|OPPONENT||Michigan (9-6, 3-1) at Iowa (10-6, 2-3)|
|LOCATION||Iowa City, Iowa (Carver-Hawkeye Arena)|
|DATE||Thursday, Jan. 12|
|TIP-OFF||6:01 p.m. (CT)|
|RADIO||Hawkeye Sports Network|
Iowa (10-6, 2-3) returns home to host Michigan (9-6, 3-1) on Thursday. Tipoff is scheduled for 6:01 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 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 ESPN2. Brian Custer and Jon Crispin will call the action.
GAME #17 STORYLINES
- Thursday will be the only regular season meeting between Michigan and Iowa.
- Iowa and Michigan are the only programs with a father/coach with two sons on the roster.
- As of Monday, Iowa has recorded four Quad 1 wins, tied for sixth most in the country. The Hawkeyes beat Iowa State and Indiana at home, and won a pair of games in New Jersey against Seton Hall and Rutgers. Iowa’s victory over ACC-leading Clemson on a neutral floor in Florida is currently a Quad 2 victory.
- The Hawkeyes have three players with 40+ assists: Tony Perkins (46), Connor McCaffery (42), and Ahron Ulis (41).
- Kris Murray has scored 30+ points four times this season (30 vs. Indiana; 32 at Penn State; 31 vs. Georgia Tech; 30 vs. Omaha). Murray is one of only two players nationally with four 30-point performances (Jordan Walker, UAB). He is one of four Hawkeyes to score 30+ at least four times in the Fran McCaffery era joining Luka Garza (13), Keegan Murray (5), Peter Jok (5).
- Filip Rebraca has scored 15+ points in five of Iowa’s last six contests. Over the last eight games, he is averaging 18.8 points, 9.5 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.3 blocks, and 0.9 steals, while shooting a robust 64 percent (59-of-92) from the field. Rebraca (996) is four away from 1,000 rebounds.
- Iowa has made 58 more free throws (263) than their opponents have attempted (205).
- Iowa’s Filip Rebraca is one of eight players nationally to average 14+ points, 8+ rebounds, 1+ blocks, while shooting 59 percent or better from the field.
- The Hawkeyes are 6-0 this season when making nine or more 3-pointers in a game.
- Iowa is seventh in the country in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.63), 16th in fewest turnovers per game (10.4), 21st in assists per game (16.9), and 23rd in fewest fouls per game (14.1).
- The Hawkeyes are in the middle of a stretch of four of five league home games. Iowa hosted Indiana on Jan. 5 and played at Rutgers on Jan. 8. The next three games will be played inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena: Michigan (Jan. 12), Maryland (Jan. 15) and Northwestern (Jan. 18).
- Connor McCaffery has only missed two free throws this season (29-of-31). He had his consecutive free throws made streak of 19 end at Penn State on Jan. 1, 2023.
- Fran McCaffery won his 500th game as a collegiate head coach on Dec. 8 and win No. 250 at Iowa on Dec. 17.
- Eight of Iowa’s 10 victories this season have come by double digits.
- Iowa ranks second in the Big Ten and 22nd nationally in scoring offense (81.4). 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. He is the first Hawkeye to amass 30 points and 20 rebounds in the same game since Bruce King in 1977. Murray 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.
- The Wolverines are 9-6 overall and 3-1 in conference play. Michigan lost its last outing on Saturday, 59-53, at in-state rival Michigan State in East Lansing. Michigan’s other Big Ten wins came at Minnesota on Dec. 8 (90-75) and at home against Maryland on Jan 1 (81-46).
- Michigan (77 NET Ranking) is 1-1 in true road games this season. The Wolverines are 2-5 in two-possession games, including losing five straight.
- The Wolverines rank first in the conference in defensive rebounds per game (19th nationally, 28.47), second in turnovers per game (2nd nationally, 9.2), and third in free throw attempts per game (49th nationally, 20.9).
- Junior center Hunter Dickinson is the team’s big man in more ways than one. At 7-foot-1, Dickinson has amassed a team-high 280 points and is averaging 18.7 per game this season. He shoots at a 56.7 percent clip from the field and has a team-high 123 rebounds. Dickinson is third in the conference in field goals (110), points (280), and points per game (18.7). He has notched 20 career double-doubles, but none so far this season.
- Freshman guard Jett Howard, son of head coach Jett Howard, is second in the Big Ten in 3-pointers (36). He is third in 3-pointers made per game (2.4) and attempted (98). Howard is the second leading scorer behind Dickinson, with 214 points and averaging 14.3 per game.
- Michigan is shooting at 44.6 percent from the field, 34.2 percent in the 3-point range, and 68.5 percent from the free-throw line.
- Former Michigan All-American Juwan Howard is in his fourth season as a collegiate head coach. Howard guided Michigan to an Elite Eight appearance in 2021 and the Sweet 16 in 2022. He spent the previous six years with the Miami Heat. Prior to beginning his coaching career, Howard played 19 years in the NBA, including winning back-to-back NBA championships with Miami in 2012 and 2013. Howard helped lead the Wolverines to Final Four appearances in 1992 and 1993.
ALL-TIME SERIES RESULTS
Michigan holds a 98-66 edge in the series. The two teams split last year’s two meetings with each team winning on the opponent’s home floor.
Iowa owns a 40-38 edge in games played in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes hold a 19-15 advantage in games played in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Wolverines won last year’s contest in Iowa City (84-79) on Feb. 17, 2022. Four of the last 11 Iowa-Michigan games played in Iowa City have gone to overtime, dating back to 2009.
LAST MEETING AGAINST MICHIGAN
The Murray twins combined for 42 points, 13 rebounds, and four blocks in an 82-71 victory at Michigan on March 3, 2022, at the Crisler Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
- The Hawkeyes recorded their first win in Ann Arbor since 2016.
- All-American Keegan Murray netted a game-best 23 points, while his twin brother, Kris, had 19 points. Jordan Bohannon made five 3-pointers for the Hawkeyes.
- Iowa shot a season-best 57.9 percent (11-of-19) from 3-point range. Keegan Murray (4-of-4) and Jordan Bohannon (5-of-7) were a combined 9-of-11 (.818) from long distance.
- The Hawkeyes missed only one free throw (11-of-12, .917).
- Iowa led start to finish and led by as many as 19 points.
- Iowa’s defense forced 13 Wolverine turnovers, including 10 in the second half.
- Hunter Dickinson netted 15 of his team-best 21 points in the second stanza. He also pulled down a game-best 11 rebounds, rejected four shots, and had four assists.
HAWKEYES LEAD WIRE TO WIRE AT RUTGERS
Iowa became the first team in the last five seasons to win and never trail at Rutgers, posting a 76-65 triumph Sunday afternoon at Jersey Mike’s Arena in Piscataway, New Jersey.
- Iowa improved to 11-3 all-time against Rutgers, including a 5-2 record in Piscataway. The Hawkeyes have won five of the last six overall meetings against the Scarlet Knights.
- Iowa notched its third win away from home this season (Seton Hall, Clemson, Rutgers).
- The Hawkeyes made 12 3-pointers, equaling their highest total in a game this season and most since sinking 12 versus No. 20 Iowa State on Dec. 8. Iowa improved to 6-0 this season when making nine or more 3-pointers.
- Iowa has won two straight games after starting league play 0-3.
- Payton Sandfort tallied a game-best 22 points off the bench, bolstered by making a game and season-best four 3-pointers (4-of-5). He scored 11 straight Hawkeye points after the Scarlet Knights trimmed Iowa’s advantage to five (55-50) with 8:46 remaining in the second half. The 22 points are the most by Sandfort in a Big Ten game this season and two points shy of his career high (24, versus Southeast Missouri State).
- Senior Filip Rebraca registered his team-best sixth double-double of the season, scoring 16 points and snagging a game-best 12 rebounds. Rebraca has had a double-double in three of Iowa’s last four games. Iowa is 4-1 when Rebraca posts a double-double this season.
- All-America candidate Kris Murray scored 17 points and had seven rebounds, two steals and a block. Murray has scored 17+ points in each of his last four games since returning from injury.
- Senior Connor McCaffery dished out a season-best eight assists (only one turnover) and scored six points on two 3-pointers, including a clutch one in the second half.
- Juniors Patrick McCaffery and Josh Ogundele did not play for Iowa.
- Cam Spencer (13 points) and Caleb McConnell (12 points, 7 rebounds, 4 steals, 4 assists) led the Scarlet Knights.
Fifth-year senior Filip Rebraca has taken his game to another level this season. Rebraca is one of nine players nationally on a college men’s basketball roster over the age of 25. He ranks first on the squad in blocks (24) and field goal percentage (.591), and second in rebounds (8.8) and points per game (14.5). He is pulling down 3.3 offensive boards per outing, third best in the Big Ten and 52nd nationally. His field goal percentage (.591) ranks 34th in the country.
Rebraca netted career point No. 1,500 against Eastern Illinois (Dec. 21). He has scored 440 points the last two seasons as a Hawkeye (52 games) and 1,129 points in three seasons at North Dakota.
The under-sized center (6-foot-9) has netted double figures a team-best 13 times this year and posted a team-best six double-doubles, tying for second most in the league. Rebraca has scored 15+ points in five of Iowa’s last six games. He has rejected multiple shots six times this season and his 1.5 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 versus Eastern Illinois. He tallied a game-best 24 points, collected a career-high five steals, and snagged eight rebounds. He totaled 16 points and grabbed a season-high 13 rebounds at Nebraska, and amassed 19 points and 10 rebounds in Iowa’s triumph over No. 15 Indiana last Thursday.
LEADER OF THE PACK
Connor McCaffery is Iowa’s career leader in assist-to-turnover ratio, amassing a 3.42 ratio in 149 career games (452 assists; 132 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 WATCH LISTS
Junior Kris Murray has been named to the Big Ten Preseason All-Big Ten Team, the Wooden Award Midseason Top 25, and the Karl Malone Award Watch List.
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 20.9 points and 9.6 rebounds per outing. Murray has increased his scoring average by 12.2 points per game this season compared to last year. Murray did not play in four contests in December (Iowa State; Wisconsin; Southeast Missouri State; Eastern Illinois) due to a lower body injury.
Murray returned to the lineup on Dec. 29 at Nebraska, registering game bests in points (17) and blocks (3), while also clearing eight rebounds. He scored 22 of his game and career-best 32 points in the second half at Penn State on Jan. 1. Murray reached 30 points for a second straight game, totaling 30 points and 10 rebounds in Iowa’s victory over No. 15 Indiana on Jan. 5. He amassed 17 points and seven rebounds in Iowa’s road triumph at Rutgers on Sunday.
He was Iowa’s leading scorer (9.7) and rebounder (4.3) off the bench last season. 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 has had a number of players miss games this season due health reasons. Below is the list of players and games missed.
Tony Perkins: Omaha (thigh)
Riley Mulvey: Georgia Tech, Duke (illness)
Kris Murray: Iowa State, Wisconsin, SEMO, Eastern Illinois (lower body)
Ahron Ulis: Wisconsin (hip contusion)
Connor McCaffery: Eastern Illinois (wrist)
Josh Ogundele: Penn State, Indiana, Rutgers (knee)
Patrick McCaffery: Indiana, Rutgers (anxiety)
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.
- 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
Connor McCaffery decided to utilize his COVID bonus year and return for his sixth season with the Hawkeyes.
McCaffery is averaging 7.9 points and 3.8 rebounds per game, and has made 18-of-48 (.375) 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 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 (17 points, 10 rebounds). He did not play in Iowa’s nonconference finale on Dec. 21 (Eastern Illinois) due to a wrist sprain. McCaffery dished out a season-best eight assists (only one turnover) in Iowa’s win at Rutgers.
McCaffery has only missed two free throws this season (29-of-31). He made 19 consecutive free throws from Nov. 29 to Dec. 29, before missing his first and only attempt at Penn State on Jan. 1, 2023.
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.
PATRICK MCCAFFERY TO TAKE MENTAL PAUSE
Redshirt junior Patrick McCaffery announced on Jan. 3, that he will be taking an indefinite leave to address anxiety.
“I have been battling anxiety for a while, and recently it has peaked, which has inhibited my preparation and performance on the court, said Patrick. It’s not fair to myself or teammates to be on the court when I am not myself. The anxiety has affected my sleep, appetite, and stamina, which has resulted in not having the energy level necessary to compete at my full capabilities. My struggle with anxiety affects every aspect of my well-being and makes it incredibly difficult to function normally. This is what I am battling right now. For this reason, I am taking an indefinite leave to address my situation. It might be two games, it may be four games, it may be more, but I will return when I feel like myself. My leave of absence is not related to my past battle with cancer.”
“Patrick is one of the millions of people who battle through anxiety on a daily basis,” Fran McCaffery said. “It has become more noticeable on and off the court over the past couple weeks. Patrick has the full support of his family, coaches, teammates, and administration as he fights through this. All of us admire his courage and willingness to be open about this struggle and we hope others know that they are not alone. We will be with him every step of the way.”
Patrick is averaging 12.8 points and 4.8 rebounds this season. He has netted double figures 10 times. His free throw percentage of 80.7 percent ranks sixth best in the conference.
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 (NBA Toronto Raptors), 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).