Fran McCaffrey (file photo)

Fran McCaffrey (file photo)

The Iowa Hawkeyes look to move to 3-0 in the Big Ten but must clear a major hurdle as they host Michigan State. The Spartans have owned the Hawkeyes in recent years having won 13 of the last 14, including eight in a row. Iowa coach Fran McCaffery says their strength, again, is defense. “With a focus and a determination that has been their staple, it’s mad them special over the years,” McCafferey says.

Iowa let Michigan State off the hook in their last two meetings in Iowa City, including last year’s 71-69 loss in overtime. McCaffery says the games have been “very intense, hard fought” and they have looked at them to try and see if there is something they can do differently on offense and defense to win the games.

McCaffery feels this year’s team is more able to grind out wins with defense as they’ve had to rely more on defense, rebounding and toughness to win games this year compared to last year’s team which created more offense.

McCaffery says it will take a complete effort to get the win. “They’re going to keep coming, and I think when you are a coach that’s all you can ask, you can’t expect perfection every time, but you can expect ultimate effort,” McCaffery says.

Iowa is 11-4 overall. The Spartans are 1-1 in the Big Ten and 10-5 overall.