MBB Game Notes: vs Eastern Illinois

OPPONENT Eastern Illinois (3-9) at Iowa (8-3) 
LOCATION Iowa City, Iowa (Carver-Hawkeye Arena)
DATE Wednesday, Dec. 21
TIP-OFF 2:31 p.m. (CT)
RADIO Hawkeye Sports Network

The Setting

Iowa (8-3) remains home on Wednesday hosting Eastern Illinois (3-9) in its nonconference finale. Due to forecasted inclement weather, tipoff has been changed to 2:31 p.m. (CT) on Mediacom Court at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City.


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: Wednesday’s contest will be streamed on mobile devices at B1G+ ($). Michael Merrick and former Hawkeye Jess Settles will call the action.



  • There will be 500 Iowa-themed holiday shirts available free for fans at both the north and south entrances on Wednesday.
  • Fran McCaffery won his 500th game as a collegiate head coach on Dec. 8 and win No. 250 at Iowa on Dec. 17.
  • Iowa leads the all-time series with Eastern Illinois, 5-0. Four of the five previous meetings took place in Iowa City with the most recent contest coming on Dec. 1, 2007.
  • Iowa has won 83 of its last 88 nonconference home games, dating back to 2012, including all six this season.
  • Iowa is 5-0 this season when making nine or more 3-pointers in a game.
  • Filip Rebraca averages team bests in points (20.7), rebounds (9.3), assists (4.7), and blocked shots (1.7) over the last three games. He is shooting a staggering 80.6 percent (25-of-31) from the field during that span.
  • Iowa is fourth in the country in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.68), 15th in fewest fouls per game (13.4), 19th in fewest turnovers per game (10.5), and 21st in assists per game (17.5).
  • Connor McCaffery has only missed one free throw this season (23-of-24). He has made 19 consecutive free throws dating back to the second half of the Georgia Tech game. McCaffery has posted double-doubles in two of Iowa’s last five contests. He has played in 145 career games as a Hawkeye, second most behind Jordan Bohannon (179).
  • Through 11 games, Connor and Patrick McCaffery combine averaging 22 points, 8.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 2.1 steals.
  • Patrick McCaffery is shooting 50 percent (9-of-18) from 3-point range over the last three games.
  • Seven of Iowa’s eight victories this season have come by 16 points or more.
  • Iowa has been without starter Kris Murray (19.4 ppg) for the last three games. Starter Ahron Ulis (6.4 ppg) did not play against Wisconsin on Dec. 11.
  • Three Hawkeyes are shooting 50 percent or better from the field: Filip Rebraca (.614), Dasonte Bowen (.525), and Kris Murray (.500).
  • Iowa ranks first in the Big Ten and 14th nationally in scoring offense (83.9). The Hawkeyes have led the league in scoring five of the last nine seasons, including the last four.
  • Kris Murray was named the ESPN Men’s Basketball National Player of the Week and Big Ten Co-Player of the Week on 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).


  • Eastern Illinois comes to Iowa City on Tuesday with a 3-9 overall record. Two of its losses came from fellow Big Ten institutions: Illinois (87-57) and Ohio State (65-43).
  • The Panthers won their last outing, 70-59, at IUPUI. Eastern Illinois erased a two-point halftime deficit, shooting 62 percent in the second half. Yaakema Rose Jr. scored a career-high 27 points in the victory.
  • The Panthers rank first in the Ohio Valley Conference in bench points per game (24.8), field goal percentage defense (41.7), scoring defense (67.8), turnover margin (4.3), and turnovers forced per game (17.6).
  • Eastern Illinois shoots 41.8 percent from the field, 27.6 percent from 3-point range, and 61.3 percent from the foul line.
  • Freshman forward Sincere Malone ranks first in the conference and 19th nationally in steals (27). Malone ranks first in the conference in steals per game and 40th nationally (2.25).
  • Junior guard Kinyon Hodges leads the squad in points per game (12.4) and ranks second in the conference in field goal percentage (46.8). Hodges did not play in the Panthers’ last game at IUPUI.
  • Marty Simmons is in his second season as head coach of the Panthers.


Iowa shot a season-best 57.6 percent from the field in a 106-75 convincing victory over Southeast Missouri State last Saturday evening in Iowa City.

  • Saturday’s victory was Fran McCaffery’s 250th as head coach of the Hawkeyes. He is second in all-time victories at Iowa behind Tom Davis (271).
  • Iowa had three players score 20+ points (Filip Rebraca, 30; Payton Sandfort, 24; Patrick McCaffery, 20). The last time Iowa had three players score 20+ points in a game was Jan. 17, 2020 versus Michigan (Luka Garza, Joe Wieskamp, CJ Fredrick).
  • Iowa reached the century mark for the third time this season (North Carolina A&T; Omaha).
  • Senior Filip Rebraca registered personal bests in points (30) and assists (6). Rebraca missed only one field goal attempt (12-of-13). He has tallied 20+ points twice in the last three games (22 versus Iowa State). Rebraca also snagged a game-best nine rebounds.
  • Sophomore Payton Sandfort tallied a career-high 24 points, reaching his season high in the first half (17 points). Sandfort also cleared a season-best seven rebounds.
  • Redshirt junior Patrick McCaffery posted 20 points and grabbed a career-best eight rebounds.
  • Starter Kris Murray (19.4 ppg & 10.1 rpg) missed his third straight game due to injury.
  • Iowa scored 58 first-half points, the most the Hawkeyes have scored in a first half this season.
  • Iowa (22) made 15 more free throws than Southeast Missouri State (7).
  • Payton Sandfort and Filip Rebraca combined to shoot 15-of-18 (.833) from the field in the first half. Rebraca (9) and Patrick McCaffery (8) combined for Iowa’s first 17 points of the game.
  • Iowa improved to 8-0 this season when leading at halftime.
  • The Hawkeyes improved to 2-0 all-time against Southeast Missouri State.


Fifth year senior Filip Rebraca has taken his game to another level this season. Rebraca ranks first on the squad in blocks (18) and field goal percentage (.614), second in rebounds per game (8.4), and fourth in points per contest (13.1). He is pulling down 3.2 offensive boards per outing, third best in the Big Ten.

The under-sized center (6-foot-9) has netted double figures eight 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 1.6 blocks per game ranks fourth in the conference.

Rebraca had a career night in Iowa’s last game against Southeast Missouri State. The fifth-year senior posted career bests in points (30) and assists (6), while also snagging a game-best nine rebounds. He only missed one field goal attempt (12-of-13).

Rebraca has totaled 1,481 career points between North Dakota and Iowa. He is 19 points from reaching career point No. 1,500.


Connor McCaffery is Iowa’s career leader in assist-to-turnover ratio, amassing a 3.41 ratio in 145 career games (437 assists; 128 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.


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 32nd nationally. Murray did not play in Iowa’s last three contests (Iowa State; Wisconsin; Southeast Missouri State) 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.


  • 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.


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.


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 7.5 points and four rebounds per game, and has made 13-of-33 (.394) 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 on Dec. 8 against the Cyclones. He registered his first career double-double versus Georgia Tech (10 points; 10 rebounds) and notched his second double-double versus Wisconsin last this week (17 points, 10 rebounds).

McCaffery has only missed one free throw this season (23-of-24). He has made 19 consecutive free throws dating back to the second half of the Georgia Tech game.


  • 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.


Patrick McCaffery netted double figures in scoring 11 of the last 18 games played last season.

McCaffery has carried that momentum over to his junior season, netting double figures in nine of Iowa’s first 11 games of the season. McCaffery scored 21 points in back-to-back games three weeks ago versus North Carolina A&T and Clemson. He poured in a personal-best 24 points — eight in overtime — against the Badgers. In Iowa’s last outing, he tallied 20 points and grabbed a career-best eight rebounds.


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).