July 12, 2007
After hosting two home games in the preliminary rounds of the South Padre Invitational, the University of Iowa’s men’s basketball team will meet Bradley University Friday, Nov. 23 at the South Padre Convention Center on South Padre Island.
Along with the Iowa vs. Bradley match-up, Vanderbilt will meet Utah State that same day in South Padre. The tournament concludes with a pair of games on Saturday, Nov. 24. The opponents and dates for the early round games in Iowa City have not yet been finalized. Iowa’s complete 2007-08 schedule is expected to be released in August.
“We know the two games on South Padre Island will be against good basketball teams,” said Iowa Coach Todd Lickliter. “All three of the teams there had successful seasons a year ago and have well-established programs. Vanderbilt was in the Sweet 16 last season and Bradley advanced to the Sweet 16 in 2006. Playing in an exempt event gives us the opportunity to play additional games against strong competition in a tournament atmosphere.”
Iowa and Bradley, a member of the Missouri Valley Conference, have not met in basketball since early in the 1976-77 season. Iowa holds a 6-3 series advantage. Bradley posted a 22-13 record a year ago. The Braves return Jeremy Crouch, one of the top three-point percentage shooters in the nation, and senior Daniel Ruffin, one of the nation’s active leaders in career assists.
Vanderbilt (22-12) returns three starters from its squad that advanced to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen last year, including Shan Foster (15.6 ppg), the third-leading scorer in the Southeastern Conference. Iowa and Vanderbilt have never met in men’s basketball.
Utah State (23-12) returns three starters from last season, including All-American senior point guard Jaycee Carroll (21.3 ppg), who ranked 10th in the nation in scoring a year ago. Iowa holds a 2-0 series advantage over the Aggies, with the last meeting a 64-59 Iowa win in the first round of the 1983 NCAA Tournament.
Iowa posted a 17-14 record a year ago for its sixth straight winning season. Lickliter takes over the Hawkeye program after a successful stint as the head coach at Butler University. He was named NABC National Coach of the Year last season after guiding Butler to the Sweet 16.
Tournament passes for the four games in South Padre on Nov. 23-24 are limited. Tickets can be ordered through the South Padre Island Convention Center Box Office (888) 774-8587 or online at www.sopadre.com.