Game Notes: Iowa vs. Western Carolina

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Western Carolina (3-9, 0-1) vs. #23/21 IOWA (8-2, 0-2)
 DATE  Tuesday, Dec. 18 | 8:07 p.m. CT
 LOCATION  Iowa City, Iowa | Carver-Hawkeye Arena
 RADIO | LISTEN  Hawkeye Radio Network | Hawkeye All-Access 
 LIVE STATS  StatBroadcast

No. 23/21 Iowa (8-2, 0-2) returns home for a nonconference contest against Western Carolina (3-9, 0-1) on Tuesday. Tipoff is set for 8:07 p.m. (CT) on Mediacom Court at Carver-Hawkeye Arena (15,056). Tickets are available for $15 for adults, and $5 for UI students and youth 18-and-under.
Fans can take advantage of 4 tickets, 4 hot dogs & 4 drinks for $55 (must be purchased in advance).
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 contest will be televised nationally on BTN (BTN2GO). Mike Monaco and Jess Settles will call the action.
Iowa led by as many as 29 points in a 77-54 overwhelming victory over Northern Iowa last Saturday evening at The Hy-Vee Classic contested at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa.
•  Three Hawkeyes netted double figures: Luka Garza (17), Tyler Cook (17), and Joe Wieskamp (10).
•   Junior Tyler Cook netted his 1,000th career point put a put-back basket at the 15:21 mark of the second half. Cook finished the contest with his third double-double in four games, totaling 17 points and a game-best 13 rebounds. Cook also dished out a game-best five assists.
•  Iowa made 53.7 percent (29-of-54) of its field goal attempts, compared to only 36.4 percent for Northern Iowa (20-of-55). Additionally, the Hawkeye defense limited the Panthers to 6-of-29 (.207) shooting from 3-point range.
•   Iowa held UNI’s leading scorer, AJ Green (15.8 ppg), to only two points (1-of-8 FG).
•   Northern Iowa’s 18 first-half points are the fewest points allowed by an Iowa team since the Panthers were held to 16 points against the Hawkeyes in 2016.
•   Junior Jordan Bohannon reached 200 career 3-pointers with a triple in the first half of the game. Bohannon finished the contest with three triples.
•   Iowa has defeated Northern Iowa by 20 points or more each of the last two meetings (23 points in 2016; 23 points in 2018).
•   Iowa improved to 68-2 when holding opponents to fewer than 61 points the last nine seasons.
Iowa is 2-0 all-time against Western Carolina, winning 85-60 in 1994 and 88-75 in 2004. Both previous contests were played in Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City.
•   Tuesday’s game at Iowa will be Western Carolina’s sixth straight road contest. The Catamounts are nearing the end of seven straight road games (at Bowling Green on Friday). Western Carolina is 1-8 in games away from Cullowhee, North Carolina, including a 1-6 mark in true road contests.
•   The Catamounts lost it last outing, 86-59, at High Point last Saturday. Onno Steger (18) and Kameron Gibson (17) combined for 35 of Western Carolina’s 59 points.
•   Western Carolina nearly beat undefeated and nationally-ranked Furman on Dec. 1, in the Southern Conference opener, in Greenville, South Carolina. The Catamounts lost 90-88 in double overtime. The contest featured 17 lead changes and 16 ties.
•   Three starters average in double figures: Carlos Dotson (13.3); Matt Halvorsen (12.8); and Kameron Gibson (12.0). Dotson is tied for 18th nationally in double-doubles (5).
•   Western Carolina ranks 23rd in the country in total 3-pointers made, sinking 110-of-311 (.354). The Catamounts have three players who have made 24 or more 3-pointers (Matt Halvorsen, 34; Kamerson Gibson, 28; Onno Steger, 24). The Catamounts are last in the country in turnovers per game (19.1), second-to-last in blocked shots (1.2), and 348th in free throw percentage (.598).
•   Western Carolina’s tallest players stand 6-foot-8 (Yalim Olcay and Adam Sledd).
•   Mark Prosser is in his first season as head coach at Western Carolina (3-9, .250) and second season overall (8-32, .200).
The Hawkeyes are one of seven Big Ten ranked in this week’s AP Top 25: Michigan (4), Michigan State (10), Ohio State (15), Wisconsin (16), Indiana (22), Iowa (23), and Nebraska (25). This marks Iowa’s highest national ranking in the AP Poll this early in the season since being ranked No. 7 on Nov. 26, 2001.
    Iowa is ranked No. 21 in this week’s Coaches Poll and No. 38 in the NCAA NET Rankings.
Iowa ranks first in the Big Ten in free throw percentage (.760), free throw makes (225) and attempted (296); second in scoring offense (82.1) and 3-point percentage defense (.286); fourth in assists (15.1); and sixth in steals (6.1). Individually, Luka Garza ranks fifth in the league in free throw percentage (.848, 28-of-33), Tyler Cook is seventh in rebounding (8.9) and 10th in scoring (16.6), Connor McCaffery ranks second in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.0) and 14th in assists (3.3), while Isaiah Moss is 11th in 3-point percentage (.424).
Tyler Cook has posted double-doubles in three of the last four games, leading the Hawkeyes in scoring in each of those four games and leading the squad in rebounding in three of the four. Cook recorded career point No. 1,000, in Saturday’s win over Northern Iowa.
    Cook is one of three Big Ten student-athletes to average better than 16.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game, joining Wisconsin’s Ethan Happ and Lamar Stevens of Penn State. Cook ranks in the top ten in the league in both scoring and rebounding.
Jordan Bohannon is closing in on joining classmate Tyler Cook in the 1,000-point club. Bohannon is 85 points and 120 assists from becoming the sixth Hawkeye to amass 1,000 points and 500 assists. Cook is 44 rebounds from becoming the 26th Hawkeye to total 1,000 points and 500 rebounds.
Redshirt senior Nicholas Baer is 34 rebounds and seven blocked shots from becoming the fifth Hawkeye in program history to amass 500 points, 500 rebounds, 100 blocked shots, and 100 steals. The four other players who have accomplished that feat include Greg Stokes, Acie Earl, Michael Payne, and Ryan Bowen.
Jordan Bohannon was one of the honorees at the 2018 Musial Awards, which celebrated the greatest moments of sportsmanship and those in sports who embody class and character.
    Last February, Bohannon, an Iowa sophomore, was approaching the Hawkeyes’ consecutive free throws made record. The record was held by the late Chris Street, an Iowa basketball legend who died in a car accident in 1993 at age 20. With a chance to break the record, Bohannon intentionally — and selflessly — missed a free throw to honor Street and keep the record in his name.
    The awards ceremony took place in St. Louis on Nov. 17. Bohannon traveled with the Street family from New York to St. Louis after Iowa’s two games in New York City.
    Other honorees included recently-inducted Baseball Hall of Famer Jim Thome, Loyola men’s basketball team chaplain Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt, Florida State softball head coach Lonni Alameda, Minnesota high school pitcher Ty Koehn, and Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith.
    The event is named for Stan Musial, the late St. Louis Cardinals legend who was beloved for his approach on and off the field. The mission of the Musial Awards is to encourage selflessness, integrity and civility in sports and society — and to inspire people across the country to be good sports.
Iowa returns 90.5 percent of minutes played a year ago, a percentage that is fourth most in the country: Washington (95.2 percent), Wisconsin (93.9 percent), and Syracuse (90.8 percent). Returning Iowa players scored 94.9 percent (2,496 of 2,630) of its offense a year ago and a combined 4,246 career points entering the 2018-19 season.
    Iowa is one of four schools nationally to have all five starters return with all five being its top five scorers in 2017-18 (Syracuse, Brown, Harvard).
Iowa’s regular season opener against UMKC was Fran McCaffery’s 700th career game as a head coach. The 2018-19 season is McCaffery’s ninth as Iowa’s head coach and 23rd overall as a collegiate head coach. McCaffery has 410 overall wins and 159 victories while on the Iowa sidelines. He is third on Iowa’s coaching win chart and ten victories from surpassing Lute Olson for second. Tom Davis is Iowa’s all-time winningest coach with 269 wins.
Joe Wieskamp is off to a fast start for the Hawkeyes as a freshman. The shooting guard ranks third on the team in scoring (10.1 ppg) and third in rebounding (4.9 rpg). Wieskamp is shooting at a 41 percent clip from 3-point range (14-of-34) and 47 percent overall from the field (33-of-70).
    Wieskamp sustained a sprained ankle in the second half of Iowa’s game at No. 10 Michigan State on Dec. 3, and was able to play the following game versus Iowa State totaling seven points, two assists, and one rebound.
    Wieskamp posted his first career double-double versus Pitt on Nov. 27, totaling a team-best in points (18) and rebounds (11).
Of the 10 Big Ten homes games played in Iowa City, eight will be played on weekends: three on Friday nights (Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana), two on Saturday afternoons (Ohio State, Rutgers), three on Sunday afternoons (Nebraska, Illinois, Northwestern).
    Other than playing two straight Big Ten road games one month apart (Michigan State on Dec. 3 and Purdue on Jan. 3), Iowa has only one other back-to-back road game sequence (Wisconsin on March 7 and Nebraska on March 10).
    This season will mark the seventh time in nine years that the Hawkeyes will open league play at home and just the second time in nine years that Iowa will play its regular season finale on the road under head coach Fran McCaffery.
In addition to brothers Nicholas and Michael Baer on the Iowa men’s basketball team, the Baers have two cousins competing on other sports at the University of Iowa. Molly Kelly is a senior on the volleyball team, while Joe Kelly is a freshman on the Iowa wrestling team. Additionally, cousin Kristin Baer is a senior on the Notre Dame volleyball team.
Iowa has four players with wingspans over seven feet: Ryan Kriener (7-3), Jack Nunge (7-2), Luka Garza (7-1.5), and Tyler Cook (7-1). Guards Maishe Dailey (6-11) and Joe Wieskamp (6-11) have longest wingspans among backcourt players.
Sophomore forward Jack Nunge and freshman guard CJ Fredrick plan to redshirt the 2018-19 season. Nunge, one of seven forwards on this season’s roster, saw action in all 33 games a year ago, ranking second on the team in blocked shots (25), fourth in steals (21), and fifth in scoring (5.7). Fredrick was the 2018 Kentucky Gatorade Player of the Year his senior year at Covington Catholic High School.
Iowa added two scholarship and two non-scholarship student-athletes to its 2018-19 roster. Guards CJ Fredrick (Kentucky) and Joe Wieskamp (Iowa) were their respective state’s Gatorade Player of the Year in 2018. Guard Nicholas Hobbs and forward Michael Baer join the Hawkeye roster as walk-on. Baer is the younger brother of senior Nicholas Baer.
Tyler Cook attended the prestigious Nike Basketball Academy this past summer in California. The camp provided Cook the opportunity to train alongside some of the best NBA players and coaches. The prestigious skills development camp was limited to 25 of the nation’s top collegiate players, which included a combine experience, drills, off-court workouts, film sessions, and competition.
    Cook is the fourth Hawkeye in five years to be invited to this elite basketball camp, joining Aaron White (2014), Jarrod Uthoff (2015), and Peter Jok (2016).
After sitting out eight straight games after the season opener due to injury, Cordell Pemsl returned to action in Iowa’s win over instate rival Iowa State on Dec. 6. Pemsl played 16 minutes off the bench, totaling eight points, six rebounds, one assist, and one block.
    After it was announced the Pemsl was scheduled to have season-ending surgery later this month after final exams to remove hardware near his knee from a previous surgery, the junior forward decided to try to give playing this season a second chance after a few weeks of rest and treatment. Pemsl and the training staff will take it day by day with planning moving forward. The junior did not play in Iowa’s last game versus Northern Iowa on Saturday.
    The native of Dubuque, Iowa, has played in 68 career games, averaging 7.2 points and 4.7 rebounds per game.
Iowa is 1-2 this season against nationally-ranked teams, beating No. 13 Oregon in New York City, and losing to No. 22 Wisconsin on in Iowa City and No. 10 Michigan State in East Lansing.
Guard Connor McCaffery received a medical redshirt following last season. McCaffery (6-foot-5, 205 pounds) has four years of men’s basketball eligibility remaining after averaging 13.3 minutes in only four games last December as a true freshman. The native of Iowa City missed two games due to a sprained ankle, eight contests due to mononucleosis, and 19 games after undergoing a tonsillectomy in December.
    McCaffery is the son of head coach Fran McCaffery. Iowa is one of nine Division I teams in which the head coach has a son on the 2018-19 roster (Cal State Bakersfield, Central Connecticut State, Central Florida, Detroit Mercy, Kentucky, Portland, Syracuse, Tennessee Martin).
    Iowa is 12-2 in games in which Connor McCaffery has played, dating back to last season. McCaffery is first on the team in assists (33) and is sixth in scoring (7.3 ppg). The redshirt freshman is shooting 85 percent (40-of-47) from the free throw line, and ranks second in the league in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.0) and 14th in assists per game (3.3).
Iowa ranked 28th in the country in average home attendance (12,026) in 2017-18. The Hawkeyes have ranked in the top 30 nationally in attendance each of the past six seasons, including ranking in the top 25 five of the last six years.
    Iowa’s Big Ten opener versus No. 22 Wisconsin was its first sellout of the 2018-19 season.
A number of recent Iowa basketball graduates are playing professionally: Devyn Marble (Italy), Anthony Clemmons (Kazakhstan), Gabriel Olaseni (Germany), Jarrod Uthoff (Russia), Melsahn Basabe (Israel), Peter Jok (NBA G League: Northern Arizona Suns), Adam Woodbury (NBA G League: Stockton Kings), and Aaron White (Lithuania).
Iowa has played 2,783 games since beginning basketball in 1902. Iowa’s overall record is 1,634-1,149 (.587). Iowa’s 1,634 wins are 41st most among Division I programs. That includes a 1,044-367 (.740) record in home games, a 584-779 (.428) record in contests away from Iowa City, a 766-780 (.495) mark in Big Ten games and a 449-141 (.761) record in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
•   Junior Tyler Cook is one of 21 players in Iowa history to have 10 or more double-doubles.
•   Iowa is one of 20 schools nationally to have five or more redshirts on their roster. Iowa’s five redshirts are tied for second most in the B1G with Michigan State (Wisconsin, 8).
•   Iowa started 6-0 for the first time since the 2013-14 season.
•  Two Hawkeyes were named to the 2K Empire Classic All-Tournament Team: Luka Garza (MVP) and Tyler Cook. Cook averaged 16.5 points and nine rebounds, while Garza averaged 16 points and 6.5 rebounds in the two victories. Iowa trailed for only two minutes in the two victories over No. 13 Oregon and Connecticut.
•   Iowa is 80-19 when scoring 80 points or more, the last eight seasons. The Hawkeyes are 68-2 when holding opponents to fewer than 61 points, the last eight years.
•  Iowa posted 98 points in its 14-point win over Iowa State on Dec. 6. The last time Iowa scored 90 points or more against Iowa State was Dec. 10, 1988, in Iowa City (Iowa won 91-71).
•   Iowa’s 105 points versus Alabama State, equaled the fourth highest point total by the Hawkeyes in a single-game in the Fran McCaffery era.
•  Iowa torched Alabama State for 68 first-half points, the most points scored by Iowa in a half in the Fran McCaffery era besting a 63-point outburst in the second half at Minnesota a year ago.
•   Fran McCaffery and his coaching staff are the first in program history to win 18 games or more in six straight seasons (2013-18).
•   Fran McCaffery has guided Iowa to upper division finishes in the Big Ten in five of the last six seasons. McCaffery has accumulated 17 first division finishes in 22 years as a head coach.
Fran McCaffery has the most experienced coaching staffs in the country. The Iowa men’s basketball staff has 58 years of combined collegiate head coaching experience and more than 125 years of collegiate coaching under their belts.
Iowa has signed a contract to play the University of Cincinnati as part of the Chicago Legends next season.
    The Hawkeyes and Bearcats will play on a neutral court at the United Center in Chicago on Dec. 21, 2019, as part of a four-team men’s college basketball doubleheader. Dayton will face Colorado in the other contest.
    Iowa and Cincinnati have played eight previous times, with the last contest coming in the 2005 NCAA Tournament in Indianapolis.
    Each of the 2019 teams has advanced to the NCAA Tournament at least twice in the past four seasons. Tickets will go on sale to the general public in 2019.
All but one of Iowa’s remaining regular season games will be televised nationally on BTN, FS1, or an ESPN network. Iowa’s game versus Savannah State on Dec. 22, will be available on BTN2GO.
Iowa will finish out its nonconference portion of the schedule with Saturday home games against Savannah State (Dec. 22) and Bryant University (Dec. 29). Tickets are available for both games ($15 adults; $5 youth/UI Students) at

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