Hawkeyes Return to Action Thursday

Jan. 24, 2012

Iowa Game Notes

? Thursday will be the first meeting between Iowa and Nebraska since 1976.
? Thursday will be Iowa’s first game in nine days, since falling at Purdue (75-68) on Jan. 17.
? Matt Gatens leads the team in scoring (12.0), rebounding (5.9) and steals (12) during Big Ten action.
? Iowa has collected 10 steals or more in nine games, including being credited with 10 in two of the last five contests. The nine games with 10 or more steals lead the Big Ten and are the fourth most in the country.
? Iowa has one of the deepest benches in the Big Ten, averaging 28.4 points per game.
? Iowa has vaulted 84 RPI points (193-109), according to realtimerpi.com, after road victories over Wisconsin and Minnesota, and a home win over Michigan.
? Iowa’s scoring average of 73.9 is its highest since the 1997-98 season (80.2).
? Iowa is 9-0 when scoring 80 points or more, under McCaffery, the last two seasons. Furthermore, the Hawkeyes are 12-0 when holding opponents to fewer than 60 points.
? Three of Iowa’s next four games will be at home.
?Four of Iowa’s first six Big Ten games were against ranked opponents.

Purdue rallied from an 11-point first-half deficit and beat Iowa, 75-68, on Jan. 17 at West Lafayette in Mackey Arena. The Hawkeyes led 34-23, but the Boilermakers closed the half on an 8-2 run to close within 36-31 at the break. Purdue scored the first five points of the second stanza to tie the contest, and later built a 10-point advantage. Iowa battled back with an 8-0 run to close within two points midway through the second half, but was unable to regain the lead. Zach McCabe led all scorers with a career-high 20 points. The sophomore was 7-of-13 from the field, including 3-of-5 from long distance. Classmate Roy Devyn Marble contributed 18 points, while Matt Gatens netted 10 of his 12 points in the second half. Purdue had five players score in double figures, led by Robbie Hummel’s 17 points. He also grabbed a game-high 11 boards. Lewis Jackson scored 11 of his 14 points in the second half.

Game 21 | Nebraska vs. Iowa
Date Thursday, Jan. 26 | 6:02 p.m.
Location Iowa City, Iowa | Carver-Hawkeye Arena
Game Info Tickets | Promotions
Radio Hawkeye Radio Network
Live Coverage GameTracker | Twitter Game Updates
All-Time Series Iowa leads, 12-7

? Iowa led 36-31 at halftime, marking the first time the Hawkeyes had the lead over Purdue at halftime in Mackey Arena since 2001. Last week’s loss marked the first time in nine games this season that Iowa lost when leading at intermission.
? Purdue outrebounded Iowa by nine (41-32). The Hawkeyes were only able to grab eight offensive rebounds.
? Iowa attempted 30 free throws, but only sank 19 (.633). Purdue got to the foul line 35 times, making 25 (.714). Aaron White was 5-of-7 at the charity stripe. The freshman is a combined 13-of-17 from the free throw line the last two games.
? Matt Gatens had a game-high three steals. The senior has been credited with three steals in three of the last five contests.
? Iowa’s perimeter defense was solid again. The Hawkeyes limited Purdue to 4-of-15 (.267) shooting from long distance.

ESPN.com released a midseason report on the nation’s top freshmen. Included in the list are Iowa’s Aaron White. White is ranked No. 15. Indiana’s Cody Zeller is second and Trey Burke of Michigan is seventh. White ranks third in Iowa scoring (9.7) and second in rebounding (4.7).

Iowa holds a 12-7 advantage in the series that began with a 27-17 Cornhusker win in 1907. Thursday will be the first meeting between Nebraska and Iowa in Big Ten competition. The last time the two teams met was in 1976, which was a 71-57 Iowa victory in Lincoln, Neb. The Hawkeyes have won eight of the last 11 and five of the last seven, including the last three meetings. Iowa boasts an 8-2 advantage in games played between the two schools in Iowa City. Thursday will be Nebraska’s first-ever game played in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Hawkeyes have won the last five contests, in the series, played in Iowa City, dating back to 1943.

? Nebraska is 10-9 overall and 2-6 in Big Ten play. The Cornhuskers are 2-4 in road contests, including a 0-3 road mark in league games.
? The Cornhuskers are 5-1 this season when scoring 70 points or more.
? Nebraska’s Bo Spencer ranks 11th in Big Ten scoring (14.8), ninth in assists (3.6), second in free throw percentage (.868) and eighth in minutes played (33.4). Brandon Richardson is third in steals (1.9), while Brandon Ubel is 12th in rebounding (5.4).
? Nebraska ranks first in the Big Ten in free throw percentage (.750) and sixth in scoring defense (62.6).
? The Cornhuskers are 5-4 in games played decided by nine points or fewer, including winning two one-point games (70-69 over Indiana and 51-50 over Florida Gulf Coast) and one double overtime contest (64-61 at USC).
? Nebraska has four players averaging 4.5 rebounds or better: Brandon Ubel (5.4), Toney McCray (4.8), Jorge Brian Diaz (4.6) and Caleb Walker (4.5).
? Nebraska has two players average double figures in scoring: Bo Spencer (14.8) and Toney McCray (10.2).
? Two of Nebraska’s leading scorers, Jorge Brian Diaz and Dylan Talley, each missed the same five games (Alcorn State, Central Michigan, Wisconsin, Michigan State and at Ohio State) due to injuries.

? Fran McCaffery coached against Nebraska once before. McCaffery took his 1987-88 Lehigh team to Lincoln, Neb., to play in the Cornhusker Classic. McCaffery’s Lehigh team lost, 71-66, on Dec. 4, 1986. The next day, they defeated Ball State (72-64) in the consolation game.
? Thursday features two of the Big Ten’s top free throw shooters. Nebraska’s Bo Spencer ranks second (.868, 66-of-76), while Iowa’s Matt Gatens ranks third (.861, 62-of-72).
? Seven of Iowa’s nine losses have come to teams ranked in the RPI top 55, including the last six.
? Both Iowa’s Matt Gatens and Nebraska’s Brandon Richardson rank among the Big Ten active career leaders in steals. Richardson ranks second with 129, while Gatens is third with 126.
? Iowa’s second (Roy Devyn Marble, 11.2), third (Aaron White, 9.7), fourth (Melsahn Basabe, 8.6) and fifth (Zach McCabe, 8.1) leading scorers are all underclassmen.
? Iowa ranks 39th in the country in assist/turnover ratio (1.2), 43rd in steals (8.3), 52nd in fewest turnovers (12.4) and 57th in assists (14.7). Individually, Roy Devyn Marble is 30th in assist/turnover ratio (2.5).
? Nebraska ranks 20th in the country in free throw percentage (.750).
? Nebraska’s roster is comprised of 16 student-athletes. The roster consists of five seniors, six juniors and five freshmen (two redshirts). Three players hail from Nebraska, two from Kansas, and one each from California, Missouri, Texas, Arkansas, Georgia, Utah, New Jersey, Louisiana, Brazil, Puerto Rico and Germany.

There will be more than a basketball game on Feb. 4 when Penn State visits Carver-Hawkeye Arena. That Saturday will be a special afternoon as the UI men’s basketball program will honor the 1986-87 Hawkeyes. Former UI head coach Tom Davis, and a majority of players and staff from the 1987 team will reunite in Iowa City. Additionally, for “Lettermen’s Day”, the team will wear special throwback jerseys. Fans will have an opportunity to meet this illustrious group before the Feb. 4 game. There will be an autograph session of selected players from 12:30-1:30 p.m. around the concourse. Following autographs there will be a pregame ceremony recognizing the team and its accomplishments. That team, which was the top-ranked team in the country for a number of weeks during the season, set the program’s single-season record for wins (30) and was one game from the earning the program’s fourth Final Four appearance. Eight players from the 1987 team ultimately went on to get drafted in the NBA, while others played professionally overseas.

University of Iowa students are being provided a special opportunity to help Fran McCaffery’s squad secure victories in their final six home games. UI students pay just $50 for the special ticket package. The UI Athletics Ticket Office is accepting orders for the “6-for-5” UI student ticket package. The offer includes a student ticket to each of Iowa’s remaining six home games beginning with Thursday night’s contest against Nebraska. UI students can place their “6-for-5” ticket order from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at the UI Athletics Ticket Office in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. They also have the option of placing their “6-for-5” ticket order from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday, at the Iowa Memorial Union.

Iowa has played four games against ranked competition. The Hawkeyes beat No. 11 Wisconsin (72-65) on Dec. 31 in Madison, and most recently 13th-ranked Michigan (75-59) on Jan. 14 in Iowa City. Iowa fell to No. 6 Ohio State (76-47) on Jan. 7 in Iowa City and No. 6 Michigan State (95-61) on Jan. 10 in East Lansing.

Aaron White leads Big Ten reserves in rebounding. The Iowa freshman has pulled down 94 rebounds. Michigan State’s Derrick Nix ranks second (81), Austin Thornton of Michigan State is third (70), while Purdue’s Terone Johnson is fourth (65).

Roy Devyn Marble’s level of play has been stellar the last 16 games. The sophomore has averaged 12.8 points and 3.6 assists during that span. Also, he is shooting 45 percent from the field and 70 percent from the foul line during the 16-game stretch. Since moving to the starting point guard spot, Marble is averaging 13.6 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists. He has amassed a solid assist/turnover ratio this season. He has 67 assists to only 27 turnovers, ranking fourth in the Big Ten (2.5). Marble has been credited with four assists or more 11 times this season.

Last season, Roy Devyn Marble averaged 5.7 points, 2.4 rebounds, and was credited with 41 assists and 21 steals in 31 contests. He started the last six of 2010-11. Also, he shot 53 percent from the free throw line (35-of-66). This year, Marble has seen improved numbers, averaging 11.2 points, 3.7 rebounds, and has collected 67 assists and 30 steals. He has started the last 12. From the foul line this season, the sophomore has seen significant improvement, shooting 71 percent (63-of-89).

Matt Gatens ranks 14th on Iowa’s all-time scoring chart. The senior is only three points from tying Ed Horton (1986-89) for 13th place. Gatens has amassed 1,369 points entering Thursday’s contest against Nebraska. The senior was 1-of-2 from 3-point territory in Iowa’s last game at Purdue and now has 194 career triples, which is fifth best in school history. Additionally, he ranks fourth in career 3-point attempts with 553.

As part of its ongoing corporate partnership with the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC), the NCAA and ESPN, Infiniti has announced an expanded “Infiniti Coaches’ Charity Challenge” with a $100,000 donation to the winning coach’s designated charity. Iowa’s Fran McCaffery is one of 48 NABC coaches taking part in this charity challenge. Fan participation will determine the ultimate winner over an eight-week period by registering and voting at ESPN.com/Infiniti. For the first six weeks, four brackets of 12 coaches will be paired against each other, with the winners from each group moving onto the next round in week seven and the final round in week eight. Fans can vote for up to four coaches per day. The winning coach will be announced March 9. The total Infiniti contribution will be more than $300,000. All 48 coaches’ charities are guaranteed at least $5,000 from Infiniti.

Freshmen Aaron White and Josh Oglesby have combined for seven games of scoring 15 or more points this season. White has scored 15 points or more in four of the last nine contests.

In 13 nonconference games, Iowa opponents shot 35 percent (70-of-201) from long distance. However, through seven games in league play, Hawkeye opponents are shooting just 28 percent (42-of-149) from 3-point territory, a percentage defense that ranks second best in the league behind Nebraska (.278, 40-of-144). In Iowa’s three Big Ten victories, opponents were just 15-of-82 (.183) from long distance.

Matt Gatens is one of five active Division I players with 1,350+ points, 400+ rebounds and 190+ made 3-pointers in a career.

Iowa has won five of its last six games when Melsahn Basabe pulls down 10+ rebounds, including a 3-0 mark in 2011-12. His three games with 10 or more rebounds ranks fifth best in the conference this season. Basabe is one of four active Big Ten players with at least 10 games of 10+ rebounds since the beginning of last season. Basabe has accomplished the feat 11 times.

Sophomore Zach McCabe has been a solid contributor to Iowa’s front court this season. McCabe, who ranks fifth in team scoring (8.1) and third in rebounding (4.5), has scored in double figures in each of Iowa’s last two games. He tallied 11 points and chased down seven boards, while netting a game and career-high 20 points in Iowa’s last contest at Purdue (Jan. 17). After getting to the free throw line only 21 times the first 15 games, McCabe has done a better job attacking the basket as of late. The native of Sioux City, Iowa, has earned 21 trips to the foul line the last five contests. McCabe has pulled down seven rebounds or more six times, including a personal-best eight versus Central Arkansas. He has led the team in rebounding five times this season.

Last year, Iowa’s free throw percentage was 67.6 percent. This season, the Hawkeyes have improved in that area, shooting 72.2 percent, which ranks third best in the Big Ten. Twenty-two percent of Iowa’s offense this year has come from the foul line. The Hawkeyes have missed only 21 free throws (79-of-100, .790) in the final five minutes of games. Additionally, the Hawkeyes have missed only 10 free throws (29-of-39, .744) in the final minute.

Iowa has won 81 of its 115 games (.704) in Carver-Hawkeye Arena (15,500) over the last eight seasons, including win streaks of 21 straight overall and 12 straight Big Ten Conference wins. Iowa has won 10 of its last 20 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, 9-9 in 2010 and 8-8 in 2011.

Iowa has compiled a 357-115 (.756) record in Carver-Hawkeye Arena since the facility opened in January, 1983. Iowa is 163-91 (.642) in Big Ten games and 194-24 (.890) in non-Big Ten contests.

Aaron White has been contributing solid numbers off the bench. The freshman, who leads all Big Ten reserves in rebounding (4.7), averaged 12.1 points and 4.8 rebounds the last nine games. White has scored in double digits eight times, including seven of the last 10 games. The last 10 games, White has averaged 11.9 points, shooting at a 60 percent clip (39-of-65) from the field. The 6-foot-8 wing player has scored 15 points or more five times, which is the third most by a Big Ten rookie this season. White netted eight of his 12 points from the charity stripe in the Hawkeyes’ victory over No. 13 Michigan. White drained 7-of-8 free-throw attempts in the last three minutes of the game to help maintain a double-digit advantage over the Wolverines. White was named Big Ten co-Freshman of the Week after his performance in Iowa’s victory over Chicago State (Nov. 11). The native of Strongsville, Ohio, shined in his Hawkeye debut, leading all scorers and rebounders with 19 points and 10 boards. The 19 points are the most by an Iowa freshman in an opener, equaling Dick Ives’ 19 scored against Nebraska in his debut on Dec. 10, 1943. Furthermore, White’s performance marked the first time a Hawkeye posted a double-double, in a season opener, since Dean Oliver had 10 points and 12 assists in a victory over Chicago State in 1997. It was the first time a Hawkeye freshman had a double-double, points and rebounds, since Jess Settles had 13 points and 11 rebounds versus Drake in 1993.

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 47 years of head coaching experience. Director of Basketball Operations Jerry Strom is in his 31st season as a member of the Iowa basketball staff. Additionally, Iowa’s new video coordinator, Al Seibert, has 18 years of collegiate coaching experience.

Fran McCaffery-coached teams have posted improved win totals and scoring output from their first year to second with McCaffery as a head coach. At Lehigh, his team improved by two wins (13 in 1986 to 15 in 1987). His UNC Greensboro team had four more victories from 2000 (15) and 2001 (19). At Siena his team improved by five victories, registering 15 in 2006 to 20 in 2007. His Lehigh team averaged 2.8 more points its second year compared to year one. His UNC Greensboro team had a +1.9 scoring increase and +1.8 at Siena. Currently, Iowa is averaging 6.7 more points this year compared to last season.

? The Big Ten is the No. 1 ranked conference in the RPI and Sagarin ratings.
? Iowa’s men’s and women’s teams start this week with identical overall (11-9) and Big Ten (3-4) marks.
? Iowa averages 83.2 points in its wins, compared to 62.6 points in its defeats, a differential of 20.6 points. The Hawkeyes own a +16.2 point differential in their scoring defense, and +9.7 rebounding and +8.3 assists margins in wins compared to losses.
? Roy Devyn Marble has 67 assists to only 27 turnovers. His 2.5 assist/turnover ratio ranks fourth in the Big Ten.
? Iowa’s attendance numbers are up again this season, after a 20 percent bump a year ago. Last season, Iowa averaged 11,096 fans. Through 13 home games this season, the Hawkeyes are averaging 11,290.
? Freshman Josh Oglesby became the first Hawkeye reserve to lead the team in scoring, in back-to-back games (Northern Illinois and Creighton), since Ricky Davis paced Iowa with 25 and 18 on the road at Wisconsin (Feb. 3) and Michigan State (Feb. 7), respectively, in 1998. Like Oglesby, Davis accomplished the feat as a freshman.
? At least 10 players have seen action in 16 of Iowa’s 20 contests. Iowa’s bench averages 28.4 points.
? Iowa has had five players score in double figures three times (North Carolina A&T, Drake and Central Arkansas). The Hawkeyes had five players score 12 points or more in its win over North Carolina A&T (Nov. 14). It marked only the fourth time the Hawkeyes had five players tally 12 points or more in a game (UW-Green Bay in 2003, Michigan in 2004, SIU-Edwardsville in 2010 and North Carolina A&T in 2011).

Iowa has played 2,645 games since beginning basketball in 1902. Iowa’s overall record is 1,588-1,057 (.600). That includes a 951-351 (.730) record in home games, a 547-716 (.433) record in contests away from Iowa City, a 706-722 (.494) mark in Big Ten games and a 357-115 (.756) record in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Iowa men’s basketball assistant coach Kirk Speraw is one of 256 collegiate basketball coaches taking part in the second annual “Shots from the Heart”, which is an event created by Angela Lento and Joe Dwyer of collegeinsider.com to increase awareness for the growing problem of Heart Disease and raise money to benefit the Skip Prosser Foundation. Speraw posted a victory over Old Dominion’s Jim Corrigan in the first round of the tournament. He then advanced to the Sweet 16 with a win over Saddi Washington of Oakland University. In both rounds, Speraw sank all 25 of his free throws. Speraw’s next opponent is Derrick Jones of Louisiana Tech. The Sweet 16 and Round of Eight will occur in January, while the semifinals and finals are scheduled for February. To view the brackets and/or learn how you can contribute to the Skip Prosser Foundation” visit: collegeinsider.com.

Check out the Iowa basketball team’s new website, HawkeyeBasketball.com, devoted to everything on-and-off-the-court surrounding the program. HawkeyeBasketball.com, allows fans a chance to go behind the scenes with the Hawkeye basketball program on and off the court. The site is complete with exclusive videos, photo galleries and content featuring the basketball program. HawkeyeBasketball.com will be updated throughout the year with exclusive videos, including game highlights and player features, along with news stories and other content.

“HAWK TALK WITH Fran McCaffery”
University of Iowa basketball fans may join Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery and radio announcer Gary Dolphin Mnday’s for the “Hawk Talk with Fran McCaffery” radio call-in show. The show takes place at Carlos O’Kelly’s Mexican Cafe in Iowa City from 7-8:30 p.m. Fans can call in and ask the coach a question by calling 1-877-464-2957.

All-session tickets for the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament are on sale. Tickets can be purchased at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse Box Office, Ticketmaster outlets, ticketmaster.com or by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. For more information regarding how to purchase tickets within Iowa’s block, contact the UI Athletic Ticket Office. Bankers Life Fieldhouse is the site of the men’s tournament from March 8-11, featuring 22 games over eight days. Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament all-session tickets for the lower and club levels are available for $325 through Big Ten university ticket offices only. All-session tickets for the upper levels are available for $240 or $175 through Ticketmaster or the Bankers Life Fieldhouse Box Office only. In addition, the men’s tournament will continue to feature a special discounted rate of $50 for all-session tickets available only to students of 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. The Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament will call Indianapolis and Bankers Life Fieldhouse home this March and again in 2014 and 2016. The 2012 tournament marks the eighth time Indianapolis has hosted the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

The Iowa and Indiana basketball staffs will be wearing sneakers during Sunday’s game in Bloomington, Ind., for the annual Coaches vs. Cancer Suits and Sneakers awareness weekend, which is a collaborative initiative of the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC). Participating NABC member coaches will wear sneakers instead of dress shoes with their suits during weekend games to demonstrate their support for the American Cancer Society and its vision of a world with less cancer and more birthdays. Fans may support this cause by texting COACH to 20222 from any wireless phone to make a $5.00 donation toward Coaches vs. Cancer and help in the search for a cure. For more information, visit the Coaches vs. Cancer Facebook page, facebook.com/coachesvscancer. This year, Coaches vs. Cancer will also launch a new promotion, “National Sneakers Day”, on Friday, January 27, to kick off Suits and Sneakers Weekend. Similarly to coaches wearing sneakers on the sidelines, the NABC asks you to wear your favorite sneakers to work in support of Coaches vs. Cancer and encourage your colleagues to do the same.

Iowa returns to the road this weekend when it travels to Bloomington, Ind., on Sunday to face Indiana. Tip-off is set for 5 p.m. (CT) at Assembly Hall. The game will be televised nationally on BTN. After Sunday’s road contest, the Hawkeyes return home for a pair of games against Minnesota (Feb. 1) and Penn State (Feb. 4).