Men's Hoops Hosts NIU Friday

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NORTHERN ILLINOIS (7-5, 0-0) vs. IOWA (8-6, 0-2)
DATE Friday, Dec. 29 | 7:05 p.m. CT
LOCATION Iowa City, Iowa | Carver-Hawkeye Arena (15,400)
RADIO | LISTEN Hawkeye Radio Network | Hawkeye All-Access
TICKETS hawkeyesports.com/tickets
LIVE STATS StatBroadcast
STREAM BTN Plus
LIVE UPDATES @IowaHoops

THE SETTING
Iowa (8-6, 0-2) looks to extend its season-best four-game win streak Friday evening when the Hawkeyes entertain Northern Illinois (7-5, 0-0). Tipoff is set for 7:05 p.m. (CT) at Carver-Hawkeye Arena (15,400) in Iowa City, Iowa. Tickets are available for $15 for adults, and $5 for youth and UI students.

ON THE AIR
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.
Stream: Friday’s game will be streamed on mobile devices and computers via BTN Plus on BTN2GO. Alec Giannakopoulos and Jess Settles will call the action. There is a monthly or annual subscription fee to watch the game.

NONCONFERENCE FINALE STORYLINES
•    Iowa has won all seven previous meetings against Northern Illinois, including the most recent contest played (70-49) on Nov. 26, 2014, in Iowa City. Six of the seven previous meetings have been played in Iowa City.
•    Iowa has won 50 of its last 54 nonconference home games, dating back to 2012.
•    Friday begins a stretch of playing three straight home games for the Hawkeyes. After the nonconference finale, Iowa will host Michigan (Jan. 2) and Ohio State (Jan. 4).
•    The Hawkeyes enter Friday’s contest having won a season-best four games in a row.
•    Tyler Cook has dunked the ball eight times during Iowa’s four-game win streak, including a season-best six in Iowa’s versus Drake. Cook has 27 dunks this season.
•    Fran McCaffery has 396 wins in 22 seasons as a head coach; he is four victories from reaching the 400-win milestone.
•    Iowa has netted 90 points or more in six of its eight wins.
•    Iowa is 8-0 when scoring 80 points or more and 4-0 when Iowa has fewer turnovers than its opponent this season.
•    Iowa is shooting the basketball at a 52.4 percent clip in its eight victories and has made 51 percent of its field goal attempts in its six home games.
•    Nicholas Baer has led the team in rebounding in two of the last four games, grabbing a career-high 14 boards against Drake and 10 versus Southern Utah.
•    The Hawkeyes rank 14th in the country in assists per game, averaging 18.7 per contest. Additionally, Iowa ranks 10th nationally in total rebounds per contest (41.9) and 35th in rebounding margin (+7.5).
•    Iowa has only played two of its 14 regular season games at full strength. The Hawkeyes have had at least one player not active due to injury in 12 of their 14 games.
•    Jordan Bohannon ranks 44th nationally in 3-point percentage (.450) and is averaging 2.57 3-pointers made per game, which ranks third in the Big Ten and 133rd in the country.
•    Iowa’s top six scorers are underclassmen with sophomore Tyler Cook leading the pack (13.7). Freshmen Luka Garza and Cook share the team lead in rebounding (6.6), while Garza is first in blocks (1.1), and sophomore Jordan Bohannon ranks first in assists (4.6).
•    After a slow start, Iowa has climbed to No. 158 in the RPI. Northern Illinois enters Friday’s game with an RPI of 221.

IOWA UPENDS COLORADO IN NEUTRAL SITE CONTEST
Five Hawkeyes scored in double figures in an 80-73 win over Colorado in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, on Dec. 22. The game was played in front of a sold out crowd of 3,250 fans.
•    Guard Maishe Dailey (16), Isaiah Moss (16), and Jordan Bohannon (14) combined for 46 of Iowa’s 80 points. Dailey’s 16 points are a career high.
•    Iowa was held to a season-low three 3-pointers, but outscored the Buffaloes 25-9 at the free throw line. The Hawkeyes attempted 19 more free throws than Colorado.
•    Tyler Cook equaled a season high with two blocked shots. Cook has rejected two shots in four games this season. The native of St. Louis, Missouri also netted 12 points.
•    Forward Cordell Pemsl had another stellar outing off the bench. The sophomore contributed 10 points, grabbed a team-best eight rebounds, and denied a season-best two blocked shots.
•    Junior forward Ahmad Wagner did not play due to injury (ankle), while junior guard Brady Ellingson saw limited action due to injury (ankle).
•    Iowa shot 49 percent from the field (26-of-53); Colorado made 42.6 percent of its shot attempts (29-of-68).

SCOUTING NORTHERN ILLINOIS
•    Northern Illinois has alternated wins and losses the last seven games. The Huskies won their last outing, 69-63, at home against Illinois-Chicago (UIC) on Dec. 21.
•    The Huskies are 5-1 at home in DeKalb, Illinois, and are 1-2 in true road contests having lost their last two (at Iowa State on Dec. 4 and at Marquette on Dec. 18).
•    In their last outing against UIC, the Huskies outscored the Flames by five at the free throw line and made three more 3-pointers. NIU also had eight fewer turnovers than UIC. The Huskies’ Dante Thorpe led all scorers with 21 points. Levi Bradley posted a double-double (18 points and 10 rebounds).
•    NIU ranks 43rd in the country in fewest turnovers per game (11.8) and are 49th in turnover margin (+3.3). Eugene German ranks 49th nationally in points per game (19.8).
•    Three Huskies average in double figures in scoring: Eugene German (19.8), Levi Bradley (14.8), and Dante Thorpe (12.3). Bradley also leads the squad in rebounding (5.9).
•    NIU averages 5.7 3-pointers made per game compared to 7.9 for Iowa. Only three Huskies have made 10 or more triples per game: Eugene German (18), Levi Bradley (12), and Justin Thomas (10).
•    NIU’s roster of 15 players includes six freshmen, three sophomores, five juniors, and one fifth-year senior.
•    NIU and Iowa have played two common opponents: Chicago State and Iowa State. Both Iowa and NIU beat the Cougars and lost to the Cyclones in Ames.
•    Mark Montgomery is in his seventh season as head coach at NIU, following 10 years at his alma mater, Michigan State, six as an assistant coach and four as associate head coach. In 2015-16, Montgomery guided the Huskies to 21 victories, tied for the second-most in school history, while taking the Huskies to the postseason for just the fourth time in school history, and the first time in 20 years, as NIU accepted an invitation to the Vegas 16. Montgomery earned national coaching honors when he received the midseason Hugh Durham Award as the nation’s top mid-major head coach.

GARZA SHINES IN EARLY SEASON GAMES
Freshman Luka Garza shares the team lead in rebounding (6.6) and blocked shots (1.1), second in free throws made (35) and attempts (63), and is fourth in scoring (9.4).
    Garza has netted double figures in three of Iowa’s last four games (23 points versus Southern, 13 against Drake, and a team-best 17 versus Southern Utah). He had his best game as a collegiate player against Southern, registering personal bests in scoring (23) and rebounding (13). Garza was credited with a personal-best three steals in the win over Drake. 
    Garza has made 19 of his last 24 free throws (.792) after starting the season 16-of-39 (.410) from the charity stripe. Additionally, he has shot 50 percent or better from the field in six of the last seven games, making a combined 23-of-40 (.575) during that span.
    Against Chicago State on Nov. 10, Garza became 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 HISTORY
Iowa has played 2,754 games since beginning basketball in 1902. Iowa’s overall record is 1,620-1,134 (.588). Iowa’s 1,620 wins are 39th most among Division I programs. That includes a 1,035-361 (.741) record in home games, a 581-770 (.430) record in contests away from Iowa City, a 762-766 (.499) mark in Big Ten games and a 440-135 (.765) record in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

COOKIN’ WITH TYLER
Tyler Cook ranks first in scoring (13.7) and shares the team lead in rebounding (6.6). Cook has made a team-best 58 percent of his field goal attempts (minimum 100 attempts). The native of St. Louis has grabbed six or more rebounds in 11 of 14 games, including a career-best 12 against Penn State. He 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).
    During Iowa’s four-game win streak, Cook is averaging 14.8 points. He made 24-of-37 (.649) field goals and 11-of-17 (.647) free throws. He dunked the ball eight times during that stretch, including a season-high six versus Drake. Cook has 27 dunks this season.
    Cook is tied for ninth in the league in field goal accuracy (.581) and is tied for 15th in rebounding (6.6). He has one double-double to his credit this season (Penn State).
    Not only has Cook done a good job getting to the free throw line, but making his foul shots. Cook ranks 58th nationally in free throw attempts (79) and 92nd in free throw makes (55).

BACK IN ACTION
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 6.3 points and 5.9 rebounds in 13 contests. The native of Dubuque, Iowa, reached double figures four times this season, including netting 10 points in Iowa’s win over Colorado last week. He scored 10 points and snagged eight rebounds before leaving Iowa’s game at Iowa State on Dec. 7, due to injury. Pemsl did not play against Southern on Dec. 10, however returned to action versus Drake posting eight rebounds and six points. 
    Pemsl 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.

FRAN McCAFFERY TO BE INDUCTED INTO SIENA HALL OF FAME
The Siena Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2017 includes former men’s basketball head coach Fran McCaffery. McCaffery and three others, including former player Ronald Moore (2009-12), will be enshrined in a special ceremony on Feb. 18 at the Times Union Center, prior to the men’s basketball game versus Monmouth.
    McCaffery led Siena to the most decorated five-year run in program history, which culminated with the Saints being the only Division I program to win both their regular season and tournament championships for three consecutive years from 2008-10. The Philadelphia native amassed a 112-51 (.687) overall record from 2005-10, including a 68-22 (.756) mark in the MAAC. McCaffery guided Siena to four straight 20-win seasons and MAAC Tournament Championship Game appearances. Named the 2009-10 NABC District I Coach of the Year and 2008-09 MAAC Coach of the Year, he led Siena to school record-tying 27-win seasons in each of his last two years at the helm, which included a program record 15-game winning streak in his final campaign. McCaffery both recruited and coached four fellow Siena Athletics Hall of Famers, and three of the top-five scorers in program history. 

CONNOR McCAFFERY TO PLAY FRESHMAN SEASON
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 started slow. After playing in Iowa’s two exhibition games, McCaffery missed Iowa’s first 10 regular season games. McCaffery sat out the first two games due to a sprained ankle, while missing the following eight outings due to illness (mono).
    McCaffery played his first game of the season on Dec. 10, against Southern University. 

MISSING IN ACTION
Iowa has played two games this season (Drake and Southern Utah) with a full active roster of 16.

• Connor McCaffery: first 10 games (2 games, ankle; 8 games mono)
• Nicholas Baer: first six games (finger)
• Ahmad Wagner: UAB (shoulder) and Colorado (ankle)
• Ryan Kriener: Indiana (concussion)
• Cordell Pemsl: Southern University (leg laceration)

STANDING TALL
Iowa has a nine players on its 16-play roster who stand 6-foot-7 or taller. The Hawkeyes own a +7.5 rebounding margin, which ranks fourth in the Big Ten and 35th nationally. Iowa averages 41.9 rebounds per game, which ranks 10th in the country. Iowa has only averaged 40 rebounds or more per game once since the 1996-97 season (40.3 in 2013-14).

BOHANNON NAMED CANDIDATE FOR BOB COUSY AWARD
Sophomore Jordan Bohannon is on 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 a team-best 65 assists, and averaging 12.1 points. He is shooting a Big Ten-best 45 percent (minimum 75 attempts) from 3-point range and 80.6 percent (29-of-36) from the free throw line. He is averaging 2.57 3-pointers made per game, which ranks third in the league and 133rd in the country. His 45 percent shooting from 3-point range ranks 44th nationally.
    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.
TRIPLE PLAY
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.

HAWKEYE FASTBREAKS
•    Iowa scored 90 points or more nine times in 2016-17. The Hawkeyes netted 90-plus points in six of their eight 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 is 73-15 when scoring 80 points or more, the last eight seasons. The Hawkeyes are 67-2 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.

HAWKEYES GO UNDEFEATED IN EUROPE
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.

RECENT GRADUATES PLAYING PROFESSIONAL BASKETBALL
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).

A CLOSER LOOK AT IOWA’S FRESHMEN PRODUCTION IN 2016-17
•    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).

ON THE HORIZON
Iowa will resume conference play after the new year with a pair of back-to-back home games against Michigan (Jan. 2) and Ohio State (Jan. 4). Both games will start at 6 p.m. (CT). Tickets are available via hawkeyesports.com/tickets.
 

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