|OPPONENT||Wisconsin (7-2, 1-0) at Iowa (7-2, 0-0)|
|LOCATION||Iowa City, Iowa (Carver-Hawkeye Arena)|
|DATE||Sunday, Dec. 11|
|TIP-OFF||5:31 p.m. (CT)|
|RADIO||Hawkeye Sports Network|
Iowa (7-2, 0-0) remains home Sunday hosting Wisconsin (7-2, 1-0) in its Big Ten opener. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:31 p.m. (CT) on Mediacom Court at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City.
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.
TV: Sunday’s contest will be televised nationally on BTN. Jeff Levering and Robbie Hummel will call the action.
BIG TEN OPENER STORYLINES
- Fran McCaffery, in his 27th season as a head coach, won his 500th game on Thursday. He has amassed 249 wins at Iowa; 112 at Siena; 90 at UNC Greensboro; and 49 at Lehigh.
- The Hawkeyes have won three of the last four meetings over Wisconsin in Carver-Hawkeye Arena, including the last two (2021 and 2020).
- Iowa has made nine or more triples in all five home games this season, winning all five.
- Entering this season, Iowa won 42 games over Big Ten teams — including conference tournament contests — over the past three seasons, second most in the league (Illinois, 47).
- Six of Iowa’s seven victories this season have come by 16 points or more.
- Sunday will be Iowa’s third game in six days and sixth consecutive game against a team from a Power 5 conference.
- Iowa’s starting lineup against Iowa State on Thursday included a sixth-year and fifth-year senior, one redshirt junior, and two juniors.
- Iowa’s leading scorer (19.4) and rebounder (10.1), Kris Murray, did not play on Thursday versus the Cyclones due to a lower body injury.
- Iowa ranks first in the Big Ten and 27th nationally in scoring offense (82.4). The Hawkeyes have led the league in scoring five of the last nine seasons, including the last four.
- Iowa boasts an 19-5 record since moving Tony Perkins to the starting lineup last year (Feb. 6).
- Kris Murray was named the ESPN Men’s Basketball National Player of the Week and Big Ten Co-Player of the Week on Monday, Dec. 5. He amassed 31 points, 20 rebounds, four assists, four 3-pointers, and two blocks in Iowa’s win over Georgia Tech last week. He is the first Hawkeye to amass 30 points and 20 rebounds in the same game since Bruce King in 1977. He is also the only NBA, WNBA, or Division I men’s or women’s player in the last 20 years to total 30+ points, 20+ rebounds, 4+ assists, 4+ 3-pointers, and 2+ blocks in the same game.
- Iowa is fourth in the country in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.72) and 11th in fewest turnovers per game (10.0), 12th in fewest fouls per game (13.1), 22nd in assists per game (17.2), 27th scoring offense (82.4), 37th in turnover margin (+4.2), and 38th in fastbreak points (14.9).
- Kris Murray and Patrick McCaffery were voted to the Emerald Coast Classic All-Tournament Team. Murray averaged a double-double (10.5 points, 11 rebounds), while McCaffery led the team with a career-high 21 points in Iowa’s three-point victory over Clemson.
- Kris Murray is the only Division I player over the last 25 years to have scored 95+ points, grabbed 30+ rebounds, had five or fewer turnovers, shot 60 percent from the field, and 100 percent from the foul line over any four-game span during a season. Murray accomplished the feat in the first four games last month.
- Four Hawkeyes are shooting 50 percent or better from the field: Dasonte Bowen (.563), Filip Rebraca (.559), Connor McCaffery (.500), and Kris Murray (.500).
- Fran McCaffery has coached a first-team All-Big Ten honoree seven of the last nine years. He has guided Iowa to 20+ wins eight of the last 10 seasons, including four-straight.
- Wisconsin is 7-2 overall and 1-0 in Big Ten play. Their losses have come to No. 3 Kansas (69-68) on a neutral floor and at home to Wake Forrest (78-75).
- Sunday will be Wisconsin’s second true road game of the season. The Badgers won at rival Marquette on Dec. 3, in overtime (80-77)
- Wisconsin opened up Big Ten play at home last Tuesday with a win over No.13 Maryland (64-59) in the Kohl Center.
- The Badgers are holding opponents to 59.8 points per game, an average that ranks 26th best nationally.
- Freshman guard Connor Essegian is currently shooting 44.4 percent (28-63) from the floor. He has the team-best in shooting from the 3-point range, 48.7 percent (19-39). Essegian is averages 10 points per contest off the bench.
- Senior forward Tyler Wahl leads in team in total points (125) and rebounds (62), averaging 13.9 and 6.9 per game.
- The Badgers, who last played on Tuesday, are shooting 40.1 percent from the field, 37 percent in the 3-point range, and 71.6 percent from the free-throw line.
- Greg Gard is in his eighth season at the helm of the Badgers. Gard was the Big Ten Coach of the Year in 2022.
HAWKEYES CRUISE TO VICTORY OVER IOWA STATE
Iowa scored the first 15 points and never looked back in a 75-56 convincing victory over No. 20 Iowa State on Thursday evenng on Mediacom Court at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
- Thursday was Fran McCaffery’s 500th career victory as a head coach.
- Iowa has won five of the last seven games against the Cyclones, include four straight at home.
- Senior Filip Rebraca notched his third double-double of the season and 22nd of his career, totaling a game and season high in points (22), rebounds (11), and blocked shots (3).
- Senior Connor McCaffery netted a season-high 14 points, while junior Ahron Ulis cleared a personal-best seven rebounds.
- Iowa’s leading scorer (19.4) and rebounder (10.1), Kris Murray, did not play due to injury.
- Iowa outscored Iowa State, 20-2, to start the game. The Hawkeyes held the Cyclones scoreless the first six minutes.
- Iowa made 10 3-pointers before the Cyclones made their first (15:16 — 2nd half). Iowa started each half making its first two 3-point attempts. All five Iowa starters made multiple triples, including Filip Rebraca equaling a career high with two.
- The Hawkeyes finished the game making 12 three-pointers (nine more than Iowa State).
- Iowa improved to 5-0 at home this season.
ALL-TIME SERIES RECORDS
Thursday will be the 172nd meeting between Iowa and Wisconsin. Iowa leads the all-time series by the slimmest of margins, 86-85. That record includes a Wisconsin forfeit in 1983.
Thirteen of the last 20 meetings, dating back to 2011, have been decided by seven points or less.
Iowa holds a 53-30 advantage in games played in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes have won three of the last four meetings inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena, including the last two (2021 and 2020).
Fifth year senior Filip Rebraca has taken his game to another level this season. Rebraca ranks first on the squad in blocks (16), second in rebounds per game (8.3) and field goal percentage (.559), and third in points per contest (11.6). He is pulling down three offensive boards per outing, fifth best in the Big Ten.
The under-sized center (6-foot-9) has netted double figures six times this year and posted three double-doubles, tying for fifth most in the league. He has rejected multiple shots in five games this season and his 1.78 blocks per game ranks third in the conference.
LEADER OF THE PACK
Connor McCaffery is Iowa’s career leader in assist-to-turnover ratio, amassing a 3.46 ratio in 143 career games (429 assists; 124 turnovers), nearly 1.0 above second-place Andre Banks (2.53). His assist-to-turnover ratio last year was 5.0, while he ranked fourth nationally in 2021 with a 3.73 ratio. In 202, he led the country with a 4.6 ratio.
FRESHMAN PROVIDING SPARK OFF THE GLASS
True freshman Dasonte Bowen has provided a spark off the bench after one month. In games in which he has played double-digit minutes (6), he has scored six or more points in each contest. He has netted eight or more points in three of Iowa’s last five games, including totaling a personal-best 12 points against No. 15 Duke last Tuesday in Madison Square Garden.
MURRAY NAMED TO PRESEASON LISTS
Junior Kris Murray has been named to the Big Ten Preseason All-Big Ten Team, the Wooden Award Top 50, and the Karl Malone Award.
It marks the fourth straight season that one or more Hawkeyes have been selected to the preseason all-conference squad, voted upon by a selected panel of media. Joe Wieskamp was selected in 2019 and 2020, Luka Garza was tabbed the Big Ten Preseason Player of the Year in 2020, while Kris’ twin brother Keegan was recognized in 2021. Keegan was also the recipient of the 2022 Karl Malone Award.
Murray is averaging a team-best 19.4 points and 10.1 rebounds per outing. Murray has increased his scoring average by 10.7 points per game this season compared to last year. His scoring average of 19.4 points per contest is third best in the Big Ten and 36th nationally. Murray did not play in Iowa’s last contest versus Iowa State on Dec. 8 due to a lower body injury.
He was Iowa’s leading scorer (9.7) and rebounder (4.3) off the bench last season. He improved his scoring average by 9.1 points and rebounding average by 3.7 per outing. The native of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was second on the team in 3-point percentage (.397), blocks per game (0.9) and field goals made (124), third in offensive (1.6) and defensive (2.7) rebounds per contest, and fourth in steals (0.8) per game. Murray made at least one 3-pointer in a team-best 17 consecutive games (Jan. 22-March 13). His 31 blocks and 43 triples rank seventh and eighth, respectively, by a Hawkeye sophomore.
IOWA SCHEDULE NOTES
- The Hawkeyes will play back-to-back conference road games four times.
- Iowa has seven weekend home contests (three on Saturdays and four on Sundays), including six against Big Ten opponents. The Hawkeyes have home games inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena on a Saturday or Sunday four of the final six weekends of the regular season.
- The Hawkeyes have a stretch of four of five league home games in early January. Iowa will host Indiana (Jan. 5), Michigan (Jan. 12), Maryland (Jan. 15) and Northwestern (Jan. 18).
- Iowa is scheduled to play at Penn State on New Year’s Day. The Hawkeyes have played on New Year’s Day 10 previous times, most recently in 2017, versus Michigan in Iowa City. Prior to 2017, Iowa’s last New Year’s Day contest was in 1946 versus Saint Louis. The last time the Hawkeyes played a road game on New Year’s Day was at Toledo in 1940.
- Iowa has three trips to the Tri-State Area, traveling to New Jersey twice (Nov. 16 at Seton Hall and Jan. 8 at Rutgers) and New York once (Dec. 6 versus Duke at Madison Square Garden).
- Iowa will play on Super Bowl Sunday for the fourth straight season and sixth time in eight years, playing its only regular season game against Minnesota in Minneapolis on Feb. 12.
- Five of Iowa’s final eight league games will be on the road.
HAWKEYES WELCOME NEWCOMERS
Iowa welcomes four new faces to the 2022-23 roster: Dasonte Bowen, Josh Dix, Dante Eldridge, and Amarion Nimmers.
Bowen and Dix are true freshman, hailing from Boston and Council Bluffs, respectively. Eldridge and Nimmers are non-scholarship student-athletes. Eldridge, a junior, is the son of assistant coach Courtney Eldridge. Nimmers is redshirting this season.
ANOTHER SIXTH-YEAR PLAYER
After six seasons and multiple broken records, Jordan Bohannon has exhausted his collegiate eligibility. Bohannon is the program’s career leader in four statistical categories: assists (704), 3-pointers made (455), games played (179), and free throw percentage (.887, 370-417). He sank a school and Xfinity Center record 10 3-pointers at Maryland on Feb. 10, 2022. His 455 triples are the most in Big Ten history and 192 more than any other Hawkeye.
Connor McCaffery decided to utilize his COVID bonus year and return for his sixth season with the Hawkeyes.
McCaffery is averaging 6.2 points and 3.2 rebounds per game, and has made 11-of-23 (.478) from 3-point range this season. He posted 14 points, bolstered by shooting a perfect 8-of-8 from the foul line, in his first start of the season in Thursday’s victory over the Cyclones. He registered his first career double-double last week versus Georgia Tech (10 points; 10 rebounds).
FRAN MCCAFFERY CONTINUES TO WIN
- With Iowa’s Big Ten Tournament win last March, McCaffery joined Hall of Fame coaches Rick Pitino, Bob Huggins, Eddie Sutton and Lefty Driesell as the only Division I coaches to lead teams to conference tournament titles in four or more different leagues.
- Fran McCaffery has guided Iowa to 20 wins or more in eight of the last 10 seasons. He has led Iowa to Big Ten upper division finishes nine of the last 10 years. Iowa, Michigan State, and Wisconsin have each recorded a Big Ten-best nine first division finishes since 2013.
- Fran McCaffery has coached a first-team All-Big Ten honoree seven of the last nine seasons. He has guided Iowa to 20+ wins seven of the last nine seasons and fifth place or better finishes in the Big Ten six of the last eight years.
Fran McCaffery has a couple changes to his staff following last season. Assistant Coach Kirk Speraw retired and Assistant Coach Billy Taylor left for a head coaching position at Elon. Replacing Speraw and Taylor are Courtney Eldridge and Matt Gatens. Eldridge was on staff the previous six seasons, most recently as director of player development and recruiting director. Gatens is a former Hawkeye and most recently was an assistant coach at Drake.
Tristan Spurlock, who played basketball at UCF, is the new Director of Player Development. Al Seibert’s title changed to Chief of Staff, while Kyle Denning is now the team’s Director of Operations.
STRONG START FOR PATRICK MCCAFFERY
Patrick McCaffery netted double figures in scoring 11 of the last 18 games played last season. He made at least one trey in 12 of the last 18 games, including sinking multiple triples in six contests during that stretch. McCaffery has carried that momentum over to his junior season, netting double figures in seven of Iowa’s first nine games of the season. McCaffery scored a personal-best 21 points in back-to-back games two weeks ago versus North Carolina A&T and Clemson. He tallied 13 points, bolstered by sinking a game-best three 3-pointers, in Thursday’s win over Iowa State.
A number of recent Iowa basketball graduates are playing professionally: Keegan Murray (NBA Sacramento Kings), Luka Garza (G League Iowa Wolves), Jordan Bohannon (G League Iowa Wolves), Joe Wieskamp (G League Wisconsin Herd), Jarrod Uthoff (Japan), Devyn Marble (Poland), Tyler Cook (G League Salt Lake City Stars), Anthony Clemmons (Turkey), Gabriel Olaseni (Turkey), Ryan Kriener (Matsuyama), Melsahn Basabe (Nicaragua), and Aaron White (Serbia).