Hawkeyes to Play Big Ten Road Opener Tuesday Night

Jan. 3, 2010

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Iowa (5-9, 0-2) hits the road for its first conference road game Tuesday night. The Hawkeyes will travel to Champaign, IL, to face Illinois (9-5, 1-0) at 8:06 p.m. inside Assembly Hall (16,618).

Radio: Jim Albracht and Bob Hansen will call the action on the Internet only. There will be no radio coverage for this basketball game due to Iowa’s football team playing in the Orange Bowl at the same time. The Hawkeye Radio Network coverage includes a 60-minute pregame show.
Television: The Big Ten Network will televise Tuesday night’s game to a national cable audience. Craig Coshun and Jim Jackson will call the action.

Iowa has played 2,486 games since beginning basketball in 1902. Overall Iowa’s record is 1,471-1,015 (.592). That includes a 930-325 (.741) record in home games, a 541-689 (.440) record in games away from Iowa City, a 695-693 (.501) mark in Big Ten games and a 336-99 (.772) record in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

The last time Iowa started the Big Ten schedule with consecutive home games was during the 2003-04 season. Iowa opened with home contests against Purdue (Jan. 7) and Northwestern (Jan. 10). Furthermore, Iowa starts the conference schedule with four of its first five games at home. The last time that happened was during the 1962-63 campaign.

Minnesota led start-to-finish recording an 86-74 triumph over Iowa Saturday afternoon in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The visitors sprinted out to a 21-4 advantage the first 5:17 of the game. The Gophers forced an Iowa season-high 25 turnovers and turned the Hawkeye miscues into 45 points. Additionally, 25 of Minnesota’s 35 field goals were scored in the paint. The Hawkeyes trailed by as many as 26 in the second half, but closed the game strong on a 20-6 run. Sophomore Matt Gatens posted a team-high 14 points and nine rebounds. Freshman Eric May and sophomore Aaron Fuller each started their second straight game and both secured eight rebounds. May netted 13 points, while sophomore Fuller added 10. Minnesota was led by junior Blake Hoffarber, who poured in game-high 24 points, 17 of which were scored the first 11:20 of the contest. Senior Damian Johnson contributed 13 points.

? Iowa had a +2 rebounding edge (37-35). The Hawkeyes have had a positive rebounding advantage the last seven contests. ? For the seventh time this season, Iowa drained double-digit 3-pointers. The Hawkeyes made 11 triples, seven of which came in the final 20 minutes. Iowa was 11-of-26 (.423) from 3-point territory against the Gophers, which is the same number the Black and Gold made and attempted at Iowa State (Dec. 11).
? Devan Bawinkel had his second-highest scoring output of the season, nine points. The senior matched a season high with three triples on seven attempts.
? Sophomore Andrew Brommer posted a career-high eight points on 3-of-4 shooting from the field and 2-of-2 at the foul line. Four of his eight points came in the last 1:50 of the game.
? Sophomore Matt Gatens’ nine rebounds are a season best, while sophomore Aaron Fuller’s eight boards equal a personal best.
? For the second straight contest redshirt freshman saw the most action of his collegiate career. Lickliter posted career bests in points (9), field goals and 3-pointers made (3) and minutes played (21). Lickliter was 3-of-4 from distance.
? Two of freshman Eric May’s four field goals were baseline drive thunderous dunks. Additionally, May registered personal bests in free throws made (4) and attempted (6).
? Iowa played its third game without sophomore Anthony Tucker, who has been suspended indefinitely. Tucker averages 11.9 points and 3.5 rebounds.

“We just took turns throwing it to (Minnesota) and you just cannot defend that. They capitalized on our mistakes and we just couldn’t catch up. We’re not the first team this has happened to in the history of basketball and we probably won’t be the last. To our guys’ credit, the second half was better. Our guys cut down the turnovers and played a little bit better basketball. I thought coming in that (Minnesota) had the talent to compete for a championship in this league. We’ve opened the league schedule playing the No. 4 ranked team in the nation (Purdue) and Minnesota was ranked as high as No. 16, and we’re just working to be a better team. We are the youngest team in the conference and we are in the process of trying to establish a foundation here. We’re going to keep fighting.”

Anthony Tucker was arrested for public intoxication,” said Iowa Director of Athletics Gary Barta. “Anthony will be suspended for an indefinite period of time. First and foremost, I wanted to make sure Anthony is okay from a physical safety standpoint, and he is. Certainly, I am disappointed because this is not the first legal incident involving alcohol.”

“The status on him right now is that he’s taking a leave of absence indefinitely and we’re continuing an ongoing evaluation,” said Iowa Coach Todd Lickliter on Dec. 21.

After missing three games (Prairie View A&M, Northern Iowa and Iowa State), Head Coach Todd Lickliter returned to the bench Dec. 19 against Drake. Lickliter underwent a procedure on Dec. 5 to repair a torn carotid artery.

Iowa boasts the strongest strength of schedule amongst Big Ten teams in games played through Jan. 2. The Hawkeyes rank 16th nationally, according to realtimerpi.com. The nine teams Iowa has lost to boast a combined record of 99-18 (.846). No. 3 Texas is 13-0, followed by No. 4 Purdue (13-0), Wichita State (12-2), Virginia Tech (12-1), Northern Iowa (11-1), Minnesota (11-3), Texas-San Antonio (9-3), Duquesne (9-5) and Iowa State (9-3).

Illinois holds a 76-66 advantage in the series that began with a 46-36 Iowa win in 1908. The Illini have won four straight over the Hawkeyes, dating back to 2005. Illinois defeated Iowa (62-54) at Champaign in the only meeting during the 2009 season. The Fighting Illini won the only 2008 meeting (58-47) in Iowa City. Iowa’s last victory over Illinois came on Jan. 7, 2006 (63-48) in Iowa City. Prior to 2001-02, Iowa and Illinois had met at least twice in every season since 1974. Last year’s game marked the 12th time in the last 15 meetings Illinois was ranked in the top 25, 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 58-14 advantage in games played in Champaign, where it has won eight straight over Iowa and 19 of the last 20 meetings. Iowa’s last win at Assembly Hall came by a 78-72 margin during the 1998-99 season. The teams have never met at a neutral site.

Illinois (9-5, 1-0) enters Tuesday night’s contest losers of three of its last four games, falling to Georgia, Missouri and Gonzaga. Their last two games have been overtime thrillers. The Illini opened conference play with an 89-83 home win over in-state rival Northwestern (Dec. 30), but lost to Gonzaga (85-83) Sunday in the United Center at Chicago. In its loss to Gonzaga, Illinois rallied to force overtime after trailing by as many as 21 points midway through the first half. Twenty-four of Gonzaga’s 33 field goals came in the paint. Illinois forced 21 turnovers and converted those miscues into 33 points. Senior Dominique Keller came off the bench to led Illinois with 22 points and nine rebounds. Junior Demetri McCamey contributed 20 points and six assists in defeat. All five Illini starters average double figures in scoring. McCamey averages a team-best 14.1 points and Big Ten-best 5.6 assists. Junior Mike Davis is the only Big Ten player who averages a double-double (12.9 points and 10.4 rebounds). He has recorded a Big Ten-best seven double-doubles this season. Junior Mike Tisdale averages 12.0 points and a team-best 1.86 blocks. Recently, Tisdale poured in a career-high 31 points in Illinois’ overtime win over Northwestern. Freshmen Brandon Paul and D.J. Richardson average 10.7 and 10.6 points, respectively. As a team, Illinois ranks second in Big Ten free throw shooting (.738), rebounding (38.9), defensive rebounds (26.93) and 3-point field goal percentage defense (.300), third in scoring (79.1) and fourth in assist/turnover ratio (1.45). The Illini are last in scoring defense (68.9).

Bruce Weber is in his seventh season as the head coach at Illinois, but he was no stranger to Big Ten basketball when he accepted the position. 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 in his 12th year as a head coach and his career mark stands at 264-116 (.695), including a 152-57 (.727)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. The Fighting Illini reached the championship game of the 2008 Big Ten Tournament. Last year, Illinois posted a 24-10 record and an NCAA Tournament appearance, falling to Western Kentucky in the first round. 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 8-2 against Iowa and 2-0 vs. Hawkeye Coach Todd Lickliter.

? Iowa is 13-15 all-time in games played on Jan. 5.
? Eighty percent of Iowa’s offense is generated by its underclassmen (726 of its 906 points). The Hawkeyes have only one senior (Devan Bawinkel) and one junior (Jarryd Cole) currently seeing time on the court. Junior transfer Devon Archie has been sidelined with an injury and is expected to redshirt.
? Illinois’ 13-player roster features student-athletes from five different states. Nine of the 13 players hail from its home state of Illinois and one each from Missouri, Ohio, Texas and Virginia.
? Illinois’ roster breakdown includes five freshmen; zero sophomores, six juniors and two seniors.
? Iowa ranks 17th in the nation in 3-pointers made (8.9) and 21st in fewest fouls per contest (15.3).
? Illinois ranks 13th in the country in assist/turnover ratio (1.4), 17th in assists (17.8), 24th in field goal percentage (.477) and 27th in fewest turnovers per game (12.3).
? Cully Payne is leading all Big Ten freshmen in assists per game (3.79).
? The Sporting News lists Iowa sophomore guard Matt Gatens as the Big Ten’s best shooter in its college basketball preview issue.
? Iowa’s roster includes two players from Illinois, senior Devan Bawinkel (Winnebago) and freshman Cully Payne (Schaumburg).
? Illinois is the only team Iowa has not played at least once in the Big Ten Conference post-season tournament.
? Iowa and Illinois are two of the four Big Ten teams that have won more than one Big Ten Conference Tournament. Iowa claimed the title in 2001 and 2006, and lost in the title game in 2002. Illinois earned the title in 2003 and 2005. The fighting Illini were also in the title game in 1999, 2000, 2004 and 2008.

A strong second half lifted Illinois to a 62-54 triumph over Iowa on Feb. 1, 2009 in Assembly Hall at Champaign in the only meeting of the season a year ago. Iowa led by three points (25-22) at the half, but the Illini shot a blistering 65% (13-of-20) from the field and outscored the Black and Gold 40-29 the final 20 minutes. The Hawkeyes only managed to get to the free throw line four times, compared to 16 times for Illinois. Mike Tisdale and Mike Davis led the Illini. Tisdale scored 12 of his game-high 18 points in the second stanza, while Davis snagged a game-high 10 rebounds and also contributed six points. Jarryd Cole and Matt Gatens each netted 10 points for the Hawkeyes. Cole scored all his 10 points in the first half.

After a sluggish start shooting 3-pointers, Iowa has regained its shooting touch from 3-point territory as of late. The Hawkeyes have averaged 10.4 triples made their last eight games. In its first six contests, Iowa averaged only 6.8 treys per game. For the season, Iowa ranks second in the Big Ten in 3-pointers made (8.86). Individually, Matt Gatens has made four triples in four of Iowa’s last six contests.

Matt Gatens was the Hawkeyes’ leading player in Iowa’s six games. The Iowa City native played 233 of a possible 240 minutes and averaged 16 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 3.3 three-pointers. Gatens, who is a perimeter shooter, shot a blistering 55.6% (20-of-36) from 3-point range during that span. He led Iowa in points (18), rebounds (9), assists (5) and steals (1) in Iowa’s victory over Drake (Dec. 21). Gatens also paced the Black and Gold in points (20) and assists (8) in a win over South Carolina State. He led Iowa in points (14), rebounds (9) and assists (3) vs. Minnesota.

Iowa has four players who have each led the team in scoring at least twice this season. They are Jarryd Cole (Texas and NC Central), Matt Gatens (Texas, Northern Iowa, Iowa State, Drake, South Carolina State and Minnesota), Anthony Tucker (Duquesne, Virginia Tech and Prairie View A&M) and Eric May (UTSA and Bowling Green). Additionally, Gatens has reached double figures a team-best nine times, while Tucker has five times and Cully Payne four times.

The Hawkeyes have had one player score 20 points or more in five of the last eight games. Jarryd Cole tallied 24 vs. NC Central (Nov. 28), Anthony Tucker netted 24 against Virginia Tech (Dec. 1) and 20 vs. Prairie View A&M (Dec. 5) and Matt Gatens posted 20 at Iowa State (Dec. 11) and vs. South Carolina State (Dec. 21).

Iowa has owned the rebounding advantage in nine of its 14 contests, including the last seven. The Hawkeyes had a positive rebounding margin against UTSA (11), Bowling Green (2), NC Central (21), Prairie View A&M (4), UNI (2), Iowa State (2), SC State (3), Purdue (4) and Minnesota (2). The Hawkeyes are 4-5 in games they have a positive rebounding margin.

Freshman Eric May has performed well in his five starts. In his five starts, he has averaged 9.2 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.2 blocks and 1.8 assists. In his last two starts against Big Ten competition, he averaged 12 points, eight rebounds and three dimes.

Freshman Cully Payne was recognized on the CBE Classic All-Tournament team. The native of Schaumburg, IL, averaged 13 points, five assists and two rebounds in games against third-ranked Texas and Wichita State in Kansas City, MO. Additionally, Payne brought the fans at the Sprint Center to their feet, sinking a 75-footer at the halftime buzzer to tie Texas, 38-38.

Iowa’s roster of 12 players includes four freshmen, one redshirt freshman, four sophomores, two juniors and one senior. The freshmen are forward Brennan Cougill (6-9, 260), guard/forward Eric May (6-5, 225), guard Nick Neari (6-2, 185) and guard Cully Payne (6-1, 190). The redshirt freshman is John Lickliter. The sophomores are Andrew Brommer, Aaron Fuller, Matt Gatens and Anthony Tucker. In addition, junior forward Devan Archie (6-9, 215) is in his first year at Iowa after attending a junior college in Indianapolis. He has not played this season due to injury and is expected to redshirt this season.

Iowa averages 14.0 assists to 14.7 turnovers through 14 games. Last season, the Hawkeyes averaged 11.7 assists and 12.5 turnovers in 32 games.

Iowa attempted a school-record 37 triples against No. 3 Texas (Nov. 23), making 10. The 37 attempts breaks the previous mark of 36 (15 made) attempted against Long Island on Dec. 17, 1994. The Hawkeyes tied the school record for 3-pointers made against Prairie View A&M (Dec. 5). Iowa sank 15-of-31 attempts to match the record accomplished twice before (15 vs. Long Island in 1994 and Northwestern in 1998).

Junior transfer Devon Archie was sidelined seven weeks after sustaining an injury to his left shoulder during Iowa’s second practice, Oct. 17. Archie is practicing with the team, but is expected to redshirt after missing a majority of the season. The 6-9, 215-pounder is expected to bolster the Hawkeye front court after playing the last two seasons at Vincennes Community College. A two-time team captain at Vincennes, he averaged 6.8 points, six rebounds and 1.3 blocked shots, starting 19 of 30 games last season as a sophomore.

Freshmen Brennan Cougill, Eric May and Cully Payne have made an immediate impact on the team. Thirty-six percentage of Iowa’s offense has been generated by the freshmen trio.

May averages 9.6 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.7 assists. May has started five of the last seven games, including the last two. May averaged 12 points, eight rebounds, and three assists in Iowa’s first two league games (Purdue and Minnesota). He tallied 10 of his 13 points in the second half off the bench in Iowa’s win over Drake. He posted a personal-best 18 points and also secured eight rebounds in Iowa’s win over South Carolina State. May tallied a team-high 13 points against UTSA, a game-high 16 points vs. Bowling Green and blocked a team-high two shots vs. Duquesne. The native of Dubuque, IA, made all four 3-point attempts in Iowa’s 22-point triumph over Bowling Green. May had nine points vs. Wichita State and a double-double (14 points, 11 rebounds) in his first career start vs. Prairie View A&M.

Payne, who is Iowa’s first lefty point guard since Dean Oliver, averages 8.4 points, 3.8 assists and 2.6 rebounds. The native of Schaumburg, IL, was honored on the CBE Classic All-Tournament team. He netted a personal-best 18 points vs. Wichita State in the tournament’s consolation game. He scored 12 points vs. UTSA and dished out a game-high six assists against Duquesne. He also collected four assists against Bowling Green and six helpers against No. 3 Texas. Payne contributed 11 points and four assists vs. NC Central. He had eight points, four rebounds and three assists vs. Virginia Tech and eight points, a personal-best six rebounds and four assists against Prairie View A&M. Payne scored 11 of his 15 points at Iowa State in the final 2:05 of the game. He contributed eight points, three assists and equaled a personal high with six rebounds.

Cougill averages 5.2 points and 3.8 rebounds. The native of Sioux City, IA, posted his first career double-double the other night at Iowa State. He registered personal bests in scoring (12) and rebounds (10) against the Cyclones. He netted eight points, including a clutch 3-point play late in the contest vs. Duquesne to give Iowa a one-point lead. Cougill followed up that performance with his first career start, amassing eight points and a game and personal-high eight rebounds vs. Bowling Green. He had 11 points in each game at Kansas City against No. 3 Texas and Wichita State. Cougill had nine points and nine rebounds vs. NC Central.

Every Hawkeye on this year’s team is comfortable shooting the three. Nine Hawkeyes have attempted and made at least one 3-pointer this season. Anthony Tucker and Matt Gatens lead the team with 30, followed by Cully Payne (20), Devan Bawinkel (16), Eric May (13), Brennan Cougill (7), John Lickliter (4), Aaron Fuller (3) and Jarryd Cole (1).

Since the 3-point shot became part of the college game, Iowa has played 14 games in which it has failed to make a 3-point attempt. Iowa had made at least one 3-point basket in 53-straight games before missing all five attempts in a 71-61 home win over Purdue in 2004. Iowa’s current streak includes at least one 3-point basket in 195 straight games.

Iowa, Indiana, Michigan and Michigan State have the second-most underclassmen (9) on their rosters, behind Purdue (11).

Iowa’s roster of 12 players includes five players who won state titles. Matt Gatens and John Lickliter won a state title for Iowa City HS in 2008. Eric May won a state title for Dubuque Wahlert HS in 2008. Brennan Cougill’s Bishop Heelan HS captured the state title in 2009, while Anthony Tucker won a state title his senior year at Minnetonka HS.

The Hawkeye reserves are averaging 15.4 points and 7.34rebounds per game, compared to 18.1 points and 9.1 rebounds by the opponent reserves. Iowa is 5-2 when the reserves outscore the opponent reserves and 0-7 when the opponent reserves score more points. Iowa is 1-3 when the Hawkeye reserves have more rebounds than the opponent reserves and 4-6 when the opponent reserves have more rebounds.

Hawkeye opponents have outscored Iowa 446-436 in the first half through 14 games. Hawkeye opponents own a 494-470 advantage in the second half. Iowa has led at halftime in four of its five victories.

Ronnie Lester, former All-American basketball player at the University of Iowa, has made a $100,000 gift to the UI Foundation to support the Carver-Hawkeye Arena Enhancements Campaign. The assistant general manager of the Los Angeles Lakers, Lester is a member of the committee that is leading the fundraising effort to upgrade the 26-year-old facility. At the request of Lester, the UI Department of Intercollegiate Athletics will name the training room at the remodeled Carver-Hawkeye Arena in honor of longtime UI athletic trainer John Streif. Streif, of Iowa City, and Lester, of Manhattan Beach, Calif., have been close friends since Lester’s playing days as an Iowa Hawkeye, beginning in the mid-1970s. “John Streif has been a terrific friend to me for more than 30 years. He has worked tirelessly to support me and numerous other athletes for over four decades now,” said Lester, a 1981 UI graduate who was a member of the Hawkeye men’s basketball team from 1977 to 1980. “His dedication to the Hawkeyes is legendary, and I’m honored to name the training room for him. “As a member of the Carver-Hawkeye Arena campaign committee, I am pleased to step forward to make this gift,” Lester continued. “Coach Lickliter has the program moving in the right direction, and I want to do my part to help this important project.” The goal of the Carver-Hawkeye Arena Enhancements Campaign is to raise at least $20 million to modernize the current facility, according to UI Director of Athletics Gary Barta. No state funding will be used for the project. “We are thrilled to receive this gift from Ronnie Lester. He is one of the all-time great basketball players at Iowa,” said Barta. “It’s always special to see former student-athletes reach back and support the Hawks. On top of his generosity, it is terrific that Ronnie has chosen to honor John Streif. I can’t think of anyone more deserving.”

The Big Ten Conference captured its first Big Ten/ACC Challenge this year, winning six of the 11 competitions. Boston College, Miami, North Carolina, Maryland and Virginia Tech earned victories for the ACC Conference. Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio State, Penn State, Northwestern and Purdue captured wins for the Big Ten.

Iowa Coach Todd Lickliter was named the 2007 Division I national Coach of the Year by the National Basketball Coaches (NABC) after leading Butler to 29 wins and a spot in the NCAA “Sweet 16”. Four current Big Ten Conference head coaches have earned national Coach of the Year honors.

“HAWK TALK WITH Todd Lickliter”
University of Iowa basketball fans may join Iowa Coach Todd Lickliter and radio announcer Gary Dolphin during the season for the “Hawk Talk with Todd Lickliter” radio call-in show. The show takes place each week at Carlos O’Kelly’s Mexican Cafe in Iowa City from 7-8:30 p.m. The dates are: Jan. 6, Jan. 11, Jan. 18, Jan. 25, Feb. 1, Feb. 8, Feb. 15, Feb. 22, March 1 and March 8.

Iowa returns home for three straight games. The Hawkeyes will host nationally-ranked Michigan State (Jan. 9), then step out of conference play for the last time and welcome Tennessee State to Iowa City (Jan. 12). The home stand concludes with the only regular season meeting with Penn State (Jan. 16). Four of Iowa’s first five conference contests will be played in Iowa City.