Iowa (12-6, 4-3) will hit the road for a Saturday contest at Ohio State (10-8, 2-5). Tipoff is scheduled for 1:01 p.m. (CT) at Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio.
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: Saturday’s game will be televised nationally on FOX. Gus Johnson and Jim Jackson will call the action.
GAME #19 STORYLINES
- Wednesday’s Northwestern-Iowa game was not played due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols within the Northwestern program. That contest has been rescheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 31, at 8 p.m. in Iowa City. All distributed tickets for the Northwestern-Iowa contest will be valid for the new date and time.
- The Hawkeyes enter Saturday’s game on a four-game win streak, while Ohio State has lost five in a row.
- This week marks the 30th anniversary of when former Hawkeye Chris Street died in an automobile accident (Jan. 19, 1993).
- Iowa is tops in the Big Ten and 17th nationally in scoring offense (82.0). The Hawkeyes have led the league in scoring five of the last nine seasons, including the last four.
- Forward Kris Murray averages 24.7 points and 8.9 rebounds in home games this season. His 23.7 scoring average in conference play (six games) is tops in the league.
- 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 six players nationally with four or more 30-point performances and the only player from a Power 5 conference. 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 reached double figures in scoring 11 of 12 games, including netting 15+ points in five of Iowa’s last eight. Over the last 10 games, he is averaging 16.7 points, 9.2 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.3 blocks, and 0.8 steals, while shooting a robust 61 percent (63-of-104) from the field. Rebraca pulled down career rebound No. 1,000 last Thursday versus Michigan.
- Iowa has made 69 more free throws (289) than their opponents have attempted (220).
- Iowa’s Filip Rebraca is one of 12 players nationally to average 13+ points, 8+ rebounds, 1+ blocks, while shooting 57 percent or better from the field.
- The Hawkeyes are 7-0 this season when making nine or more 3-pointers in a game.
- Iowa is third in the country in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.7), 10th in fewest turnovers per game (10.1), 17th in assists per game (17.1), and 22nd in fewest fouls per game (14.1).
- 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.
- 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.
REMEMBERING CHRIS STREET
- Chris Street was averaging 14.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game through 15 games his junior season and earned MVP honors at the 1992 San Juan Shootout.
- Street holds the school record for most consecutive free throws made. He made 34 straight over a span of six games Jan. 2 – Jan. 16, 1993.
- Street amassed 17 double-doubles, a total that ranks 13th in school history.
- Street led the team in rebounds per game (8.2) and field goal percentage (.564) in 1992.
- Street’s 247 rebounds during the 1992 season are second most by a Hawkeye sophomore in program history.
- Street’s five steals against East Tennessee State in 1991 are tied for the most by a Hawkeye in an NCAA Tournament game.
- A total of 34 players and staff have earned the annual Chris Street Award, which is presented to the Hawkeye who best exemplifies the spirt, enthusiasm, and intensity of Chris Street.
- Street’s career totals: 676 points, 533 rebounds, 102 assists, 71 steals, 32 blocks.
SCOUTING OHIO STATE
- Ohio State (28 NET Ranking) enters Saturday’s game 10-8 overall and 2-5 in conference play. The Buckeyes’ most recent Big Ten contest was a loss at Nebraska, 63-60, on Wednesday.
- Ohio State is 7-2 at home and 3-6 in games away from Columbus this season.
- Four of Ohio State’s last five losses have come by four points or less and a combined 12 points (Purdue, 71-69; Minnesota, 70-67; at Rutgers, 68-64; at Nebraska, 63-60).
- The Buckeyes are second in the conference in field goal percentage (.467), 3-point percentage (28th nationally, 38.2), and 3-point percentage defense (22nd nationally, 29.1).
- Freshman forward Brice Sensabaugh is fourth in the Big Ten in points (302) and fifth in field goals (110). He is 10th in the conference in double-doubles (3). His last double-double was Wednesday at Nebraska (18 points, 10 rebounds).
- Junior forward Zed Key is third in the Big Ten in offensive rebounds per game (3.18). He is fourth in conference in double-doubles (6). His last double-double was Wednesday at Nebraska (11 points, 10 rebounds).
- The Buckeyes are shooting at 46.7 percent from the field, 38.2 percent from 3-point range, and 74.2 percent from the free-throw line.
- Chris Holtmann is in his sixth season as head coach of the Buckeyes. Holtmann led the squad to a second round NCAA Tournament appearance in 2018. He was also the Big Ten Coach of the Year in 2018 after posting an overall record of 25-9. Holtman was previously the head coach at Butler.
ALL-TIME SERIES RESULTS
Iowa leads the all-time series between Iowa and Ohio State by a narrow, 83-82, margin. The two teams have split the last 10 meetings, dating back to 2017. Iowa has won three of the last four meetings, including winning last year’s only contest, 75-62, in Columbus.
Ohio State holds a 50-30 advantage in games played in Columbus. The Hawkeyes have won two consecutive contests in Columbus: 73-57 in 2021 and 75-62 in 2022.
Iowa and Ohio State have not played an overtime game since 1983, the longest span without an overtime game for an Iowa Big Ten opponent.
The Hawkeyes were the first opponent to win at Value City Arena (1999).
LAST MEETING AGAINST OHIO STATE
- A 17-4 run early in the second half helped propel Iowa to an impressive 75-62 victory over No. 18 Ohio State on Feb. 19, 2022, at Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio.
- The Hawkeyes handed the Buckeyes their first home defeat of last season.
- Keegan Murray, netted 20 of his game-high 24 points in the first half. Murray also totaled five rebounds, two assists, one block, and zero turnovers in 36 minutes of action.
- Kris Murray (11) and Jordan Bohannon (10) also scored in double figures for the Hawkeyes, with Kris Murray scoring all 11 points in the final 12:15 of the game.
- Ahron Ulis gave the Hawkeyes a boost off the bench, with seven points, four rebounds and two assists.
- Iowa outrebounded Ohio State, 40-31. The Hawkeyes pulled down a season-high 20 offensive rebounds.
- Iowa’s defense held Ohio State to just 2-of-11 shooting from 3-point range.
- The Hawkeyes forced 14 Buckeye turnovers while committing eight (+6).
- Three Buckeyes netted double figures in points: Malaki Branham (22), E.J. Lidell (15), and Kyle Young (10).
HAWKEYES EXTEND WIN STREAK TO 4 WITH WIN OVER MARYLAND
Four Hawkeyes scored in double figures in an 81-67 triumph over Maryland on Sunday in Iowa City in the only regular season meeting between the two squads.
- Iowa won its fourth straight game (Indiana, Rutgers, Michigan, Maryland).
- Tony Perkins had career highs in points (22) and blocks (2).
- All-America candidate Kris Murray netted 17 pf his 19 points in the second half.
- Payton Sandfort netted nine of his 12 points in the first half, reaching double figures for the fourth straight contest.
- In addition to his 12 points, Connor McCaffery tied a personal-best with three steals (all in the first half).
- Josh Dix was collected a personal-best five assists for the second straight game (Michigan).
- Iowa outscored the Terrapins 15-0 in fast break points.
- The 81 points Iowa scored ties Michigan for the most scored against the Terrapins in conference play.
- Juniors Patrick McCaffery and Josh Ogundele did not play in Sunday’s game for Iowa.
- Maryland was led by Jahmir Young and Donta Scott. Young netted a team-best 22 points, while Scott registered a double-double totaling 15 points and 11 rebounds.
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 (26) and field goal percentage (.571), and second in rebounds (8.7) and points per game (13.8). He is pulling down 3.2 offensive boards per outing, fourth best in the Big Ten and 34th nationally. His field goal percentage (.571) ranks 44th in the country.
Rebraca netted career point No. 1,500 against Eastern Illinois (Dec. 21). He has scored 457 points the last two seasons as a Hawkeye (54 games) and 1,129 points in three seasons at North Dakota. He grabbed career rebound No. 1,000 in Iowa’s win over Michigan.
The under-sized center (6-foot-9) has netted double figures a team-best 14 times this year and posted a team-best seven double-doubles, tying for second most in the league. Rebraca has scored in double figures in 11 of 12 games and netted 15+ points in five of Iowa’s last eight. He has rejected multiple shots six times this season and his 1.44 blocks per game ranks sixth 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 then-No. 15 Indiana. Rebraca posted double-double No. 7 in the overtime win over Michigan (13 points, 12 rebounds).
Payton Sandfort had a sluggish start to the 2022-23 Big Ten season. The sophomore guard was 0-for-19 from the field, including 0-for-10 from 3-point range, over Iowa’s first three Big Ten games (Wisconsin, Nebraska, Penn State).
Over the last four games –all of which Iowa has won — Sandfort is averaging 17.8 points and 5.8 rebounds, shooting 58.5 percent (24-of-41) from the field and 50 percent (11-of-22) from long distance. He made a career-best four 3-pointers in two games: Rutgers (4-of-5) and Michigan (4-of-9). Sandfort has netted double figures in six of the last eight games, including four in a row. Iowa is 6-1 when Sandfort makes multiple triples in a game.
Sandfort was instrumental in Iowa’s overtime victory over the Wolverines on Jan. 12. He scored Iowa’s final seven points of regulation (63 seconds), including a four-point play with 20 seconds remaining to force overtime. Sandfort tallied 24 of his career-high 26 points in the second half and overtime.
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, Oscar Robertson Midseason Watch List, 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 21.2 points and nine rebounds per outing. Murray has increased his scoring average by 12.5 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. Murray played all 45 minutes in Iowa’s overtime triumph over Michigan, amassing 27 points, eight rebounds, three blocks, three assists, and a steal. He netted 17 of his 19 points in the second half in Sunday’s triumph over Maryland.
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, Michigan, Maryland (knee)
Patrick McCaffery: Indiana, Rutgers, Michigan, Maryland (anxiety)
Iowa posted its third-largest comeback in school history when it rallied to beat No. 15 Indiana (91-89) on Jan. 5, in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes trailed by 21 points (28-7) early in the first half. Iowa caught the Hoosiers and took their first lead with 11:35 remaining in the second half.
Iowa’s two largest comebacks were 23 points against Gardner-Webb on Nov. 17, 2022, and 22 points at Illinois on Jan. 14, 1987.
The Hawkeyes rallied from a 10-point second half deficit, including trailing by seven with under two minutes left in regulation, to upend Michigan in overtime on Jan. 12 in Iowa City.
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 7.5 points and 3.5 rebounds per game, and has made 21-of-57 (.368) 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 last Sunday. He was a +10 in Iowa’s overtime win against Michigan.
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).
COURTESY IOWA ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS