|School Name:||University of Iowa|
|Location:||Iowa City, Iowa|
|Arena:||Carver Hawkeye Arena|
|Head coach:||Fran McCaffery|
The Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball team represents the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa, as a member of the Big Ten Conference and the National Collegiate Athletic Association. They currently play in 15,500-seat Carver-Hawkeye Arena, along with the school's women's basketball, wrestling, and volleyball teams. Fran McCaffery was named the Hawkeyes newest coach on Monday, March 29, 2010.
Throughout history, the Hawkeyes have enjoyed the successes of eight Big Ten regular-season conference championships, the last coming in 1979. More recently, Iowa has won the Big Ten tournament twice, in 2001 and 2006. Iowa has also played in the Final Four on three occasions, reaching the semifinals in 1955 and 1980 and playing in the championship game against the University of San Francisco in 1956.
The team was widely successful in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s under head coaches Lute Olson and Tom Davis. Under Olson, the Hawkeyes won their last Big Ten regular season championship and went to their last Final Four to date.
Prior to playing in Carver-Hawkeye Arena, which opened in 1983, the Hawkeyes played in the Iowa Fieldhouse, which is still used today by the school's swimming and gymnastics teams. In 2006, the Hawkeyes accumulated a school-record 21 consecutive wins at home before losing to in-state rival Northern Iowa.
- 1 History
- 2 Individual honors
- 3 Facilities
- 4 See also
- 5 External Links
The roots of Iowa basketball lie in 1902, when Ed Rule coached the Hawkeyes to a 10-2 record in their very first season of basketball. Rule coached the Hawkeyes in four non-consecutive seasons from 1902–08, leading Iowa to a 37-15 record under his watch. Even today, Rule's winning percentage stands as the best among head coaches in Iowa basketball history.
Following Rule's tenure, Iowa was coached by names such as John Griffith, Walter Stewart, Floyd Thomas, Maury Kent, Edwin Bannick, and James Ashmore. Yet in that stretch of time, the best Iowa had finished in the Big Ten was 5th on three separate occasions. But all that changed when Sam Barry was hired as the Iowa's tenth head coach. In Barry's first season, 1923, Iowa went 13-2 overall and won a Big Ten championship for the first time in school history. And the winning did not stop there: Before Barry's departure in 1929, the Hawkeyes also tied for the Big Ten championship in 1926, along with Indiana, Michigan, and Purdue.
Following Barry in the line of Hawkeye coaches was Rollie Williams, who would coach Iowa on two occasions, from 1930–42 and in 1951. Although Williams' winning percentage stands at 51.5%, his long tenure at Iowa allowed him to become the winningest coach in Iowa history until Lute Olson and Tom Davis both surpassed him. Perhaps the most interesting event during Williams' tenure, however, occurred in 1929, when Iowa was suspended from participation in the Big Ten for violating conference rules. After a Big Ten investigation uncovered an illegal slush fund and possible recruiting violations, Iowa relented to the Big Ten's demands and was eventually reinstated into the conference on February 1, 1930. 14 players, including four on the basketball squad, were declared ineligible as a result of the Big Ten's findings.
The Fabulous Five
Just as the United States emerged from the depression, so did Iowa's basketball fortunes. Following a rocky 7-10 season in 1943, Pops Harrison led the Hawkeyes to their third overall Big Ten title (and first unshared title) in 1945. In the following decade, from 1946–56, the Hawkeyes had but one non-winning season in 1949, Harrison's last full season as head coach.
Following short tenures by both Frank "Bucky" O'Connor in 1950 and Rollie Williams in 1951, O'Connor once again became Iowa's coach and would hold that position until his death on April 22, 1958. Under O'Connor, Iowa would see unparalleled success in what some consider the most successful era in Iowa history. In 1953, Iowa finished second in the Big Ten behind the efforts of a starting lineup fully-composed of sophomores. As juniors, the "Fabulous Five" won the Big Ten outright and eventually finished fourth in the nation. In 1956, as seniors, they again won the Big Ten outright and finished second in the nation only to Bill Russell and the undefeated San Francisco Dons.
Despite losing in the championship game, for the only time in school history, the Hawkeyes recorded consecutive Big Ten championships. Sharm Scheuerman, Bill Seaberg, Carl Cain, Bill Schoof, and Bill Logan, all members of the "Fabulous Five", had their jerseys retired in 1980.
Ralph Miller era
Iowa enjoyed 5 years of tremendous success under Ralph Miller from 1965-66 through 1969-1970, winning two Big Ten conference titles during that span. Miller joined the Hawks as head coach after completing a successful stint as head coach at Wichita State.
The 1967–68 team tied for the Big Ten Title with Ohio State with a 10–4 conference record, and a 16–9 overall record. This team was led by Sam Williams, a high-scoring forward who led the Big Ten in scoring that year.
The 1969–70 team was arguably the greatest team in Iowa basketball history. Known as the "Six-Pack" (because only 6 players played most of the minutes), this team stormed through the Big Ten with a perfect 14–0 record, one of the few Big Ten teams ever to go undefeated in the conference. The team averaged over 100 points in conference play, highlighted by a 108-107 victory in West Lafayette over Purdue late in the season to clinch the outright title. Rick Mount of Purdue scored 61 points in that game in a losing effort. The Six Pack team was led by John Johnson and "Downtown" Fred Brown, who both enjoyed long and successful NBA careers after playing for the Hawkeyes. Glenn "the Stick" Vidnovic and Chad Calabria also starred on this team. One amazing statistic about this team is that they averaged almost 80% accuracy as a team from the free throw line for the season.
To the chagrin of many Hawkeye fans, Ralph Miller left Iowa after the 1969–70 season to accept the head coaching job at Oregon State, where he had a long and successful run. Miller's assistant (and Iowa's baseball coach), Dick Schultz, succeeded Miller as head coach. Schultz resigned in 1974, after four second-division finishes in the Big Ten (with an overall winning record in only one of those seasons).
Lute Olson era
Iowa hired Long Beach State coach Lute Olson to replace Schultz in 1974. After progressive improvements from 1975 to 1977, Olson coached the Hawkeyes to five consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances from 1978–79 through 1982–83. The 1978-79 squad won the outright Big-10 Title.
Olsons tenure was highlighted by an appearance in the Final Four in 1980 on a team led by Ronnie Lester, with a wonderful supporting cast of Kenny Arnold, Steve Waite, Steve Krafcison, Vince Brookins, Kevin Boyle, Bobby Hanson and Mark Gannon.
In 1979-80 Iowa started out 7-0 when Lester was injured early in the season at Dayton, not returning until the regular season finale. Nineteen regular season wins earned Iowa a Five Seed in the East Regional of the NCAA Tournament (then, a 36 team field).
In the four tournament wins that took Iowa to the Final Four, All-American Lester dished out 26 assists while committing only seven turnovers along with 51 points. Iowa opened by defeating Virginia Commonwealth 86-72 and #4 Seed NC State 77-64. In a huge upset, Iowa knocked off #1 seed Syracuse 88-77, setting up a matchup in the Elite Eight with #3 Georgetown.
Iowa earned an improbable Final Four trip to Indianapolis on March 16, 1980 defeating John Thompson's Georgetown squad 81-80. Iowa overcame a 10- point halftime deficit, making 17 of their final 21 shots and going 15-15 from the free-throw line. The winner was Steve Waite's three-point play in the closing seconds in the NCAA East Region final.
In the semi-final game against Denny Crum's Louisville team, Lester scored the first 10 points for Iowa. But after eight minutes of play reinjured his knee and exited the game, ending his Iowa career. In Lester's absence, Louisville bested Iowa by only eight points (80-72) and went on to win the tournament, defeating UCLA (Larry Brown) in the final. Lester's value to his team is evident in the numbers. Not counting the Louisville game, the 1979-1980 Iowa Hawkeyes were 15-1 with Lester, and 8-9 without him. Hall of Famer Earvin "Magic" Johnson, who played two seasons at Michigan State University, once claimed Lester the toughest opponent he ever faced in the Big Ten. Lester was drafted 10th in the NBA Draft in 1980, but the knee issues limited him in the NBA. He currently is an Assistant General Manager for the Los Angeles Lakers and recently donated $100,000 to the University of Iowa.
George Raveling era
When Lute Olson left for Arizona, George Raveling came to Iowa from Washington State University. Highly regarded for his ability to recruit, Raveling brought in Michigan high school stars B.J. Armstrong, Bill Jones, and Roy Marble, Springfield High School teammates Ed Horton and Kevin Gamble, as well as USC transfer Gerry Wright, and Les Jepsen, all of whom would go on to play in the NBA. During Raveling's three years with the program (1983–84 through 1985–86), the Hawkeyes made two trips to the NCAA tournament, losing in the first round on both occasions. Raveling left after the 1985–1986 season to take the head coaching position at USC.
Tom Davis era
Dr. Tom Davis took over from George Raveling and coached the Hawkeyes for 13 seasons from 1986-87 to 1998–99. Davis's signature was running the full court press defense for the entire game and using rapid, continuous substitution. In his first season, the Hawkeyes won their first 18 games and obtained the #1 ranking in the AP and UPI polls for the first time in school history. That squad would eventually win a school-record 30 games and make it to the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament, losing to UNLV 84–81. Retaining their key stars B.J. Armstrong, Ed Horton, and Roy Marble for the following season, the Hawkeyes began the 1987–88 season ranked in the top 5 by most polls and publications. Iowa would make it to the Sweet Sixteen, avenging their loss to UNLV in the second round, before losing to former coach Lute Olson's Arizona Wildcats. In all, Davis led the Hawkeyes to nine NCAA Tournaments, winning every first round game in the process. In his final season, Iowa returned to the Sweet Sixteen before losing to eventual National Champion UCONN. Under Davis the Hawkeyes also made two appearances in the National Invitational Tournament. He is the all-time winningest coach in Iowa history with 270 wins. The administration chose not to renew Davis's contract upon completion of the 1998–99 season, forcing Davis to retire. He would later come out of retirement to help rebuild the Drake University program.
Steve Alford era
Steve Alford, a former Indiana Hoosier and a member of the Olympic gold-winning 1984 United States Basketball team, arrived at Iowa with great fanfare. In his first game as coach of the Hawkeyes, Iowa defeated the defending champion and #1-ranked Connecticut Huskies in Madison Square Garden. However, his first team would finish 14–16. During his second year (2000–01) the Hawkeyes were a highly regarded squad that included Indiana transfer Luke Recker and Reggie Evans, who would lead the Big Ten Conference in rebounds and double-doubles during his two seasons with Iowa, as well as Iowa Mr. basketball 1997 Dean Oliver, who had a career year with the Hawkeyes. However, the team lacked chemistry and did not live up to expectations, finishing 23–12 for the season season and 7–9 in the Big Ten Conference regular season, but they won the Big Ten Conference Tournament with four straight wins against Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State, and Indiana. This earned them a #7 seed in the 2001 NCAA Tournament, where they defeated Creighton in the first round but lost to Kentucky in the second.
The Hawkeyes' conference record dropped to 5–11 during the 2001-02 season, but they defeated Purdue, Wisconsin, and Indiana in the Big Ten Tournament before losing to Ohio State in the finals. The Hawkeyes played in the National Invitation Tournament that season, but lost to LSU in the first round to finish with a 19-16 record. This was the first of three straight seasons that the Hawkeyes played in the NIT under Alford. They won the first two rounds of the 2003 tournament against Valparaiso and Iowa State before losing to Georgia Tech, finishing with a 17–14 record. In 2004 they returned to the NIT, losing to St. Louis in the first round of the NIT to complete the season at 16–13. The 9–7 conference record marked the first winning Big Ten Conference record under Alford.
The Hawkeyes finished 21–12 with a 7–9 conference record in the 2004-05 regular season, but they won their first two Big Ten Tournament games against Purdue and Michigan State before losing the third game to Wisconsin, 59-56. They earned an at-large invitation to the 2005 NCAA Tournament as a #10 seed, where they lost 76–64 to Cincinnati in the first round. During the season, leading scorer Pierre Pierce was dismissed from the team amid charges of sexual abuse; Pierce ultimately served one year in prison.
During the 2005-06 season, the Hawkeyes went undefeated at Carver-Hawkeye Arena for the first time in school history and finished in a second-place tie with Illinois with an 11–5 conference record, one game behind Ohio State. However, the Hawkeyes defeated Minnesota, Michigan State, and Ohio State to win the Big Ten Tournament and finish 25–8 going into its third NCAA Tournament under Alford. They were ranked No. 11 nationally and seeded #3 in the Atlanta Regional of the 2006 NCAA Tournament, but lost in a first-round upset to #14 seed Northwestern State 64–63, leaving Alford with only one NCAA Tournament win since taking over at Iowa. The game was lost on a last second shot, and the Hawkeyes have not returned to the NCAA Tournament since.
During the 2006–07 season, Alford led the Hawkeyes to an 8–6 non-conference record (which included a home loss to Drake for the first time in 40 years) and an 9–7 record in the Big Ten Conference. Iowa was not invited to the post season, marking the first time since the 1976-77 that a Hawkeye team with a winning record failed to make either the NCAA tournament or the NIT.
At the conclusion of the 2006-07 season, Alford resigned from the University of Iowa to accept the coaching position at the University of New Mexico.
Todd Lickliter era
Following Alford's departure, Butler coach and reigning NABC Coach of the Year Todd Lickliter was hired. The graduation of Adam Haluska and the transfer of leading scorer Tyler Smith to Tennessee created a void. The 2007–2008 Hawkeyes would finish 13–19 for the season, including 6–12 in the Big Ten. The 2008-9 Hawkeyes would improve slightly to 15-17. The 2009-10 Hawkeyes dropped to 10-22. After experiencing the worst three year run in the program's history, Lickliter was fired on March 15, 2010.
Fran McCaffery era
Siena's former coach Fran McCaffery was announced as the new basketball coach on Monday, March 29, 2010. Iowa had an 11-20 record in 2010-11 but capped off the regular season with an upset of #6 Purdue. On the season, Carver-Hawkeye Arena witnessed its highest men's basketball attendance since 2006.
Ten Hawkeye players have had their numbers retired by the University of Iowa:
|55||Luka Garza ||2021|
Each year, numerous publications and organizations release lists of All-America teams, hypothetical rosters of players considered the best in the nation at their respective positions. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) uses officially recognized All-America selectors to determine the consensus selections. Over time, the sources used to determine the consensus selections have varied. Currently, the NCAA uses four "major" selectors to determine consensus All-Americans: the Associated Press, The National Association of Basketball Coaches, the United States Basketball Writers Association and Sporting News magazine. Since 1984, the NCAA has applied a standardized point system to those teams designated as "major" All-American teams to determine consensus teams. The point system consists of three points for first team, two points for second team and one point for third team. No honorable mention or fourth team or lower are used in the computation. The top five totals plus ties are first team and the next five plus ties are second team. Many other publications and organization compile their own "minor" All-America teams in addition to the selectors listed here.
Through the 2009 season, 17 Iowa players have earned 24 All-America selections. Of Iowa's 17 All-Americans, 11 players were first-team All-American selections, with Ronnie Lester doing so twice. Iowa has had four consensus first and second team All-American selections; they are listed in bold in the table below.
Big Ten honorees
Big Ten Most Valuable Players
The Chicago Tribune Silver Basketball was awarded from 1946 to 2007 by the Chicago Tribune to the college basketball player determined to be the Most Valuable Player of the Big Ten Conference. Three Hawkeyes won the Tribune Big Ten MVP award:
Big Ten Players of the Year
The Big Ten Conference has presented its own Player of the Year award since 1985. Iowa did not have a winner of this award until 2020.
Big Ten Tournament MVPs
Since 1998, the Big Ten Conference has held an annual basketball tournament at the end of its regular season. Every year, the Big Ten Conference Men's Basketball Tournament crowns a tournament MVP, and two Hawkeyes have won the annual honor:
Other annual awards
Coaches and media of the Big Ten also make annual selections for additional individual honors:
|Big Ten Conference Award||Recipient(s) and year received|
|Defensive Player of the Year||Acie Earl (1992); Erek Hansen (2006)|
|Sixth Man of the Year||Doug Thomas (2006), Gabe Olaseni (2015), Nicholas Baer (2017)|
|Freshman of the Year||Kevin Boyle (1979); Michael Payne (1982); Roy Marble (1985); Jess Settles (1994); Joey Range (1999)|
Through the 2020 season, Iowa has had 114 All-Big Ten selections, including 36 first-team selections. Of these players, 32 were multiple All-Big Ten selections, and nine players were three-time All-Big Ten selections.
Most Valuable Players
The Iowa Most Valuable Player Award was presented annually to an Iowa player or players from 1946-2007:
Chris Street Award
The Chris Street Award, named in honor of former Hawkeye Chris Street, has been presented annually since 1993 to “a Hawkeye player who best exemplifies the spirit, enthusiasm, and intensity of Chris Street”:
Iowa's men's basketball team plays their home games at Carver–Hawkeye Arena, a 15,500-seat multi-purpose indoor arena located in Iowa City, Iowa. It opened in 1983 and is also the home of the university's wrestling, women's basketball, and volleyball teams. Prior to playing in Carver-Hawkeye Arena, the Hawkeye men's basketball team played in the Iowa Field House, which is still used today by the school's swimming and gymnastics teams.