March 19, 2016
- Iowa NCAA Tournament Central
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No. 24/25 Iowa (22-10) will face No. 6/6 Villanova (30-5) in the second round of the 2016 NCAA Tournament Sunday at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Iowa earned the No. 7 seed in the South Region, while Villanova is the second seed. Iowa advanced with a 72-70 overtime win over Temple, while Villanova defeated UNC Asheville 86-56. Iowa has won its first game in the NCAA Tournament in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1996 and 1997. The overtime win gives Iowa a 2-3 record in overtime game in the tournament. The previous OT win for the Hawkeyes came against Oklahoma (93-91) in 1987.
ON THE AIR
Radio: Iowa games at the NCAA Tournament 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: Sunday’s game will be televised to a national audience on truTV. Verne Lundquist, Jim Spanarkel, Allie LaForce will call the action.
IOWA IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
Iowa is participating in the NCAA Tournament for the 25th time, including making its third straight appearance for the first time since 1991-93. Iowa, as a No. 7 seed, beat Davidson (83-52) last year, which was the largest margin of victory in a 7/10 matchup in NCAA Tournament history. The Hawkeyes were bounced by No. 2 Gonzaga, 87-67, in the next round. Iowa earned a No. 7 seed this season for the fifth time in program history. The Hawkeyes were also a No. 7 seed in 1983, 1991, 2001, and 2015. Prior to Thursday afternoon, the last time Iowa played an NCAA Tournament game in New York was in 2001 when the Hawkeyes beat Creighton, 69-56, in Long Island, New York, in the first round before falling to Kentucky in the second round. The Hawkeyes hold an overall record of 29-26 in the tournament, advancing to the Final Four in 1955, 1956, and 1980. The Hawkeyes reached the regional championship in 1987 and lost in the regional semifinal in 1983, 1988, and 1999. Below is a listing of Iowa’s seeding in the tournament and the results:
AGAINST THE NCAA FIELD
During the regular season, Iowa posted a 7-7 record against teams in the NCAA Tournament. The Hawkeyes played nine different opponents who were selected for the NCAA Tournament, including six Big Ten opponents and four nonconference opponents (Dayton, Iowa State, Notre Dame, and Wichita State). Six other Big Ten teams will compete in this year’s tournament: Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue, and Wisconsin. The Hawkeyes went 6-4 in contests against those teams. Iowa twice beat Michigan, Michigan State, and Purdue. The Hawkeyes lost to Maryland, Wisconsin, and Indiana (twice).
Iowa assistant coach Andrew Francis is a 1992 graduate of Brooklyn’s Abraham Lincoln High School. He played basketball at Fulton Montgomery Community College in Johnstown, New York, before completing his college career under Coach Sidney Green at Long Island University-Southampton. Francis assisted on Villanova’s staff, helping in a variety of roles while directing the video operations from 2005-07. Sophomore Dom Uhl, who hails from Frankfurt, Germany, played his final two years of prep ball at Point Pleasant Beach High School in New Jersey. Additionally, Temple was one of the schools that pursued Uhl during his recruitment.
HAWKEYES OUTLAST TEMPLE IN OVERTIME
? Iowa led by as many as 12 points and held on for a 72-70 win over Temple in the first round of the NCAA Tournament Friday evening in Brooklyn, New York.
? Adam Woodbury recovered an offensive rebound and scored the winning basket as time expired. The win was Iowa’s first buzzer-beater since Cyrus Tate scored at the buzzer in a 65-63 win over Kansas State on Nov. 29, 2008 in Las Vegas.
? Three Hawkeyes scored in double figures: Jarrod Uthoff (23), Peter Jok (16), and Adam Woodbury (10).
? Iowa was 17-of-22 (.773) from the free throw line, while Temple was 6-of-9 (.667).
? After shooting 55 percent (16-of-29) from the field in the first half, the Hawkeyes held Temple to 34 percent (11-of-32) shooting in the second half. Both teams made just one 3-pointer the last 25 minutes of the game (second half and overtime).
? Iowa only recorded three turnovers, which equaled a season low (Drake). It also marked its lowest turnover total in an NCAA Tournament game since having three against Virginia in 1997.
? Iowa was held without a field goal the last 5:08 of regulation. Temple’s Quenton Decosey made three free throws with two seconds left to send the game in overtime.
UTHOFF, GESELL EARN ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICA HONORS
Jarrod Uthoff has been named the 2015-16 Academic All-America of the Year for Division I Men’s Basketball, while Mike Gesell was voted to the Academic All-America second team. Uthoff has an economics degree and is pursuing a Master’s in leisure studies. He has a 3.42 G.P.A., including a 4.0 G.P.A. during the fall semester. He is a second-team All-America (USWBA, Sporting News) and is a finalist for the Oscar Robertson Trophy, John R. Wooden Award, and Karl Malone Award. Uthoff leads the Big Ten in blocked shots (2.7 blocks per game), and is second in scoring (18.9 points per game) and 11th in rebounding (6.4 rebounds per game). In less than three years he has accumulated 1,259 points, 132 three-pointers, 568 rebounds and 174 blocks. Uthoff becomes Iowa’s second Academic All-American of the Year recipient; Adam Haluska earned the distinction in 2007. Additionally, UI junior Ally Disterhoft was honored as the 2015-16 Academic All-America of the Year for Division I Women’s Basketball. The University of Iowa becomes the first institution to sweep Academic All-American of the Year accolades for men’s and women’s basketball. Gesell, a native of South Sioux City, Nebraska, earned a finance degree in three years and is pursuing a Master’s in leisure studies. He has a 3.94 G.P.A., including a 4.11 G.P.A. during the fall semester. The point guard, who was a third team Academic All-American a year ago, becomes the third Hawkeye men’s basketball player to earn multiple Academic All-America laurels (Luke Recker in 2001 and 2002; Adam Haluska in 2006, and 2007). Gesell is one of three Hawkeyes to ever total 1,000 points, 525 assists, and 150 steals. Gesell ranks fourth in Iowa career assists (546), ninth in steals (159), and 39th in scoring (1,062). Gesell has directed the offense all four years, guiding the Hawkeyes to two NCAA Tournaments (2014 and 2015) and an NIT runner-up finish in 2013. Gesell ranks first on the Hawkeyes this season in assists (194) and steals (43), and fourth in scoring (8.3). He is believed to be the first Hawkeye ever to be credited with 10 or more assists in five games in a single season.
FAST START IN BIG TEN PLAY
Iowa was 10-1 just past the halfway point of the Big Ten schedule. The 10-1 mark was the program’s best start in Big Ten play since going 10-1 to start conference play the 1981-82 season. Since Iowa’s 1969-70 team that went 14-0, only this year’s squad and the 1981-82 team started a Big Ten season, 10-1.
? Villanova improved to 30-5 with its first round win over UNC Asheville. The Wildcats are ranked sixth in the Associated Press rankings and sixth in the USA Today poll.
? Villanova ranks second in the nation in free throw percentage (77.7 percent), 12th in scoring margin, 13th in assists, 16th in three-point attempts and 20th in scoring defense.
? Villanova has four players scoring in double figures, led by Josh Hart at 15.3. Kris Jenkins (13.3), Ryan Arcidiacono (11.9) and Daniel Ochefu (10.0) also score in double figures. Ochefu (7.7) and Hart (6.9) lead Villanova in rebounding.
? Five Wildcats scored in double figures in the win over UNC Asheville. Ochefu led the way with 17 points and 10 rebounds, with Arcidiacono (14), Jenkins (12), Mikal Bridges (12), and Jalen Brunson (10) also reaching double figures.
? Villanova connected on three 3-point baskets late in the first half to take a 40-26 halftime advantage in its opening win. The Wildcats led by at least 12 points throughout the second half. Overall, Villanova shot 57.9 percent from the field while holding UNC Asheville to just 36.8 percent.
ALL-TIME SERIES RECORDS
Iowa is 1-4 all-time against Villanova, with the Wildcats winning the last two meetings. The teams last met in the 2013-14 season, with Villanova taking an 88-83 OT victory in the championship game of the Battle 4 Atlantis. The Wildcats also won in 2006-07 (89-60), 1982-83 (55-54) and 1961-62 (69-56). Iowa’s win in the series came by a 97-74 score in 1987-88. All of the previous five meetings took place in tournament action, with the 1983 meeting taking place in the NCAA Tournament.
FOUR STRAIGHT 20-WIN SEASONS
Iowa has won 20 games or more each of the last four seasons — its longest streak in 15 years. It marks the first time since 1996-99 seasons that Iowa has posted four consecutive 20-win campaigns. Iowa is one of four Big Ten teams (Michigan State, Wisconsin and Ohio State) to post .500 or better winning percentages in conference play each of the past four seasons. Maryland has finished above .500 each of the last two seasons since joining the Big Ten in 2014-15.
UTHOFF NAMED FINALIST FOR OSCAR ROBERTSON TROPHY
Jarrod Uthoff is a finalist for the USBWA’s Oscar Robertson Trophy as the men’s national player of the year. The Hawkeye senior is one of two Big Ten players named to the 11-player list (Michigan State’s Denzel Valentine). Uthoff, a native of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, has scored in double figures in all but one game this season, including netting 20 points or more 16 times. The team co-captain leads the Big Ten in blocked shots (2.6) and is second in scoring (19.0). Voting for the award is conducted by members of the USBWA. The USBWA is comprised of over 900 journalists covering college basketball for newspapers, magazines and websites. The USBWA player of the year award will be presented on April 11 at the College Basketball Awards gala and dinner at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.
4 HAWKEYES EARN ALL-BIG TEN ACCOLADES
Senior Jarrod Uthoff and junior Peter Jok highlight Iowa’s All-Big Ten honorees, which were announced March 7, by the Big Ten. Uthoff was named a unanimous selection to the first team by both league head coaches and media, while also being named to the five-player All-Defensive Team by the coaches. Uthoff becomes the first Hawkeye since Andre Woolridge in 1997 to be named a unanimous first team selection. Jok earned second team recognition by both the media and coaches, while seniors Mike Gesell and Adam Woodbury earned honorable mention laurels by the media. Gesell also was also named Iowa’s men’s basketball Sportsmanship Award recipient for the third consecutive season. Uthoff ranks second in the Big Ten in scoring (19.0), first in blocked shots (2.6), and tied for 11th in rebounding (6.3). The forward ranks 19th in Iowa career scoring (1,282) and fourth in blocked shots (175). Uthoff has scored in double figures in all but one game this season, including netting 20 points or more a team-best 16 times. This marks the third consecutive season an Iowa player has been picked on the All-Big Ten first team; Devyn Marble was honored in 2014 and Aaron White in 2015. The last time the Hawkeyes had first-team all-league honorees in back-to-back-to-back seasons was 1946-48 (Herb Wilkinson in 1946 and 1947, and Murray Wier in 1948). Jok is Iowa’s fifth different all-conference honoree under McCaffery. After averaging seven points per game a season ago, Jok surged 9.2 points this year, averaging 16.2 points contest. The 9.2 improvement is tops among Big Ten players. The guard ranks second on the team and ninth in the league in scoring (16.2), is second on the team in steals per game (1.3), and first in 3-pointers made (78), and free throw shooting (.850, 91-of-107). Gesell has started all 32 games this season and leads the team with 199 assists, which is a new school single season record. He is averaging career bests in scoring (8.2), rebounds (3.2), assists (6.2), field goal percentage (.393), and 3-point percentage (.372). The four-year starter is believed to be the first Hawkeye ever to be credited with 10 or more assists five times in a single season. Woodbury has also been a four-year starter, averaging career bests this season in scoring (7.8), rebounding (8.4), field goal percentage (.560, 94-of-168), assists (0.8), and steals (0.5). He has posted seven double-doubles this season, which ties for eighth among Big Ten players. The center has totaled more than 800 points, 750 rebounds, and 100 assists over his four-year career.
POSSESSING THE ROCK
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. This season, the Hawkeyes are averaging 10.2 turnovers, which ranks 19th-fewest nationally. The Hawkeyes have recorded nine or fewer turnovers in 10 of their last 18 contests. Iowa ranks 28th nationally in turnover margin (+2.9). Iowa had three turnovers in the win over Temple, matching a season-low (vs. Drake).
UTHOFF, GESELL JOIN ELITE COMPANY
Jarrod Uthoff is just the third Hawkeye to accumulate 1,200+ points and 150+ blocks. Uthoff has scored 1,282 points and 175 blocks. The other two are Acie Earl (1,779 points and 365 blocks) and Greg Stokes (1,768 points and 228 blocks). Earl and Stokes played four years, while Uthoff accomplished the feat in three seasons. Mike Gesell joined an exclusive group earlier this season. Gesell is one of three Hawkeyes to total more than 1,000 points, 550 assists, and 160 steals in a career. Gesell has 1,066 points, 551 assists, and 160 steals. Dean Oliver (1,561 points, 561 assists, and 205 steals) and Jeff Horner (1,502 points, 553 assists, and 166 steals) are the other Hawkeyes to accomplish the feat.
GESELL PUTTING UP CAREER NUMBERS
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 (8.2), rebounds (3.2), assists (6.2), field goal percentage (.393), and 3-point accuracy (.372). He broke Iowa’s 20-year old single-season assists record, previously held by Andre Woolridge (1996), with 199 assists this season. Gesell netted his 1,000th career point with his first bucket of the game in the first half at Indiana on Feb. 11. Gesell finished with 17 points — his highest point total since netting 22 vs. Nebraska on Jan. 5. He also was credited with his 500th career assist in Iowa’s win over Minnesota on Feb. 14. Gesell was named Big Ten Player of the Week on Jan. 11 after posting his first career double-double (22 points and 10 assists) in a 77-66 victory over Nebraska (Jan. 5). 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 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 on Jan. 4, by the website College Sports Madness.
UTHOFF, IOWA GRACE COVERS OF SPORTS ILLUSTRATED
Senior Jarrod Uthoff was on the cover of the Feb. 8, 2016 and March 17, 2016, regional covers of Sports Illustrated. Uthoff is the first Iowa basketball player since George Peeples on Jan. 24, 1966, to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated. George Kittle and the UI football team were on the Sports Illustrated cover this past November. It marks the first time in school history that Iowa football and men’s basketball were featured on Sports Illustrated covers in the same season. It also marked the first time in Hawkeye history that a student-athlete was on the cover of Sports Illustrated twice in the same year.
DIALING IT UP FROM LONG DISTANCE
Iowa averaged 5.6 3-pointers made per game a year ago. Through 32 games this season, the Hawkeyes are averaging 8.2 triples. Iowa’s Peter Jok ranks seventh in the league averaging 2.5 triples per game. The Hawkeyes are 11-4 this year when Jok sinks at least three triples in a game, including the NCAA Tournament win over Temple. 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, eight of Iowa’s top 11 treys made in a game during the McCaffery era have occurred the first 20 games this season. Iowa has made 10 or more triples 11 times this season.
MCCAFFERY SURPASSED BUCKY O’CONNOR FOR FIFTH IN VICTORIES AT IOWA
Fran McCaffery notched victory No. 115 as Iowa’s head coach on Feb. 7 at Illinois, surpassing Bucky O’Connor (1950, 1952-58) for fifth on Iowa’s all-time coaching win total. McCaffery increased his win total to 118 after Iowa’s win over Temple in the NCAA Tournament. Rollie Williams (1930-42, 1951) ranks fourth in victories with 139. Iowa’s game against Indiana (March 1) was Fran McCaffery‘s 200th game as Iowa’s head coach (118-84, .584).
HAWKEYES EARN HIGHEST NATIONAL RANKING SINCE 1987
Iowa’s No. 3 ranking (Jan. 25) is its highest during the Fran McCaffery era and highest since earning a No. 3 ranking in the Associated Press Poll on Dec. 8, 1987. For the third time in school history, Iowa’s football and men’s basketball teams earned a Top 5 ranking in the same season (1984-85 and 1960-61). It marked the first time in school history that football and men’s basketball were ranked as high as No. 3 in the same season. Iowa men’s basketball lost at No. 7 Maryland on Jan. 28; it was the first regular season Big Ten defeat by either the football, wrestling, or men’s basketball since the men’s basketball team lost at Northwestern in overtime on Feb. 16, 2015 — a span of 345 days.
Peter Jok NAMED BIG TEN PLAYER OF THE WEEK ON JAN. 18
Peter Jok collected his first Big Ten Player of the Week honor of his career on Jan. 18. Jok led Iowa to a pair of wins at No. 4 Michigan State and Michigan at home. Jok averaged 19.5 points, shooting at a 58 percent clip from the field (14-of-24), including a blistering 63.6 percent (7-of-11) from 3-point range. He also averaged 3.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. The native of West Des Moines, Iowa, helped snap an 18-game losing skid at Michigan State (Jan. 14) — Iowa’s last win at the Breslin Center came in 1993. Jok netted 19 of his game-high 23 points in the first half against the Spartans. The 6-foot-6, 205-pound guard netted 14 of his 16 points in the second half and had four rebounds in an 82-71 win against Michigan in Iowa City. Iowa garnered four weekly honors from the Big Ten Conference this season, including capturing back-to-back Player of the Week laurels on Jan. 11 (Mike Gesell) and Jan. 18 (Peter Jok). It marked the first time Hawkeye players earned consecutive Player of the Week accolades since Adam Haluska (Jan. 30) and Jeff Horner (Feb. 6) earned co-Player of the Week honors in 2006. It is the first time in school history that two Hawkeyes earned the weekly honor in consecutive weeks without sharing the award with another Big Ten student-athlete. Only twice in school history have three different Hawkeyes earned Big Ten Player of the Week distinction in the same season, 2015-16 (Gesell, Jok, and Uthoff) and 2000-01 (Reggie Evans, Dean Oliver, and Luke Recker — twice).
Last season, freshman Dom Uhl was listed a 6-foot-8 and 195 pounds. After a year in the weight room, the sophomore forward checked in at 6-foot-9 and 215 pounds entering this season. Uhl earned the team’s Newcomer Award last year. Uhl led the Hawkeyes reserves Friday against Temple, scoring seven points, snagging four rebounds, blocking one shot, and collecting one steal and an assist. Uhl is averaging 17 minutes, 6.1 points, and 3.7 rebounds per game this year. He has scored in double figures seven times this season. Uhl posted his first career double-double against UMKC (Dec. 5) with 14 points and a personal-high 10 boards. He had nine points, two rebounds, and a steal at No. 7 Maryland (Jan. 28) and six points, six rebounds, and one assist at Ohio State (Feb. 28). Uhl shot 50 percent (15-of-30) from behind the arc in conference play. He pulled down team bests in rebounds three times this season (Drake, Tennessee Tech, and Nebraska).
HAWKEYE FAST BREAKS
? This will mark the third time in four years that Iowa will travel to New York. Iowa played at Madison Square Garden in April 2013, finishing runners-up in the NIT. The Hawkeyes returned to Madison Square Garden in November, 2014, playing in the 2K Classic.
? Iowa won 10 Big Ten games by double digits. It’s the most by any Hawkeye team since the 1996-97 season.
? Iowa is 17-0 in games decided by 10 points or more this season and 5-10 in games decided by single digits. Each of Iowa’s last five losses have come by eight points or less.
? Iowa is 50-7 when scoring 80 points or more, the last six seasons. The Hawkeyes are 61-2 when holding opponents to fewer than 61 points, the last six years.
? Iowa has had a player score 20 points or more in 17 of its last 21 games, including three players (Jok, Uthoff, and Clemmons) total 20 or more points at Rutgers (Jan. 21). It marked the first time since 2000 (vs. Missouri) that Iowa had three players reach 20 points in a game: Luke Recker (23), Dean Oliver (22), and Reggie Evans (20). It is the first time three Hawkeyes poured in 20 points in a Big Ten game since 1989 (vs. Northwestern): Roy Marble (22), Ed Horton (21), and B.J. Armstrong (21).
? Iowa has won 13 of its last 21 true road games, dating back to last year. The Hawkeyes went 5-4 in Big Ten road games this season.
? Iowa ranks 17th nationally in fewest fouls per game (16.2).
? Iowa went 7-1 during the month of January, with the only loss coming by six points at No. 7 Maryland. The last time Iowa won seven games in the month of January was the 1986-87 season (7-2). Iowa was 3-4 during the month of February, with three of the four setbacks coming away from Iowa City.
? 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.
? Iowa swept Purdue for the first time since the 2003-04 season.
? Iowa swept both Purdue and Michigan State, boasting a +12.3 average margin of victory in the four games.
? Four times over the last two decades has Iowa swept the regular season series with the opponent ranked in both games — two of the four times have taken place this season (Michigan State and Purdue).
? Iowa ranks second in the Big Ten in second chance points scored per game (12.3) and points off turnovers (16.1).
? Iowa earned its first win over a ranked Big Ten opponent (Purdue) while being ranked in the Top 10 since beating No. 16 Ohio State while ranked No. 8 on Feb 13, 1989.
? Iowa won 21 regular season contests each of the last two years.
? Iowa has become the first team since Duke and Kentucky in 1965 to beat the same top-5 opponent by 10 in the same year (No. 1 and No. 4 Michigan State by 13 and 17 points, respectively).
? Iowa defeated top-15 teams in back-to-back games (No. 1 Michigan State and No. 14 Purdue) for the first time since Nov., 2004 (beat No. 12 Louisville and No. 15 Texas).
? Iowa beat two ranked Big Ten (No. 1 Michigan State and No. 14 Purdue) teams in the same week for the first time since 1987.
? Iowa has posted road wins over a Big Ten ranked opponent each of the last three seasons.
? Iowa swept Michigan State for the first time since the 1992-93 season. The Hawkeyes’ win in East Lansing on Jan. 14, was their first since 1993, snapping an 18-game losing streak at the Breslin Center. Iowa’s 17-point win over Michigan State is its largest victory over the Spartans in East Lansing since a 75-57 win March 12, 1983.
? Iowa is only 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. Its victory at No. 4 Michigan State on Jan. 14, is its first since Jan. 28, 1993.
? Iowa has won 38 of its last 39 nonleague home games, dating back to Nov., 2011. The lone loss came to Iowa State in 2014.
? Iowa is 1-3 all-time in games played on March 18 and 4-0 in games played on March 20.
? Iowa has competed in postseason play the last five years: NIT second round in 2012; NIT runner-up in 2013; NCAA first round in 2014; NCAA third round in 2015; No. 7 seed in 2016 tournament.
? Iowa has had a first-team All-Big Ten honoree in each of the last three seasons: Devyn Marble in 2014; Aaron White in 2015; Jarrod Uthoff in 2016.
Iowa’s length has affected a number of opponent shot attempts this season. The Hawkeyes have blocked 153 shots this season (4.8), which ranks fourth in the conference and 34th nationally. Iowa had its streak of 94 straight games with at least one blocked shot snapped at Ohio State (Feb. 28). Uthoff has put together back-to-back 50+ block seasons, totaling 56 last season and 84 this year. He is the first Hawkeye since Erek Hansen in 2005 and 2006 to register more than 50 rejections in consecutive seasons. Additionally, Uthoff (84 in 32 games) joins Acie Earl and Erek Hansen as the only Hawkeyes to record 80 or more rejections in a season. Uthoff is the third Hawkeye since 1983 (blocked shots became a statistic in 1983) to lead the league in rejections.
UTHOFF FILLS IT UP DURING FIRST HALF AT IOWA STATE
Senior Jarrod Uthoff scored 30 first-half points at No. 2/4 Iowa State (Dec. 10), 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. He finished the contest with 32 points.
UTHOFF PRODUCING ON THE WING
Jarrod Uthoff has amassed 1,282 points. The senior had his 19-game double-digit scoring streak snapped on Jan. 28, scoring nine points at nationally-ranked Maryland. Uthoff has scored 20 or more 16 times this year. Uthoff’s 11 20-point games prior to the month of February are the most by a Hawkeye since Adam Haluska in 2006-07 (12). Uthoff ranks second in the Big Ten in scoring (19.0) and first in blocks (2.6), and is second on the team in 3-pointers (64) and rebounding (6.3). His 2.6 blocks per game ranks 11th in the nation. Uthoff is the second Big Ten player since 1996-97 to have 150+ blocks and 130+ 3-pointers made (Minnesota’s Michael Bauer, 1999-2004). He is also the second player nationally the last 20 years to average two blocks and two 3-pointers per game (Duke’s Shane Battier in 1999-00 and 2000-01). Uthoff is one of three players in the country to register 20+ points and 5+ blocks in a game three times this season (Stony Brook’s Jameel Warney and Pascal Siakam of New Mexico State). Uthoff led Iowa with 23 points in the win over Temple, while also collecting five rebounds, two steals and a blocked shot.
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 sparked a late surge in Iowa’s last outing against Illinois at the Big Ten Tournament. Baer scored eight points in the final four minutes of the game. 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 in Iowa’s 70-64 victory over Drake at the Hy-Vee Big Four Classic in Des Moines. He is one of only four freshmen in the nation this season to post 13+ points, 7+ rebounds, and 6+ blocked in a single game. 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 14 minutes off the bench, averaging 4.5 points, shooting at a 40 percent clip from 3-point range (25-of-62) and 2.5 rebounds. Baer’s 19 blocked shots on the season rank second best on the team. He has scored in double figures and grabbed five or more rebounds four 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 rank 14th and 90th nationally, respectively, in assist-to-turnover ratio. Clemmons is third on the team in scoring (8.9), while Gesell is fourth (8.2). Clemmons 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. Gesell is a four-year starter, who has 1,067 points, 551 assists, and 160 steals. The Hawkeye senior is 10 assists from tying Dean Oliver for third in Iowa career assists. In the first round win over Temple, Gesell and Clemmons combined for 10 points, 11 assists, and three steals, with just two turnovers in a combined 68 minutes.
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 17th in the country in assists (6.21) and 14th in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.3). Gesell collected a career-best 12 assists in Iowa’s win over Coppin State and also against Minnesota. He has been credited with nine or more assists 10 times this season and 10 or more five times. Gesell is believed to be the first Hawkeye ever to post five 10+ assist games in a season (B.J. Armstrong had four 10+ assist games in 1988-89). He is on pace to surpass Dean Oliver, who ranks third in career assists. He poured in a game and career-best 25 points in lifting Iowa to an 83-70 win over No. 1 Michigan State and posted his first career double-double in Iowa’s win over Nebraska (22 points and 10 assists).
INCREASED WORK LOAD
The prior 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 9.7 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. The senior has played over 28 minutes 14 times this season. Woodbury has totaled seven double-doubles this season, which ties three other players for eighth in the league. Woodbury is the first Hawkeye to record a double-double in three straight games (Rutgers, Purdue, and Maryland) since Greg Brunner in 2005-06. He has led the team in rebounding 14 of the last 16 games, including snagging a career-best 18 boards versus Wisconsin (Feb. 24). The 18 rebounds are the most by any player in a Big Ten game this season. Furthermore, 10 of the 18 boards were on the offensive glass — the most by a Hawkeye since Gabriel Olaseni had 11 at Purdue last season. Woodbury (10.0 rpg) became the first Hawkeye since Reggie Evans (10.7 rpg) in 2001-02 to average 10+ rebounds during conference play. Woodbury grabbed 13 defensive rebounds against Penn State on Feb. 3 — the most by a Hawkeye since Kurt Looby (Nov. 13, 2006 versus The Citadel).
Peter Jok started 2015 with a new number, changing from No. 3 last year to No. 14 this season. Jok ranks second on the team in scoring (16.2 ppg) and first in free throw accuracy (.850, 91-of-107). Jok made 28 straight free throws before missing in the win over Temple (3-of-5 overall). He has scored 20 or more points 10 times this season, including a career-best 29 points at Rutgers (Jan. 21) and vs. Illinois (March 10). The 29-point outbursts tie for seventh most by a Hawkeye during the Fran McCaffery era. Iowa is 11-3 when Jok makes at least three triples in a game this season, and he made 3-of-10 treys in the win over Temple. Jok led Iowa with seven rebounds against the Owls, marking the second time this season he has led the team in rebounds (nine at Purdue). After averaging seven points per game a season ago, Jok has surged 9.2 points this year averaging 16.2 points per contest. The +9.2 improvement is tops among Big Ten players. The Hawkeye junior averaged 21 points in two games against Michigan State early in conference play. His 23 points at Michigan State (Jan. 14) and 16 against Michigan (Jan. 17) earned Jok Big Ten Player of the Week accolades. Jok is one of four Hawkeyes since 2005-06 to average 2+ 3-pointers and one steal per game in a season (Jeff Horner in 2006; Adam Haluska in 2007; Matt Gatens in 2012).