Iowa men’s basketball set to take on Ohio State

The Hawkeyes face the Buckeyes on Saturday afternoon in Columbus.

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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 take on Ohio State on the road on Saturday afternoon.

The Hawkeyes will tip off against the Buckeyes at 1 p.m. on Fox.

The Hawkeyes are 12-6 on the year after securing four straight Big Ten victories, improving their conference record to 4-3. Iowa last fell to Penn State on New Year’s Day.

Iowa’s scheduled contest against Northwestern at home on Wednesday night was postponed because of COVID-19 concerns and injuries within the Wildcats’ program.

Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery said the disruption has had little impact on his team as the Hawkeyes prepare for two straight road games.

“We gave them a little more time [on Wednesday], but most of the guys were in the gym shooting anyways,” McCaffery said about his players. “We’re just getting ready for the next one. We’ve done this before … so it’s no big deal.”

The two programs have rescheduled the game and will face off at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Jan. 31 at 8 p.m.

RELATED:  https://dailyiowan.com/2023/01/19/iowa-northwestern-mens-basketball-game-rescheduled-for-jan-31/

As McCaffery and crew look ahead to their weekend tilt with Ohio State, the scoring matchup favors the Hawkeyes on paper. Iowa outpaces the 10-8 Buckeyes in team scoring, with averages of 82.0 and 77.0 points per game, respectively.

The Buckeyes are led in scoring by freshman forward Brice Sensabaugh. The 6-foot-6 swingman contributes 17 points a contest while junior big man Zed Key leads the team on the glass, pulling down boards to the tune of eight per night.

McCaffery says Buckeyes’ recent struggles not indicative of team’s talent

Ohio State enters the contest with a 2-5 record in Big Ten play, leaving the Buckeyes second-to-last in the conference standings. They have lost their last five games — four by four points or less — including a two-point loss at home to No. 3 Purdue.

“If you think about it, they were standing at 10-3 with a loss at Duke, one in overtime at [North] Carolina, and one to a ranked San Diego State team,” McCaffery said in a press conference Thursday. “Then they lost five games by a total of 19 points.”

McCaffery highlighted Key and Sensabaugh as difference-makers for the Buckeyes.

“They’ve got a lot of different weapons,” McCaffery said. “Zed [Key] was hurt for a minute there, had a minutes restriction, but he’s back, and he’s one of the better big men in our league. [Brice] Sensabaugh is one of the best freshmen in the country, and they get really good play out of the point guard position. It’s a whole team, with some young guys who are playing really well.”

Murray named to award midseason list

Iowa forward Kris Murray has been named to the Oscar Robertson Award Midseason List. The trophy is given to the best college player each year.

The 6-foot-8 Cedar Rapids native has averaged 21.2 points, 9.0 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game on 51.6 percent shooting this season. His scoring output stands second in the Big Ten behind Purdue’s Zach Edey, who averages 21.9 per game.

Murray would become the second Hawkeye to take home the trophy in three years after Luka Garza earned the distinction in 2020-21.

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