Iowa men’s basketball prepared to host Georgia Tech

The Hawkeyes take on the Yellow Jackets at home on Tuesday night as part of the final edition of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.


Jerod Ringwald

Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery watches action during a basketball game between Iowa and Omaha at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Monday, Nov. 21, 2022. The Hawkeyes defeated the Mavericks, 100-64.

Grant Hall, Sports Reporter

The Iowa men’s basketball team is prepared to host Georgia Tech on Tuesday at 8:05 p.m.

The two teams face off as part of the annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge, which will be discontinued next year after fifteen seasons. 

The Hawkeyes enter Tuesday’s competition at 6-1 on the year. They dropped their first contest of the season on Nov. 26 to TCU, losing, 79-66, in the championship round of the Emerald Coast Classic in Niceville, Florida.

Iowa freshman guard Dasonte Bowen said his first college loss was a learning experience. Bowen went 3-for-5 from the field for eight points against TCU.

RELATED: Iowa men’s basketball falls to TCU in Emerald Coast Classic championship game

“It’s a quick flip,” Bowen said. “We played Saturday, and now we play again on Tuesday, so I can’t really think about that loss. We handled it maturely, no one pointed fingers, and we know what we have to do going into the game tomorrow.”

The Yellow Jackets sport three players who average more than 10 points per game, with a trio of guards leading the way offensively. Dallan Coleman, Miles Kelly, and Deivon Smith average 11.3, 11.2, and 10.8 points per contest, respectively.

The ‘Jackets stand at 4-2 on the season with losses to Marquette and Utah. Over the course of the year, Georgia Tech has converted just 29.7 percent of its 3-point opportunities and averages 70.7 points scored per game, good for 219th in the country. 

In contrast, the Hawkeyes boast the 11th-best offense in the nation, pouring in 87.3 points a night.

Iowa guard Tony Perkins said he is confident the Hawkeyes will come out with a stronger performance against Georgia Tech than they displayed in the loss to TCU.

“I’m pretty positive that we’re going to come out and be way better than we were against TCU,” Perkins said. “We’re just going to erase the loss, come back better, and improve what we can improve on.”

Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery said Georgia Tech has a plethora of scoring options, which presents a challenge for the Hawkeyes. The Yellow Jackets have seven players averaging over six points per game. 

“They changed defenses, and I like their team,” McCaffery said. “They’ve got a lot of different players in the sort of six-foot-four to six-foot-seven range who can score, get their own shot, and switch. They can play man or zone, they’re active, and they’ve got some depth. They’re a really quality ACC team.”

Iowa and Georgia Tech’s battle will air on ESPN2.

After the Hawkeyes match up with the Yellow Jackets, they have over a week off to prepare for a trip to New York City. Iowa will take on No. 17 Duke at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 6.

McCaffery said the downtime between games allows his student-athletes to catch up on their studies before the end of the academic semester. 

“I think it’s nice to have a little bit of a break,” McCaffery said. “We’ve always had one sometime around finals [week]. They are students, so you want them to focus a little bit academically. It’s a grind, and it takes great maturity and professionalism on their part.”

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