Hawkeyes Return to the Road, Travel to Ohio State

Feb. 5, 2010

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The Iowa Hawkeyes (8-15, 2-8) and 13th-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes (17-6, 7-3) meet for the second time in 12 days when the Hawkeyes travel to Columbus, OH, Sunday. Tip-off is slated for 11:06 a.m. (CST) inside Value City Arena (19,049).

Iowa begins a difficult stretch of playing four conference games in 10 days, two on the road and two at home. After the 10-game stretch the Hawkeyes will be idle for eight days.

Radio: Iowa games are broadcast on the Hawkeye Radio Network. Gary Dolphin handles the play-by-play, along with color commentator Bob Hansen. The network includes more than 40 stations that blanket the state of Iowa and include portions of Illinois, Nebraska, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin. The Hawkeye Radio Network coverage includes a 60-minute pregame show. Fans can also listen to the game on XM Satellite Radio, Channel 196.
Television: The Big Ten Network will televise Saturday afternoon’s game to a national cable audience. Tom Hamilton and Greg Kelser will call the action.

Iowa has played 2,495 games since beginning basketball in 1902. Overall Iowa’s record is 1,474-1,021 (.591). That includes a 932-328 (.740) record in home games, a 542-692 (.439) record in games away from Iowa City, a 697-699 (.499) mark in Big Ten games and a 338-1012(.768) record in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Illinois held off a surging Iowa team late in the contest for a 57-49 victory Wednesday night at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes cut Illinois’ double digit second-half lead to three points, three times late in the game but Illinois sank five of its last six free-throw attempts to seal the win. The Illini were able to get to the basket and attempt high-percentage shots, scoring 15 of its 21 field goals in the paint, 11 of which came in the first half. Iowa’s Matt Gatens and Jarryd Cole paced the Black and Gold, scoring 12 and 10 points, respectively. Illinois’ Demetri McCamey led all scorers with 15 points, while Mike Tisdale registered 14 and D.J. Richardson 11 for the Illini.

? Iowa recorded only nine turnovers in the contest, one shy of equaling its season low for the season (Drake).
? The Hawkeyes shot 75% from the free-throw line (9-of-12). Iowa went a perfect 6-of-6 from the charity stripe in the final 4:06.
? Iowa outrebounded Illinois by six (38-32). The Hawkeyes had been outboarded in four of its previous five contests.
? Aaron Fuller led all rebounders with nine. The sophomore has led the Black and Gold in rebounding six of the last seven contests, including the last three.
? Half of Iowa’s field goals came from 3-point range. For the game, Iowa was 16-of-54 from the field, including 8-of-28 from long distance.
? Iowa allowed 10 fast break points and eight points off turnovers in the first half, but did not allow a fast break point and only two points off turnovers the final 20 minutes.
? Iowa played its 12th game without sophomore Anthony Tucker. The sophomore was suspended on Dec. 20 and returned to practice on Jan. 25. His return to game action has yet to be determined by Coach Lickliter. Tucker averages 11.9 points and 3.5 rebounds. He has only played in four Big Ten contests during his time at Iowa. One of the four games he only played one minute (at Ohio State last season).

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.

“I told the team, I felt like we had a chance to win and that is better than Saturday, because we didn’t give ourselves a chance to win at Michigan. We did enough things right to give us a chance but, in games that we have a chance and are close, we probably try 10 plays that even the best players can’t make. When I say the best players, I mean NBA guys. We try to make plays that just aren’t there, that are low percentage, and when you do that seven or eight times against a team like this, your chance of winning is diminished because we just don’t have that kind of margin for error. We did more good than bad and hopefully we can fight and compete and eventually make some winning plays when it comes that time. I feel like this was two games where it was time to win. We just couldn’t come up with the right plays. Hopefully, we will keep competing and that will happen.”

Iowa has a heavy road schedule coming down the stretch. The Hawkeyes conclude the regular season with five of its final eight contests on the road, beginning Sunday at Ohio State.

Iowa and Michigan State are the only schools with at least three players ranked in the top 20 in Big Ten rebounding. The Spartans have four, while the Hawkeyes have three. Aaron Fuller ranks 15th (5.4), followed by Jarryd Cole (5.3) and Eric May (5.2).

In conference games only stats, Fuller ranks first in the Big Ten in offensive rebounds (3.9) and third in overall rebounds (7.7), while Cole ranks third in offensive rebounds (2.4).

Iowa averages 70.8 points, 16.3 assists, makes 48% of its field-goal attempts and boasts a +6.9 rebounding margin in its eight victories.

Individually, Matt Gatens averages 3.1 more points and 2.1 more rebounds in victories compared to losses, while Aaron Fuller averages 5.2 more points and Eric May averages 3.7 more points.

Iowa holds a 75-71 advantage over Ohio State in the series that began with a 17-16 Ohio State win in 1915. The Buckeyes edged the Hawkeyes 65-57 on Jan. 27 in Iowa City. Ohio State defeated Iowa twice a year ago: 68-65 on Dec. 31, 2008 in Columbus and 60-58 on March 3, 2009 in Iowa City. The two teams split during the 2007-08 season, with each team winning on its home court. The two teams have split the last 14 meetings, while the Buckeyes have won 12 of the last 20. The visiting team in the series has won 10 of the last 19 games. Sixteen of the last 23 meetings have been decided by 10 points or less, with 11 decisions by five points or less. Ohio State holds a 44-26 advantage in games played in Columbus, but Iowa has won eight of the last 13 there. Iowa was the first opponent to win at the Value City Arena, taking a 71-68 win in 1999. The Hawkeyes won 67-64 in 2000, 71-64 in 2003 and 78-67 in 2004, but has since lost four straight there. Ohio State has won three of five neutral site meetings, with the teams splitting four meetings in the Big Ten Conference Tournament. The Buckeyes won a conference playoff game at the conclusion of the 1968 season at West Lafayette, IN.

Ohio State enters Sunday’s game winners of six of its last seven. Sunday will be the Buckeyes’ third straight home game after beating Minnesota (85-63) and Penn State (75-62) this week. Ohio State is a perfect 14-0 in home games, including winning all five Big Ten home contests. The Buckeyes boast a +17.8 scoring margin at Value City Arena in conference play. Ohio State played only seven players in its last outing vs. Penn State, with three student-athletes playing all 40 minutes (Evan Turner, David Lighty and Jon Diebler). The Buckeyes earned 24 shots at the free-throw line, making 18. Ohio State had only six turnovers, while forcing 11 en route to victory. Turner posted game highs in scoring (27) and rebounding (10), while also dishing out a team-high six assists against the Nittany Lions. The Buckeyes start four juniors and a sophomore. Four starters average double figures in scoring, led by Turner. Turner, who was a preseason second team all-American selection by espn.com, nearly averages a double-double (18.9 points and 9.5 rebounds). He also averages a team-best 5.7 assists. Turner, who missed six games (Dec. 12-Jan. 3) due to an injured back, opened the season by recording the first triple-double by a Big Ten player since January 13, 2001 and the second in school history (Dennis Hopson was the first) against Alcorn State University. Turner repeated the feat two weeks later against Lipscomb. He has 10 double-doubles this season. Sophomore William Buford ranks second in team scoring (14.2) and assists (3.3). Diebler ranks third in scoring (12.9) and first in the Big Ten in 3-pointers (68-156, .436). Lighty ranks first in thefts (1.7) and is tied with Diebler for third in scoring (12.9). Junior Dallas Lauderdale ranks first in the league in blocks (2.4), second on the team in rebounding (5.2) and fifth in scoring (7.3). Ohio State ranks first in the conference in scoring margin (+14.0) and field goal percentage (.500), second in scoring defense (61.0) and 3-point field goal percentage (.386), third in blocked shots (4.3), turnover margin (+3.5), 3-pointers made (7.7) and scoring offense (74.9).

Thad Matta is in his sixth season as the head coach at Ohio State and his 10th year overall as a college head coach. Ohio State posted a 22-11 mark a year ago and competed in the NCAA Tournament, falling to Siena in the first round (74-72). The Buckeyes were 35-4 in 2007, advancing to the title game in the NCAA Tournament before falling to Florida (84-75). The Buckeyes posted a 26-6 record in 2006, winning the Big Ten title (12-4) by one game over Iowa and Illinois. After a loss to Iowa in the 2006 Big Ten Tournament championship game the Buckeyes claimed both the regular season and tournament titles in 2007. Matta led Ohio State to a 20-12 record in his first season in Columbus in 2005. He has won 20 games in each of his nine seasons as a head coach. His career mark stands at 246-83 (.748) and he is 144-52 (.735) at Ohio State. Matta joined the Ohio State staff after serving as the head coach at Xavier for three seasons. He posted a 78-23 record in three seasons at Xavier (2002-04) and had a one-year record of 24-8 as Butler’s head coach in 2000-01, taking his alma mater to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Matta was the 2006 and 2007 Big Ten Coach of the Year. He was also the 2001 Midwestern Collegiate Conference Coach of the Year as Butler won regular season and post-season tournament titles. In 2002 he led Xavier to regular season and post-season tournament titles in the Atlantic 10 Conference and was named Coach of the Year. He was a 2003 Naismith National Coach of the Year finalist and he was the 2004 Ohio Coach of the Year. Matta is 6-4 vs. Iowa and 5-1 vs. Coach Todd Lickliter.

Iowa Coach Todd Lickliter and Ohio State Coach Thad Matta go way back in the world of college basketball. Lickliter was an assistant coach at Butler University, his alma mater, in 1988-89 when Matta was a junior starter for the Bulldogs. Matta returned to his alma mater as an assistant coach prior to the 1996-97 season and served as Butler’s head coach in 2000-01. Lickliter rejoined the Butler staff in 1999-00, working as an assistant coach with Matta and then as an assistant under Matta in 2000-01. When Matta was named head coach at Xavier University following the 2001 season, Lickliter took over as the head coach at Butler, holding that position for six years before taking the head position at Iowa following the 2007 season. Both Lickliter and Matta earned conference Coach of the Year recognition as Butler’s head coach. In addition, Matta was an assistant coach at Butler throughout the playing career of Iowa assistant LaVall Jordan. Matta was Butler’s head coach in 2000-01 when Iowa assistant Joel Cornette was a sophomore for the Bulldogs and was responsible for recruiting Cornette to Butler.

While Todd Lickliter and Thad Matta have been together at times during their careers, they have met six times as head coaches. Matta’s 2006 Ohio State team scored an early season 79-69 overtime win over Lickliter’s Butler squad in Columbus. Butler posted a 20-13 record that season and lost in the second round of the post-season NIT. Two years ago, the Buckeyes defeated Iowa 79-48 in Columbus and Iowa won 53-48 in Iowa City. Ohio State won both meetings last season, 68-65 at Columbus and 60-58 at Iowa City. The Buckeyes won at Iowa, 65-57, a little over a week ago on Jan. 27.

? Iowa and Ohio State meet for the second time in 12 days. Iowa plays three Big Ten opponents three games apart. Iowa also played Michigan State twice in 12 days. Later this month, the Hawkeyes and Wildcats meet twice in 16 days.
? Iowa is 18-7 all-time in games played on Feb. 7.
? Iowa is 7-2 when leading at the half, 1-11 when trailing and 0-1 when tied at halftime. Additionally, the Hawkeyes are 8-4 when recording more assists and 7-3 when getting to the free-throw line more than their opponents. Iowa is also a perfect 7-0 when having a higher field goal percentage than its opponents.
? Eighty-one percent of Iowa’s offense is generated by underclassmen (1,106 of 1,359 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 will redshirt.
? The Hawkeyes shoot 82.6% (19-of-23) from the foul line in the last 60 seconds and 80% (32-of-40) in the final two minutes of a contest.
? Ohio State’s 14-player roster features student-athletes from four different states, plus Greece and Serbia. Eight of the 14 players hail from Ohio, two from Illinois, and one each from Minnesota, Indiana, Greece and Serbia.
? Ohio State’s roster breakdown includes five seniors, six juniors, three sophomores and zero freshmen.
? Iowa ranks 19th in the nation in fewest fouls per contest (15.3) and 33rd in 3-pointers made (8.0).
? Ohio State ranks ninth in the country in field goal percentage (.500), 17th in scoring margin (+14.0), 27th in fewest fouls per game (15.6) and 33rd in turnover margin (3.5). Individually, Jon Diebler ranks 11th in the nation in 3-point percentage (.436) and 20th in treys made (2.9).
? Iowa and Ohio State each earned one of the Big Ten titles in 2006 before the Buckeyes won both titles in 2007. Ohio State won the regular season title in 2006, finishing a game ahead of second place Iowa and Illinois. The Hawkeyes claimed the Big Ten tournament title with a win over Ohio State.
? Iowa and OSU have met in four of the last eight Big Ten Tournaments. Iowa won 75-66 in the quarter-finals in 2001 and went on to win the tournament. The teams met in the championship game in 2002, with the Buckeyes winning 81-64. OSU defeated Iowa 66-64 in the first round of the 2003 Big Ten Tournament and the Buckeyes went on to the title game before placing second. In 2006, Iowa, the No. two seed, defeated the top-seeded Buckeyes 67-60 for the tournament title. The teams also met at a neutral site in 1968, with OSU defeating Iowa 85-81 in a playoff game at West Lafayette, IN, after the teams tied for the Big Ten regular season title.
? OSU Coach Thad Matta was an administrative assistant at Butler when Iowa defeated the Bulldogs (114-92) early in the 1991-92 season in Tampa, FL.
? Iowa assistant Joel Cornette is a native of Cincinnati, OH.
? OSU assistant Brandon Miller played one season at Missouri State under former Iowa Coach Steve Alford before completing his playing career at Butler.

Seven recent games between Iowa and Ohio State have been decided in the final seconds. Here is how those games ended: ? Ohio State held on at the end for a 60-58 win at Iowa City March 3, 2009. The game featured 10 ties and 14 lead changes. OSU scored the winning basket with 2:09 remaining on a jumper by Evan Turner. The teams traded turnovers before Iowa missed a three-point shot with 55 seconds remaining. Iowa had a chance to tie in the closing seconds, but OSU’s Dallas Lauderdale blocked a lay-up attempt with seven seconds remaining. Iowa had one final shot after OSU missed a free throw, but a final 3-point shot was off target at time expired.
? Ohio State won 68-65 when the teams met Dec. 31 in Columbus. Jake Kelly gave Iowa a 65-64 advantage with a 3-point basket with 3:31 remaining, before OSU reclaimed the lead on two Evan Turner free throws with 3:17 to play. Iowa missed the first of a one-and-one free throw opportunity with 1:27 left and OSU leading 67-65, then missed 3-point shots in the final minute that could have forced an overtime period.
? Iowa won 67-62 in Iowa City in 2006, hitting four free throws in the final 24 seconds. OSU did not score a field goal in the final six minutes and had a costly turnover when trailing by three points in the last minute.
? Iowa won 74-72 in Iowa City in 2005 on a Jeff Horner basket with 3.4 seconds remaining.
? OSU won 66-64 on March 13, 2003 when Brent Darby scored in the final seconds at the Big Ten Tournament in Chicago.
? OSU won 69-68 on Feb. 7, 2001 in Iowa City. OSU’s Sean Connolly made two free throws with 25 seconds remaining to give his team a 68-65 lead and Brent Darby added one free throw with four seconds left before Iowa closed the final margin on a 3-point basket by Dean Oliver at the buzzer.
? Iowa won 67-64 on Feb. 9, 2000 in Columbus when Kyle Galloway hit a 3-pointer from deep in the corner in the final seconds as Iowa held off a furious Buckeye rally.

Ohio State scored 45 second-half points, including 20 in the final 4:45 of the game, to lift the Buckeyes to a 65-57 win over the Iowa Hawkeyes Jan. 27 in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa led by five (25-20) at the half and for a majority of the second half. The Black and Gold led by as much as seven (45-38) with 8:18 remaining in the contest. An Eric May triple at the 4:46 mark gave Iowa a 50-45 advantage. However, the Buckeyes closed the game on a 20-7 run. May led Iowa, scoring 17 of his team-high 18 points in the final 14:37. The freshman matched a season high and drained a season-best five triples, all in the second half. Jarryd Cole contributed nine points and five rebounds, while Aaron Fuller registered six points and a team-best nine boards. Matt Gatens reinjured his ankle during the afternoon shoot-around prior to the game and was a game time decision. He ultimately showed incredible toughness playing 38 minutes, collecting six points and three assists. Ohio State’s Evan Turner posted game highs in assists (7) and rebounds (12) to go along with his 16 points. David Lighty netted a game-high 20 points and also snagged eight rebounds for the Buckeyes.

Anthony Tucker was arrested for public intoxication on Dec. 20 and was suspended indefinitely. Tucker, who is Iowa’s second leading scorer, has missed the last 12 games due to the suspension. The sophomore averages 11.9 points and 3.5 rebounds in 11 contests. Tucker returned to the team and resumed practicing Monday, Jan. 25. His return to game action is yet to be determined by Coach Lickliter. He is expected to travel with the team to Columbus, OH; his first road trip since being suspended.

So far, the Hawkeyes have played the 52nd-toughest schedule in the country. Although the team has not been rewarded with more wins, statistically the numbers are up, through 23 games, from a year ago. The Hawkeyes are averaging three more two-pointers this year from last, 3.8 more rebounds, including 2.3 more offensive rebounds and 1.0 more assists.

Iowa freshmen, Cully Payne and Eric May, lead Big Ten freshmen in a couple statistical categories. Payne is leading all conference freshmen in assists per game (3.61) and minutes played (32.1). May ranks first in blocked shots (1.0). May blocked three shots in two of Iowa’s last three contests, while Payne averaged 3.33 assists and 31.7 minutes the last three contests.

Sophomore Aaron Fuller is returning to form after recovering from an ankle sprain sustained in Iowa’s third game of the year (vs. Bowling Green, Nov. 20). Fuller has nearly doubled his productivity in conference games compared to non-league games. Fuller played in 11 non-Big Ten contests and averaged 5.5 points and 3.3 rebounds. In 10 conference games, Fuller leads the team in scoring (11.1) and rebounding (7.7). He has led the team in scoring four of the last seven contests and rebounding in five of the last seven. In his last seven games, Fuller is averaging 14 points and 8.4 rebounds. Fuller returned to the starting lineup in Iowa’s first conference game (vs. Purdue, Dec. 29). In league play, the native of Mesa, AZ, ranks first in the Big Ten in offensive rebounds (3.9), third in rebounding (7.7) and 25th in scoring (11.1). Fuller posted the first career double-doubles of his career in back-to-back games vs. Tennessee State (Jan. 12) and Penn State (Jan. 16). Against Tennessee State notched career highs in scoring (24) and rebounds (10). He netted the 24 points on 10-of-15 shooting from the field and 3-of-4 from the foul line. Against Penn State, Fuller registered 20 points and 10 rebounds. The 6-6, 230-pounder was only one rebound from posting his third consecutive double-double at Michigan State on Jan. 20 (13 points and nine rebounds). Prior to the last seven games, Fuller was averaging 5.2 points and 3.9 rebounds. His overall averages now stand at 8.1 points and 5.4 boards. Fuller has also improved his free throw shooting from a year ago. Last season, Fuller was 11-of-25 (.440) from the charity stripe, compared to 42-of-61 (.689) this season.

Iowa has five players who have each led the team in scoring at least twice. They are Jarryd Cole (Texas and NC Central), Matt Gatens (Texas, Northern Iowa, Iowa State, Drake, South Carolina State, Minnesota, Illinois and twice against Michigan State), Anthony Tucker (Duquesne, Virginia Tech and Prairie View A&M), Eric May (UTSA, Bowling Green, Illinois and Ohio State) and Aaron Fuller (Purdue, Tennessee State, Penn State and Indiana). Additionally, Gatens has reached double figures a team-best 14 times. May has accomplished the feat eight times, Fuller seven times and Payne six times.

The Hawkeyes have had one player score 20 points or more seven times this season. 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), Matt Gatens posted 20 at Iowa State (Dec. 11) and vs. South Carolina State (Dec. 21) and Aaron Fuller accomplished the feat against Tennessee State (Jan. 12) and Penn State (Jan. 16). Eric May was only two points from netting 20 points for the first time in his collegiate career against No. 20 Ohio State (Jan. 27).

Freshman Eric May (119) currently ranks second in team rebounding, only four shy of leader Jarryd Cole (123). The native of Dubuque is trying to become just the fourth Iowa freshman to lead the team in rebounding since the 1955-56 season. Michael Payne accomplished the feat in 1981-82 (6.9), followed by Jess Settles in 1995-96 (7.5) and Tyler Smith in 2006-07 (4.9). The Dubuque, IA, native had a monster game vs. No. 20 Ohio State on Jan. 27, scoring 17 of his 18 points in the final 14:37. The 18 points was a team best and equaled a personal high. He also blocked a game-high three shots and drained a career-high five triples, all in the second half against the Buckeyes. He posted team bests in scoring (9) and assists (3) at Illinois on Jan. 5. May posted personal bests in assists (4) and steals (3) in a win over Tennessee State (Jan. 12).

With his six blocks the last three games, May has cracked Iowa’s single-season freshman blocked shots chart. Many of his blocks have been highlight reel material. The 6-5, 225-pounder has rejected 23 shots, tying Kenyon Murray (1992-93) and Michael Payne (1981-82) for sixth on the list. Chris Street (1990-91) ranks first with 52. May is the only Hawkeye in double-figure blocks and will likely become the first Iowa freshman to lead the team since Ryan Bowen averaged 1.0 blocks in 1995. Furthermore, standing 6-foot-5, May would be the shortest player to lead the team in blocked shots since 6-foot-5 James Winters led the Hawkeyes in 1994 with 26 rejections.

Iowa has owned the rebounding advantage in 12 of its 23 contests, including 10 of the last 16. 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), Minnesota (2), Tennessee State (4), Indiana (16) and Illinois (6). The Hawkeyes are 6-6 in games they have a positive rebounding margin.

Iowa has compiled a 338-102 (.768) record in Carver-Hawkeye Arena since the facility opened in January, 1983. Iowa is 157-82 (.657) in Big Ten games and 181-20 (.900) in non-Big Ten contests.

Iowa has won 62 of its 83 games (.747) in Carver-Hawkeye Arena (15,500) over the last five seasons, including win streaks of 21 straight overall and 12 straight Big Ten Conference wins. Iowa has won 10 of its last 16 home games against ranked opponents and was 13-4 at home in 2008-09. Three of Iowa’s four home losses last year were to ranked opponents and by four points or less. Iowa was a perfect 17-0 at home in 2006, 14-2 in 2007, 10-8 in 2008 and 13-4 a year ago. Iowa has compiled a 24-10 Big Ten Conference record in that time.

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 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).

Freshmen Eric May and Cully Payne have made an immediate impact on the team.

May averages 9.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.1 steals and 1.0 blocks. May has started 13 of the last 15 games, including the last 10. Fourteen of his 23 blocks have come in Big Ten action. May averaged 12 points, eight rebounds, and three assists in Iowa’s first two league games (Purdue and Minnesota). The Dubuque, IA, native matched career highs in scoring (18) and blocks (3) and sank a personal best five triples against Ohio State on Jan. 27. May posted team highs in points (9) and assists (3) and secured eight rebounds at Illinois. May registered personal bests in assists (4) and steals (3) vs. Tennessee State. 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 8.1 points, 3.6 assists and three 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. The freshman dished out a team-high six assists and tied a personal best with six rebounds vs. No. 20 Ohio State on Jan. 27. Payne netted five of his 11 points in the last two minutes in Iowa’s five-point win over Tennessee State, including draining a crucial 3-pointer with the game tied with 1:45 left in the game. He scored 12 points vs. UTSA and dished out a game-high six assists against Duquesne. He also collected six assists vs. No. 3 Texas. Payne 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 vs. Drake.

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.

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.

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.”

Every Hawkeye on this year’s team is comfortable shooting the three-ball. Nine Hawkeyes have attempted and made at least one 3-pointer this season. Matt Gatens leads the team with 44, followed by Anthony Tucker (30), Cully Payne (28), Eric May (27), Devan Bawinkel (25), Brennan Cougill (15), John Lickliter (9), Aaron Fuller (5) and Jarryd Cole (1). Iowa ranks second in the Big Ten in triples made (8.0).

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 204 straight games.

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.

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: Feb. 8, Feb. 15, Feb. 22, March 1 and March 8.

Each Sunday at 8:30 p.m. (CST), “This Week in Big Ten Basketball” airs on the Big Ten Network. Dave Revsine will host the show alongside Jim Jackson and Dan Dakich, former Indiana player and head coach. Every Sunday night, This Week in Big Ten Basketball will provide a comprehensive breakdown of all of the Big Ten hoops action of the week, jam-packed with action footage, highlights, and awards for game and player of the week. The 30-minute shows will also preview the week ahead.

Iowa will return home, Feb. 10, for the first of two regular-season contests against Northwestern. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:36 p.m. in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.