Men's Hoops Hosts Penn State Saturday in B1G Opener

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PENN STATE (6-2, 0-0) vs. IOWA (4-3, 0-0)
 DATE  Saturday, Dec. 2 | 4:01 p.m. CT
 LOCATION  Iowa City, Iowa | Carver-Hawkeye Arena (15,400)
 RADIO | LISTEN  Hawkeye Radio Network | Hawkeye All-Access 
 LIVE STATS  StatBroadcast

Iowa (4-3, 0-0) will entertain Penn State (6-2, 0-0) on Saturday. Tipoff is set for 4:01 p.m. (CT) inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City. Tickets are $35 for adults, and $20 for youth & UI students. Saturday will be the earliest Iowa will have played a Big Ten Conference game in program history.
    Saturday marks only the sixth time in eight seasons under Fran McCaffery that the Hawkeyes will open league play at home.

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: Saturday’s game will be televised nationally on BTN (BTN2GO). Brandon Gauden and Stephen Bardo will call the action.

•    Fans are encouraged to wear their Star Wars themed apparel items to the game.
•    A number of movie characters will be in costume on the concourse prior to the game. The characters will interact with and take photos with fans between 3-4 p.m.
•    A limited number of special posters will be available at the game.
•    Star Wars trivia questions at different points during media timeouts.
•    The new Star Wars movie trailer will be featured at the arena.

•    Iowa has won three of its last four Big Ten openers — beating Nebraska four seasons ago (67-57), at No. 18 Ohio State (71-65) three years ago, and top-ranked Michigan State two years ago (83-70). The Hawkeyes lost at No. 15 Purdue (89-67) last season.
•    Both Iowa and Penn State will be playing their first Saturday game of the season on Dec. 2.
•    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 UAB game (shoulder). Nicholas Baer played his first game on Tuesday at Virginia Tech (finger), while Connor McCaffery has missed every game (ankle and mono).
•    Nicholas Baer posted his career high in scoring (20 points) the last time Iowa and Penn State met each other on the basketball court on March 5, 2017 in Iowa City.
•    Iowa’s top seven scorers are underclassmen with sophomores Jordan Bohannon and Tyler Cook leading the pack, both averaging 14.1 points per game. Freshman Luka Garza leads the squad in rebounding (7.6) and blocked shots (1.85).
•    Iowa’s 40 shooting percentage from 3-point range is second-best in the Big Ten. Iowa shot 61.5 percent (8-of-13) from long distance versus UAB on Nov. 22, 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 on Nov. 22, 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 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.

Virginia Tech broke open a halftime tie (38-38) with a 22-3 run over the first 8:53 of the second half en route to a 79-55 win over the visiting Hawkeyes on Tuesday in Blacksburg.
•    Cordell Pemsl posted career bests in rebounds (14) and assists (6).
•    Tyler Cook nearly posted his first double-double of the season, netting 16 points and corralling nine rebounds. Cook scored Iowa’s first eight points of the second half.
•    Point guard Jordan Bohannon drained all four 3-point attempts in the first half and finished the game with 12 points, three assists, and two rebounds. Bohannon leads the Big Ten, averaging 3.1 triples made per game.
•    Nicholas Baer returned from injury, playing in his first contest of the season. The junior forward played 22 minutes off the bench, collecting five points, four rebounds, and a steal.
•    Iowa was whistled for 20 personal fouls, compared to 13 for the home squad. The Hokies (22-of-28) attempted 18 more free throws than the Hawkeyes (6-of-10).

•    After starting the season 5-0, the Nittany Lions have lost two of their last three games, including Wednesday night’s 85-78 setback at N.C. State in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
•    Five of Penn State’s six wins have come at home, while the Nittany Lions are 1-2 in the early stages of the season in games played away from State College.
•    Saturday will the fourth time Penn State will play away from home in five games, dating back to Nov. 20.
•    Five Nittany Lions average double figures: Tony Carr (21.3), Lamar Stephens (14.4), Josh Reaves (11.4), Shep Garner (10.1), and Mike Watkins (10.0).
•    Penn State was edged, 85-78, in its last game at N.C. State played Wednesday evening in North Carolina. The Nittany Lions were outscored 30-15 via the 3-point shot and 25-15 at the free throw line. Tony Carr paced Penn State with a game-best 29 points. Josh Reaves tallied nine points and had a game-best five assists and no turnovers.
•    Penn State, who returns their entire starting-five from a year ago, has scored 80 points or more five times (4-1) this season.
•    Penn State ranks first in the Big Ten in steals (10.6) and is fourth in turnover margin (+4.0). Tony Carr ranks second in the league in scoring (21.3) and fourth in 3-point percentage (.577). Mike Watkins is second in field goal percentage (.674) and blocked shots (3.3), while Josh Reaves is first in steals (2.7).
•    The Nittany Lions have seven players who are averaging 19 minutes or more.
•    Patrick Chambers is in his seventh season as head coach at Penn State (93-111, .456).

Iowa holds a 29-15 advantage in the series versus Penn State. The Hawkeyes have won nine of the last 13 meetings. Iowa will have played Penn State in back-to-back conference games in Iowa City, dating back to last season. The Hawkeyes beat the Nittany Lions, 90-79, in the regular season finale on March 5, 2017, in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
    Iowa holds a commanding 17-3 advantage in games played at Iowa City, with all 20 meetings taking place in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Hawkeyes have won 15 of the last 16 meetings, including the last 12, in Iowa City. Penn State’s last win (78-73) in Iowa City came in 2001. The Hawkeyes’ margin of victory in the 12 straight wins over the Nittany Lions in Iowa City is 14.5, with nine of the 12 victories coming by double digits.

Iowa led by as many as 27 points in the second half en route to a 90-79 win over Penn State at Iowa City on March 5, 2017, in the only regular season meeting between the two teams.
•    The 90 points are the most scored by Iowa in a regular-season home finale since scoring 103 against Wisconsin in the 1988 home finale.
•    Iowa won its fourth straight game to close the regular season. The four-game win streak was Iowa’s longest during conference play and second longest of the year.
•    Iowa had five players score in double figures: Peter Jok (21), Nicholas Baer (20), Cordell Pemsl (14), Jordan Bohannon (11), Tyler Cook (11). Baer’s 20 points are a career best. 
•    Nicholas Baer was a perfect 4-of-4 from 3-point territory against the Nittany Lions. 
•    Nicholas Baer (20 points, 10 rebounds) and Tyler Cook (11 points, 10 rebounds) each notched their second double-doubles of the season.
•    Penn State had two players score in double digits: Josh Reaves (25) and Mike Watkins (17).

Other than games against Louisiana and Virginia Tech, the Hawkeyes have been shooting the basketball well. The Hawkeyes have shot 50 percent or better in four of their seven games, including shooting a white-hot 60 percent against UAB on Nov. 22. 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 47.9 percent from the field.

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).

Freshman center Luka Garza leads the team in rebounding (7.6 rpg) and blocked shots (1.85), is second in free throw attempts (31), and fourth in scoring (8.9). 
    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.

Last year as a redshirt freshman playing alongside honorable mention All-American Peter Jok, Isaiah Moss averaged 6.5 points per game. Through seven games his sophomore campaign, the native of Chicago is averaging 13.9 points per contest, a +7.4 points per game improvement. 
    Moss has netted double figures in six of seven games this season. He is shooting 45 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 first in scoring (14.1) and is second in rebounding (6.6). Cook has made a team-best 59 percent of his field goal attempts (minimum 50 attempts). The native of St. Louis has grabbed six or more rebounds in all seven games and had the best game of his collegiate career against UAB on Nov. 22 (29 points on 8-of-11 shooting from the field and 13-of-16 from the free throw line).

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 34 assists to only 11 turnovers, and averaging 14.1 points. He is shooting 49 percent (22-of-45) from 3-point range and 87.5 percent (21-of-24) from the free throw line. His 3.1 assist-to-turnover ratio is fifth 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.

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 seven regular season games. McCaffery sat out the first two games due to a sprained ankle, while he missed Iowa’s last five 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 5.1 points and six rebounds after seven contests this season. The native of Dubuque, Iowa, netted a game-high 15 points in Iowa’s win over Alabama State on Nov. 12. He had a personal-best 14 rebounds and a career-best six assists at Virginia Tech. The 14 boards against the Hokies are the third most by a Big Ten player this season.
    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.

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 2,747 games since beginning basketball in 1902. Iowa’s overall record is 1,616-1,131 (.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 579-768 (.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.
•    With one game remaining in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge (Notre Dame at Michigan State), the ACC is leading 10-2; Purdue and Nebraska have the two Big Ten wins.
•    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 have one day to prepare for its next conference game at Indiana on Monday. Tipoff is set for 7:03 p.m. (CT) at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Indiana.