Hawkeyes to Play at Wake Forest in ACC/Big Ten Challenge

May 12, 2010

IOWA CITY, IA – The Iowa men’s basketball team will travel to play Wake Forest, Nov. 30, as part of the 2010 ACC/Big Ten Challenge Presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods. Game times and television information will be announced at a later date.

Iowa is 2-7 in the Challenge after a narrow 70-64 loss to Virginia Tech last season in Iowa City. Iowa did not take part in the event in 2003-04 and 2004-05.

“This is an exciting event and we look forward to playing Wake Forest,” said Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery. “Anytime you play an ACC opponent on the road, you know it will be tough. We have a great deal of respect for Wake Forest and its basketball program. In addition to playing three challenging games at the Paradise Jam, this will be another early road test for our young basketball team.”

Both Iowa and Wake Forest will have a new head coach on the sidelines next season. Jeff Bzdelik is now in charge at Wake Forest. McCaffery, Iowa’s new head coach, played at Wake Forest for one season (1977-78), helping the Demon Deacons post a 19-10 record while starting 11 games.

This will mark the second meeting between the two schools in the Challenge. Wake Forest won at Iowa City (56-47) on Nov. 26, 2007. The Demon Deacons hold a 3-0 record, all-time, against Iowa. Wake Forest also topped the Hawkeyes in the second round of the 1993 NCAA Tournament in Nashville, TN and in the 1974 Far West Classic in Portland, OR. This will mark Iowa’s first-ever visit to Winston-Salem, NC. The Demon Deacons play their home games at Joel Coliseum (14,665).

Last season, Wake Forest posted a 20-11 overall record, tied Clemson for fifth in the ACC with a 9-7 mark and advanced to the NCAA Tournament Second Round, ultimately losing to Kentucky. Three of the Demon Deacons’ top three scorers from last season have departed: Al-Farouq Aminu, Ishmael Smith and L.D. Williams. Aminu ranked first in team scoring (15.8 ppg) and rebounding (10.7 rpg), Smith ranked first in assists (185) and second in scoring (13.2 ppg), while Williams ranked third in rebounding (5.6 rpg) and fourth in scoring (8.7 ppg). Aminu was a sophomore and left early for the NBA Draft, while Smith and Williams exhausted their eligibility. C.J. Harris and Ari Stewart are the Demon Deacons’ top returnees, averaging 9.9 points and 7.3 points, respectively, as rookies last year.

Iowa was 10-22 last season and tied for ninth in the Big Ten standings with a 4-14 conference record. The Hawkeyes return four of their top six scorers, including their leading scorer Matt Gatens (12.3 ppg). Additionally, Cully Payne returns after leading the team in assists (125), as does Eric May who led the squad in blocks (26) and steals (34).

Like Iowa, Wake Forest’s 2010-11 roster is filled with youth. Only one senior, four juniors (including one redshirt), two sophomores and five freshmen make up the roster. The Hawkeyes’ 2010-11 roster currently is made up of one senior, three juniors (one redshirt), three sophomores and three freshmen.

Wake Forest is 8-2 in the Challenge, winning its first five dating back to 1999. The Demon Deacons lost at Purdue a year ago (69-58). Wake Forest is a perfect 5-0 in Challenge home games, beating Indiana (2003 and 2008) and Wisconsin (1999 and 2005) twice and Minnesota (2001).

For the sixth straight year, the ACC/Big Ten Challenge includes 11 games over a three-day period. The Big Ten won the Challenge a year ago, 6-5. Here is the schedule:

Monday, Nov. 29
Virginia at Minnesota

Tuesday, Nov. 30
Michigan at Clemson
Ohio State at Florida State
Iowa at Wake Forest
North Carolina at Illinois
Georgia Tech at Northwestern

Wednesday, Dec. 1
Indiana at Boston College
Purdue at Virginia Tech
Michigan State at Duke
NC State at Wisconsin
Maryland at Penn State

(Miami, FL will not be competing in the Challenge)