March 6, 2012
|Game 32 | Iowa (16-15, 8-10) vs. Illinois (17-14, 6-12)|
|Date||Thursday, March 8 | 10:30 a.m. (CT)|
|Location||Indianapolis, IN | Bankers Life Fieldhouse|
|Radio||Hawkeye Radio Network|
|Live Coverage||GameTracker | Twitter Game Updates|
|All-Time Series||Illinois leads, 81-66|
BIG TEN TOURNAMENT TIP-OFF
Iowa will meet Illinois for the second time in 12 days Thursday when the two teams play in the Big Ten Tournament first round at Bankers Life Fieldhouse at 10:30 a.m. (CT). The winner will meet top-seed Michigan State Friday at 11 a.m. (CT).
Thursday will be the first time Iowa and Illinois will have met in a Big Ten Tournament game.
Iowa has posted four wins over RPI top 25 teams (Michigan, Indiana and Wisconsin twice). Only Michigan State (six), Ohio State (six) and Michigan (five) have more.
Iowa's eight Big Ten wins are the most in a single season since collecting nine during the 2006-07 campaign.
Matt Gatens was named second team all-Big Ten by the media and third team by the media. Aaron White was selected to the coaches all-Big Ten Freshman team and was an honorable mention by the media.
Matt Gatens is one of only two Hawkeyes to ever amass over 1,500+ points, 400+ rebounds, 250+ assists and 125+ steals. Roy Marble is the only other Hawkeye to accomplish the feat.
Iowa won five games in the month of February, the most since the 1997-98 season (5).
Iowa is 9-1 when scoring 80 points or more, the last two seasons. The Hawkeyes are 14-0 when holding opponents to fewer than 60 points, the last two years.
Fans and media are encouraged to use #B1GTourney in their tweets during the Big Ten Tournament.
IOWA IN THE BIG TEN TOURNAMENT
Iowa has posted a 13-12 record in the Big Ten Tournament. The Hawkeyes earned tournament titles in 2001 and 2006 and lost in the title game in 2002. Only Ohio State (17-8), Illinois (23-12), Michigan State (15-12) and Wisconsin (14-12) have more wins and a higher winning percentage than the Hawkeyes. Ohio State has three tournament titles, including winning last season, while Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin and Michigan State have two tournament titles (Ohio State was forced to vacate its 2002 title). Iowa has played nine different teams in the event, having met each team except Illinois at least once. Iowa is the only team to claim the tournament title by winning four games in four days, that taking place in 2001. Iowa has been eliminated by the tournament champion in three of the 12 tournaments it did not win, including Michigan in the 1998 quarterfinals, Michigan State in the 2000 quarterfinals and Ohio State in the 2002 title game. Iowa has lost five straight Big Ten Tournament games, dating back to 2007. Iowa's last victories in the tournament came in 2006 when it advanced to the championship game.
IOWA BY SEEDING
This marks the second time in tournament history that Iowa has been the eighth seed. Iowa has never been the top seed, third seed or 11th seed. Iowa was a No. 8 seed in 2008, losing 55-47 to ninth-seeded Michigan. The Hawkeyes are 4-5 in first round contests as an eight, nine or 10 seed.
Illinois holds an 81-66 advantage in the series that began with a 46-36 Iowa win in 1908. The Illini have won nine of the last 10 against the Hawkeyes, including seven straight. Illinois beat Iowa in Champaign, 65-54, on Feb. 26 in the two teams' only regular season meeting. Iowa's last victory over Illinois came on March 3, 2007, (60-53) in Iowa City. The teams have never met at a neutral site. Illinois is the only team Iowa has not played, at least once, in the Big Ten Conference Tournament.
Illinois enters Thursday's game with a 17-14 overall mark and 6-12 league record.
Illinois has lost 11 of its last 13 games, dating back to Jan. 19. The Illini are 1-8 since Feb. 1. After starting the season 15-3, Illinois has gone 2-11 since Jan. 19.
The Illini have lost a number of close games during league play. Nine of Illinois' 18 Big Ten games were decided by five points or fewer (4-5). Illinois' two victories since Jan. 19 was a one-point win over nationally-ranked Michigan State (42-41) on Jan. 31 and an 11-point victory over Iowa (65-54) on Feb. 26.
Illinois lost its last game, 70-56, at nationally-ranked Wisconsin last Sunday. The Illini were held to a season-low 18 first-half points. Brandon Paul led the Illini, scoring a game-high 22 points. Meyers Leonard grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds and netted eight points. The Illini shot just 23.5 percent (4-of-17) from long distance.
Illinois has three players averaging double figures in scoring: Brandon Paul (15.0), Meyers Leonard (13.4) and D.J. Richardson (11.6).
Five of Illinois' last eight games have been on the road. The Illini were 13-4 at Assembly Hall during the regular season, while they posted a 4-10 record away from Champaign (includes 2-2 record at neutral sites). Illinois has lost its last seven road contests.
Illinois has played two overtime contests this season, both against Minnesota. The home team won each contest.
Illinois has two 3-point threats; D.J. Richardson has made a team-best 68 triples, while Brandon Paul has drained 54.
Sophomore center Meyers Leonard ranks first in the Big Ten in blocked shots (58), third in rebounding (8.3) and fourth in field goal percentage (.575).
ILLINOIS WON THE LAST MEETING
Illinois won its 11th straight game over Iowa in Champaign with a 65-54 win on Feb. 26 in Assembly Hall. The Illini used a 20-5 run to build a double-digit first-half advantage. Iowa trailed 34-23 at halftime. The Hawkeyes cut the deficit to four (38-34) midway through the second half but were unable to get any closer. Senior Matt Gatens scored a game-high 22 points, bolstered by 5-of-6 shooting from behind the arc. Sophomore Roy Devyn Marble had 10 points, and collected game highs in assists (six) and steals (four). The four thefts equaled a personal best. Freshman Josh Oglesby netted all of his nine points in the final 20 minutes. Zach McCabe led Iowa with seven boards. Illinois sophomore center Meyers Leonard came off the bench to post a double-double (22 points and 14 rebounds), while Brandon Paul had 17 points. Iowa's 54 points are the second fewest it has scored this year (47 versus Ohio State).
IOWA, ILLINOIS TIP-INS
Thursday will only be Iowa's second neutral site game of the season. The Hawkeyes lost to Creighton (82-59) at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines on Nov. 20. Illinois has played four neutral-site games, posting a 2-2 record. The Illini beat Richmond (70-61) and Illinois State (63-59) in Cancun in November, while falling to UNLV (64-48) in Chicago and Missouri (78-74) in St. Louis.
Illinois and Ohio State are two Big Ten teams neither four-year Iowa players Matt Gatens and Andrew Brommer have yet to record a victory against. Iowa is 0-7 versus Illinois and Ohio State since the 2008-09 season.
Iowa is the only Big Ten team with two players with 45+ steals (Roy Devyn Marble -- 49 and Matt Gatens -- 46).
Illinois won the 2011 Cancun Challenge with wins over Richmond and Illinois State during Thanksgiving week. Iowa will be playing in that same tournament this November. Iowa's opponents have yet to be determined.
Iowa's scoring average of 72.1 is its highest since the 2004-05 season (72.9).
Bryce Cartwright became the first Hawkeye to lead the team in scoring (14), rebounding (7) and assists (6) in a Big Ten Tournament game in last year's first round contest against Michigan State.
Matt Gatens (1,591) ranks fourth among active Big Ten players in career scoring, while Illinois' Sam Maniscalco ranks sixth (1,378).
Iowa is 4-3 against ranked Big Ten teams and 4-7 versus unranked conference foes.
Iowa's second (Roy Devyn Marble, 11.1), third (Aaron White, 10.4), fourth (Melsahn Basabe, 7.7), fifth (Zach McCabe, 7.3) and sixth (Josh Oglesby 6.2) leading scorers are all underclassmen.
Iowa ranks first in the Big Ten in steals (7.6); third in scoring offense (72.1); and fourth in 3-point field goal accuracy (.366); and fifth in free throw percentage (.718).
Iowa ranks 57th in the country in assists (14.5); 58th in assist/turnover ratio (1.1); and 66th in steals (7.6). Individually, Matt Gatens is 54th in free throw percentage (.846), while Roy Devyn Marble is 85th in assist/turnover ratio (2.0).
Illinois' roster is comprised of 14 student-athletes. The roster consists of two seniors, three juniors, three sophomores (two redshirt) and six freshmen. Ten players hail from Illinois, and one each from Alabama, Missouri, Quebec and Mali.
Iowa and Illinois are two of the five Big Ten teams that have won more than one Big Ten Conference Tournament. Iowa claimed the title in 2001 and 2006, and lost in the title game in 2002. Illinois earned the title in 2003 and 2005. The fighting Illini were also the title game in 1999, 2000, 2004 and 2008.
GATENS AND WHITE HONORED BY BIG TEN
Senior Matt Gatens and freshman Aaron White earned postseason all-conference recognition by the Big Ten. Gatens was named to the second team by the media voting panel and was a third team pick by the coaches. He was also named Iowa men's basketball's Sportsmanship Award honoree. White was named to the coaches' all-Freshman team and earned honorable mention recognition by the media. Gatens becomes the first Hawkeye since Tony Freeman earned third team honors in 2008 to be named to a first, second or third team. Adam Haluska was a first team selection in 2007. The all-Big Ten honor was the first of Gatens' career. He was honorable mention in 2010 and was named to the all-Freshman team in 2009. White becomes the fourth Hawkeye to be named to the all-Freshman team the last four years (Gatens in 2009; Eric May in 2010; Melsahn Basabe in 2011; and White in 2012). Gatens leads the team in scoring (15.7), 3-pointers (69), free throws (99); ranks second in steals (46); and third in assists (57). White ranks first in team rebounding (5.4); second in blocks (21); and third in scoring (10.4) and steals (26).
NORTHWESTERN EDGES HAWKEYES IN HOME FINALE
Northwestern escaped Iowa City with a 70-66 win over the Hawkeyes last Saturday on Iowa's "Senior Day". Iowa led by as many as 15 points (28-13) midway through first half, but the Wildcats closed the half on a 29-7 run the last 9:26 to lead 42-35 at intermission. Northwestern led by as many as 11 points in the second stanza, but the Hawkeyes fought back and closed to within two points in the final minute. A Josh Oglesby 3-pointer misfired with three seconds left that would have give Iowa a one-point lead. Northwestern forced 18 Iowa turnovers, 13 in the first half, and converted those Hawkeye miscues into 23 points. The Wildcats also snagged 11 of its 14 offensive rebounds in the final 20 minutes, scoring timely second chance points. Senior Matt Gatens led Iowa in scoring for the sixth consecutive game, scoring 17 points. Freshman Aaron White had 14 points, while sophomore Roy Devyn Marble contributed 11. Senior Bryce Cartwright had a game-high eight assists, to go along with six rebounds and six points. Drew Crawford led the Wildcats with a game-high 18 points, seven rebounds and five steals. Iowa held the Big Ten's leading scorer, John Shurna, to a season-low nine points.
GATENS TO MAKE HISTORY
Senior Matt Gatens will become the first Hawkeye to lead the team in free throw percentage four consecutive seasons. Also, he will become only the seventh Hawkeye since 1939, and the first to do so since Acie Earl (1991-93), to lead the team in scoring three straight seasons. Other former Hawkeyes leading the squad in scoring three consecutive years include: Dick Ives (1944-46); Bill Logan (1954-56); Dave Gunther (1957-59); Don Nelson (1960-62); Greg Stokes (1983-85); Acie Earl (1991-93).
IOWA IN INDY
Iowa is 8-13 all-time in Indianapolis, while playing in four different arenas. Iowa is 7-6 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse (formerly known as Conseco Fieldhouse), 0-2 at Market Square Arena, 1-4 at Butler's Hinkel Fieldhouse and 0-1 at the RCA Dome. Along with the 2002 (3-1), 2004 (0-1), 2006 (3-0), 2008 (0-1), 2009 (0-1), 2010 (0-1) and 2011 (0-1) Big Ten Conference Tournaments at Bankers Life, Iowa defeated Louisville (Wooden Tradition) early in the 2003-04 season. Iowa took part in the 1980 Final Four at Market Square Arena, losing to Louisville (80-72) in the semifinals and falling to Big Ten rival Purdue (75-58) in the consolation game. Iowa lost four of five games at Hinkel Fieldhouse between 1937 and 1950 and lost in the first round of the 2005 NCAA Tournament at the RCA Dome.
IOWA AT BANKERS LIFE FIELDHOUSE
Iowa is 7-6 in Bankers Life Fieldhouse, including a 6-6 record while taking part in the seven Big Ten Tournaments held at the venue. Iowa, in the 2002 Big Ten Tournament, defeated Purdue, Wisconsin and Indiana on consecutive days to advance to the title game for the second straight season before falling to Ohio State. Iowa defeated Louisville 70-69 in overtime as part of the John Wooden Tradition early in the 2003-04 season and the Hawkeyes lost to Michigan 79-70 in the quarterfinals of the 2004 Big Ten Tournament. Iowa won three straight games over Minnesota, Michigan State and Ohio State to claim the 2006 Big Ten Tournament title before falling to Purdue in the quarterfinals in 2007 and losing to Michigan the last three years in the first round.
IOWA POSTING BIG WINS
Iowa has posted six wins against teams ranked in the top 92 of the RPI, including four inside the top 20. The Hawkeyes have registered victories over Michigan (11), Indiana (12) and two wins over Wisconsin (22) and Minnesota (92). The Hawkeyes have four wins over top 25 teams; only Michigan State (six), Ohio State (six) and Michigan (five) have more.
HAWKEYES SURGED IN FEBRUARY
Iowa won five of its eight February games, including winning two of the last four against ranked opponents (No. 18 Indiana and No. 15 Wisconsin). The five victories in February marked the most by a Hawkeye team since the 1997-98 campaign. Iowa held seven of its eight February opponents to fewer than 70 points and four of those below 40 percent from the field. The previous six teams the Hawkeyes faced averaged 81.2 points and 50.4 percent shooting. In eight February contests, Matt Gatens averaged 21.6 points, bolstered by 34-of-58 (.586) shooting from long distance. The 21.6 February scoring average ranks third behind Northwestern's John Shurna (22.8) and Tim Frazier (21.8) of Penn State. Aaron White averaged 11.9 points and 7.6 rebounds, while Roy Devyn Marble averaged 10.3 points, 4.9 rebounds and 4.6 assists.
REBOUNDING KEY IN OUTCOMES
In Iowa's eight Big Ten wins, it has posted a +3.6 rebounding margin advantage. However, in its 10 conference losses, Iowa was outrebounded by 4.4 boards. Overall, Iowa is 12-3 in games this season when having the edge on the glass. The two losses when the Hawkeyes had a positive rebounding margin came on the road at Iowa State and Northwestern, and in the home finale against Northwestern.
GATENS DELIVERS SECOND HALF OUTBURSTS
Matt Gatens has put up big numbers in the second half in five of the last six games. Gatens has scored in bunches down the stretch to help Iowa post some big victories in the month of February. The senior scored 22 points in the second half vs. Indiana; 19 at Penn State; 15 vs. Wisconsin; 11 at Nebraska; and 10 vs. Northwestern.
NOTING Matt Gatens...
Named second team all-Big Ten by the media voting panel and third team by the league coaches.
Is one of only two Hawkeyes (Roy Marble) to amass 1,500+ points, 400+ rebounds, 250+ assists and 125+ steals.
Led Iowa in scoring the last six games. The last Hawkeye to lead the team in scoring six consecutive games against Big Ten competition was Andre Woolridge in 1996-97 when he led his team in scoring seven straight games (Jan. 7-Feb. 4).
His 29 triples since Feb. 16 are the second most in the country behind Keaton Cole of Western Carolina (32).
Led Iowa in scoring the last six games, which is his longest consecutive streak of leading the team in scoring in his career.
Scored 55 points in two games the week of Feb. 20 (27.5 ppg.), earning co-Big Ten Player of the Week and NetScout Basketball's Big Ten Player of the Week accolades. He has earned NetScout Basketball's weekly honor the last two weeks. Additionally, America voted the senior the "Capital One Cup Impact Performer of the Week" on ESPN.com.
Averaged 23.6 points per game the last five contests.
Has made 42.9 percent (69-of-161) of his 3-point attempts this season. That is the best percentage by a Hawkeye, with a minimum of 125 attempts, since Kent McCausland made 52 percent (70-of-134) during the 1996-97 season.
His 60.4 percent (29-of-48) shooting percentage from long distance ranks second best in the country since Feb. 16 (first if you take in account a minimum of 25 attempts). South Dakota State's Jordan Dykstra is first (.722, 13-of-18).
Scored 85 points in a span of three games (Indiana, Wisconsin and Illinois). The last time a Hawkeye netted 85 points or more in three straight games against conference competition was Roy Marble (86) in 1989. Marble scored 30 at Michigan, 37 at Illinois and 19 vs. Indiana. The last time a Hawkeye scored 85 points or more against any teams was Adam Haluska (88) in 2006. Haluska had 21 points at Drake, 36 vs. Georgia State and 21 against Texas Southern.
Averaged 21.6 points per game in February, which ranked third in the Big Ten behind Northwestern's John Shurna (22.8) and Tim Frazier of Penn State (21.8).
Became the first Big Ten player to score 30+ versus two teams (Indiana and Wisconsin) ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 since 1996-97.
Became the fourth Big Ten player in the last 10 seasons to score 30+ points in back-to-back games vs. league opponents.
The 33 points against Wisconsin are the second-most by a Big Ten player in conference play this season (Illinois' Brandon Paul had 43 versus Ohio State).
Made a school-record 12 consecutive triples spanning the Indiana (Feb. 19) and Wisconsin (Feb. 23) contests.
Became the first Hawkeye since Adam Haluska in 2007 to score 30 points in consecutive games. Haluska netted 33 vs. Indiana and 34 at Minnesota. Gatens is one of five players to score 30+ points in consecutive Big Ten games since 2000-01 (Marcus Taylor of Michigan State in 2002; Minnesota's Vincent Grier in 2005; Evan Turner of Ohio State in 2010; Iowa's Adam Haluska in 2007).
His 118 points the last five games pushed the senior past Greg Brunner, Don Nelson, Andre Woolridge, Dean Oliver and Adam Haluska, and into seventh place on Iowa's all-time scoring chart with 1,591 points. He is 20 points from tying Jess Settles for sixth.
After 118 points in five games (38-of-70, .543 FGs and 24-of-41, .585 3-pt FGs), he vaulted to fifth in conference scoring (306 points). He finished conference play only six points behind Ohio State's Jared Sullinger (312 points). Gatens is the second-highest scoring senior in the league behind Northwestern's John Shurna (20.0).
His five 3-pointers at Illinois (Feb. 26) moved him past Chris Kingsbury (1994-96) and into second place on Iowa's all-time 3-pointers made list. He enters Thursday's game versus Illinois with 233 career triples.
Surpassed the 20-point plateau four consecutive games (Penn State, Indiana, Wisconsin and Illinois), eight times this season and 17 in his career. The last time a Hawkeye netted 20+ points in four straight games against Big Ten competition was Andre Woolridge in 1997. Woolridge tallied 20 at Purdue, 21 vs. Wisconsin, 27 vs. Ohio State and 25 at Michigan.
Made 40-of-113 (.354) from 3-point range the first 25 games of the season. Gatens has made 60.4 percent (29-of-48) from long distance the last six outings. He has made 24 of his last 41 (.585) 3-point attempts the last four games.
The 33 points scored against the Badgers are the second-most scored by a Wisconsin opponent in the last four years. Gatens and Kansas State's Jacob Pullen (38 points against the Badgers in the 2011 NCAA Tournament) were the two highest scoring outputs since Davidson's Stephen Curry tallied 33 points in the 2008 NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16 on March 28, 2008.
Made a combined 14 triples against Indiana and Wisconsin, which is the most ever by a Hawkeye in a two-game span. He sank a combined 19 treys spanning three contests (Indiana, Wisconsin and Illinois), the most ever by a Hawkeye over a span of three games.
Is averaging 15.7 points, the highest scoring average by a Hawkeye since Adam Haluska averaged 20.5 points in 2007.
Is only the third player to hit seven+ 3-pointers in back-to-back Big Ten games (versus Indiana and Wisconsin) since 1996-97. Talor Battle (Penn State) and Jon Diebler (Ohio State) accomplished the feat a year ago.
Has made a personal single-season best 69 triples, besting 58 he sank his sophomore campaign. He is shooting at a 43 percent clip from long distance this season, which is also a single-season best. He shot 40 percent from 3-point range as a freshman.
His 69 treys rank 10th best in a single season. He is only one 3-pointer from tying two others (Jeff Horner in 2006 and Kent McCausland in 1997) for eighth on the list.
NUMBER OF THE WEEK -- 13
Iowa posted 13 home wins this season (13-6), the most since collecting 13 home victories in 2009. Five of the Hawkeyes' 13 victories came in league play.
CLEANING THE GLASS
Aaron White has seen his rebounding numbers increase in Big Ten play. The freshman averaged 4.8 boards in nonconference action and has crashed the boards even more in conference play, averaging a team-best 5.9. White has led the Hawkeyes in rebounding six of the last eight games, including a streak of five straight, which was the longest by a Hawkeye this season and the longest streak since Aaron Fuller led the team in six consecutive contests in 2010. White is averaging 7.1 rebounds over his last nine games, including three games with 10+ rebounds. He ranks fifth in Big Ten rebounding since Feb. 1.
ESPN.COM RANKS NATION'S TOP FRESHMEN
ESPN.com released a midseason report on the nation's top freshmen. Included in the list is Iowa's Aaron White. White is ranked No. 15. Indiana's Cody Zeller is second and Trey Burke of Michigan is seventh. White ranks third in Iowa scoring (10.4) and first in rebounding (5.4). All three were named to the all-Big Ten Freshman team. Zeller was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year by the league coaches, while Burke earned the award by the conference's media panel.
IMPROVED 3-POINT SHOOTING
Thanks in large part to Matt Gatens' 3-point shooting accuracy as of late, the Hawkeyes saw better 3-point shooting percentages during the month of February. Iowa made 40.9 percent of its 3-point attempts in the month of February, the third best mark in the Big Ten behind Purdue (.413) and Northwestern (.412).
GATENS CLIMBING CHARTS
Matt Gatens' recent scoring surge (118 points the last five games) has vaulted him past Jeff Horner, Greg Brunner, Don Nelson, Andre Woolridge and Adam Haluska, and into seventh place on Iowa's career scoring chart. The senior is 20 points from tying Jess Settles (1994-97, 1999) for sixth. Gatens enters Thursday's Big Ten Tournament first round game versus Illinois with 1,591 career points. Additionally, his five triples at Illinois moved him past Chris Kingsbury (1994-96) and into second place on Iowa's all-time 3-pointers made chart. Gatens enters Thursday's game against Illinois with 233 treys. Jeff Horner (2003-06) is the record holder with 262. Gatens, who was voted by the league's media panel second team all-Big Ten, is one of only two players in school history to have 1,550+ points, 400+ rebounds, 250+ assists and 125+ steals. The senior has 1,591 points, 448 rebounds, 286 assists and 139 thefts. Roy Marble (1986-89) had 2,116 points, 668 rebounds, 288 assists and 183 steals. Gatens is only five steals from cracking the top 10 in career thefts at Iowa. The native of Iowa City will finish his career in the top 15 in scoring and steals and top five in free throw percentage and 3-pointers made.
WHITE EARNS STARTING SPOT
Aaron White, who has been named to the coaches' all-Big Ten Freshman team, was Iowa's most productive player off the bench the first 21 games, but has started the last 10. The freshman has averaged 11.9 points and 5.9 rebounds the last 20 games. White earned his first career start at No. 16 Indiana on Jan. 31. He stuffed the stat sheet with 17 points, nine rebounds, four assists, three blocks and two steals in Iowa's triumph over Penn State (Feb. 4). His efforts earned him Big Ten co-Freshman of the Week accolades, which is the third time (Nov. 14, Dec. 26 and Feb. 6) he earned the weekly distinction. White's numbers the last seven games have been impressive, averaging 11.9 points and 6.9 rebounds. He posted consecutive doubles at Northwestern (Feb. 9) and Penn State (Feb. 16) and was two points shy of notching his third straight versus No. 18 Indiana (Feb. 19). The rookie scored 17 points (7-of-10 FG, 2-of-3 3-pt FG) and corralled a personal-best 12 boards against the Wildcats. White totaled 16 points and a game-high 10 rebounds to go along with career-best three rejections at Penn State. White has scored in double digits 14 times, including 13 of the last 21 games. White has led the team in rebounding seven of the last 11 contests. For the season he has amassed a team-best 168 boards, which are the sixth most by an Iowa freshman in a single season. The 6-foot-8 wing player has scored 15 points or more eight times, which is the third most by a Big Ten rookie this season. White was named Big Ten co-Freshman of the Week after his performance in Iowa's victory over Chicago State (Nov. 11). The native of Strongsville, Ohio, shined in his Hawkeye debut, leading all scorers and rebounders with a personal-best 19 points and 10 boards. The 19 points are the most by an Iowa freshman in an opener, equaling Dick Ives' 19 scored against Nebraska in his debut on Dec. 10, 1943. Furthermore, White's performance marked the first time a Hawkeye posted a double-double, in a season opener, since Dean Oliver had 10 points and 12 assists in a victory over Chicago State in 1997. It was the first time a Hawkeye freshman had a double-double, points and rebounds, since Jess Settles had 13 points and 11 rebounds versus Drake in 1993.
MARBLE ADVANCES TO FINALS OF GEICO PLAY OF THE YEAR
Hawkeye fans can vote for Roy Devyn Marble in the finals of the GEICO Play of the Year. Marble had an emphatic one-handed slam vs. Minnesota on Feb 1. Fans can vote for Marble once per day until March 5 at facebook.com/bestofcollegebasketball. The winner will be announced on GEICO presents Best of College Basketball 2012 on CBS March 25, at noon (CT). The seven other finalists are: Christian Watford (Indiana), Robbie Hummel (Purdue), Damen Bell-Holter (Oral Roberts), Chase Spreen (Lindsey Wilson), Peyton Siva (Louisville), C.J. Fair (Syracuse), and Isaiah Sykes (Central Florida).
Iowa has played 2,656 games since beginning basketball in 1902. Iowa's overall record is 1,593-1,063 (.600). That includes a 955-353 (.730) record in home games, a 548-720 (.432) record in contests away from Iowa City, a 711-728 (.494) mark in Big Ten games and a 361-117 (.755) record in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
HAWKEYES PUSHING THE TEMPO
An even more increased tempo by the Iowa Hawkeyes has led to 4.9 more points per game compared to last season, an increase that ranks second best in the Big Ten.
STAT SHEET STUFFER
Roy Devyn Marble's level of play has been stellar the last 26 games. The sophomore has averaged 12 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.7 assists during that span. Also, he is shooting 43 percent from the field and 71 percent from the foul line during the 26-game stretch. He has amassed a solid assist-to-turnover ratio this season. He has 112 assists to only 57 turnovers, ranking fifth in the Big Ten (2.0) and 85th nationally. Marble has been credited with four assists or more 16 times this season, including collecting six or more four of the last six games (six at Penn State, seven vs. Indiana; a career-best eight against Wisconsin and six at Illinois). Last season, Marble averaged 5.7 points, 2.4 rebounds, and was credited with 41 assists and 21 steals in 31 contests. He started the last six games of 2010-11. Also, he shot 53 percent from the free throw line (35-of-66). This year, Marble has seen improved numbers, averaging 11.1 points, 3.8 rebounds, and has collected 112 assists and a team-best 49 steals. He has started the last 23 contests. From the foul line this season, the sophomore has seen significant improvement, shooting 72.2 percent (96-of-133).
HAWKEYE FAST BREAKS
The Big Ten is the No. 1 ranked conference in the RPI and Sagarin ratings. Iowa's Sagarin rating is 95 and a strength of schedule of 31. Iowa's RPI rating is 133, while its schedule strength is 72.
Iowa is 6-5 in games decided by nine points or fewer and 10-10 in games decided by 10 or more points.
Iowa has made 494 free throws this season, the most it has sank in a single-season since 2005-06. Iowa made 501 free throws in 2005-06.
Senior Bryce Cartwright finished with a flurry, dishing out 58 assists the last 12 games to finish second in league assists (71). Only Penn State's Tim Frazier (101) had more.
Iowa's field goal percentage this season is 45.3 percent, its best since shooting 45.9 percent during the 2004-05 campaign.
The Hawkeyes were ranked ninth (.352) in the Big Ten in 3-point field goal percentage (overall games) in mid-January. Iowa has since vaulted to third (.379).
Eleven of Iowa's 15 losses have come to teams ranked in the RPI top 80.
Senior Andrew Brommer will be playing in his 100th career game Thursday versus Illinois.
Only one point separated Aaron White (203) and Roy Devyn Marble (202) during the 18-game Big Ten regular season.
For the second straight year, Iowa won its first two games in the month of February. Last year, the Hawkeyes beat Michigan State (Feb. 2) and Indiana (Feb. 5); this season Iowa topped Minnesota (Feb. 1) and Penn State (Feb. 4).
Iowa averages 78.9 points in its wins, compared to 64.9 points in its defeats, a differential of 14 points. The Hawkeyes own a +16.1 point differential in their scoring defense, and +9.5 rebounding and +5.8 assists margins in wins compared to losses.
Iowa's attendance numbers are up again this season, after a 20 percent bump a year ago. Last season, Iowa averaged 11,096 fans. Hosting 19 regular season home games this season, the Hawkeyes averaged 11,841.
Freshman Josh Oglesby became the first Hawkeye reserve to lead the team in scoring, in back-to-back games (Northern Illinois and Creighton), since Ricky Davis paced Iowa with 25 and 18 on the road at Wisconsin (Feb. 3) and Michigan State (Feb. 7), respectively, in 1998. Like Oglesby, Davis accomplished the feat as a freshman.
After winning at No. 11 Wisconsin on Dec. 31 (72-65) and on the road at Minnesota (64-62) on Jan. 4, Iowa won two-straight Big Ten road games for the first time since 2007. The Hawkeyes won at Michigan on Jan. 31, 2007 (69-62) and at Minnesota on Feb. 7 (91-78). Iowa beat Indiana at home on Feb. 3 (81-75) in between those two road victories. The last time Iowa won consecutive road games in back-to-back games was 1998, beating Ohio State (61-46) on Jan. 14 and Minnesota (82-69) on Jan. 18.
At least 10 players have seen action in 21 of Iowa's 31 games.
Iowa has had five players score in double figures three times (North Carolina A&T, Drake and Central Arkansas). The Hawkeyes had five players score 12 points or more in its win over North Carolina A&T (Nov. 14). It marked only the fourth time the Hawkeyes had five players tally 12 points or more in a game (UW-Green Bay in 2003, Michigan in 2004, SIU-Edwardsville in 2010 and North Carolina A&T in 2011).
HAWKEYE BIG TEN FIELD GOAL PERCENTAGES
In Iowa's eight Big Ten victories, opponents were just 51-of-186 (.274) from long distance and 183-of-454 (.403) overall from the field. Iowa made 193-of-429 (.450) from the field and 46-of-113 (.407) from the 3-point range in those wins. Conversely, Hawkeye opponents shot 49 percent (284-of-575) from the field and 67-of-180 (.372) from 3-point territory, compared to 45 percent (232-of-512) from the field and 36 percent (53-of-148) from long distance for Iowa, in the Hawkeyes' 10 conference defeats.
SINKING THE FREEBEES
Last year, Iowa's free throw percentage was 67.6 percent. This season, the Hawkeyes have improved in that area, shooting 71.8 percent, which ranks fifth best in the Big Ten. Twenty-two percent of Iowa's offense this year has come from the foul line. The Hawkeyes have missed only 42 free throws (133-of-175, .760) in the final five minutes of games. Iowa has attempted 20 free throws or more 19 times this season (12-7 record in those games), 10 of which have come during league play, including eight of the last 13 games.
Fran McCaffery has assembled one of the most experienced coaching staffs in the country. Assistant coaches Kirk Speraw, Sherman Dillard and Andrew Francis have over six decades of combined coaching experience. Furthermore, the entire coaching staff combines for 47 years of head coaching experience. Director of Basketball Operations Jerry Strom is in his 31st season as a member of the Iowa basketball staff. Additionally, Iowa's new video coordinator, Al Seibert, has 18 years of collegiate coaching experience.
Check out the Iowa basketball team's new website, HawkeyeBasketball.com, devoted to everything on-and-off-the-court surrounding the program. HawkeyeBasketball.com, allows fans a chance to go behind the scenes with the Hawkeye basketball program on and off the court. The site is complete with exclusive videos, photo galleries and content featuring the basketball program. HawkeyeBasketball.com will be updated throughout the year with exclusive videos, including game highlights and player features, along with news stories and other content.
OGLESBY HAS CAREER GAME
Freshman Josh Oglesby had two of his best games of the season, both against Indiana. Oglesby came off the bench to score a career-best 24 points at Indiana on Jan. 29. The native of Cedar Rapids missed only four of his 12 field-goal attempts. His previous high was 16 points against Northern Illinois on Nov. 17. The six triples tie for the 15th-most in a single game for the Hawkeyes. Additionally, the 24 points are the most by a Hawkeye freshman in a game since Melsahn Basabe posted 25 at Michigan, almost a year to the day, on Jan. 30, 2011. In the return game against the Hoosiers (Feb. 19), Oglesby netted 11 points, five of which were scored at the free throw line. Oglesby started his first career game at Penn State (Feb. 16). The rookie played a season-high 27 minutes and had three points, three assists and three rebounds against the Nittany Lions. He tallied nine second-half points at Illinois (Feb. 26), netted eight points in Iowa's victory at Nebraska (Feb. 29) and had five points, four rebounds and three assists in the regular season finale versus Northwestern (March 3). The native of Cedar Rapids has started five of the last six games. He is averaging 6.2 points in 31 games this season. Oglesby has made 37 triples, which are the fourth most by a Hawkeye freshman in a single season at Iowa. Matt Gatens holds the record with 52 (2009). Oglesby is shooting 34.3 percent beyond the arc, which currently ranks as the seventh best percentage in a season by an Iowa rookie. Fifty-eight percent of Oglesby's scoring production has come from 3-point territory (111-of-192 points), which ranks third amongst Big Ten players. Oglesby has led the team in scoring four times (Northern Illinois, Creighton, Clemson and Indiana).
IOWA VS. RANKED TEAMS
Iowa played seven games against ranked competition this season (4-3), winning the last two. The four wins are the most Iowa has collected in a season since winning nine during the 2005-06 campaign. The Hawkeyes beat No. 11 Wisconsin (72-65) on Dec. 31 in Madison and No. 15 Wisconsin (67-66) on Feb. 23 in Iowa City, 13th-ranked Michigan (75-59) on Jan. 14 in Iowa City and 18th-ranked Indiana (78-66) on Feb. 19 in Iowa City. Iowa fell to No. 6 Ohio State (76-47) on Jan. 7 in Iowa City, No. 6 Michigan State (95-61) on Jan. 10 in East Lansing and No. 16 Indiana (103-89) on Jan. 29 in Bloomington.
IMPROVEMENT UNDER McCAFFERY IN SECOND YEAR
Fran McCaffery-coached teams have posted improved win totals and scoring output from their first year to second with McCaffery as a head coach. At Lehigh, his team improved by two wins (13 in 1986 to 15 in 1987). His UNC Greensboro team had four more victories from 2000 (15) and 2001 (19). At Siena his team improved by five victories, registering 15 in 2006 to 20 in 2007. His Lehigh team averaged 2.8 more points its second year compared to year one. His UNC Greensboro team had a +1.9 scoring increase and +1.8 at Siena. Currently, Iowa is averaging 5.1 more points this year compared to last season.