Iowa State and Iowa have faced each other in men’s basketball every season since 1970.When the two state rivals line up on the hardwood, the emotions run a notch higher than a normal non-conference game. It’s probably somewhat challenging for a first-year coach to teach his team about the intensity of the rivalry prior to participating it at least once. That is part of the intrigue tonight as Fred Hoiberg and Fran McCaffery meet as coaches . Neither has coached in the annual battle yet, but the Cyclones have an edge in that Hoiberg played in the game multiple times. Only six coaches since 1970 — Wayne Morgan, Tim Floyd and Maury John of the Cyclones and Tom Davis, Lute Olson and Dick Schultz of the Hawkeyes – won their debuts in the series.
Here is the interesting part. The only coach, who won his series debut on the road was Floyd. The Cyclones’ 76-63 win on Dec. 10, 1994 was keyed by 60.9% shooting in the second half. A forward named Hoiberg scored 15 points, added five rebounds and dished out four assists for the winners.That same Hoiberg will enter Carver-Hawkeye Arena tonight with the goal of doing what his college coach did more than a decade-and-a-half ago. It will likely be buzzing tonight in Iowa City. But, it’s an environment that only one of the coaches has experience – and a positive one at that – with.
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