Northwestern coach Chris Collins' trip to Iowa on Thursday night won't be his first visit to Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
In 1992 as a high school senior out of Northbrook, Ill., Collins made an official recruiting stop in Iowa City. His student hosts were the late Chris Street and Paul Lusk, now head coach at Missouri State.
“Iowa was one of my final choices,” said Collins, who eventually picked Duke. “I loved the coaching staff — Dr. Tom Davis and Gary Close, who now is an assistant with Wisconsin.''
Collins had some familiarity with the area since his mother grew up in Cedar Rapids.
“The thing that really stood out was the passion their fans have for their team,” Collins said. “I went on a football weekend. The morning of the game, they had a thing called shirts and skins where the basketball team would play pickup while people were tailgating. The place was packed.”
Collins ended up playing a game at Iowa when Duke visited Iowa City his sophomore season.
Player of the week: Ohio State point guard Aaron Craft. The senior from Findlay, Ohio, averaged 8.0 points, 7.0 assists, 5.5 rebounds and 3.5 steals with zero turnovers in wins over Purdue and Nebraska.
Rookie of the week: Wisconsin forward Nigel Hayes. The 6-10 freshman from Toledo, Ohio, averaged 13.5 points and 5.0 rebounds in wins over Northwestern and Iowa.
Quote of the week
Northwestern's Collins, coach of the only Big Ten team with a losing record: “We're having a hard time putting the ball in the basket, which wears on you mentally. If you go through a stretch where you are having a hard time scoring, no matter what, it affects the other areas of your game.''
Stat of the week
Nebraska offered scholarships for the 2013-14 season to four players 6-7 or taller who all decided to go elsewhere — Akoy Agau, Matthew Atewe, Vitto Brown and Sai Tummala.
How are they doing?
None has started a game. Agau averages 0.2 points and 1.1 rebounds at Louisville; Atewe 3.4 and 3.4 at Auburn; Brown 0.3 and 1.5 at Wisconsin; and Tummala 2.5 and 0.9 at Arizona State.