IOWA CITY - When point guard Tim Frazier flirted with a triple-double in Penn State's Saturday victory over Nebraska - falling one assist short - Nittany Lions coach Patrick Chambers complained Frazier didn't get the exposure he deserved for his latest achievement.
Chambers' counterpart tonight sure doesn't believe Frazier goes unnoticed.
"I thought he was getting the recognition he deserved," Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said. "Because when we watched the games, I mean, we hear what the commentators are saying. Seems like he's getting pumped up pretty good."
For their part, the Hawkeyes contained Frazier fairly well just 12 days ago when Penn State visited Iowa City and got blown out of Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Fueled by the arena's buzz over the 1986-87 Iowa Hawkeyes reunion Feb. 4, McCaffery's guys scored 31 of the first 41 points in the opening 15 minutes of a 77-64 romp.
"They're a team who wants to play aggressive and get on the glass," senior Matt Gatens said. "We were making them take tough shots and limiting them to one shot. That has to be our emphasis."
Quick starts haven't been the norm on the road, where Iowa (13-12, 5-7 Big Ten) has lost four straight.
"The reason we got the lead was we played defense and we rebounded. Ultimately, you have to put the ball in the basket, and we did that, too," said McCaffery, a rare mention of defense before offense.
"We are going to have to play at the same level of intensity on the defensive glass. We outrebounded them (38-31) and got after them pretty good, and that's what they are going to try to do to us."
It certainly wouldn't be outside the realm to watch Penn State (11-15, 3-10) flip the script on its home court at Bryce Jordan Center, where Purdue and Illinois have failed to take care of business against one of the Big Ten's two last-place squads.
"We've got to play harder," Chambers said. "A lot of credit goes to Iowa, they were ready to go and they jumped us. We need to do a better job contesting as a unit."
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Time is running out for Iowa to make its case for a National Invitational Tournament berth, since NCAA at-large hopes are all but dashed.
"We definitely want to finish strong going into the Big Ten Tournament," sophomore guard Devyn Marble said. "There's a sense of urgency we have as a team right now."
All eyes will be on the opening stretch tonight, when McCaffery, his coaching staff and Iowa fans find out whether good Iowa or bad Iowa shows up in University Park.
"You've just got to get your motor going individually and as a team," Marble said. "We fail to do that sometimes. It's not that we can't do it."