Iowa will honor two of its greatest men’s basketball teams Saturday before the football game against Northern Iowa.
The 1970 squad, coached by Ralph Miller and known as the “Six Pack,” remains the highest-scoring team in Big Ten basketball history. The Hawkeyes averaged 102.9 points and 39.9 field goals a game in league play that season, both still Big Ten records before the 3-point era.
The Hawkeyes ended the season 20-5 overall and 14-0 in the Big Ten. That team was one of only four in Big Ten history to finish 14-0 or better in league play (1960-61 Ohio State, 1974-75 Indiana, 1975-76 Indiana). The Hawkeyes scored 100 or more points 12 times.
In one of the most incredible games in Big Ten history, Iowa survived Rick Mount’s league-record 61-point barrage and 27 field goals in a 108-107 win at Purdue. Mount’s records still stand. Iowa held off Mount (53 points, 22 field goals) at home in the league opener 94-88. Iowa’s season ended in excruciating fashion when Jacksonville’s Pembrook Burrows tipped in a basket at the buzzer to beat Iowa 104-103 in the NCAA’s second round.
Johnny Johnson earned All-American honors that year and owns Iowa’s all-time record for points in a game (49 against Northwestern), points in a season (699) and per game average (27.9). Johnson was drafted seventh overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers and competed in the NBA from 1970-1982, scoring 11,200 career points. He twice played in the NBA All-Star Game and helped Seattle win the NBA title in 1979.
“Downtown” Freddie Brown was a junior on that team and put up 17.9 points a game. He ranks third in Iowa history for scoring average at 22.7. He was drafted sixth overall by Seattle in 1971 and played 13 years with the SuperSonics. He earned an All-Star nod in 1976 and joined Johnson on the 1979 title team. He scored 14,018 points, still holds Seattle’s record for points in a regular-season game (58) and his No. 32 was retired in 1986.
Two other starters later were drafted: senior Chad Calabria (19.1 points) and Glenn Vidnovic (17.3). Kevin Kunnert, who later was a first-round draft pick of the Chicago Bulls, was a freshman and did not play.
Iowa also will recognize the 1968 basketball team, which tied for the Big Ten title. Sam Williams scored 25.3 points and grabbed 10.3 rebounds and was selected as the Big Ten MVP, the last Iowa player to earn that award. Williams also was a two-time All-American and owns Iowa’s top career scoring average at 24.0 points a game. He was a third-round pick of the Milwaukee Bucks.
The annual Iowa-Iowa State men’s basketball game is set for 7 p.m. Dec. 7 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. BTN will air the game. Iowa has lost the last three games in the series, tying the longest win streak by the Cyclones.
Incoming freshman point guard Mike Gesell will wear the No. 10 this year, a number not worn by an Iowa player in 20 years. Former Iowa star B.J. Armstrong wore the jersey number from 1986 through 1989, then Kevin Smith picked it up from 1991 through 1993.
In 1992, the No. 10 jersey was retired for Armstrong, but the number remains active. The Hawkeyes list nine players with retired numbers or jerseys. They include: 12 (Ronnie Lester), 21 (Carl Cain), 22 Bill Seaberg, 31 (Bill Logan), 33 (Bill Schoof), 40 (Chris Street), 41 (Greg Stokes) and 46 (Sharm Scheuerman).
Other numbers for the incoming freshmen include Anthony Clemmons (5), Pat Ingram (24), Adam Woodbury (34) and Kyle Meyer (42). Red-shirt freshman Jarrod Uthoff, who is ineligible to play after transferring from Wisconsin, will wear No. 20. Sophomore Darius Stokes switched from No. 34 to 35.
Previous administrative assistant Drew Speraw was hired by Kansas State as the team’s video coordinator. Speraw, the son of Iowa assistant Kirk Speraw, served as a graduate manager in Fran McCaffery’s first season before elevating to administrative assistant last year. Drew Speraw also filled in for Ryan Bowen as an interim video coordinator when Bowen left to become the Denver Nuggets’ player development coordinator.
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