Previewing Iowa

North Carolina’s matchup in this year’s ACC/Big Ten Challenge is Iowa. Tip-off at the Smith Center is set for 7:30 p.m. and will be televised by ESPN.

North Carolina (5-1) vs. Iowa (5-2)
Chapel Hill, N.C. - Dean E. Smith Center
Wednesday, 7:30 p.m.
ESPN (John Saunders, Dick Vitale)


“Stylistically, I’m not sure they’re the same as anyone we’ve played. They’re not as physical as Butler. They don’t shoot as many threes as Davidson or Florida did. So it’s hard to tell. They have size and they have guys that can score, so it will be a fun game.” – UNC guard Marcus Paige

“I think this is the most effective inside scorer we’ve played all season long.” – UNC head coach Roy Williams on Iowa forward Aaron White


Season to Date: Iowa enters Wednesday’s contest with a 5-2 overall record. The Hawkeyes have played a top-25 strength of schedule through seven games with their only losses coming against No. 10 Texas (71-57) and No. 23 Syracuse (66-63). Fifth-year Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery returned three starters from last season’s squad that lost to Tennessee in the NCAA Tournament’s opening round.

White Hot: Senior forward Aaron White has been a stud on the interior for Iowa in the opening month of the season. The 6-foot-9, 228-pounder is averaging 16.7 points on 58.7 percent shooting to go along with 7.6 rebounds per game. He’s also converting when getting fouled underneath, knocking down 85.4 percent of his free throw attempts, and dishing out 2.4 assists per game. The Strongsville, Ohio native’s play shouldn’t come as a surprise as he was the lone Big Ten player in 2013-14 to average more than 13 points and seven rebounds per game in conference play.

Help in the Middle: Aiding White on the interior is Adam Woodbury, whose name may be familiar with UNC fans as Roy Williams recruited the big man several years ago. The junior center is averaging 9.1 points and 6.3 rebounds per game and is shooting 60 percent from the floor (27-of-45).

Strong Defense: The Hawkeyes are holding their opponents to 34.8 percent shooting, which ranks T-14th nationally, and are blocking 6.3 shots per game (18th). Iowa’s 2-point field goal percentage (37.7) ranks 10th nationally, according to

Long Range Threat: Junior wing Jarrod Uthoff provides a perimeter scoring option to balance the play of White and Woodbury in the post. The Cedar Rapids, Iowa native is shooting 43.9 percent from 3-point range (14-of-29). He’s made three or more treys in three games this season, including a 3-for-6 effort en route to a 20-point performance in the loss to Syracuse.

Stat to Watch: Iowa is 16-49 when its opponent scores 70-plus points under McCaffery.

Last Meeting: The Tar Heels defeated the Hawkeyes, 106-92, in the Maui Invitational championship game on Nov. 24, 2004. Jawad Williams led UNC with 18 points and Sean May added 16 points and six assists. Maui Invitational MVP Raymond Felton stuffed his stat line with 13 points, nine assists and five rebounds as the Tar Heels built a 59-40 halftime lead.

Series History: Iowa leads the all-time series with UNC, 2-1.

Projected Starters:
10 Mike Gesell (6-2, 190, Jr.) - 4.9 ppg, 3.9 apg
5 Anthony Clemmons (6-2, 195, Jr.) - 7.3 ppg, 2.0 apg
20 Jarrod Uthoff (6-9, 210, Jr.) - 11.6 ppg, 5.6 rpg
30 Aaron White (6-9, 228, Sr.) - 16.7 ppg, 7.6 rpg
34 Adam Woodbury (7-1, 240, Jr.) - 9.1 ppg, 6.3 rpg

Top Reserves:
0 Gabriel Olaseni (6-10, 237, Sr.) - 7.7 ppg, 5.7 rpg
2 Josh Oglesby (6-5, 200, Sr.) - 5.9 ppg, 2.7 apg
3 Peter Jok (6-6, 200, So.) - 3.7 ppg, 1.7 rpg

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