Change Of Style In Store For Friday Night

Dec. 9, 2010

PARDON OUR PROGRESS! As friends of the UI 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 — After winning a grind-it-out defensive battle on Tuesday over Northern Iowa, the Hawkeyes will now face a contrasting style in their in-state battle with Iowa State on Friday night at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

The Cyclones enter the seventh annual HyVee Cy-Hawk Series contest with a 7-2 record after downing Southeast Missouri State on Dec. 6 in Ames. ISU hit the 80-point mark for the fifth time this season in the victory, downing the Redhawks, 85-58. On the year, the Cyclones are averaging 79.8 points per contest.

“They’ll (Iowa State) push it and shoot it early in the clock if it’s there,” said UI head coach Fran McCaffery, who met with the media prior to Thursday’s practice at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. “They’ll shoot the transition three with the right guy at the right time. They’ve got multiple guys that can attack the rim and can play in the post.”

Iowa State is definitely attacking the rim and sharing the ball, as evidence by having all five starters averaging in double digits on the year. Guard Diante Garrett is pacing the squad with 17 points to go along with a team-best 54 assists, and as a team, the Cyclones are shooting nearly 50 percent from the field and 41 percent from long range.

“I really like their team,” said McCaffery. “They’re sharing the ball with a lot of guys in doubles. I really like Garrett, the way he’s pushing the ball and setting people up. I think they have a lot of different weapons. They run great stuff, so you have to have your defense ready.”

Freshman Melsahn Basabe is coming off a career-best 14-point outing in the win over Northern Iowa.

The Hawkeye defense is coming off one of their best games of the season in the 51-39 victory over Northern Iowa Tuesday night. Iowa held the Panthers to just one field goal (1-15) over the final 11:25 of the contest and just 16 points and 18 percent shooting in the second half.

In order for the Hawkeyes to improve on their current two-game winning streak, Coach McCaffery emphasizes the importance of continuing to excel on the defensive side of the court.

“We have to play defense,” explained McCaffery, who has his Hawkeyes at 5-4 on the season. “We’re not at a point where we can roll it out and beat people. We have to defend. It was great to see how we played the other night. We were focused and remained concentrated for the entire 40 minutes.”

Aside from the defensive prowess against the Panthers, Iowa got a big lift from its starting frontcourt duo of Jarryd Cole and Melsahn Basabe in the victory. The pair accounted for 24 of Iowa’s 51 points and 22 of the team’s 40 rebounds.

“I think Tuesday’s game was important for both of them,” said McCaffery. “Jarryd established himself as a guy who can have a game like the other night. When he’s playing like that, it makes Mel’s job a lot easier.

“When they’re both feeding off each other, it makes our perimeter players’ jobs easier. We need them to consistently play the way they played the other night with that type of energy level. When you play with that type of energy, good things typically happen.”

Coach McCaffery will look for good things to continue to happen for his squad when he squares off against Iowa State head coach Fred Hoiberg for the first time. Both coaches are in their first year coaching their respective squads.

“I think he is like I expected him to be,” said McCaffery of Hoiberg. “He’s been around – he was a great player, very accomplished professionally prior to this position. He’s doing the kind of job that most people though he would do, which is a really good job.”

Despite coming off the emotional win over UNI, McCaffery is emphasizing to his team the importance of taking the “one game at a time” philosophy.

“My approach as a coach has always been to put a game plan together and get the players to play the next game,” said McCaffery. “The fact that it’s in-state, I know there’s impact with regard to how the fans look at the game and how the media look at the game, and I understand that.

“As far as we’re concerned, it’s the next game on the schedule, and we have to prepare to play a very good, very well-coached team.”