CEDAR FALLS – UNI men’s basketball opens the 2021-22 season at home against Nicholls State.
It’s a rematch of head coach Ben Jacobson’s debut as UNI’s head coach. UNI won on neutral ground in Seattle, 68-63, on Nov. 12, 2006. Jacobson (301-189) is the all-time wins leader in the history of UNI men’s basketball, averaging 20.1 wins per season at UNI.
UNI returns much of its starting lineup from the 2020-21 season. Four current Panthers are currently among the all-time career scoring leaders. AJ Green leads the list tied at No. 21 with former Panther Adam Koch with 1,186 points. Trae Berhow (930 points), Austin Phyfe (762 points) and Tywhon Pickford (630 points) complete the list.
The Panthers received six first-place votes and finished third in the 2021-22 MVC Preseason Poll. Green was selected as the MVC’s preseason player of the year for the second year in a row and also landed on the preseason first team. Phyfe earned a spot on the preseason second team.
UNI won four of its last five games of the 2020-21 season, including a 65-60 triumph over Illinois State in the opening round of Arch Madness before the quarterfinal contest with Drake was canceled due to COVID-19 protocols.
PANTHERS AMONG ALL-TIME CAREER RECORDS
Green is first in career free throw percentage (89.9%), tied for fifth in career three-point field goals (173, with Jeremy Morgan), sixth in career three-point field goal attempts (464), and eighth in career scoring average (17.4 PPG).
Phyfe is first in career field goal percentage (62.0%).
Bowen Born is eighth in career free throw percentage (81.3%)
Berhow is ninth in career three-point field goals (160).
The Colonels are the reigning regular-season Southland Conference champions and are the league favorites in the conference’s preseason poll.
Returning senior guard Ty Gordon led the team in points per game last year with 14.6. He was also the team leader in assists with 93 for the season and earned first team all-conference honors. Gordon is joined by 10 newcomers.
Head coach Austin Claunch turned the program from a ninth place team in the conference to regular-season champions in two years.