Iowa Returns to Action Tuesday at Virginia Tech

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IOWA (4-2) at VIRGINIA TECH (5-1)
 DATE  Tuesday, Nov. 28 | 8 p.m. CT
 LOCATION  Blacksburg, Virginia | Cassell Coliseum
 RADIO | LISTEN  Hawkeye Radio Network | Hawkeye All-Access 

Iowa (4-2) will play at Virginia Tech (5-1) on Tuesday as part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. (CT) inside Cassell Coliseum at Blacksburg, Virginia. 

Radio: Iowa games are broadcast on the Hawkeye Radio Network. Gary Dolphin handles the play-by-play, along with color commentator Bob Hansen. The network includes more than 40 stations that blanket the state of Iowa and include portions of Illinois, Nebraska, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin. The Hawkeye Radio Network coverage includes a 60-minute pregame show.
TV: Tuesday’s game will be televised nationally on ESPN2 (WATCHESPN). Mike Couzens and Debbie Antonelli will call the action.

•    Iowa is 5-11 in Challenges games, winning three of its last four Big Ten/ACC Challenge contests.
•    After playing its first three games of the regular season at home, Iowa is in the middle of a stretch playing six of seven away from Iowa City.
•    Isaiah Moss was named to the Cayman Islands Classic All-Tournament Team after averaging 18 points, leading the team in scoring in its first two games of the tournament.
•    Iowa has yet to play a regular season game at full strength. Ahmad Wagner missed the last game due to a sore shoulder, while Connor McCaffery (ankle and mono) and Nicholas Baer (finger) have yet to play a regular season game.
•    Iowa’s top seven scorers are underclassmen with sophomore Isaiah Moss leading the pack averaging 15.8 points per game. Freshman Luka Garza leads the squad in rebounding (8.2) and blocked shots (2.0).
•    Iowa’s 42.7 shooting percentage from 3-point range is second-best in the Big Ten. Iowa shot 61.5 percent (8-of-13) from long distance in its last outing, which is the best shooting performance of any Big Ten team this season.
•    Jordan Bohannon (30) and Tyler Cook (29) poured in career highs in scoring in Iowa’s 95-85 triumph over UAB last Wednesday at the Cayman Islands Classic.
•    Tyler Cook had his consecutive field goals made streak of 22 straight snap on his first attempt in Iowa’s last outing against Alabama State (Nov. 12). The power forward’s streak spanned four games, dating back to the second half versus Indiana at the Big Ten Tournament on March 9, 2017.
•    Fran McCaffery has 392 wins in 22 seasons as a head coach; he is eight victories from reaching the 400-win milestone.
•    Iowa’s first six regular season games were not televised, however all but one remaining game will be on BTN, FS1, or an ESPN network.
•    Iowa is 69-15 when scoring 80 points or more, the last eight seasons.
•    Iowa ranked first in Big Ten steals (7.4) and scoring offense (80.5), and second in assists (17.7) a year ago.
•    Freshmen Cordell Pemsl, Jordan Bohannon, Tyler Cook, and Isaiah Moss accounted for 44.7 percent of Iowa’s offense. Three of Iowa’s top four scorers were true freshmen; Tyler Cook was second (12.3), followed by Jordan Bohannon (10.9), and Cordell Pemsl (8.9).

•    Virginia Tech is averaging 102 points per game through six games. The Hokies have scored 90 points or more in five games, including topping the century mark in three contests. Virginia Tech’s lone setback was a 77-71 decision to Saint Louis in Madison Square Garden on Nov. 16.
•    Five players average in double figures through with senior guard Justin Bibbs pacing the squad averaging 21.3 points per game. Ahmad Hill averages 19.8 points, followed by Nicheil Alexander-Walker (16.8), Kerry Blackshear Jr. (12.8), and Justin Robinson (10.8). Blackshear leads the squad in rebounding, pulling down seven boards per game.
•    Virginia Tech exploded for 132 points in a 39-point win over The Citadel on Nov. 12. The 132 points are the highest by an ACC team in any game since Maryland defeated North Texas, 132-57, on Dec. 23, 1998.
•    The Hokies won their last outing, 96-63, over Morehead State Saturday in Blacksburg. The Hokies made 10 triples (10-of-23) and shot 89 percent (24-of-27) from the foul line.
•    Virginia Tech’s roster consists of eight upperclassmen (three seniors and five juniors).
•    Virginia Tech posted a 22-11 overall record a year ago earning and its first NCAA Tournament berth in ten years and first under head coach Buzz Williams. The Hokies were a No. 9 seed and lost to eighth-seeded Wisconsin in the first round in Buffalo, New York.
•    Buzz Williams is in his 11th season as a head coach and fourth at Virginia Tech. He previously was the head coach at New Orleans for one year (2007) and Marquette for six seasons (2008-14). Williams guided Marquette to five NCAA Tournaments.

Tuesday will be the fourth meeting between Iowa and Virginia Tech, with the Hokies winning the previous three contests. 
    All three previous games were part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Virginia Tech won 69-65 in 2006 and 95-79 in Blacksburg in 2012, and 70-64 in Iowa City in 2009.

•    Iowa was edged by Louisiana and South Dakota State by nearly identical scores, 80-71 and 80-72, respectively, the first two days at the Cayman Islands Classic. The Hawkeyes won the final game on the third day, upending UAB in a high scoring contest, 95-85.
•    Jordan Bohannon (30) and Tyler Cook (29) posted career highs in Iowa’s win over UAB. Bohannon shot 9-of-12 from the field, including 6-of-8 from 3-point range. Cook was 13-of-16 from the foul line, with the 13 makes the fourth most by a Hawkeye in the Fran McCaffery era.
•    Iowa shot 60 percent from the field in its win over UAB, including 61.5 percent from 3-point territory. Iowa’s 60 percent shooting is the first time since playing Maryland (64 percent) on Feb. 8, 2015, that the Hawkeyes shot 60 percent or better from the field.
•    Against Louisiana, the Hawkeyes were unable to make a field goal for a nine minute stretch in the first half and the Ragin’ Cajuns capitalized on Iowa’s cold shooting going on a 21-1 run and never looked back in the tournament opener.
•    South Dakota State went 10-of-20 from 3-point range and freshman guard David Jenkins Jr. came off the bench to score a career-best 23 points to lift the Jackrabbits over Iowa on the second day of the tournament.

Other than Iowa’s game against Louisiana, the Hawkeyes have been shooting the basketball well. The Hawkeyes have shot 50 percent or better in four of their six games, including shooting a white-hot 60 percent in their last outing against UAB. The Hawkeyes shot 59.6 percent against Chicago State, 54.3 percent versus Grambling State, and 50.9 percent in a loss to South Dakota State.
    Iowa is shooting 50.8 percent from the field, ranking fourth in the Big Ten.

Freshman center Luka Garza leads the team in rebounding (8.2 rpg) and blocked shots (2.0), is second in free throw attempts (29), and fourth in scoring (9.7). 
    Garza became just the second Hawkeye in the last 20 years to register 16 points and five rebounds in their debut (Aaron White in 2011).
    Garza followed up that performance against Chicago State (16 points, 5 rebounds) with a double-double against Alabama State. The native of Washington, D.C. had 11 points and a game-best 13 rebounds. Garza is the fifth Hawkeye to post a double-double in either his first or second game over the last 20 years, joining Dean Oliver, Reggie Evans, Devon Archie, and Aaron White. Garza’s efforts in those first two wins garnered the forward Big Ten Freshman of the Week accolades.

Iowa sophomore Jordan Bohannon has been named to the 20-player watch list for the 2018 Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award. The annual honor recognizes the top point guards in Division I men’s college basketball. A national committee comprised of top college basketball personnel determined the watch list of 20 candidates.
    Bohannon joins Minnesota’s Nate Mason and Bryant McIntosh of Northwestern as the only Big Ten student-athletes on the national list. 
    The native of Marion, Iowa, has had a great start to the 2017-18 campaign, dishing out 31 assists to only nine turnovers, and averaging 14.5 points in six games. He is shooting 48.6 percent (18-of-37) from 3-point range and 87.5 percent (21-of-24) from the free throw line. His 3.4 assist-to-turnover ratio is sixth best in the Big Ten.
    Bohannon, one of five players named to the All-Big Ten Freshman Team, led the Hawkeyes in assists (175) and 3-pointers made (89), and was third in scoring (10.9 ppg). He was one of only two freshmen in the country over the last 25 seasons to register 175+ assists and 85+ 3-pointers. His 89 triples shattered Iowa’s single-season freshman record, besting Matt Gatens’ previous mark of 52 set in 2009. Bohannon’s 175 assists are the most by an Iowa freshman and rank eighth-best by any Hawkeye player in a single season. He finished the season by posting a school-record three straight double-doubles in points and assists (Indiana, South Dakota, and TCU). Bohannon helped lead Iowa to a win at nationally-ranked Maryland, draining eight 3-pointers (8-of-10) — the most by a Hawkeye rookie and one shy of Chris Kingsbury’s school record.

Last year as a redshirt freshman playing alongside honorable mention All-American Peter Jok, Isaiah Moss averaged 6.5 points per game. Through six games his sophomore campaign, the native of Chicago is averaging a team-best 15.8 points per contest, a 9.3 points per game improvement. 
    Moss is the only Hawkeye to have netted double figures in all six games this season. He is shooting 48 percent from the field and has missed only one free throw in 18 attempts.

Tyler Cook is having a solid start to his sophomore campaign. Cook ranks second in team rebounding (6.2) and third in scoring (13.8). Cook has made a team-best 59 percent of his field goal attempts (minimum 40 attempts). The native of St. Louis has grabbed six or more rebounds in all six games and had the best game of his collegiate career in Iowa’s last game against UAB (29 points on 8-of-11 shooting from the field and 13-of-16 from the free throw line).

Head coach Fran McCaffery announced on Nov. 6, that junior forward Nicholas Baer is to miss 3-4 weeks after suffering a broken bone in his left pinky finger in a practice. Baer was re-evaluated by team medical personnel last weekend and he is hopeful to rejoin his teammates on the court soon.
    Baer, a team co-captain, is the reigning Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year after averaging team bests in rebounding (5.8), steals (1.4), and blocked shots (1.3). The native of Bettendorf, Iowa, also averaged 7.5 points per game in 2016-17. Baer became one of only four Hawkeyes in school history to lead the team in both blocks (48) and steals (43) in the same season as a sophomore.

Freshman guard Connor McCaffery announced his decision earlier this month to play his freshman season on the basketball court. McCaffery will join the baseball team upon conclusion of the basketball season. A decision as to whether or not McCaffery will redshirt baseball this spring will be determined at that time.
    However, the guard’s start to his freshman year has been off to a slow start. After playing in Iowa’s two exhibition games, McCaffery missed Iowa’s first six regular season games. McCaffery sat out the first two games due to a sprained ankle, while he missed Iowa’s last four outings due to illness (mono).

Sophomore forward Cordell Pemsl had successful sports hernia surgery in May. Pemsl did not participate in the Prime Time League nor Iowa’s exhibition games overseas.
    Pemsl is averaging five points and 4.7 rebounds after six contests. The native of Dubuque, Iowa, netted a game-high 15 points in Iowa’s win over Alabama State on Nov. 12. He had five rebounds and a career-best four assists in Iowa’s last game versus UAB.
    Pemsl started 14 of 34 games a year ago, averaging 8.9 points and five rebounds per contest. The forward shot a single-season school record 61.7 percent (116-of-188) from the field his during freshman campaign.

A number of recent Iowa basketball graduates are playing professionally: Melsahn Basabe (Poland), Anthony Clemmons (Kazakhstan), Gabriel Olaseni (Spain), Jarrod Uthoff (NBA G League: Fort Wayne Mad Ants), Peter Jok (NBA G League: Northern Arizona Suns), Adam Woodbury (NBA G League: Westchester Knicks), and Aaron White (Lithuania).

Iowa is one of 16 teams in the country returning 70%+ of points, rebounds, and assists.

Iowa finished its European Tour with a perfect record in August notching wins in Germany, Switzerland, and Italy. 
    Four Hawkeyes averaged in double figures in the four games. Freshman Luka Garza averaged a double-double (22.5 points, 10.3 rebounds), sophomore Isaiah Moss averaged 12.5 points, Cook averaged 12.3 points, while Ryan Kriener averaged 11.3 points. As a team, the Hawkeyes shot 48.6 percent from the field, out-rebounded their opponents by 18, and had a +5.8 turnover margin.
    Iowa played its first game in Germany, the home of Hawkeye senior Dom Uhl. The native of Frankfurt, Germany, had seven points, seven rebounds, three assists, two steals, and a block in his homecoming. 
    Garza led the team in scoring in all four games.

Iowa has played 2,746 games since beginning basketball in 1902. Iowa’s overall record is 1,616-1,130 (.588). Iowa’s 1,616 wins are 39th most among Division I programs. That includes a 1,033-360 (.741) record in home games, a 579-767 (.430) record in contests away from Iowa City, a 762-765 (.499) mark in Big Ten games and a 438-134 (.765) record in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Jordan Bohannon finished his rookie season with a flurry, posting a school-record three straight double-doubles in points and assists.
    Bohannon tallied 24 points and 10 assists against Indiana at the Big Ten Tournament on March 9. The native of Marion, Iowa, then registered 19 points and 11 assists against South Dakota on March 15 in the first round of the NIT. Bohannon bested that performance again on March 19, posting personal bests in scoring (25) and assists (13). The 13 helpers are the most by a Hawkeye in a postseason game.

•    Iowa scored 90 points or more nine times in 2016-17. The Hawkeyes netted 90-plus points in three of their four victories.
•    Iowa is one of only three teams to have posted a Big Ten record of .500 or better each of the last five seasons (Michigan State and Wisconsin).
•    Iowa has won 48 of its last 52 nonconference home games, dating back to 2012.
•    Iowa is 69-15 when scoring 80 points or more, the last eight seasons. The Hawkeyes are 66-2 when holding opponents to fewer than 61 points, the last eight years.
•    Fran McCaffery and his coaching staff are the first in program history to win 18 games or more in six straight seasons. McCaffery’s 137 victories rank second behind Tom Davis (152) for most in the first seven seasons as Iowa’s head coach. 
•    Fran McCaffery has guided Iowa to upper division finishes in the Big Ten in each of the last five seasons. McCaffery has accumulated 17 first division finishes in 21 years as a head coach.

•    Iowa’s six freshmen accounted for 48.8 percent of Iowa’s offense, besting Iowa’s 1943-44 freshmen class who averaged 40.7 points.
•    Iowa freshmen scored in double figures a program-best 62 times, besting the 1997-98 squad (42).
•    For the first time in program history, Iowa had four freshmen score at least 20 points in a single game: Tyler Cook (24 vs. Seton Hall; 21 at Maryland); Jordan Bohannon (24 at Maryland; 23 at Notre Dame; 24 vs. Indiana; 25 vs. TCU); Isaiah Moss (21 vs. Stetson); Cordell Pemsl (21 vs. Stetson). 
•    For the first time in school history, Iowa had five freshmen reach double digits in scoring in a game throughout the season: Tyler Cook, Jordan Bohannon, Cordell Pemsl, Ryan Kriener, and Isaiah Moss.
•    Iowa freshmen accumulated 96 combined starts, which is the most in program history.
•    Iowa rookies combined to average 15.4 rebounds per game, second behind the 2000-01 squad (16.3 rpg).

The Hawkeyes will play a pair of conference games this weekend, hosting Penn State on Saturday (4 p.m. CT) followed by a contest at Indiana on Monday, Dec. 4 (7 p.m. CT). Both games will be televised on BTN (BTN2GO).