|OPPONENT||Iowa (8-4, 0-1) at Nebraska (7-6, 0-2)|
|LOCATION||Lincoln, Nebraska (Pinnacle Bank Arena)|
|DATE||Thursday, Dec. 29|
|TIP-OFF||6:05 p.m. (CT)|
|RADIO||Hawkeye Sports Network|
Iowa (8-4, 0-1) will resume conference play on Thursday at Nebraska (7-6, 0-2). Tipoff is slated for 6:05 p.m. (CT) at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska.
ON THE AIR
Radio: Iowa games are broadcast on the Hawkeye Radio Network. Jon Swisher will handle 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: Thursday’s game will be televised nationally on Big Ten Network. Jeff Levering and Robbie Hummel will call the action.
GAME #13 STORYLINES
- Iowa has won the last four meetings with Nebraska, dating back to Feb. 8, 2020.
- Iowa is 5-0 this season when making nine or more 3-pointers in a game.
- Filip Rebraca averages team bests in every major statistical category: points (21.5), rebounds (9.0), assists (3.5), steals (1.5), and blocked shots (1.5) over the last four games. He is shooting a staggering 77.3 percent (34-of-44) from the field during that span.
- Filip Rebraca scored his 1,500th career point in Iowa’s last game against Eastern Illinois. Rebraca is one of seven players nationally this season to average 14+ points, 8+ rebounds, 1+ blocks, while shooting 60 percent or better from the field.
- Iowa is fourth in the country in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.64), 15th in fewest turnovers per game (10.5), 19th in fewest fouls per game (13.8), and 22nd in assists per game (17.2).
- Fran McCaffery won his 500th game as a collegiate head coach on Dec. 8 and win No. 250 at Iowa on Dec. 17.
- 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 12 games, Connor and Patrick McCaffery combine averaging 21.8 points, 9.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 2.1 steals.
- 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 four games. Starter Ahron Ulis (6.4 ppg) did not play against Wisconsin (Dec. 11), while Connor McCaffery missed Iowa’s last outing versus Eastern Illinois (Dec. 21).
- Three Hawkeyes are shooting 50 percent or better from the field: Filip Rebraca (.624), Dasonte Bowen (.523), and Kris Murray (.500).
- Iowa ranks first in the Big Ten and 15th nationally in scoring offense (83.8). 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).
- Nebraska enters Thursday’s contest 7-6 overall and 0-2 in conference play. The Cornhuskers’ Big Ten losses came to ranked opponents; at No. 14 Indiana (81-65) and at home to No. 4 Purdue in overtime (65-62).
- Nebraska is first in the Big Ten and seventh in the nation in fewest fouls per game (13.2).
- Senior guard Sam Griesel ranks fifth in the conference in assists (52) and sixth in assists per game (4.3). Junior forward Juwan Gary is third in the league in steals (23) and sixth in rebounds (91).
- The team is shooting at 44.4 percent from the field, 29.7 percent in the 3-point range, and 65.2 percent from the free-throw line.
- The squad features 17 players, including eight transfers. Of the nine non-transfers remaining, eight are freshmen.
- Fred Hoiberg is in his fourth season as head coach at Nebraska and his 17th season overall as a college head coach. Prior to three years as the Chicago Bulls head coach (2015-18), he was head coach at Iowa State for five seasons (2010-15). Hoiberg played his college career at Iowa State and is a native of Ames, Iowa.
ALL-TIME SERIES RESULTS
Iowa holds a 24-13 advantage in the series. The Hawkeyes have won 12 of the 18 meetings since Nebraska joined the Big Ten in 2011, including both contests last season.
Nebraska holds a 10-7 edge over Iowa in games played in Lincoln. Thursday will be Iowa’s seventh visit to Pinnacle Bank Arena. The Hawkeyes won by 10 points (88-78) on their last visit to Lincoln on Feb. 25, 2022.
Two of the last five games played in Lincoln between Iowa and Nebraska have gone to overtime: 2017 (93-90 Nebraska win in double overtime) and 2019 (93-91 Nebraska victory).
LAST MEETING AGAINST NEBRASKA
A season-high six players netted double figures in an 88-78 Iowa victory at Nebraska on Feb. 25, 2022, at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska.
- The win was Iowa’s first in Lincoln since Feb. 22, 2015, and fourth straight in the series.
- Sophomore Tony Perkins netted 15 of his 20 points in the second half. He also tied a season high with five rebounds.
- All-American Keegan Murray finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds for his seventh double-double of his career.
- Connor McCaffery scored 11 points, bolstered by three 3-pointers made.
- Nebraska lost by 10 points despite shooting 51.8 percent (29-of-56) from the field.
- Four Huskers scored in double figures, led by Alonzo Verge’s 18 points and C.J. Wilcher’s 14 points.
EASTERN ILLINOIS SHOOTS PAST HAWKEYES
Eastern Illinois erased an eight-point halftime deficit, shooting 72 percent from the field in the second half, in a 92-83 win over Iowa at Carver-Hawkeye Arena last week.
- Forward Kris Murray (19.4 ppg & 10.1 rpg) missed his fourth straight game due to injury, while guard/forward Connor McCaffery (7.5 ppg & 4.0 rpg) also did not play due to injury.
- Patrick McCaffery posted his first career double-double, scoring 12 points and grabbing a game and career-high 13 rebounds.
- Filip Rebraca scored a game and team-best 24 points, reaching the 1,500-point plateau in 135 career games. He has recorded 20 points or more for the third time in four games. He also was credited with a game and career-best five steals.
- Payton Sandfort netted 18 points, reaching double figures for the fourth time this season and second straight game.
- Eastern Illinois shot 60 percent from the field for the game, an Iowa opponent season best.
Fifth year senior Filip Rebraca has taken his game to another level this season. Rebraca ranks first on the squad in blocks (19) and field goal percentage (.624), second in rebounds per game (8.3), and third in points per contest (14.0). He is pulling down 3.33 offensive boards per outing, third best in the Big Ten and 28th nationally. His field goal percentage (.624) ranks 23rd in the country.
Rebraca netted career point No. 1,500 in Iowa’s last outing against Eastern Illinois (Dec. 21). He has scored 376 points the last two seasons as a Hawkeye (48 games) and 1,129 points in three seasons at North Dakota.
The under-sized center (6-foot-9) has netted double figures nine times this year and posted three double-doubles, tying for seventh most in the league. He has rejected multiple shots in five games this season and his 1.6 blocks per game ranks fifth in the conference.
Rebraca earned Big Ten Player of the Week accolades after his career night against Southeast Missouri State (Dec. 17). 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 had another stellar outing in Iowa’s last game versus Eastern Illinois. He tallied a game-best 24 points and was credited with a career-high five steals. He also snagged eight rebounds.
LEADER OF THE PACK
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.
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. 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.
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 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). He did not play in Iowa’s last game (Eastern Illinois) due to a wrist sprain.
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.
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.
McCaffery has carried that momentum over to his junior season, netting double figures a team-best 10 times. McCaffery scored 21 points in back-to-back games a month ago versus North Carolina A&T and Clemson. He poured in a personal-best 24 points — eight in overtime — against the Badgers. He then tallied 20 points and grabbed a career-best eight rebounds against Southeast Missouri State.
McCaffery’s free throw percentage of 80 percent ranks fourth best in the conference, while his scoring average of 14.3 ranks 12th in the Big Ten.
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).