Energy, Emotion Once Badgers Come to Town
Jan. 16, 2013
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Energy is always present when an undefeated Big Ten Conference men's basketball team travels to Carver-Hawkeye Arena. On Saturday, there will be plenty of emotion, too.
The University of Iowa (12-5 overall, 1-3 Big Ten) hosts Wisconsin (13-4, 4-0) on Jan. 19 with a 7:06 p.m. (CT) tip from Mediacom Court. It is the 20th anniversary of the death of Hawkeye Chris Street, who was killed in a car-snowplow accident in Iowa City on Jan. 19, 1993.
"There will be tremendous emotion in the building," UI head coach Fran McCaffery said Wednesday at a news conference in the Media Room inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. "The fact that we're celebrating his life more than his death is a critical thing. That's what the Street family wants us to do, and I think what our guys will do is we'll try to play the game the way he played it."
Iowa is coming off its first league win if the season -- 70-50 at Northwestern on Jan. 13. The Badgers are coming off a 64-59 win at No. 2 Indiana on Tuesday.
"I thought that was a great game," McCaffery said. "(Wisconsin) played tough, they played smart, they didn't turn it over, they made shots, they made shots when they needed to, they rebounded, they got ahead."
With Wisconsin on top of the Big Ten in turnover margin (+4.18 per game) and scoring defense (54.9 points per game), McCaffery was asked about pace, patience, and defensive pressure.
"We have to continue to defend the way we've been defending," McCaffery said. "If you can turn them over, that's great, but you have to make them miss and you have to give them one (shot) when it is all said and done."
McCaffery plans to push the pace Saturday. The Hawkeyes average 65.2 points in conference games and 76.9 in nonconference games.
"I think (Wisconsin is) looking to push it a little more than they have," McCaffery said. "They have guys that can run and they aren't afraid to go a little bit more."
Taking good shots, not milking the shot clock, is key to success against the Badgers, according to McCaffery.
"I'm not as concerned about patience as I am we want to get a good shot," he said. "You can get a good shot five, six seconds into the shot clock if it's a good shooter taking a good shot. If he is open, shoot it."
There is an interesting twist in the saga between Iowa and the Badgers. Wisconsin guard Ben Brust was released from a Letter of Intent after signing with former Hawkeye head coach Todd Lickliter; former Badger Jarrod Uthoff announced he was leaving Madison to attend the UI in the summer of 2012.
"There are no issues there at all," McCaffery said of his relationship with Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan.
The game will be televised to a national audience by BTN with Brian Anderson and Jim Jackson calling the action.