Archive - Feb 24, 2012
Player of the Week
Matt Gatens, Iowa
In two games, the senior guard has taken the Hawkeyes from looking like the Big Ten’s cellar-dwellers to the middle of the pack and a shot at an NCAA Tournament berth. He’s played for three coaches in four years and never has experienced a winning season in Iowa City, but the hometown kid brought the Hawkeyes a step closer with 30 points Sunday against No. 18 Indiana and 33 in a win vs. No. 16 Wisconsin — each at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Each were career highs.
How did he follow up a 10-for-18, 7-for-10 performance from 3 vs. the Hoosiers? Went 12-for-18 and matched the 7-of-10 to lead the Hawkeyes to a sweep of the Badgers for the first time since the 1994-95 season. Gatens had never made more than nine field goals or five 3-pointers in a game before the last pair.
But this is what was most impressive about the past two wins for Iowa (15-13, 7-8 Big Ten): Gatens hit 12 consecutive shots from downtown, three short of the NCAA Division I record of 15 set by Northwestern’s Todd Leslie in 1990. In the last four games, he’s 22-of-32 from 3-point range (68.8 percent). Iowa now sits in seventh place in the Big Ten, and on the NCAA Tournament bubble with two wins apiece over the Badgers and Minnesota, and victories over ranked foes Indiana and Michigan. It finishes the season with games at Illinois and Nebraska before hosting Northwestern.