Men's Hoops Hosts MSU in B1G Opener Tuesday


Dec. 27, 2015

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Iowa (9-3, 0-0) opens Big Ten Conference on Tuesday when the Hawkeyes host top-ranked Michigan State (13-0, 0-0). Tipoff is scheduled for approximately 8:06 p.m. (CT) on Mediacom Court at Carver-Hawkeye Arena (15,400). Iowa enters Tuesday’s game winners of six of its last seven games, while Michigan State is unbeaten in its first 13 contests. Tickets are available for $28 for adults, $15 for youth and free for UI students.

? `Be Bold, Wear Gold’ — all fans are encouraged to wear gold clothing to the game.
? UI Students will be admitted FREE — must bring a valid student I.D.
? `Camper Reunion Night’ — FREE admission for 2015 Iowa men’s basketball campers; $5 for their guests.
? FREE trading cards for the first 1,000 kids

GAME 13: #1 Michigan State (13-0, 0-0) at Iowa (9-3, 0-0)
When Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2015 | 8:06 p.m. CT
Where Carver-Hawkeye Arena — Iowa City, Iowa
Shop Herky’s Locker Room
TV BTN | Watch Online via BTN2GO
Announcers: Kevin Kugler and Shon Morris
Radio Hawkeye Radio Network | Listen | Sirius 84 / XM 84
GameTracker Gametracker
All-time Series Michigan State leads, 71-53
Iowa Team Info Game Notes (PDF) | Media Guide | 2015-16 Stats (HTML) | 2015-16 Stats (PDF)
Big Ten Info B1G Notes (PDF) | Media Guide | Conference Stats
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Radio: Tuesday’s game will be broadcast on the Hawkeye Radio Network. Jim Albracht will handle 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.
TV: Tuesday night’s game will be televised to a national audience on BTN (BTN2GO). Kevin Kugler and Shon Morris will call the action.

? Fans are encouraged to `Be Bold, Wear Gold’ for Tuesday night’s “Gold Out.”
? Iowa has won its last two conference openers — beating Nebraska two seasons ago (67-57) and at No. 18 Ohio State (71-65) a year ago.
? The last two games (Drake and Tennessee Tech), preferred walk-on Nicholas Baer ranked first on the team in scoring (16.0) and blocked shots (3.5), and was second in rebounding (6.0).
? Iowa’s RPI is 36th. Entering conference play a year ago, the Hawkeyes’ RPI was 98th.
? Iowa has had nine different players score in double digits at least once this season. Senior Jarrod Uthoff has reached double figures in every game.
? Jarrod Uthoff, who was named Preseason All-Big Ten, is one of only three players in the country with 200+ points, 75+ rebounds, and 35+ blocks.
? Iowa has made 12 3-pointers in four games this season. The last time the Hawkeyes made 12+ 3-pointers in a game four times in a season was in 2009-10 (five times).
? Iowa’s three losses have come by a combined 12 points, including a one-point loss at Iowa State.
? Iowa is 45-7 when scoring 80 points or more, the last six seasons. The Hawkeyes are 58-2 when holding opponents to fewer than 61 points, the last six years.

Iowa finished its nonconference schedule with a record of 9-3. Fran McCaffery‘s last four Hawkeye teams, including this season, won at least nine nonleague games: 2016 (9); 2015 (9); 2014 (11); 2013 (11). Iowa’s 2012 team won eight nonconference contests.

Iowa posted a 22-12 record last season, reaching the 20-win plateau for the third consecutive season. For the first time in 15 years, Iowa won 20 or more games in three consecutive seasons. The last time Iowa won at least 20 games four straight seasons was 1995-1999 — Tom Davis’ last five seasons as Iowa’s head coach.

? Michigan State won its first 13 games of the season by an average of 21.5 points.
? The Spartans won their nonconference finale, 99-93, over Oakland University on Dec. 22 in Auburn Hills, Michigan. The two teams combined to shoot 90 free throws. Bryn Forbes tallied a team-best 32 points, while Eron Harris dropped 27 and had five assists. The game was played without leading scorer and rebounder Denzel Valentine, who suffered an injury in practice prior to that game and is expected to miss Tuesday’s contest in Iowa City.
? Bryn Forbes is Michigan State’s leading scorer (14.2 ppg), with Denzel Valentine currently sidelined due to injury. Forbes shoots at a high percentage from 3-point range (38-of-77, .494). Forbes, along with Valentine, was on the same high school team as Iowa senior Anthony Clemmons.
? Michigan State ranks second in the country in assists per game (22.2) and field goal percentage defense (.353); third in rebounding margin (14.5); fourth in defensive rebounding (31.31); seventh in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.79) and 3-point field goal percentage defense (.265); eighth in scoring margin (21.5); 13th in scoring defense (59.7); and 21st in field goal percentage (.492).
? Individually, Bryn Forbes ranks 10th nationally in 3-point field goal percentage (.494); Lourawls Nairn Jr. and ranks third in assist-to-turnover ratio (6.33). Denzel Valentine is tied for first in the country in triple-doubles (2) and is 63rd in scoring average (18.5).
? Tom Izzo is in his 21st season as head coach at Michigan State (508-199).

Michigan State holds a 71-53 advantage over Iowa in the series that began with a 52-37 Michigan State win in 1938. Iowa and Michigan State played once last year, with the Spartans winning 75-61 in Iowa City. Michigan State has won 14 of the last 15 meetings, including the last nine. The Hawkeyes’ lone victory during that span was a 72-52 win on Feb. 2, 2011, in Iowa City — Fran McCaffery‘s first season as head coach at Iowa. Iowa holds a 34-24 advantage in games played in Iowa City. The two teams have split the last 12 games contested in Iowa City. Michigan State, in 1983, won the first basketball game ever played in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Michigan State’s 15 wins are the most by any Iowa opponent in the facility.

? Michigan State rallied from an 11-point halftime deficit (39-28) to beat Iowa, 75-61, on Jan. 8, 2015, in Iowa City.
? Jarrod Uthoff posted his second double-double of the season and fourth of his career (12 points and 10 rebounds).
? Gabriel Olaseni tied a career high with 18 points for the second consecutive contest. The senior was 8-of-9 from the foul line.
? Michigan State outscored the Hawkeyes 36-6 beyond the 3-point scoring arc. The Spartans made 12 triples, including shooting 8-of-9 from long distance in the second half, while Iowa was held to two treys on 2-of-12 shooting.
? Mike Gesell reached double figures, netting 10 points.
? Iowa outscored Michigan State 15-9 at the free throw line.
? Michigan State made 42 percent of its two-pointers (15-of-36) and 71 percent of its 3-point attempts (12-of-17).
? The Spartans were led by senior Travis Trice, who scored 25 points, bolstered by 7-of-8 shooting from 3-point range. Denzel Valentine recorded 18 points, nine rebounds, and six assists.

? Iowa cruised to an 85-63 victory over Tennessee Tech on Dec. 22, to close out its nonconference schedule with a 9-3 record.
? Four Hawkeyes scored in double figures, led by Peter Jok. The junior netted 21 points, bolstered by a career-high five 3-pointers (5-of-10).
? After a career day against Drake three days earlier, Nicholas Baer had another stellar performance against Tennessee Tech. The Big Ten Freshman of the Week scored a career-high 19 points on 8-oof-10 shooting from the field, including 3-for-4 from behind the arc. The preferred walk-on also had five rebounds and two steals.
? Mike Gesell recorded 10 assists in the victory, marking the fifth time he has posted nine or more assists in a game this season.
? After missing its first nine 3-point attempts, Iowa finished the contest making 11-of-30 from long distance. The 30 attempts are a season high for the Hawkeyes.

Senior Jarrod Uthoff scored 30 first-half points at second-ranked Iowa State, while also grabbing six rebounds, blocking two shots and collecting a steal. Uthoff made 11-of-13 shot attempts, including 5-of-6 from 3-point territory, while also going 3-of-4 from the charity stripe the first 20 minutes of action.

Iowa averaged 5.6 3-pointers made per game a year ago. Through 11 games this season, the Hawkeyes are averaging 9.5 triples, which ranks fourth in the Big Ten and 29th nationally. The Hawkeyes have made 114 triples through 12 games; the last time an Iowa team made over 110 3-pointers through the first 12 games of a season was the 2008-09 squad (110). Iowa made 12 triples in four games this season (Coppin State, Marquette, Dayton, and UMKC). The last time the Hawkeyes made 12+ 3-pointers in a game four times in a season was in 2009-10 (five times). Additionally, six of Iowa’s top 10 treys made in a game during the McCaffery era have occurred the first 12 games this season. Last year, Iowa shot 33.3 percent from behind the arc, while the Hawkeyes are shooting at a 40 percent clip this season.


Nicholas Baer was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week (Dec. 21) after his performance against Drake. The honor is the first of Baer’s career and the second time in as many weeks that a Hawkeye earned weekly recognition from the conference office (Jarrod Uthoff was named Big Ten Co-Player of the Week on Dec. 14. Baer scored 13 points making five of his 10 field goal attempts, including going 3-of-5 from 3-point range. The native of Bettendorf, Iowa, also grabbed seven rebounds and blocked a personal-best six shots while playing a career-high 30 minutes in Iowa’s 70-64 victory over Drake at the Hy-Vee Big Four Classic in Des Moines. Baer’s six blocks, four of which came in the first half against the Bulldogs, broke the Wells Fargo Arena record in a college basketball game. The six rejections in a game were also the most by an Iowa freshman since Melsahn Basabe denied six shots against Ohio State in 2011. Baer’s six blocks helped Iowa establish a school record for total blocks in a game with 14, besting the previous mark of 13 set against Illinois on March 5, 2013. Baer is averaging 15 minutes off the bench. He has made 14 of his 28 attempts (.500) from 3-point range this season. Baer’s 11 blocked shots on the season rank second best on the team. The last two games (Drake and Tennessee Tech), Baer ranks first on the team in scoring (16.0) and blocked shots (3.5), and second in rebounding (6.0).

The last couple seasons, Adam Woodbury split time at the center position with Gabriel Olaseni. With Olaseni having graduated, expect Woodbury’s minutes to increase according to coach McCaffery. The 7-foot-1, 250-pounder averaged 21 minutes per game a year ago alongside Olaseni. In his career when playing 28 minutes or more, Woodbury averages 11.7 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. The senior has played over 28 minutes three this year (15 points and seven rebounds vs. Wichita State; 11 points and 10 rebounds vs. Florida State; 12 points and five rebounds at Iowa State).

Iowa sold out 16 home games the last two seasons. The Hawkeyes ranked 20th in national attendance in 2015, averaging 14,101 fans. It is the second straight season and 21st time that Iowa has cracked the top 20 in the national attendance rankings. Additionally, Iowa played in front of 475,998 fans in its 34 games (home, away, and on neutral courts) throughout the season. That figure ranked 13th in the country. As a conference, the 14 Big Ten schools averaged 12,781 fans to lead in the nation in average attendance for a 39th consecutive season. More than three million fans witnessed Big Ten games in person throughout the course of the 2014-15 season. For the second consecutive year, Iowa was one of seven Big Ten schools to rank in the top 20 nationally.

? Iowa ranks 35th in the country in assists per field goals made (61.6 percent).
? Iowa averaged 11.1 turnovers in 2015, which is the best average for fewest turnovers in program history since turnovers became an official stat in 1980. So far this season, the Hawkeyes are averaging 10.6 turnovers through 12 games.
? Iowa has won 38 of its last 39 nonconference home games, dating back to November, 2011. The lone loss came to Iowa State in 2014.
? Iowa returns seven letterwinners, including four starters.
? Iowa has won eight of its last 12 true road games, including posting a 7-3 mark last season.
? Iowa’s win over Florida State on Dec. 2, clinched the Big Ten/ACC Challenge for the Big Ten. The Hawkeyes have clinched the Challenge for the Big Ten each of the last two years.
? Iowa has competed in postseason play the last four years: NIT second round in 2012; NIT runner-up in 2013; NCAA first round in 2014; NCAA third round in 2015. The Hawkeyes tied for third place in the Big Ten last season — its best finish in nine years.
? Iowa won 21 regular season games last season, the most by a Hawkeye team since 2006 (22).
? Iowa has won at least 20 games in three consecutive seasons — its longest streak in 15 years.
? The Hawkeyes won seven true road games last season, including winning its final six regular-season Big Ten games for the first time since 1955. The seven total road wins were the most by a Hawkeye team since 1987.
? Iowa’s 12 conference wins last season are the most by a Hawkeye team since 1997. Also, its third place finish was its best in nine seasons.
? Iowa’s 83-52 effort over Davidson in the NCAA Second Round was the program’s first tournament win since 2001. It also marked the largest margin of victory in an NCAA Tournament 7/10 match-up.
? Iowa has had a first-team All-Big Ten honoree in each of the last two seasons: Devyn Marble in 2014 and Aaron White in 2015.

Despite having four returning starters, plus another who has starting experience, Iowa welcomes 10 newcomers to its 2015-16 roster. The 10 newcomers includes two players who received redshirts last season (Nicholas Baer and Brady Ellingson). Iowa’s 10 newcomers ties for third most among Division I schools: Portland State and Tennessee State have 11, followed by Iowa, UTEP, and Nebraska with 10. The Hawkeyes add five freshmen (Isaiah Moss, Andrew Fleming, Brandon Hutton, Ahmad Wagner, and Christian Williams), and three junior college transfers (Dale Jones, and Michael and Steven Soukup). The Soukups, who celebrated their 21st birthday this past Sunday, are identical twins.

Point guard Mike Gesell has done an outstanding job directing the Hawkeye offense his entire Hawkeye career. Gesell owns two of Iowa’s top four assist-to-turnover ratio’s since the 1996-97 season. His 3.05 ratio in 2013-14 ranks first, while his 2.21 ratio in 2014-15 ranks fourth. Dean Oliver’s 2.75 ratio in 2000-01 is second, followed by Ryan Luehrsmann’s 2.21 in 1997-98 ranking third. The native of South Sioux City, Nebraska, ranks 12th in the country in assists (7.0). Gesell collected a career-best 12 assists in Iowa’s win over Coppin State and had 10 helpers in Iowa’s last contest against Tennessee Tech. He has been credited with nine or more assists six times this season.

Iowa has two senior point guards (Mike Gesell and Anthony Clemmons) and a junior shooting guard (Peter Jok) on this year’s roster. Gesell and Clemmons have combined to sink 17 3-pointers and have been credited with 131 of Iowa’s 225 assists. Clemmons, who has started 37 of 116 games, was named the team’s Most Improved Player last spring after leading the team in 3-point accuracy (.373) and posting single-season bests in rebounding, steals, scoring, and free throw percentage in 2014-15. Clemmons has netted in double figures in back-to-back games, including scoring career point No. 500 in Iowa’s win over Drake. Gesell is a four-year starter, who has 900 points, 436 assists, and 133 steals. He is 44 assists from tying Ronnie Lester (480) for fifth.

Mike Gesell and Jarrod Uthoff were named 2015 Capital One Academic All-District first team honorees for their combined performance athletically and in the classroom. Gesell was also tabbed third team Academic All-America, becoming the first Hawkeye to accomplish the national distinction since Adam Haluska (first team) in 2007. Gesell, a native of South Sioux City, Nebraska, earned his degree in finance in three years. Last fall, Gesell earned invitation to Beta Gamma Sigma, the National Scholastic Honor Society for business students at the University of Iowa who have garnered GPA’s that place them in the top 10 percent of their class. Uthoff, a native of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, graduated last May with a degree in economics. Additionally, Gesell, Uthoff, and Adam Woodbury were named 2015 Academic All-Big Ten.

Jarrod Uthoff, who was named third-team All-Big Ten last season, ranked second in team scoring (12.4 ppg), and steals (1.1), and first in 3-point shooting (54-of-145, .372). He was the only Division I player to have 50+ 3-pointers, 55+ blocks and 35+ steals. This season, Uthoff is one of 10 men’s basketball players selected to the 2015 Preseason All-Big Ten team, selected by a media voting panel, and was named to the 2015 Advocare Invitational after averaging 20 points in three games. The senior has scored in double figures in all 12 games, including reaching double figures in the first half in six of those contests. Uthoff has scored 20 or more five times this year, including a personal-best 32, including 30 in the first half, at No. 2/4 Iowa State. Uthoff ranks first in the Big Ten in scoring (18.3) and blocks (2.9), and leads the Hawkeyes in 3-pointers (26), and rebounding (6.3). His 2.9 blocks per game ranks 11th best in the nation. Uthoff is one of only three players in the nation with 200+ points, 75+ rebounds, and 35+ blocked shots.

Peter Jok made his first start of his career on Dec. 22, 2014, versus North Florida. The native of West Des Moines, Iowa, started 21 of the last 22 games last year. Jok started 2015 with a new number, changing from No. 3 last year to No. 14 this season. Jok averaged seven points per game in 2014-15, which ranked fifth on the squad. His 36 triples in 2015 rank as the sixth most by a sophomore in Iowa history. His 19 steals, 44 assists, 83 field goals and 36 treys last season were single season bests. This season, Jok ranks second on the team in scoring (13.3 ppg) and is first in free throw accuracy (.870, 20-of-23). He has scored 20 or more points three times (20 at Marquette on Nov. 19; a career-best 24 vs. FSU on Dec. 2; 21 vs. Tennessee Tech on Dec. 22). In addition to netting 24 points against the Seminoles, Jok had a career-best four steals. The Hawkeye junior has scored in double figures seven of his last 10 games played.

Last season, freshman Dom Uhl was listed a 6-foot-8 and 195 pounds. After a year in the weight room, the sophomore forward checks in a 6-foot-9 and 215 pounds entering this season. Uhl earned the team’s Newcomer Award last year. Uhl is averaging 17 minutes, 7.2 points, and 4.5 rebounds per game this year. He has scored in double figures four times this season. Uhl posted his first career double-double against UMKC with 14 points and a personal-high 10 boards. He pulled down team bests in rebounds in each of the last two games, grabbing eight against Drake and seven versus Tennessee Tech.

The Hawkeyes were 4-6 against opponents ranked in either the Associated Press or USA Today Coaches polls last season. Tuesday will be Iowa’s fourth contest against a ranked opponent this season, posting a 1-2 record in the previous three outings. The Hawkeyes split their two games versus ranked opponents at the Advocare Invitational in Orlando (Nov. 26-27). Iowa fell to No. 17 Notre Dame (68-62), but overwhelmed No. 20 Wichita State (84-61). The Hawkeyes were edged at No. 2/4 Iowa State, 83-82, on Dec. 10.

Senior Mike Gesell is a nominee for the 2016 Allstate NABC Good Works Team. This prestigious community service award recognizes a distinguished group of student-athletes who have demonstrated a commitment to enriching the lives of others and contributing to the greater good in their communities. College sports information directors and basketball coaches across the country nominated players who exhibit exceptional leadership skills and an unwavering commitment to volunteerism.

Iowa’s Jarrod Uthoff was named Big Ten Co-Player of the Week along with Maryland’s Melo Trimble on Dec. 14. The honor is the second of Uthoff’s career, having first earned the recognition on Jan. 6, 2015. Uthoff shot 61 percent from the field (22-of-36), including a blistering 69 percent from 3-point territory (9-of-13), and 86 percent from the free throw line (6-of-7) in two games, averaging nearly a double-double (29.5 points and nine rebounds). He also averaged 2.5 blocks. The native of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, scored a career-high 27 points in a 90-56 win over Western Illinois, and then bested that performance with a personal-best 32 points in a one-point loss at No. 2/4 Iowa State. The Hawkeye senior scored 24 of his 27 points in the first half against the Leathernecks and 30 of his 32 in the first 20 minutes against the Cyclones. Uthoff’s 32 points are the most by a Hawkeye since Matt Gatens had 33 against Wisconsin in 2012, and the most by a Big Ten player this season against a ranked opponent.

Iowa’s Jarrod Uthoff was one of five players named to the 2015 Advocare Invitational All-Tournament Team. Uthoff joined Xavier’s Trevon Bluiett and Jalen Reynolds, Scoochie Smith of Dayton, and Justin Robinson of Monmouth (MVP). Uthoff averaged 20 points in three games (Dayton, Notre Dame, and Wichita State), reaching double figures in the first half in all three games. The Hawkeye senior also averaged 5.7 rebounds and 2.7 blocks, and shot at a 50 percent clip (23-of-46).

Iowa’s all-time leading scorer, Roy Marble, passed away on Sept. 11, 2015, at the age of 48. Marble led the Hawkeyes to four straight NCAA Tournament appearances, including advancing to the Elite Eight in 1987 and Sweet 16 in 1988, and led the team in scoring three consecutive seasons. In memory of Marble, RM23 is stitched on the upper right corner of Iowa’s jerseys this season.

Roy Devyn Marble and Aaron White were selected in the second round of the NBA Draft each of the past two seasons — Marble in 2014 by Orlando and White in 2015 by Washington. The Hawkeyes are one of four Big Ten schools to have multiple players drafted by NBA teams the last two years.

Check out the Iowa basketball team’s website,, devoted to everything on-and-off-the-court surrounding the program., 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.

The American Cancer Society honored Fran and Margaret McCaffery with the Fighting Spirit Award, Sept. 30, in Troy, New York, at the 10th Anniversary Coaches vs. Cancer Basket Ball. The McCaffery’s were honored for bringing attention and their tremendous amount of fundraising for cancer research. McCaffery was also honored with the Coaches vs. Cancer Champion Award during Final Four Weekend in Indianapolis last April. The honor is awarded annually to a college coach who has been engaged vigorously in the Coaches vs. Cancer program’s fundraising, education and promotional initiatives and has demonstrated leadership in the fight to save more lives from cancer. The McCaffery’s helped raise $176,000 at October’s cancer research fundraiser, which will benefit the Adolescent and Young Adult Program Fund in Johnson County. The McCaffery family committed $22,000 this year and an additional $10,000 per year for the duration of his contract at Iowa.

Fran McCaffery has the most experienced coaching staffs in the country. The Iowa men’s basketball staff has 67 years of combined collegiate head coaching experience and more than 130 years of collegiate coaching under their belts — the most experience of any Division I college basketball program in the country.

Iowa will return to action this weekend when the Hawkeyes travel to West Lafayette, Indiana, to face nationally-ranked Purdue on Saturday. Tipoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. (CT) at Mackey Arena. That game will be televised nationally on BTN.

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