By Chris Williams, CycloneFanatic.com Publisher
The last time that Fred Hoiberg stepped foot in Carver Hawkeye Arena was exactly 16 years ago from Friday.
It was on Dec. 10, 1994 that Hoiberg’s Cyclones defeated the Hawkeyes 76-63.
That was just one of the many fine moments in Hoiberg’s illustrious playing career as a Cyclone. They weren’t all that positive though.
“It was miserable my first time,” Hoiberg said about the home of the Hawkeyes. “I think that I had my career-low in points, one point my sophomore year.”
Tom Davis’ Hawks put the smack down on Hoiberg’s Cyclones, 78-51 in that Dec. 12, 1992 competition.
“They whipped us. They really got after us. It is a fun college environment.”
In Hoiberg’s four-year playing career, “The Mayor” went 3-1 against Iowa, including his 19-point, seven assist, six-rebound performance in an 86-79 win over the Hawks in 1993.
A lot has changed since the good old days. To be blunt, both programs have been in the tank for the last few years. In what was once a proud, taxing arena to play in, Carver Hawkeye Arena is now known for its empty seats, free pizza and lethargic basketball atmosphere. Still, Hoiberg remembers the intensity of what once was.
That’s what he is preparing his team for at least.
“It will be very hostile in there, we know that,” Hoiberg said. “That is just the way that the rivalry is. It is the same thing when Iowa plays here and the way our fans are. It is a lot of fun. This is a big rivalry. I was excited to be a part of it as a player and I am excited to be a part of it as a coach.”
Diante Garrett is the only member of Iowa State’s current roster who has actually played a game inside of Carver Hawkeye Arena.
I actually hope that tomorrow night’s atmosphere will be tough on the Cyclones. If that’s the case, we’re all one stop closer to this rivalry being what it once was.