IOWA CITY, Ia. – Three freshmen were in Iowa’s starting lineup for the opening game of the 1943-44 basketball season.
Starting that night In Iowa Fieldhouse against Nebraska were Dick Ives of Diagonal, Dave Danner of Iowa City and Jack Spencer of Davenport. A preview of the game in the Dec. 10 issue of the Des Moines Register labeled Ives “the expert marksman from Diagonal.”
Inducted into the Des Moines Sunday Register Iowa Sports Hall of Fame in 1979, Ives scored 19 points (nine field goals, one free throw) in a 50-33 victory against the Cornhuskers. A crowd of 1,200 also saw Danner score 14 in the victory for Coach Pops Harrison’s team.
It took 68 seasons for another Hawkeye freshman to score 19 points in his first college game. Aaron White did it Friday against Chicago State. The 6-foot-8 forward from Strongsville, Ohio, was named the Big Ten’s co-freshman of the week on Monday. He shared the honor with Cody Zeller of Indiana.
Freshmen were eligible to play when Ives arrived on campus in the fall of 1943 because World War II was going on. Freshmen were later made ineligible to play, before the rule was changed again at the start of the 1972-73 season.
White, who comes off the bench, also had 10 rebounds for a debut double-double. He was the first Iowa player to record a points-rebounds double-double in his first game since Jess Settles of Winfield had 13 points and 11 rebounds against Drake in a 90-86 victory on Nov. 30, 1993 in Iowa City.
Dean Oliver of Mason City had 10 points and 12 assists in his first college game, also against Chicago State on Nov. 14, 1997 in Iowa City. Oliver’s freshman teammate, Ricky Davis, had 18 points in that 105-60 victory.
Center Michael Payne also recorded a double-double in his first game as a freshman, scoring 13 points and grabbing 10 rebounds against Northern Illinois on Nov. 28, 1981.
Ives was the talk of Iowa City after his debut against Nebraska. Here’s the first paragraph of the Register story the next day:
IOWA CITY, IA. – Iowa launched its basketball season here Friday night by walloping Nebraska, 50-33, behind the 19-point scoring of Dick Ives, freshman sensation from Diagonal.”
Ives was just getting started. In a Big Ten game against Chicago on Feb. 5, 1945, Ives scored 43 points in a 103-31 victory. That established a Big Ten single-game scoring record at the time. Only five of Iowa’s opponents that season scored more than 43 points in a game.
The Hawkeyes finished 14-4 overall and tied for second in the Big Ten at 9-3. Ives averaged 18.1 points a game, a school record at the time.He also became the first freshman in Big Ten history to lead the league in scoring at 17.3 points a game.
Ives, who is deceased, was selected to Iowa’s 20-member All-Century Team when the school celebrated its 100th season in 2002.
By way of comparison, here’s how Iowa’s Top 10 career scoring leaders did in their first college game:
- Roy Marble (2,116 points from 1985-86 to 1988-89): failed to score a point in a 80-69 victory at Hawaii-Hilo on Nov. 22, 1985.
- Acie Earl (1,779 points from 1989-90 to 1992-93): scored six points and grabbed nine rebounds in a 80-64 victory against Texas Southern on Nov. 24, 1989.
- Greg Stokes (1,768 points from 1981-82 to 1984-85): Had eight points and four rebounds in a 84-66 victory against Northern Illinois on Nov. 28, 1981.
- B.J. Armstrong (1,705 points from 1985-86 to 1998-99): Scored four points in a 80-69 victory at Hawaii-Hilo.
- Ronnie Lester (1,675 points from 1976-77 to 1979-80): Scored five points on one-of-10 shooting from the field in a 71-57 victory at Nebraska on Nov. 27, 1976.
- Jess Settles (1,611 points from 1993-94 to 1998-99): Scored 13 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in a 90-86 victory against Drake on Nov. 30, 1993. Settles would go on to be named Big Ten freshman of the year in 1994 after averaging 15.3 points. That was the highest average for a freshman since Ives’ 18.1 points a game in 1943-44.
- Adam Haluska (1,578 points from 2004-05 to 2006-07): Haluska played at Iowa State as a freshman in 2002-03 before transfering to Iowa.
- Dean Oliver (1,561 points from 1997-98 to 2000-01): Scored 10 points and registered 12 assists in a 105-60 victory against Chicago State on Nov. 14, 1997.
- Andre Woolridge (1,525 points from 1994-95 to 1996-97): Played his freshman season at Nebraska in 1992-93 before transfering to Iowa.
- 10. Don Nelson (1,522 points from 1959-60 to 1961-62): Freshmen were not eligible. In Nelson’s first college game, as a sophomore in an 86-84 victory at Evansville on Dec. 1, 1959, Nelson scored 33 points and grabbed 21 rebounds.
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball