Nov. 18, 2012
Iowa travels to Cancun, Mexico to compete in the 2012 Cancun Challenge. The Hawkeyes will play Western Kentucky from the Sun Belt Conference on Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. Iowa will then face either DePaul or Wichita State on Wednesday (6 or 8:30 p.m.) depending on the result of Tuesday's action.
This marks the first time the Iowa men's basketball will compete in the Cancun Challenge. The Hawkeye women's basketball team has traveled to Cancun twice during Lisa Bluder's tenure.
CANCUN CHALLENGE QUICK HITS
The Iowa men's basketball team travels to Cancun for the first time in its program history.
The Hawkeyes have started the year 4-0 for the first time since 2008. Iowa's 2008 squad started its season 5-0.
Iowa has won nine of its last 10 home games, dating back to Feb. 1.
Iowa won its first three games by an average of 20.5 points.
Roy Devyn Marble and Aaron White have scored in double figures in all four games.
Aaron White leads the team in rebounding (8.0), steals (1.8) and free throws made (27) and attempted (39), and is second in scoring (14.8).
The Hawkeyes have attempted 23 or more free throws in each of their first four games.
This marks the second time in three years under Fran McCaffery that the Hawkeye head coach has started two freshmen in the season opener (Basabe and McCabe in 2010).
Iowa is 10-2 when scoring 80 points or more, the last three seasons. The Hawkeyes are 17-0 when holding opponents to fewer than 60 points, the last two years.
Iowa's average starting lineup height is 6-foot-6. The Hawkeye starting lineup consists of two freshmen, one sophomore, and two juniors.
ON THE AIR
Radio: Iowa games at the Cancun Challenge 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.
Television: Cancun Challenge games on Tuesday and Wednesday will be televised on the CBS Sports Network. The channel is available on satellite providers and many cable digital sports packages.
HAWKEYES RALLY FOR WIN OVER GARDNER-WEBB
Iowa trailed by as many as 23 points late in the first half, but rallied to register an impressive 65-56 win over Gardner-Webb on Saturday night in Iowa City.
Fueled by a 24-4 run spanning halves, the Hawkeyes tied the game (42-42) with 10 minutes left in the second half. Iowa would outscore the Runnin' Bulldogs 23-14 the remainder of the half to post the nine-point victory.
Iowa was held to 18 first-half points, while Gardner-Webb was limited to 18 second-half points. The Hawkeye offense scored 47 points the final 20 minutes, which proved to be the difference.
Iowa had four players score in double figures: Josh Oglesby (13), Aaron White (13), Adam Woodbury (12) and Roy Devyn Marble (11). Marble scored all 11 of his points in the second stanza, while Oglesby netted 12 of his 13 the final 20:01 of the contest.
Aaron White posted Iowa's first double-double of the season (13 points, 10 rebounds).
After shooting only 20 percent (5-25) in the first half, the Hawkeyes shot 50 percent (14-28) in the second stanza. Iowa held Gardner-Webb to 19 percent (5-26) shooting from the floor the final 20 minutes.
Iowa made a season-high 21 free throws (32 attempted).
Fran McCaffery has coached in 498 career games (284-214, .570). Wednesday's game against DePaul or Wichita State will be his 500th game as a head coach.
The Hawkeyes have played 10 players or more in each of the first four games.
Iowa (62) doubled the amount of assists than its opponents (31).
Aaron White is attacking the rim averaging a team-best 9.75 free-throw attempts per game. He is averaging 6.75 free-throw makes per outing.
The Hawkeyes have attempted 23 or more free throws in each of their first four games. Iowa has attempted 23 free throws twice (Central Michigan and Howard) and 25 twice (Gardner-Webb and UTPA).
Iowa has made (70) more free throws than its opponents have attempted (56), which is a staple of Fran McCaffery-coached teams.
Roy Devyn Marble scored 15 of his season-high 22 points in the first half against Howard. It marked the third time in his career the junior reached the 20-point plateau.
Freshman center Adam Woodbury has missed only five field goal attempts (12-of-17, .706). He is also averaging 5.5 boards per contest.
The Hawkeyes boast a +7.0 rebounding margin over their opponents.
Iowa blocked 10 shots vs. UT-Pan American in its season opener, the most by an Iowa team since Nov. 14, 2005 (Md.-Eastern Shore).
NUMBER OF THE WEEK -- 3
Three of Iowa's starters are from the Sioux City area. Junior Zach McCabe and freshman Adam Woodbury hail from Sioux City, Iowa, while freshman Mike Gesell is a native of South Sioux City, Neb. Gesell celebrated his 19th birthday on Nov. 9, the season opener.
Tuesday will be the first meeting between Iowa and Western Kentucky. The Hawkeyes are 9-2 all-time against current teams in the Sun Belt. Iowa is 2-1 all-time against DePaul and 4-4 vs. Wichita State.
The Hawkeyes last played the Blue Demons on March 15, 1995, winning 87-86 in the postseason NIT in Moline, Ill. Iowa last played Wichita State on Nov. 24, 2009, falling to the Shockers 74-57 in the CBE Classic in Kansas City, Mo.
SCOUTING WESTERN KENTUCKY
Western Kentucky is 2-1 having lost its opener in overtime at Southern Miss, then winning their two home games against Austin Peay (74-54) and Western Carolina (92-81).
The Hilltoppers have three players average double figures in scoring: Jamal Crook (19.7), T.J. Price (13.0), and George Fant (12.3). Crook also leads the team in assists (5.0), steals (2.0), and free throws made (19) and attempted (23).
Western Kentucky has two players average 8.3 boards per contest: T.J. Price (8.3) and George Fant (8.3).
The Hilltoppers pull down 5.3 more rebounds than their opposition.
Jamal Crook, T.J. Price, and George Fant average 31 minutes or more per contest.
Western Kentucky beat Western Carolina, 92-81, on Saturday. Jamal Crook and T.J. Price share game high scoring honors with each netting 26 points.
The Western Kentucky-Western Carolina game featured 52 fouls and 74 free throw attempts. The Hilltoppers made 30 of their 43 foul attempts.
HAWKEYE DEFENSE IMPROVING
Last year, Iowa allowed opponents 72.5 points per contest. Through four games in 2012, Iowa is yielding just 52.0 points. Iowa held Howard to 36 points on Nov. 15, which were the fewest points a Hawkeye team allowed since a 61-36 win over Bryant on Dec. 5, 2008.
Iowa has played 2,663 games since beginning basketball in 1902. Iowa's overall record is 1,599-1,064 (.600). That includes a 960-353 (.731) record in home games, a 549-721 (.432) record in contests away from Iowa City, a 711-728 (.494) mark in Big Ten games and a 366-117 (.758) record in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
WHITE, WOODBURY RECEIVE PRESEASON RECOGNITION
Sophomore Aaron White has been named preseason third team All-Big Ten by the website College Sports Madness, while Adam Woodbury was named by CBSSports.com as a top 30 freshman to make an impact.
White, who was named to the 2012 Kyle Macy Freshman All-America team, averaged 11.1 points and a team-best 5.7 rebounds a year ago.
Woodbury, is a three-time All-State honoree, and was tabbed MVP of the NBA Top 100 Camp in 2011. The 7-foot-1 center topped 1,000 career points and rebounds in his prep career for Sioux City East High School.
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 48 years of head coaching experience.
Director of Basketball Operations Jerry Strom is in his 32nd season as a member of the Iowa basketball staff. Additionally, Iowa's video coordinator, Al Seibert, has 18 years of collegiate coaching experience.
Iowa welcomes five newcomers to the fold for 2012-13. The newest Hawkeyes include guards Anthony Clemmons, Pat Ingram and Mike Gesell; forward Kyle Meyer and center Adam Woodbury. The class ranks 25th in the nation by ESPN.com.
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 and game highlights, along with news stories and other content.
HY-VEE BIG 4 CLASSIC TICKETS ON SALE
The state of Iowa's four NCAA Division I institutions will host the inaugural Hy-Vee Big Four Classic, a men's college basketball doubleheader at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines Dec. 15.
Tickets, priced at $25, $50 and $70, can be purchased at dahlstickets.com, the Wells Fargo Arena Ticket Office, all Dahl's Foods Locations and by calling 866-55-DAHLS.
ON THE HORIZON
Iowa will depart for Mexico on Sunday morning for the Cancun Challenge. The Hawkeyes will play Western Kentucky on Tuesday (8:30 p.m., CBS Sports Network) and will play either DePaul or Wichita State Wednesday (6 or 8:30 p.m., CBS Sports Network).