The U-N-I Panthers have beaten the Iowa Hawkeyes three straight times in Cedar Falls but a victory tonight over the Hawks would be their first in Iowa City. U-N-I is 6-1 and opened the in-state series last week with a victory at home over Iowa State.
U-N-I coach Ben Jacobson says as many things as the school has done, there are still some big things out there, and beating Iowa in Iowa City would be one.
Led by the veteran trio of Eric Coleman, Grant Stout and Brooks McKowen the Panthers have a big edge in terms of experience. Jacobson says those players have played in a lot of big games and their experience has showed up in wins against I-S-U and Bucknell.
Jacobson says the Hawkeyes are much better than their 4-4 record because they’ve played a very tough schedule and while working in new players. Despite the records and the edge in experience Jacobson says the Panthers don’t view themselves as the favorite in this game, as he says it’s Iowa’s home game and the Hawks will be expected to win.
Iowa coach Steve Alford says the Hawks need to find a way to slow down Panther junior center Eric Coleman. Alford says Coleman has hurt them every time they played him and that came against good defensive players. Alford says Grant Stout is also a problem.
Alford says Coleman and Stout are two guys who have been in three NCAA tournaments, been at the top of their conference and play with a lot of confidence. Alford says Brooks McKowen is scoring more this year because he is their most experienced guard.
Alford says that happens in college basketball, your role changes, and McKowen has become more of a scorer. Alford says McKowen’s scoring takes the pressure off the big guys. Iowa leads the all-time series 30-6 and the Hawkeyes have won all 20 previous meetings in Iowa City.