Men's Hoops Returns to Action at MSU Thursday

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Jan. 12, 2016

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THE SETTING
No. 16/19 Iowa (12-3, 3-0), winners of five straight, travels to East Lansing, Michigan, to face No. 4/4 Michigan State (16-1, 3-0) on Thursday. It will be the second meeting between the two teams in approximately two weeks. Tipoff is scheduled for 6:01 p.m. (CT) at the Breslin Center.

ON THE AIR
Radio: Thursday night’s game will be broadcast on the Hawkeye Radio Network. Gary Dolphin 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: Thursday night’s game will be televised to a national audience on ESPN (WATCHESPN). Jason Benetti and Jim Calhoun will call the action.

GAME 16: #16/19 Iowa (12-3, 3-0) at #4/4 Michigan State (16-1, 3-1)
When Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016 | 6 p.m. CT
Where Breslin Center — East Lansing, Michigan
Shop Herky’s Locker Room
TV ESPN | Watch Online via WATCHESPN
Announcers: Jason Benetti and Jim Calhoun
Radio Hawkeye Radio Network | Listen | Sirius 84 / XM 84
GameTracker Gametracker
All-time Series Michigan State leads, 71-54
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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GAME #16 OPENING TIP
? Iowa has won nine consecutive Big Ten regular season games dating back to last year, its longest such streak since the 1969-70 conference season (14-0).
? Mike Gesell is the reigning B1G Player of the Week after posting 22 points & 10 assists vs. Nebraska.
? Iowa defeated two ranked Big Ten teams in the same week for the first time since 1987.
? Iowa has two players closing in on 1,000 points: Mike Gesell (954) and Jarrod Uthoff (953).
? Iowa has won nine of its last 13 true road games, including posting a 7-3 mark last season.
? Jarrod Uthoff is the only player in the country with 275+ points, 90+ rebounds, and 50+ blocks.
? 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.
? Reserve walk-on Nicholas Baer has scored in double figures three of the last five games.
? Nine days between games is Iowa’s longest layoff in January since Chris Street’s death in 1993 (Iowa lost at Duke on Jan. 16 before winning at Michigan State on Jan. 28).
? Iowa’s three losses have come by a combined 12 points, including a one-point loss at Iowa State.
? Iowa is 46-7 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.

GESELL PUTTING UP CAREER NUMBERS, NAMED BIG TEN PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Fourth-year starter Mike Gesell is having a career season leading the team at point guard. The native of South Sioux City, Nebraska, is averaging career bests in scoring (9.9), rebounds (3.5), assists (6.9), field goal percentage (.485), 3-point accuracy (.500), and assist-to-turnover ratio (3.25). Gesell was named Big Ten Player of the Week on Monday after posting his first career double-double (22 points and 10 assists) in a 77-66 victory over Nebraska on Jan. 5. The win improved Iowa to 3-0 in league play, its best start since the 2002-03 season. Gesell matched career highs in free throw’s made (11) and attempted (13). He scored 19 of his 22 points and dished out seven of his 10 assists in the second half. After netting a career-best 25 points (7-of-10 FG, 11-of-13 FT) to lift Iowa to an 83-70 win over No. 1 Michigan State, the senior had seven points, seven rebounds, and seven assists in Iowa’s victory at No. 14 Purdue on Jan. 2. His efforts earned him national and Big Ten player of the week honors Monday by the website College Sports Madness.

UTHOFF NAMED TO MID-SEASON LISTS
Senior forward Jarrod Uthoff has been named to a couple mid-season All-American lists after averaging 18.6 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 3.3 blocks through the midway point of the regular season. NBC and ESPN both named the 6-foot-9, 221-pound forward to their second team list. Uthoff was one of five Big Ten players and 31 players nationally named to the Lute Olson Award Watch List, which is an award presented annually to the nation’s top Division I player who has played at least two seasons.

SCOUTING MICHIGAN STATE
? Michigan State is 8-0 at home this season, boasting an average margin of victory of 26 points. The Spartans beat Louisville by four points (71-67) and Florida by six (58-52).
? The Spartans cruised to a 92-65 road win at Penn State on Sunday. Bryn Forbes tallied a game-best 20 points, while Gavin Schilling contributed 13 and Denzel Valentine had 10. Sunday marked the return of Valentine, the team’s leading scorer and rebounder, after missing four games due to an injury. The Spartans shot 50 percent from the field (35-of-70) and 50 percent from 3-point range (10-of-20) in the victory.
? Denzel Valentine and Bryn Forbes average 17.8 points and 14.4 points, respectively, to lead the Spartans. Forbes shoots at a high percentage from 3-point range (51-of-103, .495). Forbes and Valentine were on the same high school team as Iowa senior Anthony Clemmons (Sexton HS). Valentine’s father, Carlton, was the team’s head coach.
? Michigan State ranks first in the country in rebounding margin (13.6); second in assists per game (22.2) and field goal percentage defense (.359); third in defensive rebounding (30.9); fourth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.7) and 3-point field goal percentage defense (.264); sixth in scoring margin (19.2); 12th in scoring defense (61.1); and 25th in field goal percentage (.491).
? Individually, Bryn Forbes ranks seventh nationally in 3-point field goal percentage (.495); Lourawls Nairn Jr. and ranks sixth in assist-to-turnover ratio (4.88). Denzel Valentine is tied for second in the country in triple-doubles (2) and is 78th in scoring average (17.8). Freshman Deyonta Davis ranks 41st in the nation in blocked shots (2.1).
? Tom Izzo is in his 21st season as head coach at Michigan State (511-200).

ALL-TIME SERIES RECORDS
Michigan State holds a 71-54 advantage over Iowa in the series that began with a 52-37 Michigan State win in 1938. Iowa snapped a nine-game losing skid to the Spartans in the conference opener on Dec. 29, 2015, winning 83-70 in Iowa City. Michigan State has won 14 of the last 16 meetings. The Spartans hold a 43-17 advantage in games played in East Lansing. Iowa has lost 18 straight, since capturing a 96-90 overtime win at the Breslin Center on Jan. 28, 1993. Iowa is 2-20 at the Breslin Center, which opened in 1989-90. Iowa will be making its first visit to East Lansing in two years on Thursday. The Hawkeyes last played at Michigan State on March 6, 2014. Thursday will be the first rematch between two Big Ten teams this season.

LAST MEETING AGAINST MICHIGAN STATE
? Iowa upset No. 1 Michigan State, 83-70, in its conference opener on Dec. 29, 2015, in Iowa City.
? The victory over Michigan State marked the first time Iowa has ever beaten a No. 1 team at home (0-2, 1993 vs. Indiana and 2005 vs. Illinois).
? Iowa’s last win vs. a No. 1 ranked team was in 1999 against Connecticut in New York City.
? Iowa is just the ninth unranked team in the last 20 season to beat an AP No. 1 by 13 or more points.
? Iowa’s victory over Michigan State is its first since 2011, when the Hawkeyes topped the Spartans, 72-52, on Feb. 2, 2011, in Iowa City. Iowa’s win snapped a nine-game losing streak to the Spartans.
? Mike Gesell shot 7-of-10 from the floor and went 11-of-13 from the charity stripe on his way to a career-high 25 points (previous high: 23 vs. Northern Iowa, 12/15/12).
? Jarrod Uthoff notched 10 points and denied a career-high six shots.
? The game was played without Spartan leading scorer Denzel Valentine, who missed the contest due to injury. In his absence, Eron Harris netted a team-best 21 points, while Matt Costello contributed 17.

DIALING IT UP FROM LONG DISTANCE
Iowa averaged 5.6 3-pointers made per game a year ago. Through 15 games this season, the Hawkeyes are averaging 8.9 triples, which ranks fourth in the Big Ten and 39th nationally. 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 15 games this season. Last year, Iowa shot 33.3 percent from behind the arc, which ranked 11th in the league. This season, the Hawkeyes are shooting at a 40 percent clip — 18th best in the nation.

IOWA TOPS NEBRASKA, MOVES TO 3-0 IN BIG TEN PLAY
? Iowa beat Nebraska, 77-66, on Jan. 5, in Iowa City. With the win, Iowa has now won nine consecutive regular season conference games dating back to last season. Iowa last won nine consecutive Big Ten regular season games during the 1969-70 season (14-0 regular season conference record).
? Iowa’s 12-3 record matches its best start to a season under Fran McCaffery (2103-14).
? Mike Gesell (22 points, 10 assists) recorded his first career double-double in tonight’s win. He has scored 20 or more points in two of Iowa’s last three games (25 pts. vs. Michigan State). Gesell has recorded nine or more assists in six different games this season.
? Jarrod Uthoff tallied 25 points for the second straight game, while also grabbing eight rebounds and blocking four shots. Uthoff has rejected four or more shots in eight games this season, including the last three.
? Uthoff is one of two Big Ten players in the last 20 seasons to record 10+ points and 1+ blocks in 16+ straight games (Purdue’s JaJuan Johnson).
? The Hawkeyes only turned the ball over seven times, marking the fifth time this season and second straight game that Iowa had nine or fewer turnovers in game.

NOTING IOWA’S COMEBACK AGAINST PURDUE
? Iowa trailed by 19 points at Purdue with 2:21 remaining in the first half. The Hawkeyes trailed by 17 points at halftime.
? The 19-point comeback is the third largest in school history and second biggest in a Big Ten contest. The Hawkeyes rallied from 23 points against Gardner-Webb in 2012 and 22 points at Illinois in 1987. Iowa won the Illinois game in overtime.
? Iowa is the fourth Division I team in the last 20 seasons to beat an AP Top 15 team after trailing by 17-or-more points at the half, and only the second team to accomplish the feat on the road.
? Iowa beat Purdue after trailing by 17 points at half, which is the largest halftime comeback in game between major-conference teams this season.

EXPERIENCED BACKCOURT
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 21 3-pointers and have been credited with 159 of Iowa’s 268 assists. Clemmons, who has started 40 of 119 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 netted in double digits in back-to-back games versus Drake and Tennessee Tech. He had a game-best four steals at No. 14 Purdue. Gesell is a four-year starter, who has 954 points, 456 assists, and 136 steals. He is 24 assists from tying Ronnie Lester (480) for fifth.

BAER BECOMES RELIABLE RESERVE
After forward Dale Jones suffered a season-ending knee injury on Dec. 1, Nicholas Baer has seen his minutes increase. The redshirt freshman walk-on has taken advantage of the opportunity. Baer was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week (Dec. 21) after his performance against Drake (Dec. 19). He 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, averaging 5.7 points, shooting at a 50 percent clip from 3-point range (16-of-32) and 3.5 rebounds. Baer’s 16 blocked shots on the season rank second best on the team. He has scored in double figures and grabbed five or more rebounds in three of the last five games (Drake, Tennessee Tech, and Michigan State). Against the Spartans, Baer totaled 11 points, five rebounds, and two blocks. Baer tallied seven crucial points, all in the final 6:30 of the game, and rejected two shots to help the Hawkeyes record their first win at Purdue since 2006. Baer made all three shot attempts, including a 3-pointer.

INCREASED WORK LOAD
The last couple seasons, Adam Woodbury split time at the center position with Gabriel Olaseni. With Olaseni having graduated, Woodbury’s minutes have increased. The 7-foot-1 center averaged 21 minutes per game a year ago alongside Olaseni. In his career when playing 28 minutes or more, Woodbury averages 11.5 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. The senior has played over 28 minutes four 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; 8 points and six rebounds vs. Nebraska).

UTHOFF FILLS IT UP DURING FIRST HALF AT IOWA STATE
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.

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FLOCKING TO CHA
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. This season, Iowa averages 12,816 fans, which includes one sellout crowd (vs. No. 1 Michigan State on Dec. 29).

CLOSING OUT THE NONCONFERENCE SCHEDULE
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.

HAWKEYE FAST BREAKS
? Iowa’s senior class has totaled 79 wins in its four years: 25 in 2013; 20 in 2014; 22 in 2015; and 12 so far in 2016. Last season’s senior class amassed 85 victories, which ranked sixth in school history.
? Iowa has defeated top-15 teams in back-to-back games for the first time since Nov. 2004 (beat No. 12 Louisville and No. 15 Texas).
? Iowa is just the second Big Ten team in the last 20 seasons to start 2-0 in conference play with both victories coming against ranked opponents (2009-10 Michigan State).
? Iowa’s win over Purdue on Jan. 2 is its first in West Lafayette, Indiana, since Feb. 1, 2006.
? Iowa ranks 37th in the country in assists per field goals made (60.9 percent).
? Iowa has posted road wins over a Big Ten ranked opponent each of the last three seasons.
? Iowa posted a 6-1 record during the month of December, with the only loss coming by one point at No. 2/4 Iowa State on Dec. 10.
? The Hawkeyes have four players average double figures in scoring during its five-game win streak: Uthoff (16.6); Gesell (14.6); Jok (12.6); and Baer (10.4).
? Iowa has won its last three conference openers — beating Nebraska two seasons ago; at No. 18 Ohio State a year ago and most recently topping No. 1 Michigan State on Dec. 29 in Iowa City.
? 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 10.3 turnovers through 15 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 won 21 regular season games last season, the most by a Hawkeye team since 2006 (22).
? 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 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.

FORMER HAWKEYE, JOHN JOHNSON, PASSES AWAY
Former Iowa men’s basketball standout John Johnson passed away last week at the age of 68 at his home in San Jose. Johnson, a native of Milwaukee, racked up 1,172 points in two seasons (1969-70) for the Hawkeyes; a total that places him 26th on Iowa’s all-time scoring list. He holds the top two scoring games in school history; pouring in 49 points against Northwestern as a senior (1970) and 46 against UW-Milwaukee his junior season (1968). Johnson also holds the school record for most field goals in a game with 20 (versus Northwestern). Johnson earned All-America and first-team All-Big Ten distinction his senior season after scoring a school-record 699 points, averaging a staggering 27.9 points per game in 25 contests. Johnson was a member of Iowa’s “Six Pack” — the highest scoring team in Big Ten history (102.9 ppg) that eclipsed the century mark 12 times. Johnson and the Ralph Miller-coached Hawkeyes won all 14 Big Ten games and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. Johnson’s scoring average of 23.9 points is second in Iowa history only behind Sam Williams (24.0 ppg in 1967-68). Johnson, who led the team in scoring and rebounding his two seasons at Iowa, was named team Most Valuable Player both in 1969 and 1970. Johnson was drafted seventh overall by Cleveland in the 1970 NBA Draft. He had a productive 12-year career with four NBA teams, making two All-Star Game appearances. Johnson won an NBA championship with the 1979 Seattle SuperSonics, where he was reunited with former Hawkeye teammates Fred Brown.

WELCOME NEWCOMERS
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). Jones is out of action the remainder of this season due to suffering a knee injury at practice on Dec. 1.

MUSCLE GAIN
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 18 minutes, 7.3 points, and 4.3 rebounds per game this year. He has scored in double figures five 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 three of the last five games, grabbing eight against Drake, seven versus Tennessee Tech, and eight against Nebraska. Uhl tallied six critical points via two 3-point shots the final 11:32 of the game at No. 14 Purdue. He contributed 10 points, including sinking a pair of 3-pointers, and controlled eight rebounds in Iowa’s win over Nebraska.

DISTRIBUTOR AND PROTECTOR
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 11th in the country in assists (6.7) and 27th in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.25). Gesell collected a career-best 12 assists in Iowa’s win over Coppin State and had 10 helpers in Iowa’s win vs. Tennessee Tech. He has been credited with nine or more assists seven times this season and 10 more three times. Gesell is the first Hawkeye with three 10-assist games in a season since Jeff Horner in 2005-06. He poured in a game and career-best 25 points in lifting Iowa to an 83-70 win over No. 1 MSU and posted his first career double-double in Iowa’s win over Nebraska (22 points and 10 assists).

UTHOFF, GESELL, WOODBURY EARN ACADEMIC DISTINCTION
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.

BLOCK PARTY
Iowa’s length has affected a number of opponent shot attempts this season. The Hawkeyes have blocked 97 shots this season (6.5), which is tops in the league and sixth nationally. Additionally, Iowa has rejected a staggering 27 combined shots through the first three Big Ten games (9.0 bpg) against Michigan State, Purdue, and Nebraska. Jarrod Uthoff has denied 15 of those 27 shots.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY Adam Woodbury
Adam Woodbury will be celebrating his 21st birthday on Wednesday. The Hawkeyes are 3-0 in games played on or around his birthday the last three years: beating Northwestern on his birthday in 2013; winning at No. 3 Ohio State the day before his birthday in 2014; topping Minnesota on his birthday in 2015. Iowa plays at No. 5 Michigan State Thursday.

UTHOFF PRODUCING ON THE WING
Jarrod Uthoff is one of 10 men’s basketball players selected to the 2015 Preseason All-Big Ten team and was named to the 2015 Advocare Invitational after averaging 20 points in three games. Uthoff has amassed 953 points in 2 1/2 years of action. He is 47 points shy of reaching the 1,000-point plateau. The senior has scored in double figures in all 15 games, including reaching double figures in the first half in eight of those contests. Uthoff has scored 20 or more six times this year, including a personal-best 32, including 30 in the first half, at No. 2/4 Iowa State. He has scored 25 points in back-to-back games (Purdue and Nebraska). Uthoff ranks first in the Big Ten in scoring (18.6) and blocks (3.3), and leads the Hawkeyes in 3-pointers (30), and is second in rebounding (6.1). His 3.3 blocks per game ranks second best in the nation. Uthoff is one of only five players from a major conference since 1996-97 to average 18+ points and 3+ blocks per game. Uthoff averaged 17.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 5.5 blocks in leading Iowa to a pair of wins over top-15 teams (No. 1 Michigan State and No. 14 Purdue). He also blocked a career-high six shots against No. 1 Michigan State.

FRESH START
Peter 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 (13.1 ppg) and free throw accuracy (.818, 27-of-33). 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 netted 19 against No. 1 Michigan State and had 11 points and tied a personal best with nine boards at No. 14 Purdue.

THREE TIMES THE CHARM
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.

IOWA HISTORY
Iowa has played 2,689 games since beginning basketball in 1902. Iowa’s overall record is 1,584-1,105 (.589). That includes a 1,011-353 (.741) record in home games, a 569-749 (.432) record in contests away from Iowa City, a 744-751 (.498) mark in Big Ten games and a 415-127 (.766) record in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

IOWA VS. RANKED TEAMS
Iowa is ranked No. 16 by the Associated Press and 19th in the Coaches Poll this week. Iowa has played five games this season against ranked opponents, posting a 3-2 record, which includes winning the last two contests (No. 1 Michigan State and No. 14 Purdue). 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, but beat top-ranked Michigan State (83-70) on Dec. 29, in Iowa City. In their last outing, the Hawkeyes rallied from a 19-point deficit to win 70-63 at No. 14/14 Purdue on Jan. 2.

UTHOFF NAMED BIG TEN CO-PLAYER OF THE WEEK
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.

WINNING ON THE ROAD
Iowa’s senior class has won at least once at nine Big Ten arenas. The Hawkeyes have not played at Maryland and Rutgers yet (Iowa will visit those arenas later this month). The only other two arenas this class has not won include the Breslin Center (MSU) and the Kohl Center (Wisconsin). This class has won at Penn State (three times), Ohio State (twice), Northwesterm (twice), Illinois, Purdue, Indiana, Nebraska, Minnesota, and Michigan.

GESELL NOMINATED FOR GOOD WORKS TEAM
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.

UTHOFF NAMED TO ADVOCARE INVITE ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
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).

IN MEMORY…
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.

2 HAWKEYES SELECTED IN LAST 2 NBA DRAFTS
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.

HAWKEYEBASKETBALL.COM
Check out the Iowa basketball team’s 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.

McCAFFERY’S HONORED WITH FIGHTING SPIRIT AWARD
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.

COACHING EXPERIENCE
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.

MCCAFFERY IN COACHES CHARITY CHALLENGE
Infiniti, ESPN, NABC and the NCAA have teamed up again to produce a one-of-a-kind charity competition — the Infiniti Coaches’ Charity Challenge. For 10 weeks, 48 coaches compete in a round robin bracket tournament for the chance to win $100,000 for charity. Iowa’s Fran McCaffery is one of 48 collegiate coaches taking part in this challenge. Fan participation will determine the ultimate winner over an eight-week period by registering and voting on a custom microsite on ESPN.com/Infiniti. The tournament is divided into four rounds. The coaches with the most votes will advance to the next round and earn more money for their charity. Visit ESPN.com/Infiniti each day and vote for McCaffery, using multiple email addresses, and his charity — Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center.

ON THE HORIZON
Iowa returns to Iowa City for the first of three straight Sunday home contests when the Hawkeyes entertain Michigan at 3:30 p.m. (CT) on Mediacom Court at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Standing room only tickets remain for this contest. That game will be televised on BTN (BTN2GO).

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