Hawkeyes Travel to Illinois Saturday

Feb. 24, 2011

Complete Release in PDF Format

Iowa (10-17, 3-12) is idle midweek and will return to action Saturday when it travels to Champaign, Ill. to face Illinois (17-11, 7-8). Tip-off is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. inside Assembly Hall (16,618).

Iowa has lost its last four, with three of the four defeats coming by three points, including two coming in overtime. The Fighting Illini have lost three of their last four games, with the one victory a two-point win over Michigan (54-52) at home on Feb. 16.

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. TBA) and XM (Ch. TBA) Satellite Radio.
TV: Saturday’s night’s game will be televised nationally on the Big Ten Network (HD). Wayne Larrivee and Shon Morris will call the action from Assembly Hall.

Game 28 | Iowa at Illinois
Date Saturday, Feb. 26 | 6 p.m.
Location Champaign, IL | Assembly Hall
Television Big Ten Network (HD)
Live Coverage GameTracker | Twitter Updates
All-Time Series Illinois leads, 87-77

Iowa has played 2,590 games since beginning basketball in 1902. Iowa’s overall record is 1,486-1,104 (.574). That includes a 941-346 (.731) record in home games, a 545-707 (.435) record in contests away from Iowa City, a 702-716 (.495) mark in Big Ten games and a 347-111 (.758) record in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

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).

Defense has been key in Iowa’s 10 victories this season. Hawkeye opponents average only 53.1 points, shooting 35% from the field, including 24% from 3-point territory, in the 10 Iowa wins. Furthermore, Iowa averages nine steals in victories.

Iowa has taken advantage of strong post play and attacking the basket more this season. The Hawkeyes are averaging 29.9 points per game in the paint. Iowa has scored 30 or more paint points 15 times this season, including eight of the last 10 outings — at top-ranked Ohio State (36), Indiana (34), Michigan (30) and Northwestern (40), and vs. Michigan (40), Indiana (46), No. 13 Wisconsin (32) and Michigan State (34). A year ago, the Hawkeyes averaged 23.1 points in the paint through 27 games.

For the second straight year, Michigan escaped with an overtime victory in Iowa City, this time edging the Hawkeyes, 75-72, Saturday afternoon.

Three Wolverines combined for 68 of Michigan’s 75 points. Freshman Tim Hardaway Jr. poured in a career-high 30 points, while sophomore Darius Morris contributed 20 points and freshman Jordan Morgan added 18, including sinking two game-tying free throws with 12 seconds remaining.

Iowa had an opportunity to win the game in regulation, but Bryce Cartwright’s driving-contested layup and Melsahn Basabe’s tip-in rimmed out. Iowa trailed Michigan by three with 15 seconds left in overtime, but Zach McCabe and Bryce Cartwright’s 3-point attempts both fell short.

Basabe posted team bests in scoring (19) and rebounding (8). Senior Jarryd Cole tallied 14 points, Matt Gatens had 13, while Roy Devyn Marble netted 11 in his second career start. Cartwright also dished out a team-high eight assists.

? Iowa outrebounded Michigan by nine (36-27). The Hawkeyes have outrebounded their last two foes by an average of 7.5 boards.
? The attendance of 13,835 was the second largest crowd of the season in Mediacom Court at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
? The Hawkeyes equaled their season-best free throw shooting percentage, making 18 of 22 attempts (.818).
? Michigan entered the game as the league’s worst free throw shooting team (.683), but shot 79% making 19 of its 24 attempts. Furthermore, the Wolverines were 14-16 (.875) from the charity stripe in the second half and drained all eight attempts the final 5:10 of regulation.
? The Hawkeyes shot a season-low 11.8% (2-17) from 3-point range. Iowa has made three 3-pointers or less in four of its last six games.
? Saturday was Iowa’s second overtime game of the season, losing both (62-59 loss to Wisconsin). Iowa is now 49-54 all-time in overtime contests. Michigan beat Iowa 80-78, in overtime, in Iowa City a year ago on Feb. 16, 2010.

Bryce Cartwright has been an assist machine, as of late. In games since Jan. 26, he ranks third in the country in assists, dishing out 7.9 per game. TCU’s Hank Thorns ranks first (8.4) and Elon’s Chris Long is second (8.0).

Cartwright has registered eight assists or more six of the last eight games and five or more in 11 of the last 12 contests.

Illinois holds a 79-66 advantage in the series that began with a 46-36 Iowa win in 1908. The Illini have won seven of the last eight against the Hawkeyes, including five straight. Iowa’s last victory over Illinois came on March 3, 2007, (60-53) in Iowa City.

Illinois holds a 59-14 advantage in games played in Champaign, where it has won nine straight over Iowa and 20 of the last 21 meetings. Iowa’s last win at Assembly Hall came by a 78-72 margin during the 1998-99 season.

The teams have never met at a neutral site.

Illinois has gone 7-8 its last 15 games after starting the season 13-3. The Illini played on the road for the fourth time in six games Tuesday night, falling 89-70 at third-ranked Ohio State in Columbus. Illinois boasts a 12-2 home record, including a 5-2 mark during conference play at Assembly Hall.

Illinois lost by 19 points to the Buckeyes depite shooting 52% (11-21) from 3-point territory, including 89% (8-9) from long distance in the first half. Senior Mike Davis scored a team-high 18 points and grabbed seven rebounds, while classmate Demetri McCamey tallied 15 points and was credited with six assists off the bench. Seven-foot-one center Mike Tisdale, who entered the game with 10 treys in 27 games, drained 4-5 from long distance and finished with 14 points. Ohio State forced 18 Illinois turnovers and converted those miscues into 25 points.

Illinois ranks high in a number of Big Ten statistical categories. The Illini rank first in 3-point percentage defense (.297), second in 3-point percentage (.394), field goal percentage defense (.402), assists (16.43) and free throw percentage (.728), third in field goal percentage (.464), and fourth in scoring offense (71.6).

McCamey ranks second in the Big Ten in overall assists (6.21) and 3-point percentage (.480, 61-127), fifth in assist/turnover ratio (2.07), and 12th in scoring (14.5). Davis is the only other player who averages double figures in scoring (11.9). Davis also ranks seventh in overall rebounds (6.9) in the Big Ten.

Bruce Weber is in his eighth season as the head coach at Illinois, but he was no stranger to Big Ten basketball when he accepted the position. Weber was an assistant coach at Purdue from 1981-98 before taking over as the head coach at Southern Illinois prior to the 1998-99 season. Weber is in his 13th year as a head coach and his career mark stands at 293-137 (.681), including a 190-83 (.696) record at Illinois and a 103-54 mark in his five seasons at Southern Illinois. Weber also served as an assistant coach for one season at Western Kentucky (under Gene Keady) before his stint at Purdue.

Weber guided Illinois to the Big Ten regular season title in his first year in Champaign in 2004. Illinois swept the Big Ten regular season and tournament titles in 2005 while advancing to the NCAA championship game, concluding the year with a 37-2 record. The Fighting Illini reached the championship game of the 2008 Big Ten Tournament. In 2009, Illinois posted a 24-10 record and an NCAA Tournament appearance, falling to Western Kentucky in the first round. Illinois reached the NIT Quarterfinals a year ago, finishing with a 21-15 record.

Weber led Southern Illinois to three post-season appearances in his five years, including NCAA Tournament invitations in 2002 and 2003. The Salukis earned Missouri Valley Conference titles in both 2002 and 2003 and advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2002.

? With only three Big Ten games left, Iowa cannot earn a seed higher than 10th in the conference tournament. The Hawkeyes and Hoosiers are currently tied for 10th place in the league standings. If the two teams would remain tied after the regular season, Iowa would earn the tiebreaker due to sweeping Indiana.
? Saturday will feature two of the Big Ten’s best teams in bench production. Illinois ranks first with 21.8 points from its reserves and Iowa ranks fourth (18.6).
? Iowa’s defense has improved the last six games. Hawkeye opponents shot 47.5% from the field through Jan. 31, however Iowa foes shot 41.4% during February, an average that ranks tops in the conference during that stretch; Illinois ranks second (41.8%).
? Iowa is 9-4 when it holds the opponent under 70 points, compared to a 1-13 mark when giving up 70 or more.
? Seven of Iowa’s 10 wins have come by margins of 10 points or more, while six of its defeats have come by six points or less, including five by three points (two of the three-point defeats came in overtime).
? Saturday features two of the Big Ten’s top assists leaders. Iowa’s Bryce Cartwright ranks first in Big Ten assists (6.73), while Illinois’ Demetri McCamey ranks third (5.47). Cartwright is trying to become the first Hawkeye since Dean Oliver (5.2 avg.) in 2001 to lead the Big Ten in assists in conference play.
? Saturday will feature two of the Big Ten’s top rookies. Iowa’s Melsahn Basabe ranks first amongst conference freshman in blocks (1.4), second in rebounding (7.0) and third in scoring (10.9). Illinois’ Jereme Richmond ranks sixth in freshmen scoring (7.8), third in assists (1.9) and fourth in rebounding (5.3).
? Matt Gatens ranks fourth among Big Ten juniors in career scoring. Northwestern’s John Shurna ranks first, followed by Ohio State’s William Buford and Indiana’s Verdell Jones III.
? Eric May averages 11 points (13-18, .727 FG and 7-10, .700 FT) and 2.7 rebounds in Iowa’s three Big Ten wins. Conversely, May averages 4.5 points (17-59, .288 FG and 6-12, .500 FT) and 1.7 boards in Iowa’s 12 conference defeats.
? According to collegerpi.com, Iowa’s strength of schedule ranks 47th in the country, based on games played through Feb. 20; Illinois rates 20th.
? Iowa is 10-3 when having a better field goal percentage than the opposition and 7-2 when dishing out more assists.
? Iowa has had a player score 20-plus points in eight of the last 16 games. Basabe registered 20 points in Iowa’s win at Indiana (Feb. 5), a personal-best 25 points at Michigan (Jan. 30), 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).
? Iowa ranks 35th in the country in fewest fouls per game (16.4). Individually, Matt Gatens ranks 25th in free throw percentage (.875) while Bryce Cartwright ranks 25th in assists (5.7). Illinois ranks eighth in the nation in 3-point percentage defense (.292), 16th in assists (16.4), 20th in 3-point percentage (.388), 24th in field goal percentage defense (.397) and 26th in assist/turnover ratio (1.29). Illinois’ Demetri McCamey ranks seventh nationally in assists (6.2).
? Illinois’ roster is comprised of 13 student-athletes. The 13-player roster consists of four seniors, one junior, three sophomores, two redshirt freshmen and three true freshmen. Ten players hail from Illinois, and one each from Virginia, Missouri and Canada.
? Illinois is the only team Iowa has not played at least once in the Big Ten Conference postseason tournament.
? Iowa and Illinois are two of the five Big Ten teams that have won more than one Big Ten Conference Tournament. Iowa claimed the title in 2001 and 2006, and lost in the title game in 2002. Illinois earned the title in 2003 and 2005. The fighting Illini were also in the title game in 1999, 2000, 2004 and 2008.

Both Iowa and Illinois have been involved in close games this season. The Illini are 2-6 in games decided by five points or less, including 1-5 in Big Ten contests. Two of Illinois’ last three games were decided by four points or less; the Illini beat Michigan (54-52) on Feb. 16, but lost at Michigan State (61-57) on Feb. 19.

Iowa is 1-6 in games decided by five points or less, with five of the defeats coming by three points, including three of its last four Big Ten losses. Iowa beat Indiana (64-63) in Bloomington on Feb. 5 for its only narrow victory. Recently, the Hawkeyes had possession with an opportunity to tie (Northwestern) or win (Wisconsin and Michigan) but ultimately fell short.

Illinois shot 67% (32-48) from the field, including a staggering 72% (13-18) from long distance to lift the Illini to an 87-77 victory over Iowa in the conference opener in Iowa City on Dec. 29. The game was played in front of a sellout crowd of 15,500 fans in Carver-Hawkeye Arena, marking Iowa’s first sellout since March 1, 2008.

The Illini made their first seven 3-pointers and scored 16 consecutive points midway through the first half to build a comfortable cushion. The Hawkeyes fought back in the second half cutting a 19-point deficit to six with 8:21 remaining, but were unable to get any closer.

Four Hawkeye starters netted double figures, paced by Matt Gatens’ game-high 21 points. Bryce Cartwright scored 13, Eric May contributed 12 and Jarryd Cole 10. Cole also pulled down a game-high nine boards. Gatens scored 15 of his 21 points from 3-point territory. His five triples equaled a personal best.

Five Illinois players’ scored double figures, paced by Demetri McCamey’s 20 points. He scored 14 of his 20 points in the second half and finished with a double-double, dishing out a game-high 10 assists.

Junior Matt Gatens has converted 86.7% (222-256) of his free throw attempts. He currently ranks sixth in Big Ten career free throw percentage (minimum 200 made) behind Indiana’s Steve Alford (.898, 535-596), Penn State’s Joe Crispin (.885, 448-506), Wisconsin’s Rick Olson (.870, 260-299) Penn State’s Pete Lisicky (.868, 223-257) and Ohio State’s Jamar Butler (.868, 231-266).

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 295 points and is averaging 10.9 points per game. Like Gatens, he has started every game (27) this season.

Bryce Cartwright is one of only two Hawkeyes to ever dish out eight assists or more in four straight games. The junior collected eight or more at Penn State (8), at Michigan (9), vs. Michigan State (10) and at Indiana (8). The only other Hawkeye to record eight assists or more in four-straight contests was Andre Woolridge during the 1994-95 season. Woolridge was credited with eight helpers vs. Hawaii, nine vs. Arkansas, nine vs. Indiana and nine against Michigan State.

Bryce Cartwright was limited to four assists vs. No. 13 Wisconsin (Feb. 9). It snapped a streak of eight-straight games of five assists or more, which ranked as the fifth-longest streak by a Big Ten player during league play since 1996-97. He had seven helpers vs. No. 25 Minnesota (Feb. 13), nine at Northwestern (Feb. 17) and eight in Iowa’s last contest vs. Michigan (Feb. 19).

Point guard Bryce Cartwright currently leads the Big Ten in assists (6.73) after 15 conference games. He is looking to become only the sixth Hawkeye since 1975 to lead the Big Ten in assists, during league play.

Iowa will host Purdue in its regular season finale on March 5. The game will tip-off at 3 p.m. (CT) and will be televised nationally on ESPN (HD).

Melsahn Basabe had his fourth 20-point, 10-rebound game of the season at Indiana (Feb. 2). The native of Glen Cove, NY, is one of only four freshmen in the country to collect 20-points and 10-rebounds in four or more games.

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 six double-doubles this year (five during Big Ten play), the second most by a Big Ten freshman behind Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger (12).

Senior Jarryd Cole has only three regular season games remaining in his collegiate career. Cole has been putting up stellar numbers the last three games, ranking first on the team in scoring (13.0) and rebounding (7.3). He is shooting at a blistering 81.3% clip from both the field (13-16) and free throw line (13-16) the last three games. Cole is the only senior scholarship athlete on the team.

Melsahn Basabe is the only Hawkeye rookie to amass over 290 points, 185 rebounds and 35 blocks. The native of Glen Cove, NY, has 295 points, 189 rebounds and 37 blocks after 27 games.

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.

Cartwright drained a 55-footer as the first half expired in Iowa’s last contest vs. Michigan (Feb. 19), but after review by the officials it was determined the basketball was still in his fingertips and the basket was disallowed.

Zach McCabe drained a 3-pointer as the first half expired vs. Michigan State (Feb. 2), giving the Hawkeyes a 41-20 advantage going into halftime.

Iowa has had a Big Ten-best four players record double-doubles: Melsahn Basabe (6), Jarryd Cole (3), Bryce Cartwright and Devon Archie. Illinois is the only other team with four players to have posted double-doubles, while Wisconsin and Minnesota have had three.

Basabe and Cole are two of 16 Big Ten players with multiple double-doubles. Furthermore, Basabe is one of only six players with six or more double-doubles in the league.

Cartwright notched his first career double-double, posting 12 points and a career-high 10 assists in a win over Michigan State (Feb. 2). Archie was credited with 10 points and 11 rebounds vs. Xavier (Nov. 19) for his first career double-double. Basabe collected 12 points and 14 rebounds against Iowa State (Dec. 10), 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), was credited with team highs in points (20) and rebounds (10) in Iowa’s home win vs. Indiana (Jan. 23), posted 20 points and 13 rebounds in Iowa’s victory at Indiana (Feb. 5) and registered 13 points and 11 rebounds vs. No. 13 Wisconsin (Feb. 9). Cole notched his double-doubles vs. Northern Iowa (Dec. 7) with 10 points and 15 boards, against Louisiana Tech (Dec. 21) with 10 points and 12 rebounds and 13th-ranked Wisconsin (Feb. 9) with 10 points and 12 boards.

Melsahn Basabe has been playing like one of the top freshmen in the Big Ten. He ranks first among conference rookies in blocks (1.37), second in rebounding (7.0) and double-doubles (6), and third in scoring (10.9).

The rookie from Glen Cove, NY, is averaging 12.2 points (102-175, .583), 7.4 rebounds and 1.45 blocks the last 22 contests. Furthermore, he is averaging 13.5 points (71-120, .592) and 7.9 rebounds the last 14 Big Ten games. Basabe has put up 20 points or more in five of the last 12 contests. He averages 12 points (.640 FG%, .800 FT%) and 6.3 rebounds the last three contests.

Basabe netted 20 points on 6-10 (.600) shooting from the field and 8-9 (.889) from the charity stripe in Iowa’s one-point victory at Indiana (Feb. 2). He poured in a personal-best 25 points on 9-11 (.818) shooting from the field and 7-8 (.875) shooting from the foul line at Michigan (Jan. 23). The rookie has scored 20 points or more five times, all against Big Ten squads (Ohio State – 22, Minnesota – 20, Indiana – 20, Michigan – 25 and Indiana – 20). The last time a Hawkeye freshman scored 20 or more in at least five games was Tyler Smith in 2006-07, only two of which came against Big Ten opponents. Furthermore, the last time a Hawkeye — regardless of class — posted five 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).

The 6-7, 225-pound power forward has reached double-digit rebounds in seven games, also the second most by a Big Ten freshman (Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger has 13). He has snagged a team-best 189 boards, which ranks fourth all-time among Hawkeye rookies. He is on pace to become Iowa’s top all-time freshman rebounder. Jess Settles had 203 rebounds in 1993-94.

Not only is he on pace to become Iowa’s all-time leading freshman rebounder, but will likely become only the fourth freshman to lead the Hawkeyes in rebounding (Tyler Smith led Iowa in rebounding in 2007, Jess Settles in 1994 and Michael Payne in 1982). Basabe has grabbed 189 rebounds, while Jarryd Cole ranks second with 169.

Basabe, who is one of five Big Ten freshmen to start every game, is Iowa’s leading shot blocker (37) and rebounder (7.0). He has led the team in rebounding a team-best 12 times, including seven of the last 14 outings.

Basabe has a team-best 37 blocks this season, a total that is fourth most by a Hawkeye freshman. He is only two from tying Guy Rucker (1996-97) for third on the list.

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 238 straight games.

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).

In league play, he is averaging a team-best 13.1 points, compared to an 11.7 average in non-conference games.

Gatens scored a game-high 19 points in Iowa’s victory over Michigan State (Feb. 2). In the process, he tallied his 1,000th career point to become only the 40th Hawkeye to accomplish the feat. Gatens currently has 1,050 points and is only four points from equaling Carl Cain (1954-56) and Reggie Evans (2001–02) for 36th on the all-time scoring chart.

Gatens posted back-to-back 20-plus points for the first time in his career when he poured in 22 points vs. Louisiana Tech and 21 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 (Feb. 2). He has eclipsed the 20-point plateau nine times in his career.

Gatens matched a personal high with five treys vs. Louisiana Tech, No. 23 Illinois and Northwestern, while draining four against second-ranked Ohio State.

Gatens ranks first in team scoring (12.5) and free throw percentage (.875, 63-72) and steals (35), and second in assists (49). Also, he ranks 25th in the nation in free throw shooting.

Bryce Cartwright has had a great first season at Iowa, starting the last 22 games at point guard and emerging as one of the league’s top floor generals.

The 6-1 guard ranks third in team scoring (10.9), first in assists (154) and third in steals (26). As a starter, he is averaging 11.3 points, 6.4 assists and 2.6 rebounds. Cartwright led the Hawkeyes in scoring two of the last four contests (No. 13 Wisconsin and No. 25 Minnesota).

Cartwright has been credited with seven assists or more in seven of the last eight games and five assists or more in 18 of Iowa’s last 21 contests. He has dished out eight assists or more eight times this year (Idaho State, Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan – twice, Michigan State, Indiana and Northwestern), including five of the last seven games. Cartwright has been on fire the last eight games, boasting a 2.33 assist/turnover ratio. He has amassed 63 assists (7.88) the last eight contests, including dishing out a career-high 10 in Iowa’s win over Michigan State (Feb. 2). He had nine assists with no turnovers at Michigan (Jan. 30) and another nine assist performance at Northwestern (Feb. 17).

Cartwright is on pace to crack Iowa’s single-season top ten assists chart. The junior has 154 assists and is only one from equaling B.J. Armstrong for 10th. Armstrong collected 155 in 1988. Ronnie Lester ranks ninth with 163 in 1978.

Cartwright ranks third in Big Ten assists (5.7), but ranks first averaging 6.73 in 15 Big Ten contests. He is trying to become the third different Hawkeye to average at least five 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).

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).

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.

Comparing statistics through 27 games last year to this season, Iowa is putting up improved numbers. The Hawkeyes are averaging 5.9 more points, 2.1 rebounds, 2.6 steals and 1.2 blocks.

Zach McCabe has given the Iowa Hawkeyes a boost off the bench recently.

The 6-7, 225-pound forward tallied 11 points, all in the first half, at Northwestern (Feb. 17). The double-digit performance is the most the freshman has scored since registering 13 vs. Iowa State (Dec. 10).

McCabe grabbed five rebounds in Iowa’s overtime loss to No. 13 Wisconsin (Feb. 9). The five boards are the most he’s snagged since a season-high eight at Wake Forest (Nov. 30). He had three assists and a team-best two steals in Iowa’s last game vs. Michigan (Feb. 19).

Iowa has played seven games against ranked opponents. Iowa lost at home to No. 23 Illinois (87-77) Dec. 29 and to second-ranked Ohio State (73-68) Jan. 4, while falling on the road to No. 10 Purdue (75-52) Jan. 9, 25th-ranked Minnesota (69-59) Jan. 16, top-ranked Ohio State (70-48) Jan. 19, 13th-ranked Wisconsin in overtime (62-59) Feb. 9 and No. 25 Minnesota (62-45) on Feb. 13. Iowa has lost 25 straight games to nationally-ranked opponents. The Hawkeyes’ last victory over a ranked foe came against sixth-ranked Michigan State (43-36) in Iowa City on Jan. 12, 2008.

? Iowa has seen an increase in its attendance numbers compared to last year. Compared to the first 15 home games of 2009-10, the Hawkeyes are averaging 2,088 more fans than a year ago. Iowa averaged 9,514 fans the first 15 home games last season, compared to 11,602 this year.
? Matt Gatens has made 160 career 3-pointers, which ranks seventh at Iowa. He is only one triple from tying Dean Oliver (1998-2001) for sixth place.
? Only two points separate Melsahn Basabe (295) and Bryce Cartwright (293).
? Iowa’s six freshmen average a combined 23.2 points per game, an average that ranks third best in the Big Ten behind Ohio State (33.2) and Michigan (31.4). Two of Michigan’s freshmen are redshirts.
? 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 vs. SIUE, 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 37 shot deflections through 27 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.

Cully Payne, who started his first 37 games as a Hawkeye at point guard, is out indefinitely due to a sports hernia. Payne had successful surgery Nov. 30. Payne averaged 3.8 points, 3.4 assists and 1.4 rebounds his first five games of 2010-11.

Last year, Payne was named to Big Ten all-Freshman team by Sporting News and earned a spot on the CBE Classic All-Tournament squad. Payne was the only Big Ten freshman starter at point guard last season. He became only the fourth Hawkeye freshman to lead the team in assists since 1974-75. His 122 assists rank third-best for an Iowa rookie in a single-season. The Schaumburg, Ill., native also averaged 8.7 points and three rebounds.

Bryce Cartwright has taken over the starting spot at point guard. Expect Roy Devyn Marble to also see minutes at point guard.

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).

“HAWK TALK WITH Fran McCaffery”
University of Iowa basketball fans may join Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery and radio announcer Gary Dolphin during the season for the “Hawk Talk with Fran McCaffery” radio call-in show. The show takes place each Monday at Carlos O’Kelly’s Mexican Cafe in Iowa City from 7-8:30 p.m.

Each Monday, one lucky fan will have an opportunity to have his or her question and name read on their air. Submit your question on the team’s facebook page at: facebook.com/hawkeyehoops.

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 remains on the road when it travels to East Lansing, Mich. to compete against Michigan State on March 2 (5:30 p.m. CT). The Hawkeyes close out the regular season with a home game against Purdue on March 5 (3 p.m.).