Hawkeyes Arrive in St. Thomas for Paradise Jam

Nov. 18, 2010

St. Thomas, USVI – – It’s been a busy, yet exciting 48 hours for the University of Iowa men’s basketball team. Tuesday night, the Hawkeyes posted a 68-40 victory over UL Monroe to give Fran McCaffery his first win as Iowa’s new head coach.

The team didn’t have much time to celebrate its first win, as it was a brief night for players, coaches and staff and the team departed Iowa City at 3 a.m. Wednesday morning for the island of St. Thomas. The team arrived in St. Thomas at 2:30 p.m. (AST), which is two hours ahead of the central time zone.

After nine hours of travel to reach its destination, the team gained its second wind as they were greeted with bright sunshine and 80 degree weather. After months of anticipation, the excitement of a week in St. Thomas and competing in one of the top collegiate tournaments had finally arrived.

After checking into the Marriott Frenchman’s Reef Hotel, it was time to prepare for the Hawkeyes’ first opponent, Xavier. Iowa boarded safari buses, which took them to the Sports and Fitness Center on the campus of the University of Virgin Islands. Despite the long day of travel, the Hawkeyes had a focused-intense practice.

The Hawkeyes just finished their second practice this morning at a local high school. Players, coaches and staff are about to get ready for their first tournament function — a welcome party at Paradise Point. The team will take a ride up a Gondola up the side of a mountain that overlooks beautiful downtown Charlotte Amalie at twilight. All eight teams (Alabama, Clemson, Iowa, Long Beach State, Old Dominion, St. Peter’s, Seton Hall and Xavier) will be in attendance, enjoying local food and entertainment.

Additionally, today is a special day for one of the Hawkeyes. Zach McCabe turned 19 years-old today. The freshman is pretty excited to be on his first road trip.

“It’s pretty amazing to celebrate my birthday in warm weather and with my teammates,” said McCabe. “We’re having a good time.”

McCabe added that team has been practicing hard for its first game tomorrow night and likes spending time with his teammates.

“We’re down here a week, so we’ll be able to spend a lot of time together and get to know everyone a little bit better. This trip is great for us to bond as a team.”

The tournament starts Friday with four games. Iowa will meet Xavier in the first-round nightcap at 9:30 p.m. (AST), which is 7:30 p.m. central time. There is no television coverage of Friday’s games, but fans can watch all four contests online for a one-time fee of $3.99 by clicking HERE.

Game 3 | Xavier vs. Iowa
Date Friday, Nov. 19 | 7:35 p.m.
Location St. Thomas, USVI | Sports and Fitness Center
Game Info Tickets
Video Stream foxsports.com
Live Coverage Live Blog
All-Time Series Iowa leads, 1-0

To get the most up-to-date information, photos, video of the Hawkeyes during their week-long trip to St. Thomas, follow the team on its social media pages: facebook.com/hawkeyehoops and twitter.com/iowahoops. Exclusive video interviews with Hawkeye players in St. Thomas have been posted to the team’s facebook page tonight.