Hawkeyes Return Home to Host Michigan State

Feb. 1, 2011

Complete Release in PDF Format

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!

After playing four of five road games, the Iowa Hawkeyes (8-13, 1-8) return home Wednesday to entertain the Michigan State Spartans (13-8, 5-4). Tip-off is slated for 7:36 p.m. (CST) at Carver-Hawkeye Arena (15,500) in Iowa City.

Three of Iowa’s next four games will be at home, while three of Michigan State’s next four will be on the road.

Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for youths, while UI students are FREE. UI students can claim their free ticket, in advance, at the IMU Box Office or the UI Ticket Office (West Entrance of CHA). Students will be asked to show their student ID. Students can also pick up their free ticket the night of the game at the South Entrance of CHA. To avoid delays and long lines, students are encouraged to claim their ticket in advance.

Wednesday’s contest will be the 450th for Coach McCaffery as a head coach (259-190, .577).

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. Fans can also listen to the game on Sirius (Ch. 113) and XM (Ch. 196) Satellite Radio.
TV: Wednesday’s game will be televised nationally on the Big Ten Network. Eric Collins and Shon Morris will call the action from Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Game 22 | Michigan State at Iowa
Date Wednesday, Feb. 2 | 7:36 p.m. (CST)
Location Iowa City, IA | Carver-Hawkeye Arena
Game Info Tickets | Promotions
Television Big Ten Network (HD)
Live Coverage GameTracker | Live Blog
All-Time Series Michigan State, leads, 62-52

Fran 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).

Michigan shot 73% from the field in the second half to pull away from the Hawkeyes and record an 87-73 victory Sunday afternoon at Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor.

The first half was a back-and-forth affair featuring four ties and 13 lead changes. Michigan scored the last five points of the half to lead 35-32 and never looked back.

The Wolverines drained 14 triples, seven in each half, while the Hawkeyes made only five treys.

Iowa was led by a pair of freshmen: Melsahn Basabe and Roy Devyn Marble. Basabe posted a career-high 25 points on 9-11 (.818) shooting from the field and 7-8 (.875) from the foul line, while also grabbing a team-high eight rebounds. The 25 points matched a team season best (Bryce Cartwright had 25 vs. Northwestern on Jan. 12). Marble scored 12 points and had three assists playing in front of family and friends; Marble is from Southfield, Mich., a Detroit suburb.

Sophomore Darius Morris became the third Wolverine in school history to post a triple-double (12 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists). Freshman Tim Hardaway Jr. scored a team-high 19 points, as all five Wolverine starters scored in double digits.

? Junior Bryce Cartwright dished out a career-high nine assists to go along with zero turnovers. He also netted 11 points. Cartwright has posted five assists or more in 13 of the last 15 games. Furthermore, he has been credited 17 assists (8.5) the last two contests.
? Iowa shot 49.1% (28-57) from the field, its best field goal percentage of the year for a road game, besting 47.5% (28-59) against Long Beach State in the Virgin Islands Nov. 22.
? Iowa committed only 10 turnovers at Michigan. The Hawkeyes have done a good job valuing the basketball the last two games (21 total turnovers).
? Iowa’s last two opponents (Michigan and Penn State) have shot the ball extremely well from the field the last 20 minutes of the game. The Wolverines were 19-26 (.731) from the field, while the Nittany Lions made 14-24 (.583).
? Iowa’s bench outscored Michigan’s reserves 20-12.
? Michigan made (14) and attempted (28) the same number of 3-pointers as Northwestern (Jan. 12) did against the Hawkeyes.
? Sunday’s game marked the halfway point of Big Ten play.

Junior Matt Gatens is closing in on 1,000 career points. The Iowa City native has 983 points (17 points shy of 1,000) after playing in 83 games. Gatens would become the 40th Iowa player to eclipse 1,000 career points.

Michigan State holds a 62-52 advantage over Iowa in the series that began with a 52-37 MSU win in 1938. Michigan State has won five straight over Iowa, including both meetings a year ago: 71-53 in Iowa City and 70-63 in East Lansing. Iowa’s last victory over Michigan State came on Jan. 12, 2008; a 43-36 win in Iowa City.

Michigan State holds a slim 6-4 edge in the last 10 meetings, but the Spartans have won nine of the last 14 and 23 of the last 32.

Iowa holds a 33-21 advantage in games played in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes have won five of the last eight in Iowa City. Overall, Iowa has a 13-12 advantage in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Michigan State, in 1983, won the first basketball game ever played in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Michigan State’s 12 wins in the facility are the most by any Iowa opponent.

The teams have met three times at neutral sites. Along with Iowa’s wins in the 2005 and 2006 Big Ten tournaments, the Spartans defeated Iowa at the 2000 Big Ten Tournament in Chicago, winning 75-65 on their way to the national title.

Michigan State snapped a three-game losing streak with an 84-83 triumph over Indiana Sunday night at the Breslin Center in East Lansing. In fact, the Spartans’ last three victories have come at home in overtime: Wisconsin (64-61), Northwestern (71-67) and Indiana (84-83).

Senior Kalin Lucas led all scorers with 26 points in its overtime win over the Hoosiers. Junior Draymond Green posted his seventh double-double of the year, which ties for third most in the Big Ten, with 19 points and 13 rebounds. He also had five assists and two blocks. Michigan State outscored Indiana, 20-14 at the free throw line.

The Spartans, who have an RPI of 36, have been involved in 10 games decided by five points or less this season, winning six. Furthermore, Michigan State’s last nine games have been decided by 10 points or less, winning five.

Nine of Michigan State’s 13 victories have come at home. The Spartans are 1-4 in true road games and 3-2 on neutral courts.

Lucas paces the Spartans averaging 15.6 points in all games, ranking ninth in the Big Ten, and 16.4 in league games. He also ranks second on the team in assists (3.7) and steals (1.1). Senior Durrell Summers averages 14 points and 4.5 rebounds, while Green averages 13.3 points and team bests in rebounding (8.8) and assists (4.1). Michigan State has four players who can knock down the three-ball: Summers (48), Lucas (28), Green (25) and freshman Keith Appling (23).

Michigan State ranks second in Big Ten blocked shots (5.1), offensive (12.57) and defensive (25.57) rebounding, and third in steals (7.38).

Junior guard Korie Lucious, who played in 18 games averaging 6.5 points and 4.1 assists, was dismissed from the team for the rest of the season last week.

Michigan State Coach Tom Izzo is in his 16th year as a college head coach, all at Michigan State. Izzo holds a record of 377-154 (.710). Izzo led the Spartans to the Final Four in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2009 and 2010, winning the NCAA title in 2000. The Spartans were the runners-up in 2009, falling to North Carolina in the championship game. A year ago, Michigan State lost by two points (52-50) to Butler in the National Semifinals. Michigan State has won six Big Ten regular season titles, including the last two seasons, and two Big Ten Tournament championships under Izzo, who is in his 28th year as a member of the Spartan staff. He has been named national Coach of the Year on four occasions.

Izzo is 20-8 against the Hawkeyes.

? Iowa is 13-12 all-time on Groundhog Day (Feb. 2), winning its last five.
? Iowa’s Matt Gatens averaged 16.5 points and four assists in two games against Michigan State a year ago. In four career games against the Spartans, Gatens averages 13.8 points and three assists.
? Michigan State’s Kalin Lucas averaged 12.5 points and five assists, while Draymond Green averaged a double-double (11.5 points and 11 rebounds) last season against the Hawkeyes.
? According to collegerpi.com, Iowa’s strength of schedule ranks 38th in the country, based on games played through Jan. 30. Michigan State boasts the fifth strongest schedule.
? Iowa is 8-1 when having a better field goal percentage than the opposition, 7-4 when having a better 3-point percentage and 5-1 when dishing out more assists.
? Iowa is 7-2 when it holds the opponent under 70 points, compared to a 1-11 mark when giving up 70 or more.
? Iowa has had a player score 20-plus points in seven of the last 10 contests. Basabe registered a personal-best 25 points Sunday at Michigan, 22 points vs. No. 2 Ohio State (Jan. 4), 20 at No. 25 Minnesota (Jan. 16) and 20 vs. Indiana (Jan. 23), while Matt Gatens collected 21 vs. No. 23 Illinois (Dec. 29) and a season-best 22 against Louisiana Tech (Dec. 21). Gatens (20) and Bryce Cartwright (25) each scored at least 20 points vs. Northwestern (Jan. 12).
? Six of Iowa’s eight wins have come by margins of 10 points or more, while three of its defeats have come by six points or less, including two by three points.
? Iowa ranks second in the Big Ten in steals (7.43) in all games and is tied with Michigan State for first (6.33) in conference only games.
? Iowa’s Matt Gatens ranks ninth in the country in free throw percentage (.909). Michigan State’s Draymond Green ranks 54th in the nation in rebounds (8.8) and 74th in steals (1.8).
? Iowa ranks 43rd nationally in fewest fouls per game (16.6). Michigan State ranks 24th in the country in assists (16.1) and 35th in blocked shots (5.1).
? Michigan State’s roster is comprised of 13 student-athletes. The roster consists of three seniors, four juniors, two sophomores and four freshmen. Nine players hail from Michigan, three from Ohio and one from Indiana.
? Michigan State Coach Tom Izzo (16th season) is the dean of Big Ten Conference coaches, while Iowa’s Fran McCaffery is in his first season in the conference with the Iowa Hawkeyes.
? Michigan State (1999 and 2000) and Iowa (2001 & 2006) have won four of the 13 Big Ten Conference tournaments and they are two of six league teams (along with Illinois, Purdue, Ohio State and Wisconsin) to appear in the championship game on more than one occasion (Iowa lost in the 2002 title game as well). Michigan won the inaugural event in 1998, Ohio State won in 2002, 2007 and 2010, Illinois won in 2003 and 2005, Wisconsin earned the title in 2004 and 2008 and Purdue in 2009.

Matt Gatens started all 32 games his freshman campaign (2008-09), scoring 345 points (averaging 10.8 points). The 345 points ranks seventh best for a Hawkeye rookie, while the 10.8 average ranks eighth.

Melsahn Basabe has scored 222 points and is averaging 10.6 points per game. Like Gatens, he has started every game — 21 so far this season.

Defense has been key in Iowa’s seven victories this season. Hawkeye opponents average only 52 points, shooting 35% from the field, including 23% from 3-point territory, in the eight Iowa wins. Furthermore, Iowa averages 9.8 steals in victories.

Melsahn Basabe has been playing like one of the top freshmen in the Big Ten. He ranks first among conference rookies in blocks (1.43), second in rebounding (6.8) and double-doubles (4), and third in scoring (10.6).

The rookie from Glen Cove, NY, is averaging 12.3 points (72-123, .585), 7.3 rebounds and 1.6 blocks the last 16 contests. Furthermore, he is averaging 14.5 points (41-65, .631) and 8.1 rebounds the last eight Big Ten games. Basabe has put up 20 points or more in four of the last eight contests.

Basabe netted a personal-best 25 points on 9-11 (.818) shooting from the field and 7-8 (.875) shooting from the foul line at Michigan on Sunday. The rookie has scored 20 points or more four times, all against Big Ten squads (Ohio State – 22, Minnesota – 20, Indiana – 20 and Michigan – 25). The last time a Hawkeye freshman scored 20 or more in at least four games was Tyler Smith in 2006-07 when he accomplished the feat five times, only two of which came against Big Ten opponents. Furthermore, the last time a Hawkeye — regardless of class — posted four or more 20-point scoring outbursts against Big Ten competition was Adam Haluska in 2004-05 (Michigan State – 24; Northwestern – 20; Illinois – 20; Penn State – 22; Ohio State – 22).

Basabe had a career night vs. No. 2 Ohio State (Jan. 4), collecting 22 points, 13 rebounds and six blocks. He became the first freshman this season to post 20-10-5 in a single-game. Furthermore, he is the first Big Ten player — regardless of class — to accomplish the feat in 15 years.

Basabe has four double-doubles this season, the second most by a Big Ten freshman behind Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger (9). Basabe has posted double-doubles in two of his last five games: at No. 25 Minnesota (20 points and 13 rebounds) and vs. Indiana (20 points and 10 rebounds).

The 6-7, 225-point power forward has reached double-digit rebounds in six games this year, also the second most by a Big Ten freshman (Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger has 10).

Basabe, who is one of five Big Ten freshmen to start every game, is Iowa’s leading shot blocker (30) and rebounder (6.8). He has led the team in rebounding a team-best 10 times, including five of the last eight outings (South Dakota State, UL Monroe, SIUE, Wake Forest, Iowa State, Ohio State, Northwestern, Minnesota, Indiana and Michigan). He has also led the team in scoring three of the last five.

Basabe has a team-best 30 blocks this season, a total that ties Greg Stokes (1981-82) for fifth most by a Hawkeye freshman. He is responsible for 48% of Iowa’s blocked shots, rejecting 30 of the team’s 62 blocked shots. Basabe recently surpassed teammate Eric May for sixth on the list, who had 26 rejections a year ago.

Junior point guard Bryce Cartwright has given his team some excitement and momentum heading into the locker room in four games this season. Cartwright drained first-half buzzer-beater shots against Iowa State, Drake, Illinois and Ohio State.

Hawkeye freshman Roy Devyn Marble has provided a spark off the bench recently.

The last three games, Marble averaged 22.3 minutes, 12 points and is shooting 50% (14-28) from the field. The 12 points ranks third on the team in the three-game span.

The native of Southfield, Mich., poured in a career-high 18 points, bolstered by 8-13 shooting from the field in Iowa’s 91-77 win over Indiana (Jan. 23). Marble’s previous best was 11 points vs. Long Beach State (Nov. 22) and at Wake Forest (Nov. 30). He tallied 12 points and three assists in 27 minutes of action at Michigan. The 27 minutes is the most he has seen in conference play; he played a season-high 31 minutes at Wake Forest (Nov. 30).

Iowa has compiled a 346-108 (.762) record in Carver-Hawkeye Arena since the facility opened in January, 1983. Iowa is 160-86 (.650) in Big Ten games and 186-22 (.894) in non-Big Ten contests.

Carver-Hawkeye Arena is currently undergoing a $47 million renovation that is scheduled to be completed in August.

Iowa has won 70 of its 97 games (.722) in Carver-Hawkeye Arena (15,500) over the last seven 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.

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 232 straight games.

Iowa has had three players post double-doubles: Melsahn Basabe (4), Jarryd Cole (2) and Devon Archie. Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota are the only Big Ten teams to accomplish that feat.

Basabe and Cole are two of 15 Big Ten players with multiple double-doubles. Furthermore, Basabe is one of only eight players with four or more double-doubles in the league.

Archie was credited with 10 points and 11 rebounds vs. Xavier (Nov. 19). Basabe collected 12 points and 14 rebounds against Iowa State (Dec. 10), a season-high 22 points and 13 rebounds vs. No. 2 Ohio State (Jan. 4), game highs in points (20) and rebounds (13) at No. 25 Minnesota Jan. 16 and was credited with team highs in points (20) and rebounds (10) in Iowa’s first Big Ten win of the season vs. Indiana Jan. 23. Cole notched his double-doubles vs. Northern Iowa (Dec. 7) with 10 points and 15 boards and against Louisiana Tech (Dec. 21) with 10 points and 12 rebounds.

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 Nov. 10. He missed Iowa’s first two games (South Dakota State and UL Monroe), but returned to the lineup on Nov. 19 and played without any type of cast or brace on his left hand for the first time since the injury against Illinois (Dec. 29).

Gatens looks to have regained his shooting touch. In his last 12 games, he is averaging 15.4 points. He is 33-36 (.917) from the free throw line and 34-77 (.440) from distance during the 12-game stretch.

In league play, he is averaging 14.3 points while shooting 42% from the field and 43% from distance, compared to an 11.7 average while shooting 38% from the field and 29% from 3-point range in non-conference games.

Gatens netted a team-high 15 points against Iowa State (Dec. 10). He sank his first four field goals, including three triples against the Cyclones. At Drake (Dec. 18), he scored a game-high 19 points. He followed up that game with an even better performance, netting a game and season-high 22 points against Louisiana Tech. Gatens posted back-to-back 20-plus points for the first time in his career when he poured in 21 points vs. No. 23 Illinois. After scoring 14 and 13 against Ohio State and Purdue, respectively, he returned to the 20-point club vs. Northwestern. Gatens tallied 20 points, bolstered by 5-8 shooting from distance against the Wildcats. The Iowa City native poured in 19 points, bolstered by 11-12 (.917) shooting at the free throw line, in Iowa’s victory over Indiana. He has eclipsed the 20-point plateau nine times in his career.

Gatens has sunk 28 triples the last 10 games (2.8). He matched a personal high with five treys vs. Louisiana Tech, No. 23 Illinois and Northwestern, while draining four against second-ranked Ohio State. Gatens is shooting 45% (28-62) from long distance the last nine outings.

Gatens ranks first in team scoring (12.9) and free throw percentage (.909, 50-55), and second in assists (40). Also, he ranks ninth in the nation in free throw shooting.

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.

Iowa has collected 156 steals this season, averaging 7.4 per contest, through 21 games. Last year, Iowa was credited with 124 thefts in 32 games. Iowa’s 7.4 average is its best since the 1998-99 season when the Hawkeyes averaged 8.9 steals in 31 games.

Iowa has recorded 10 or more steals in five games this season (21 games) after registering 10 or more thefts only twice over the previous three years (96 contests).

? Iowa has seen an increase in its attendance numbers compared to last year. Compared to the first 11 home games of 2009-10, the Hawkeyes are averaging 1,974 more fans than a year ago. Iowa averaged 9,224 fans the first 11 home games last season, compared to 11,198 this year.
? Iowa has outrebounded their opponents in 13 of 21 games. Long Beach State, Illinois, Purdue, Northwestern, Minnesota, Ohio State, Penn State and Michigan are the only opponents to pull down more boards than the Hawkeyes.
? Iowa’s six freshmen average a combined 23.9 points per game, an average that ranks third best in the Big Ten behind Ohio State (36.4) and Michigan (30.5). Two of Michigan’s freshmen are redshirts.
? Matt Gatens has made 28 triples the last 10 games. He matched a personal high with five treys vs. Louisiana Tech, No. 23 Illinois and Northwestern, while draining four against second-ranked Ohio State. Gatens is shooting 45% (28-62) from long distance the last eight outings.
? Iowa has had a player post double-digit rebounds in eight of its last 13 contests. Jarryd Cole pulled down 12 rebounds against Louisiana Tech (Dec. 21). Cole corralled 15 boards in Iowa’s victory over UNI (Dec. 7) and 11 at Drake (Dec. 18), while Melsahn Basabe snagged 14 vs. Iowa State (Dec. 10), 13 against No. 2 Ohio State (Jan. 4), 12 vs. Northwestern (Jan. 12), 13 at No. 25 Minnesota (Jan. 16) and 10 against Indiana (Jan. 23).
? Jarryd Cole grabbed 15 rebounds vs. Northern Iowa (Dec. 7). The 15 boards are the most by a Hawkeye since Greg Brunner snagged 23 vs. Minnesota on Jan. 18, 2006.
? Iowa’s 111 points and 19 steals against SIU-Edwardsville (SIUE) are the most by a Big Ten team this season. Additionally, Iowa’s free throws made (27) against SIUE rank second most in a single-game by a Big Ten team this season.
? Iowa’s 61-point margin of victory (111-50) over SIUE equals the sixth-largest win in school history. It was Iowa’s largest margin of victory since the Hawkeyes beat Pepperdine in 1966 by the very same score. Additionally, the 61-point win marks the ninth time in school history Iowa won by 60 points or more.
? Iowa’s 111 points vs. SIUE are the most it has scored since posting 112 vs. North Texas (112-64) on Nov. 16, 1998.
? Iowa collected 19 steals against SIUE, a total that ties for fifth most in a single-game in school history.
? Eric May had seven steals, which ties four other Hawkeyes for the fourth most in a single-game.
? Melsahn Basabe rejected seven shots vs. Iowa State, a total that equals the third most in a game by a Hawkeye. Basabe blocked six shots against No. 2 Ohio State (Jan. 4). He has a team-best 30 shot deflections through 21 games.
? All 11 Big Ten teams finished with a non-conference record of .500 or better for the first time since the 2005-06 season.

Bryce Cartwright has had a great first season at Iowa, starting the last 16 games at point guard.

The 6-1 guard ranks second in team scoring (10.6), first in assists (108) and third in steals (24). As a starter, he is averaging 11.1 points, 5.9 assists and 2.4 rebounds. Cartwright has been credited with five assists or more in 13 of Iowa’s last 15 games. Furthermore, he has dished out eight assists or more four times this year (Idaho State, Ohio State, Penn State and Michigan). Cartwright was credited with a personal-best nine assists in Iowa’s last game at Michigan on Sunday.

Cartwright ranks third in Big Ten assists (5.14). He is trying to become the third different Hawkeye to average at least 5.0 assists per game in a single-season since 1996-97 (1996-97 Andre Woolridge — 6.0 apg; 2004-05 Jeff Horner — 5.5 apg; 2005-06 Jeff Horner — 5.6 apg). In addition, Cartwright averages 6.1 assists after nine league games.

Cartwright’s talents began to emerge in Iowa’s last game of the Paradise Jam (Nov. 22) against Long Beach State. The junior transfer tallied 12 of his team-high 17 points in the second half against the 49ers. Cartwright shot 8-16 (.500) from the field and collected three rebounds, two assists and a game-high four steals.

The point guard had a stellar game against Louisiana Tech (Dec. 21) with his father in the stands. Cartwright scored 19 points, dished out a game-high seven assists and matched a personal best with six rebounds. He posted 10 points and equaled a personal best with eight dimes vs. No. 2 Ohio State.

Cartwright had one of his best games in a Hawkeye uniform vs. Northwestern (Jan. 12). He led all scorers with a career-high 25 points and also collected five assists and two steals.

Cartwright started his first career game as a Hawkeye vs. SIUE (Nov. 26). The native of Compton, Calif., had 11 points, four assists and two steals. At Wake Forest, he scored 10 of his 13 points in the second half and dished out a game-high five assists. Against Idaho State, Cartwright posted game highs in points (15) and assists (8). The eight helpers matched a personal best. Cartwright dished out a game-high seven assists against Iowa State and a team-high five vs. 23rd-ranked Illinois.

Iowa has taken advantage of strong post play and attacking the basket more this season. The Hawkeyes are averaging 29.1 points per game in the paint. Iowa has scored 30 or more paint points 10 times this season, including three of its last four outings — at top-ranked Ohio State (36) and Michigan (30) and vs. Indiana (46). A year ago, the Hawkeyes averaged 24 points in the paint through its first 21 games.

Comparing statistics through 21 games last year to this season, Iowa is putting up improved numbers. The Hawkeyes are averaging 6.1 more points, 2.6 rebounds, 3.1 steals and 1.2 blocks.

Iowa’s roster of 15 players includes 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’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.

Iowa has played 2,584 games since beginning basketball in 1902. Iowa’s overall record is 1,484-1,100 (.574). That includes a 940-343 (.733) record in home games, a 544-706 (.435) record in contests away from Iowa City, a 700-712 (.496) mark in Big Ten games and a 346-108 (.762) record in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

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.

Iowa will be on the road again Saturday when it travels to Bloomington, Ind. to take on the Indiana Hoosiers. The game is scheduled to start at 3 p.m. (CST) at Assembly Hall.

The game will mark Iowa’s first Saturday conference contest of the season and it will be televised nationally on ESPN2.