The Iowa Hawkeye men’s basketball team heads into a Big Ten matchup Wednesday night against Wisconsin looking to bounce back from a tough four-point loss on the road to Penn State last Wednesday. The defeat dropped the Hawks to 20-6 overall and 11-3 in the Big Ten.
Senior star Jarrod Uthoff said the team took advantage of having a week off.
“It was very nice to get to step back and relax your body,” said Uthoff, who leads the Hawks in scoring. “We had a couple days off and we could recharge.”
The break seemed much needed for the Hawkeyes, who dropped two of their last three games and surrendered the outright lead in the Big Ten. Iowa fell four spots to #8 in the latest Associated Press poll released Monday.
The players held a closed meeting after last Wednesday’s loss, but Uthoff says there’s nothing to worry about.
“We’re fine. We’re absolutely fine,” Uthoff assured. “We’re looking forward to Wednesday.”
The focus moves to Wednesday’s home game with Wisconsin, who has rebounded from a slow start to be receiving votes nationally with a 17-10 overall record and a 9-5 mark in the Big Ten.
Uthoff says this is a different team than the one that Iowa has struggled to beat in recent years.
“I think it’s a different team,” explained Uthoff. “Without Frank [Kaminsky], Traevon [Jackson], a couple of those guys, I think it’s a different team.”
Redshirt freshman Nicholas Baer knows what to expect from the Badgers.
“They’re going to play hard and play physical,” said Baer. “They have some great talented bigs that can stretch you. Nigel Hayes and Bronson Koenig are their leaders and they do a really nice job of leading them.”
The Hawkeyes have just three remaining games in the regular season after Wednesday’s contest.
You can hear the action on 104.9 FM KBOE beginning at 7 PM with Gary Dolphin and Bobby Hansen on the call. Tip-off is at 8 PM in Iowa City.