McCaffery Leads Iowa Against UNI on Tuesday

Dec. 6, 2010

PARDON OUR PROGRESS! As friends of the University of Iowa and fans of the Hawkeyes know, the UI Athletics Department is well into a multi-million dollar revitalization of Carver-Hawkeye Arena. This important and exciting project has reduced for this season the number of ticket windows that are operational on game nights. Fans attending the home events of the 2010-11 UI men’s basketball, women’s basketball and wrestling teams are invited to avoid game night delays by purchasing their event tickets online or in advance of game day. If your schedule doesn’t allow for an advance purchase, we recommend you consider arriving at the Arena a little earlier than originally planned. Go Hawks!

IOWA CITY, Iowa – Head coach Fran McCaffery is preparing Iowa for its first in-state match-up of the season against Northern Iowa on Tuesday. It will mark McCaffery’s debut against Iowa’s in-state foes, but it won’t be his first encounter with the Panthers.

Before taking over as the head coach at Iowa, McCaffery competed against Northern Iowa in each of the past two seasons as the head coach at Siena. His Saints downed the Panthers 81-75 in an ESPNU BracketBusters game during the 2008-09 season before falling 82-65 in Cedar Falls last December. McCaffery will use his knowledge of the Panthers when game-planning for Tuesday’s affair.

“I have a real good knowledge of their personnel and how they play,” said McCaffery, who is 4-4 in his first eight games with the Hawkeyes. “This year’s team is different in terms of who they’re going to, but their system is so good, they just plug players in there and kind of do a lot of the same things.”

The Hawkeyes will look to get out and push the ball against UNI, just as they did in the win over Idaho State, where they finished with a 22-2 advantage in fast-break points. McCaffery noted the importance of controlling the tempo, but mentioned that it is not always easily attained.

“You’re talking about a team that gets back on defense and gets underneath you,” said McCaffery. “You’re not going to be able to go and quick shoot the basketball, nor do you want to against them. If you quick shoot against Northern Iowa, you have major problems.

“We’ll try to get transition, but in order to do that you need stops. You need stops and run-outs, but if we don’t have run-outs, we’re going to take some time off the clock ourselves.”

If the Hawkeyes are forced to run their half-court offense, the squad will need to improve on its three-point shooting. Iowa has connected on just above 30 percent from the distance over the course of the last four games, which includes a season-low 19 percent (4-21) in the 70-53 victory over Idaho State last Saturday.

“I think we’ve had really good looks, and I mean that sincerely,” said McCaffery. “We have taken open shots. Matt (Gatens) has had good looks, Jordan (Stoermer) had good looks and Eric (May) has been shooting the ball really well. (Roy Devyn) Marble has taken good shots as well. We’ve had good shooters taking good shots, and as long as that’s the case, I don’t have a problem with it.”

If the Hawkeyes don’t make shots, it will make things more difficult to come away with a victory over Northern Iowa. The Panthers enter the contest giving up an average of 57.3 points per contest, a mark that is tied as the 19th best scoring defense in the country.

“All-in-all, Northern Iowa really supports one another, defensively,” said McCaffery. “If you’re trying to score, you really feel like you have to score against all five guys – that’s the way it should be – but I think they do a really good job at it.”