freshman Tyler Smith, who had just two points in his first college game, led Iowa with 28 points in a win over Toledo in the first round of the Paradise Jam. Smith connected on 11-17 field goal attempts and 5-8 free throws. He also led Iowa with five assists and collected six rebounds in 32 minutes of action. Smith had another solid outing in a semi-final loss to Alabama, collecting 19 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals in 37 minutes. Against Villanova, he added 12 points and three rebounds and he added 12 points, five assists, four rebounds and two steals at Arizona State. Smith had 12 points, five rebounds, four steals and three assists vs. Texas-Pan American and 16 points and seven rebounds vs. Coppin State. Smith led Iowa with 20 points (9-15 FGs) and added six rebounds vs. Northern Iowa and he added 16 points and a career-best six assists in the win over Iowa State. He added 16 points and five rebounds in a loss at Drake and 15 points, five rebounds, five assists and two steals in a win over Georgia State. He scored 25 points (4-5 treys, 5-5 FTs) and five assists in a win over Texas Southern and added 18 points, six rebounds and four assists in a win over Cornell. In his first Big Ten Conference game, Smith contributed 10 points, four rebounds and four assists in the win over Michigan State. Smith was named to the Paradise Jam all-tournament team and the Hawkeye Challenge all-tournament team. He is averaging 15.2 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game.
FREEMAN SOLID IN GUARD COURT
Guard Tony Freeman had a solid first season with the Hawkeyes a year ago and had a career high 11 assists and six rebounds in the opening game this season. He added a career-best eight rebounds in the win over Toledo and added 16 points, four rebounds and three assists against Alabama. He led Iowa with five assists vs. Villanova and added 11 points (4-5 FGs, 2-2 FTs) against Virginia Tech. Freeman collected 10 points and five assists in the win over Texas-Pan American and six points and five assists vs. Coppin State. He scored 11 points and added four rebounds and four assists vs. Northern Iowa. Freeman led Iowa with three steals in the win over Iowa State and he added 11 points and five assists. He scored 12 points (3-4 treys) in a win over Georgia State and added six points and seven assists in a win over Cornell. He had a solid floor game against Michigan State, contributing five assists and three steals, with just a single turnover. He is averaging 7.5 points and 4.4 assists per game.
JOHNSON LEADS FROM LONG RANGE
Junior guard Justin Johnson is making his mark in his first season with the Hawkeye program, as he currently ranks seventh in the Big Ten in three-point field goal percentage. Johnson has started six games, averaging 6.5 points and 2.8 rebounds per game while shooting 45% (27-60) from three-point range. He made 4-5 three-point shots in the loss at Drake, including three straight in a one-minute span in the second half. Johnson added eight points, six rebounds and four assists in the win over Georgia State and nine points and two steals vs. Texas Southern. Johnson, who did not attempt a free throw in Iowa’s first 11 games, has made all eight of his attempts this season. He added six rebounds and three blocked shots in Iowa’s win over Cornell. Johnson contributed nine points and six rebounds at Virginia Tech and he led the team with 14 points and five rebounds in a win over Texas-Pan American. Johnson added 13 points, five rebounds and four assists in Iowa’s win over Coppin State and was named to the Hawkeye Challenge all-tournament team.
A STITCH IN TIME
Junior Justin Johnson has taken over the team lead in stitches. Johnson was cut above the right eye in the late stages of the game at Drake and had to get three stitches. Freshman Tyler Smith had two stitches after suffering a cut during Iowa’s win over Coppin State in the Hawkeye Challenge.
LOOBY HITS THE BOARDS
After sitting out last season as a redshirt, junior Kurt Looby began to prove that his hard work from a year ago will pay dividends. Looby led Iowa with 14 rebounds in the win over The Citadel and added three blocked shots as well. After playing just two minutes in the first half against Toledo, he ended the game with 13 points and nine rebounds, all in the second half. Looby added 13 points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots vs. Villanova and he added six points, four rebounds and three blocked shots vs. Virginia Tech. Looby had 12 rebounds to go with six points, four blocked shots and two steals in the win over Georgia State and he led the team with six rebounds and two blocks in a win over Texas Southern. He led the team with six rebounds in a win over Iowa State and added five points and two steals. Looby leads Iowa in rebounding (5.1) and blocked shots (2.1) and is scoring 4.6 points per game. He had a career-best five blocked shots and five rebounds in a win over Cornell and had seven points and three rebounds vs. Michigan State. He is a native of St. John’s Antigua. His mother, Olivet, was able to visit the Virgin Islands to attend the Paradise Jam, seeing her son play college basketball for the first time.
GORNEY ADDS TO THE MIDDLE
Junior center Seth Gorney started for the first time in his career against The Citadel and responded with 10 points, two rebounds and three steals, matching his career scoring high. Gorney hit 4-7 field goals and 2-2 free throws in 25 minutes. Gorney added 10 points (4-6 FGs) and five rebounds vs. Toledo and he had 10 points and three assists in the loss to Alabama. He added eight points and four rebounds in a win over Texas-Pan American and added eight points and a team-high nine rebounds vs. Northern Iowa. Gorney added six points and four rebounds in the win over Iowa State, he had five rebounds vs. Drake and eight points and five rebounds in a win over Georgia State. Gorney made his first four field goal attempts in the win over Texas Southern, improving his streak to eight straight made attempts over three games before missing a shot in the second half. He ended the contest with 10 points, three rebounds and two steals. He is averaging 5.9 points and 3.8 rebounds per game while shooting 58% from the field and 90% from the free throw line.
TATE ON TARGET IN FIRST ACTION
Sophomore forward Cyrus Tate connected on 6-7 field goal attempts to score 13 points vs. The Citadel in his first action as a Hawkeye. It was more of the same in Iowa’s win over Toledo as Tate hit 3-5 field goals and 3-4 free throws, collecting nine points, seven rebounds and two steals in 18 minutes. Tate collected four points, seven rebounds and two assists at Virginia Tech and he had six points and season-best nine rebounds vs. Coppin State. Tate came up big in the first Big Ten game of his career in Iowa’s win over Michigan State. He scored a season-best 14 points (6-7 field goals) and matched his season-high with nine rebounds. Tate is averaging 4.9 points and 4.3 rebounds per game, shooting 47.3% from the field and 73.3% from the free throw line. Tate attended junior college one season before joining the Iowa program.
IOWA VS. RANKED FOES
Steve Alford has posted a 29-35 record against ranked opponents as Iowa’s head coach, including a 1-1 record this season and a 10-4 mark in 2005-06. Iowa, this season, lost to 10th-ranked Alabama (72-60) on a neutral court and defeated 24th-ranked Michigan State (62-60) in Iowa City. Alford’s Hawkeye teams are 9-15 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), sixth-ranked Illinois (63-48 in 2006), seventh-ranked Ohio State (67-60 in 2005-06), 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 15 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 eighth-ranked Illinois, 2005-06), once to ninth-ranked (Kentucky, 2000-01) and four times to 10th-ranked (Michigan State, 2000, Illinois, 2002, Michigan State, 2005 and Alabama, 2006-07). In the 64 games against ranked teams, Alford and his Iowa team are 14-9 in home games, 11-12 at neutral sites and 4-14 when playing ranked teams in their home arena.
IOWA PROGRAM REACHES 1,400 WINS
The Iowa basketball program reached 1,400 wins (now at 1,430) with a 79-46 victory over Texas-San Antonio on Nov. 26, 2005. Iowa is one of 37 NCAA Division I programs with as many as 1,400 wins. Iowa’s basketball history includes 72 winning seasons and 24 years in which the Hawkeyes have won 20 or more games. Iowa (with 22) is one of 31 programs to earn more than 20 invitations into the NCAA Tournament.
IOWA HAS STRONG FINISH
Following is a list of Iowa’s accomplishments in 2006:
- Posted 25 wins, which ranks as the second highest total in school history. The Hawkeyes won 30 games in 1987 and 24 games in 1988. The 22 regular season wins tie as the second most in school history. The Hawkeyes won 27 regular season games in 1987 and 22 in both 1988 and 1989.
- Posted 10 wins in 14 games against top 25 teams. Iowa was 3-2 against top 10 teams.
- Prior to tournament play, Iowa was the only Division I team in the nation to record 10 wins against teams that were ranked in the top 25 at the time of the game.
- Posted 11 Big Ten wins, the most for an Iowa team since the 1996-97 team won 12 conference games. The 11 Big Ten wins are the most for Iowa since the Big Ten went to a 16-game league schedule in 1998.
- Won the Big Ten Conference Tournament with three straight wins. Iowa also won the event in 2001 and was second in 2002. Iowa is one of three teams with two tournament titles and Coach Steve Alford is the only Big Ten coach to take three teams to the championship game.
- Earned a tie for second place in the regular season standings. Iowa had not placed as high as second in the regular season since earning a tie for second with a 12-6 record in 1997.
- Earned a third seed in the NCAA Tournament. The three seed is the highest since the Hawkeyes were seeded second in the 1987 event. Iowa was also a three seed in 1981.
- Earned the No. two seed in the Big Ten Tournament. Iowa’s previous best seed in the event was fourth in 2004.
- Advanced to the title game of the Big Ten Conference Tournament for the third time since 2001.
- Defeated seven top 25 opponents in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa set school records for home wins and total wins over ranked opponents last season.
- Completed its first-ever undefeated home season in Carver-Hawkeye Arena, which opened in 1983, and its first undefeated home season since 1966.
- Completed the seventh season in Iowa history with an undefeated home record. Iowa was also undefeated at home in 1902 (3-0), 1926 (9-0), 1945 (11-0), 1948 (12-0), 1950 (6-0) and 1966 (12-0).
- Established a school record 17 home wins in one season. The previous record of 16 was established in 1985.
- Improved its overall home winning streak to 18 games, a streak that ranks longest in the Big Ten and fourth best in the nation.
HOME, AWAY COMPARISONS
In its nine home games, Iowa has outscored its opponents by a 74.4-57.1 margin, shooting 45.9% from the field while holding its opponent to 38.4% shooting. Iowa’s opponents hold a 36-34.3 rebounding advantage. In six games away from Carver-Hawkeye Arena (three neutral site games), Iowa has been outscored 72.8-64.3. The Hawkeyes are shooting 41.7% from the field while opponents are shooting 47.7%. The opponents hold a 33.8-32.2 rebounding margin.
IOWA IN TOURNAMENT PLAY
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 2006 and its own invitational 24 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 2005-06 Guardians Classic, the 2002 Big Ten Conference Tournament and the 2004 Maui Invitational.
IOWA IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
Iowa made its 22nd appearance in the NCAA Tournament in 2006, falling to Northwestern State in the opening round at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Iowa earned the Big Ten Conference’s automatic bid by virtue of claiming the league’s tournament title. The Hawkeyes hold an overall record of 27-24 in the tournament, advancing to the Final Four in 1955 (fourth), 1956 (second) and 1980 (fourth). Iowa reached the regional championship in 1987 and lost in the regional semi-final in 1988 and 1999.
BASKETBALL TICKETS AVAILABLE
The following is information on Iowa basketball tickets.
Season tickets are available for 2006-07, including general public ($300), UI faculty and staff ($243) and UI students ($85). Single game tickets are available for $20 and $25, depending on the date of the game. A limited number of tickets remain for weekend home games vs. Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana and Illinois. UI students can purchase single game tickets for $15 on the day of the game, when available. There are several options available for fans interested in purchasing tickets for selected games:
- The Big Ten weekend package includes games vs. Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana and Illinois and is available for $100.
- “Youth Basketball Nights” have been set for games vs. Penn State, Northwestern and Purdue. Tickets for students high school age or younger are $10 for these games.
- Discounted tickets to select home games, earmarked for purchase by groups of 20 or more, are also available for purchase. For information about group ticket packages, fans should call the UI Sports Marketing Office at (319) 335-9431.
Fans interested in obtaining men’s basketball tickets can do so at the UI Athletic Ticket Office, located in Carver-Hawkeye Arena, by calling the ticket office at 1-800-IA-HAWKS or by visiting the UI website at hawkeyesports.com.
IOWA INTRODUCES SOLDIERS FIRST PROGRAM
Coach Steve Alford and the Iowa Hawkeyes have introduced a new program that thanks active members of the U.S. Military for their service to the country by providing them the opportunity to enjoy a home game of the Iowa Hawkeyes with their family and/or friends. The “Soldiers First” program offers five men or women who are on “active duty” with any branch of the U.S. Military the opportunity to cheer Alford’s 2006-07 Iowa squad with three guests. Ticket requests will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Eligible servicemen and servicewomen can call the UI Sports Marketing Office at (319) 335-9431 to learn more about the “Soldier’s First” program. Information and a registration form are also on the home page for men’s basketball at hawkeyesports.com, the official world wide web site of the Iowa Hawkeyes.
HAWKEYES LOOKING FOR HEROES
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. This marks the second year of the “Heroes Among Us” program, as 15 Iowans were recognized at home games 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 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The show will take place on the following dates: January 8, 17, 22 and 29; February 5, 12, 19 and 28; March 5 and 12.
COMING UP NEXT
Iowa returns home to host Minnesota Saturday, Jan. 13 (3:37 p.m., ESPN Regional) before playing at Indiana (Jan. 16) and at Ohio State (Jan. 20).