IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa head men’s basketball coach Fran McCaffery announced on Monday that Valparaiso graduate transfer Ben Krikke has signed with the University of Iowa.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to become a Hawkeye,” said Krikke. “I am excited to get to campus. I can tell the school is rich in tradition and history and is serious about success both academically and athletically. I’m excited to be supported by such a vibrant fan base and get to be a part of such a great community. I want to do everything I can to help the team win games and contribute to the school’s legacy.”
Krikke (6-foot-9, 220 pounds) is a three-time All-Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) honoree, earning first team accolades in 2023, and third team recognition as a sophomore and junior. He also garnered NABC All-District Second Team laurels this past year. He finished his four-year career at Valparaiso with 1,596 points — seventh most in program history — and reached double figures 82 times as a Beacon.
“We are excited that Ben is joining our Hawkeye family,” McCaffery said. “Ben can score a variety of ways and shoots at a high percentage. He is excellent in transition and has a high basketball IQ. Having a need to bolster our frontcourt depth, Ben is a tremendous fit and addition to our program.”
Krikke, who started all 32 games, led the MVC in scoring at 19.4 points per game overall and 21.0 points in conference play this past season. He also averaged 5.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists per contest. Krikke shot 55 percent from the field and 80 percent from the free-throw line. His 622 points and 244 field goals made last year, ranked sixth and fourth most, respectively, in a single season in Valparaiso history. The native of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, became the third MVC player since 2005, to average at least 17 points and five boards while shooting better than 75 percent from the line and 50 percent from the field. He scored 20+ points on 13 occasions and had 26 games with 15+ points in 2023.
As a junior, Krikke started 29 contests, averaging a team-high 14.2 points while shooting 54 percent from the floor, 84 percent from the charity stripe and snagging 4.5 rebounds per contest. He was one of three MVC players in 2022 to shoot 50 percent or better from the floor and 80 percent or better from the foul line.
In 2021, he started all 28 games, leading the team in scoring both overall (12.3 ppg) and in conference-only action (13.1 ppg). Krikke shot at a 52 percent clip overall and 53 percent mark in conference play as a sophomore.
As a freshman, he appeared in 33 games, including one start. Krikke averaged 6.7 points and 2.9 rebounds while rejecting 15 shots, coming away with 15 steals, shooting 79 percent at the foul line, draining 14 triples and handing out 22 assists. He shot 55 percent from the field, finishing fifth in the league. Krikke tallied 15+ points three times in 2020.
The finance major also excels in the classroom, being named to the 2023 Academic All-America Second Team, 2021 Academic All-District and being a three-time MVC Scholar-Athlete First Team honoree.
“I enjoyed getting to know the coaching staff over my recruitment process and respect them both on and off the court,” Krikke said. “They want to win and so do I. They are genuine people that are dedicated to seeing their players succeed. I also enjoyed getting to meet the players when I visited. I can tell they are serious about success both on and off the court and many of us approach the game with a similar mindset. We all want to work and push each other to get better.”
As a prep, Krikke led Jasper Place High School to the Alberta Schools’ Athletic Association provincial championship. He earned a spot on the BioSteel All-Canadian game roster. Krikke was the MVP of the Alberta Basketball All-Star Showcase, scoring 37 points. He also competed internationally for Team Canada at the 2018 FIBA U17 World Cup in Argentina, averaging 9.9 points and 4.4 rebounds per game while helping Canada to a fourth-place finish.