Different Type of Challenge Awaits Hawkeyes

Jan. 10, 2011

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 facing back-to-back top-10 teams, the Iowa men’s basketball team will face a different type of challenge. Northwestern and its deliberate “Princeton style” offense will visit Carver-Hawkeye Arena for a Wednesday night match-up.

“If you don’t play with a great level of concentration, they’ll carve you up,” said UI head coach Fran McCaffery on the Big Ten Conference teleconference Monday. “I’ve gone against that stuff since 1979, and I think Billy (Carmody) does it as well as anybody. I like his team — he has good players — he has players that understand it. They run it and they execute as well as anybody on our schedule, so we have to be ready for that one.”

The match-up against the Wildcats brings McCaffery on a stroll down memory lane. When the first-year Iowa head coach was a player at Penn, he competed against Pete Carril and the Princeton Tigers for three years.

“It’s like preparing for no other team on your schedule,” explained McCaffery. “I have great respect for that offense, for Pete Carril, Bill Carmody, Joey Scott and Chris Looney — for how those guys teach it.

“It’s one of those things that if you have a one day prep, you’re in big trouble. If you have more than one day, you have a chance, but it’s still hard, but you’re still going to give up some back doors and flare screens.”

Northwestern enters Wednesday’s contest with a 10-4 overall record and a 1-3 mark in Big Ten play. On Sunday, the Wildcats notched their first conference win of the season, downing Indiana, 93-81, in Evanston.

A trio of Northwestern players are averaging double digits on the year with John Shurna pacing the squad with 20.4 points per game, which ranks second in the league. The Wildcats average 17.9 assists per game — the second-best average in the conference — and have 102 more assists than turnovers on the season.

“It’s interesting to know and understand how they put that together because it all starts with recruiting,” said McCaffery. “They recruit players for that system. All their post guys can pass and catch and most of them can shoot outside, so they spread the floor.”

Iowa vs. Northwestern is a Family 4-Pack game. To save big-time on your game tickets and concessions, click HERE.

The Hawkeyes enter the contest on a three-game losing streak with the most recent defeat coming at No. 10 Purdue on Sunday. Iowa looks to put the 75-52 loss to the Boilermakers in the rearview mirror.

“On Sunday against Purdue on the road — by far our toughest road test of the season — we did not play well,” said McCaffery. “I thought we got out-competed and that’s disappointing, but we’re back at work today and we’ll get everything figured out.

“The players are as disappointed as I am in our performance yesterday, and I’m convinced they’ll reverse that side of it. It doesn’t always translate into victories — it may, it may not — but for us to win in this league this year — as good as it is — we have to fight harder than we fought yesterday.”

One bright spot in the loss at Purdue was the production of juniors Devon Archie and Andrew Brommer. The duo combined for eight points and 11 rebounds in 35 minutes. Archie led all players in the contest, pulling in eight boards.

“It was great to see some other guys step up,” said McCaffery. “Archie and Brommer were very good and that’s encouraging.”

Wednesday’s game against Northwestern is Jarryd Cole Bobblehead night with the first 2,000 fans in attendance receiving the Hawkeye memento. The game is scheduled to tip-off at 7:35 p.m., and be broadcast on the Big Ten Network.