The Iowa basketball team opens the Big Ten race at Ohio State on Wednesday. The Hawks enter the league race with a record of 10-3 and will be looking to improve upon last year’s 6-12 record in the conference.

Iowa coach Todd Lickliter says the league is now second in the RPI and is 101-25 in games, with Minnesota breaking into the top 25 and Michigan getting votes. He says while the Hawkeyes are a better team this year the league schedule will be more demanding. Lickliter says it will be exciting because of the challenge, but he says you have to be focused to have the effort needed to compete in the league.

Lickliter called it a coaches decision to not play Anthony Tucker in Saturday’s victory over Western Illinois. Iowa’s leading scorer had been suspended earlier in December after being charged with public intoxication. He saw significant minutes a week ago at Drake but did not get on the floor against Western.

Lickliter says he watches practices and picks who will play based on matchups and he says there are other players who didn’t see the floor in other games, and it will probably happen again.