IOWA CITY, Ia. – Fran McCaffery’s team erased a record held by a former Fran McCaffery team on Tuesday.
Iowa blocked a school-record 13 shots in a 63-55 victory over Illinois at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
The old record, 12, had been done three times. One of the three came in the Hawkeyes’ 83-58 over North Carolina-Greensboro on Dec. 4, 2004. McCaffery coached that team.
“I didn’t know that,” McCaffery said Friday.
Erek Hansen had five of the 12 blocks against UNC-Greensboro. Greg Brunner added three rejections and Adam Haluska, Pierre Pierce, Alex Thompson and Doug Thomas one each.
“That’s a good feeling,” McCaffery said of seeing his UNC-Greensboro team erased from Iowa’s record book. “But I’m just happy for Gabe. To me, that’s the story. You watch a guy like him getting better. He was something the other night, wasn’t he?”
Olaseni, a 6-foot-10 sophomore from London, England, had seven of the record 13 blocked shots against the Illini.
“That makes me feel great, to be part of something historic here,” Olaseni said.
Iowa was credited with 12 blocks after the game. But a 13th – and Olaseni’s seventh – block was discovered during a video review of the game on Wednesday.
“I’m glad we got the record,” Olaseni said. “Hopefully we can set a few more.”
Olaseni is now second on the team with 30 blocks. Melsahn Basabe leads with 34. Olaseni will take the floor Saturday against Nebraska with something new – expectations.
“When someone sees you do something, they expect you to do it again,” Olaseni said. “I don’t know if I’ll get seven, but hopefully I’ll be able to protect the paint like I did the other night.”
Olaseni didn’t know he helped erase a record held by one of McCaffery’s former teams.
“(McCaffery) didn’t tell me, but I’ll make sure I mention it in practice,” Olaseni said.
GESELL UPDATE: Iowa freshman point guard Mike Gesell is out of the boot that was protecting his injured foot, and McCaffery is guardedly optimistic about him playing in next week’s Big Ten Tournament.
“It’s a process to get him ready,” McCaffery said. “So he’s walking without the boot. He’s riding the bike without the boot. Over the course of the weekend he’ll start running and start shooting. If at any point in time he felt a lot of pain, that would be problematic, and that would mean he probably wouldn’t play. It’s baby steps.”
McCaffery said that Gesell won’t have a second MRI on his injured foot because it wouldn’t provide enough information on the injury to make a decision on his availability.
Asked if he was optimistic about Gesell, Iowa’s third-leading scorer at 9.0 points a game, playing next Thursday, McCaffery said, “I am guarded in that respect, because there is no guarantee.”
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball