Hawkeyes Open Season Sunday vs. South Dakota State

Nov. 11, 2010

J. Cole Speaks to the Fans

Complete Release in PDF Format

The University of Iowa men’s basketball team opens the 2010-11 season Sunday, hosting South Dakota State. Tip-off is set for 2:01 p.m. in Carver-Hawkeye Arena (15,500).

Tickets can be purchased at the UI Athletic Ticket Office. Tickets are $12 for adults and $5 for youths (18-and-under) and UI students. Furthermore, UI students with a ticket can bring a friend for free.

Sunday will be the first game for new Iowa Hawkeye Head Coach Fran McCaffery.

Season ticket holders who bring a friend to the first two home games (South Dakota State and Louisiana Monroe) have a chance to win up to $400 in text books for the 2011 spring semester, compliments of the UI Athletic Department. Additionally, Sunday is “Fran Appreciation Day”. Fans in attendance will have an opportunity to win a wide variety of prizes. Prizes includes:

? Season tickets to the remaining home games of the 2010-11 Hawkeyes
? Season tickets to the home games of the 2011-12 Hawkeyes
? Pairs of tickets to select home games this year, including Iowa’s games against intrastate rivals Northern Iowa and Iowa State, and all nine Big Ten Conference opponents.
? Gift certificates to the Official Iowa Hawk Shop
? And, the grand prize, the opportunity to be one of six finalists to win a trip for two to the Iowa football team’s bowl game

Game 1 | South Dakota State vs. Iowa
Date Sunday, Nov. 14 | 2:01 p.m.
Location Iowa City, Iowa | Carver-Hawkeye Arena
Game Info Tickets | Promotions
Television Big Ten Network (HD)
Live Coverage GameTracker | Live Blog
All-Time Series First Meeting

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.
Television: The Big Ten Network (HD) will televise Sunday’s regular season opener to a national television audience. Tom Hart and former Hawkeye Kenyon Murray will call the action.

Fran McCaffery will make his debut on the Hawkeye sideline in Sunday’s exhibition. McCaffery has assembled one of the most experienced coaching staffs in the country. Assistant coaches Kirk Speraw, Sherman Dillard and Andrew Francis have over six decades of combined coaching experience. Furthermore, the entire coaching staff combines for 46 years of head coaching experience.

Director of Basketball Operations Jerry Strom is in his 30th season as a member of the Iowa basketball staff. Also, former Hawkeye standout and professional basketball player Ryan Bowen has joined the staff as video coordinator and administrative assistant. Bowen was on four NBA rosters (Denver, Houston, New Orleans and Oklahoma City).

Iowa has played 2,563 games since beginning basketball in 1902. Iowa’s overall record is 1,476-1,087 (.576). That includes a 934-339 (.734) record in home games, a 542-697 (.437) record in contests away from Iowa City, a 699-704 (.498) mark in Big Ten games and a 340-103 (.767) record in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa is one win from notching Big Ten victory No. 700.

Iowa fans can purchase a season ticket for $266 that includes 17 home games. UI Faculty and staff can purchase tickets for $228, while the price is only $75 for UI students. In addition, a $6 postage and handling fee will be added to each order.

Iowa’s roster of 15 players include six freshmen, two sophomores, five juniors and two seniors. The freshmen are Melsahn Basabe (6-7, 225), Cody Cox (6-4, 190), Roy Devyn Marble (6-5,190), Zach McCabe (6-7, 225), Darius Stokes (6-7,190) and Branden Stubbs (6-2, 170). The sophomores are Eric May and Cully Payne.

In addition, juniors Bryce Cartwright (6-1, 180) and Jordan Stoermer (6-2,185) are in their first year at Iowa. Cartwright played as a rookie at Fresno State and Paris JC (Texas) his sophomore campaign. Stoermer played his first two seasons at Kirkwood CC (Iowa).

Iowa has won 31 of its last 32 season openers, dating back to 1978. The Hawkeyes had won 31 consecutive openers before falling to UT-San Antonio (62-50) a year ago.

Iowa Head Coach Fran McCaffery is 8-6 in season openers, including a perfect 5-0 mark in home openers.

Six Hawkeyes scored in double figures en route to a 111-66 exhibition victory over Illinois-Springfield (UIS) on Nov. 7 in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The win marked the first time the Hawkeyes eclipsed the century mark in an exhibition since a 116-68 triumph over Illinois All-Stars in 2002.

Iowa benefited from its height advantage, outscoring the Prairie Stars 60-10 in the paint. The Hawkeyes shot a blistering 61% (43-70) from the floor. Iowa was able to build a 30-point halftime advantage (57-27) by shooting 67% (24-36) from the field.

Sophomore Eric May led all scorers with 21 points and also collected five steals. Freshman Melsahn Basabe netted 19 points and grabbed eight boards. Other Hawkeyes in double figures included Bryce Cartwright (12), Jordan Stoermer (11), Roy Devyn Marble (11) and Zach McCabe (10).

Iowa’s point guard duo of Cully Payne and Bryce Cartwright shined in the Hawkeyes exhibition. The tandem combined for 16 points, 15 assists and only two turnovers. Payne dished out a game-high 10 assists, with no turnovers, while Cartwright netted 12 points on 6-8 shooting from the field.

Iowa was able to force 25 turnovers and convert those miscues into 37 points against UIS. Furthermore, the Hawkeyes were able to get out in transition and score 22 points on the run.

Junior Matt Gatens tore a tendon in his left, non-shooting hand, Oct. 26 during practice. The shooting guard had surgery Oct. 28. Gatens had a hard cast removed on Wednesday and is questionable for Sunday’s season opener.

Gatens, who has started every game in his Hawkeye career, was Iowa’s leading scorer a year ago, averaging 12.3 points. The Iowa City native was also Iowa’s top scoring threat from the free throw line (84-101, .832) and beyond the arc (58-177, .328) last season. Gatens earned all-Big Ten recognition as a freshman and sophomore. He was a member of the all-Big Ten Freshman team in 2009 and an honorable mention all-conference selection a year ago.

Senior center Jarryd Cole, junior guard Matt Gatens and sophomore Cully Payne are Iowa’s captains for the 2010-11 season.

Cole, a three-time captain, was Iowa’s leading field goal shooter a year ago, shooting at a 57% clip. He ranked second in team rebounding (5.2) and blocks (14) and averaged 8.1 points. The native of Kansas City, Mo., was also Iowa’s men’s basketball Big Ten Sportsmanship Award Nominee. Gatens, who was an honorable mention all-conference honoree last season, led the Hawkeyes in three statistical categories: scoring (12.3), free throws (84-101, .832) and 3-pointers (58-177, .328). Payne directed the Hawkeye offense as a rookie, ranking among league leaders in assists. He was the only starting rookie floor general in the league in 2010. Payne averaged 8.7 points, 3.8 assists, three rebounds and ranked second on the team in triples with 42.

Sunday will be South Dakota State’s (SDSU) second game of the year. The Jackrabbits open their 2010-11 campaign Friday night at Eastern Illinois. After SDSU opens the season with consecutive road contests, it will play seven straight home games.

The Jackrabbits have a balanced roster with four freshmen (two redshirts), two sophomores, three juniors and three seniors. SDSU has seven returning lettermen, including two starters. The Jackrabbits return their leading scorer, Clint Sargent (12.8 ppg). Sophomore point guard Nate Wolters, who averaged 10.1 points, also returns.

SDSU topped Dakota State 82-63 in an exhibition game earlier this month in Brookings, SD. The Jackrabbits outrebounded Dakota State by 20 (53-33) en route to victory. Wolters and reserve forward Marcus Heemstra shared team high scoring honors, each netting 14 points. Wolters also dished out a game-high seven assists, while Heemstra snagged eight boards. SDSU did struggle from the free-throw line, making only 48% (10-21) of its attempts.

SDSU is coached by Scott Nagy, who is in his 16th season (270-178) as a collegiate head coach, all with the Jackrabbits. He has led SDSU to four conference titles and has been named North Central Conference Coach of the Year five times. Nagy has Big Ten ties, having served as a graduate assistant at Illinois under Lou Henson. In Nagy’s two seasons in Champaign, the Illini advanced to the NCAA Tournament twice, including a trip to the 1989 Final Four.

Iowa returns four starters and six lettermen from a year ago. The returning starters include senior center Jarryd Cole (6-7, 250), junior guard Matt Gatens (6-5, 215), sophomore guard Cully Payne (6-1, 190) and sophomore forward Eric May (6-5, 220). Gatens was Iowa’s leading scorer, averaging 12.3 points, while also pulling down 4.3 rebounds starting all 32 games. Cole also started every game and averaged 8.1 points ranked second in rebounding (5.2). Payne, who was the only starting freshman point guard in the Big Ten last season, dished out a team-best 122 assists to go along with an 8.7 scoring average. May started the last 23 contests last year, and averaged nine points, 4.6 rebounds and collected team bests in blocks (26) and steals (34).

The other returning lettermen are junior forward Andrew Brommer (6-9, 235) and redshirt junior Devon Archie (6-9, 225). Archie received a medical redshirt last season due to injury.

Iowa’s returning players, last season, played 65.6% of all minutes, accounting for 64.6% of Iowa’s points and grabbing 40% of Iowa’s rebounds. The group also had 75.3% of the steals and 75.1% of the assists last season. They combined to shoot 41,1% from the field, 30.8% from 3-point range and 70.9% from the free-throw line.

The Hawkeyes will potentially play 20 games against teams that competed in the postseason a year ago, including 14 possible contests vs. teams that played in the NCAA Tournament.

In the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, Iowa will travel to Wake Forest. Both teams will have a new head coach on the sidelines. New Hawkeye Head Coach Fran McCaffery played for Wake Forest one season (1977-78), helping the Demon Deacons post a 19-10 record while starting 11 games.

Iowa will play two of its three in-state games at home. The Hawkeyes will host Northern Iowa (Dec. 7) and Iowa State (Dec. 10), while visiting Drake (Dec. 18).

Two of the Big Ten’s most exciting and talented freshmen from a year ago return to the Hawkeyes. Eric May and Cully Payne were named to the Big Ten all-Freshman team by Sporting News. May was also recognized on the conference’s all-freshman squad.

Last year, May became Iowa’s first freshman to lead the team in blocks since Ryan Bowen in 1995. Furthermore, standing 6-foot-5, May became the shortest player to lead the team in rejections since 6-foot-5 James Winters did it in 1994. The native of Dubuque, Iowa, also averaged nine points and 4.6 rebounds.

Payne was the only Big Ten freshman starter at point guard last season. Payne became only the fourth Hawkeye freshman to lead the team in assists since 1974-75. His 122 assists rank third-best for an Iowa rookie in a single-season. The Schaumburg, Ill., native also averaged 8.7 points and three rebounds.

Junior Andrew Brommer has made remarkable improvement in his free throw shooting. After converting only 23 percent of his foul shots as a freshman, Brommer made 75 percent last season, missing only six attempts.

Iowa’s roster of 15 players includes three who won four state titles. Matt Gatens won a state title for Iowa City HS in 2008. Eric May won a state title for Dubuque Wahlert in 2008, while Zach McCabe’s Bishop Heelan captured the state title in 2009 and 2010.

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 212 straight games.

Iowa has compiled a 340-103 (.767) record in Carver-Hawkeye Arena since the facility opened in January, 1983. Iowa is 159-83 (.657) in Big Ten games and 181-20 (.900) in non-Big Ten contests.

Iowa has won 64 of its 86 games (.744) 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 19 home games against ranked opponents. Iowa was a perfect 17-0 at home in 2006, 14-2 in 2007, 10-8 in 2008, 13-4 in 2009 and 9-9 a year ago.

Iowa Hawkeye fans can get even more information, photos and video about the men’s basketball team on social media sites facebook (facebook.com/hawkeyehoops) and twitter (twitter.com/iowahoops).

Exclusive video, ticket specials and more will be available on facebook throughout the season.

All-session tickets for the 2011 Big Ten Basketball Tournament (March 10-13) are now on sale to the general public. Tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster at www.ticketmaster.com or by calling (800) 745-3000, and through the Conseco Fieldhouse box office and www.consecofieldhouse.com.

All-session tickets for the lower and club level are available for $300 through the 11 Big Ten universities only. All-session tickets for the upper level are available for $220 or $165 (depending on seat location) through Ticketmaster or the Conseco Fieldhouse box office only. Orders will be limited to 12 all-session tickets.

In addition, the men’s basketball tournament will continue to feature a special discounted rate of $50 for all-session tickets available only to students of the 11 Big Ten universities. All students must have a valid student ID for entry. Student section seating will be available in eight balcony sections and orders will be limited to one all-session ticket. Details on the student ticket program will be sent to the university ticket offices for distribution directly to students.