Iowa hoops ranked 9th nationally in both polls
IOWA CITY, Iowa – The Iowa men’s basketball team has climbed to a place where it rarely has spent much time.
The Hawkeyes, with records of 5-0 in the Big Ten and 14-3 overall, are ranked 9th in both the coaches and the Associated Press poll.
It has been almost exactly two years since Iowa cracked the top-10 at No. 10. It then lost at Michigan and struggled to a 5-10 record after being ranked.
The Hawkeyes haven’t been ranked higher than they currently are since they were No. 7 in the Nov. 27, 2001 AP poll. That season unraveled, though, as Iowa went on to finish 19-16, losing in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament.
Iowa hasn’t finished in the final AP Top-25 poll since the 2005-06 season when it was ranked 15th after losing to Northwestern State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
It has been nearly three decades since Iowa finished a season ranked in the AP top-10. That happened in 1987 when the Hawkeyes finished 30-5 and advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight.
Iowa is 5-0 in the Big Ten for the first time since the 1996-97 season.
Senior guard Anthony Clemmons was asked after Sunday’s 82-71 victory over Michigan if he expected Iowa to be 5-0 at this stage after playing such a difficult conference schedule. Iowa already has played Michigan State twice and both Purdue and Michigan once.
"Of course," Clemmons said. "We want to go 18-0. But at this moment in time, you just have to take it one game at a time, prepare and lock into what we do.
"We’re a very good basketball team, but we can’t get complacent with where we’re at. Being 5-0, we could lose our next game. So we have to stay locked in and be ready for every opponent."
Iowa’s ability to stay locked in will be tested when it plays at lowly Rutgers on Thursday. Rutgers is winless in conference play.
JOK HONORED: Iowa junior guard Peter Jok was named Big Ten Player of the Week for the first time in his career on Monday.
The 6-foot-6 West Des Moines native helped Iowa to a pair of wins last week, at No. 4 Michigan State and Michigan at home on Sunday. Jok averaged 19.5 points, shooting 58 percent from the field (14-of-24), including a blazing 63.6 percent (7-of-11) from 3-point range. He also averaged 3.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 1.5 steals during the two games.