Iowa men’s basketball prepared to host Iowa State

The Hawkeyes take on the No. 20 Cyclones at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday night as part of the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series.

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Jerod Ringwald

Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery watches action during a men’s basketball game between Iowa and North Carolina A&T at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City on Friday, Nov. 11, 2022. The Hawkeyes defeated the Aggies, 112-71.

Grant Hall, Sports Reporter


The Iowa men’s basketball team is prepared to host Iowa State on Thursday at 7 p.m. as part of the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series.

The Hawkeyes are 6-2 on the year after Tuesday night’s 74-62 defeat at the hands of No. 15 Duke. Iowa fell to the Blue Devils in Madison Square Garden, dropping their second game in the past three contests.

In comparison, the No. 20 Cyclones stand 7-1 on the season, including a 70-65 win over then-No. 1 North Carolina on Nov. 25. The ‘Clones won last year’s Cy-Hawk contest, 73-53, against a then-16th-ranked Iowa squad.

Iowa State head coach TJ Oltzberger’s team sports a trio of double-digit scorers in guards Jaren Holmes, Caleb Grill, and big man Osun Osunniyi. They average 14.6, 10.5, and 10 points per contest, respectively. Ames native Tamin Lipsey leads in both assists and steals, tallying 3.8 helpers and 2.0 swipes a night.

Other contributors include 6-foot-8 Slovenia native Aljaz Kunc and guard Gabe Kalscheur, who dropped 23 on Villanova in an overtime victory on Nov. 24.

Iowa State’s shooting splits are worse than the Hawkeyes’ across the board. The Hawkeyes have made 2.5 percent more of their field goal attempts, 3 percent more of their free throws, and hold a 1.2 percent advantage behind the arc despite Iowa’s recent struggles from deep.

Hawkeyes managing fatigue well

Despite a quick turnaround from Tuesday’s matchup, Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery said his team is prepared for the challenges Iowa State presents.

The Hawkeyes flew back from New York late Tuesday night and are set to tip off against the Cyclones less than 48 hours after their loss at Madison Square Garden.

“There’s a lot more of an issue made about fatigue [than there should be],” McCaffery said after the defeat. “These are young kids, and the game is 40 minutes long, but they could have played 80 minutes. We’ll get off the plane and rest, get a good stretch, and we’ll be ready to go on Thursday.”

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Three of the Hawkeyes’ past four contests have been away from Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa previously traveled to Florida and participated in the Emerald Coast Classic.

Iowa not phased by Cy-Hawk rivalry

McCaffery said his team is worried about Iowa State as an opponent rather than any rivalry implications.

“We don’t look at it one way or the other,” McCaffery said. “It’s just the next game, like ‘when is it?’ We’ll show up and play.’”

Throughout McCaffery’s time at the helm, the Hawkeyes have struggled against the Cyclones. Iowa State holds a 7-5 advantage during McCaffery’s tenure, including last year’s 20-point thrashing in Ames.

Despite the outcome, last season, Iowa has won four of the last six contests and holds a 47-28 advantage all time.

Thursday’s contest will be broadcast on FS1.

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