IOWA CITY - A disturbing number of empty seats could be found at Carver-Hawkeye Arena during 2008-09 University of Iowa men's basketball games.
The Hawkeyes would like to see that change this winter.
Iowa went 13-4 at home last year and averaged 10,861 fans per game in the 15,500-seat Carver-Hawkeye Arena. It marked the lowest average for the Hawkeyes since the opening of Carver-Hawkeye in 1983.
Getting those seats filled has a lot to do with the product out of the court, said Iowa head coach Todd Lickliter.
"If you remember the last few games last year in Carver-Hawkeye, I thought our team played with great spirit, great energy and a lot of it had to do with the people in Carver-Hawkeye supporting us," Lickliter said.
"I think it's a two-way street. We need to do our job. There's no question about that. But I also think maybe that extra energy, that extra boost that we feel helps us to do that. I hope that the fans will trust us, know we're working hard and we're putting together something special."
2009-10 Iowa men's basketball schedule
Nov. 8MARIAN UNIV. (Exb.), 12:35 p.m.
Nov. 15TEXAS-SAN ANTONIO, 5:05 p.m.
Nov. 17DUQUESNE, 8:05 p.m.
Nov. 20BOWLING GREEN, 8:05 p.m.
Nov. 23-24at CBE Classic, Kansas City
Nov. 28NC-CENTRAL, 12:35 p.m.
Dec. 1VIRGINIA TECH, 8:35 p.m.
Dec. 5PRAIRIE VIEW A&M, 3:05 p.m.
Dec. 8at Northern Iowa, 7:05 p.m.
Dec. 11at Iowa State, 7:05 p.m.
Dec. 19DRAKE, 5:35 p.m.
Dec. 21S.CAROLINA ST., 7:35 p.m.
Dec. 29PURDUE, 6:05 p.m.
Jan. 2MINNESOTA, 3:05 p.m.
Jan. 5at Illinois, 8:05 p.m.
Jan. 9MICHIGAN ST., 4:35 p.m.
Jan. 12TENNESSEE ST., 8:05 p.m.
Jan. 16PENN ST., 12:05 p.m.
Jan. 20at Michigan St., 5:35 p.m.
Jan. 24at Indiana, 4:05 p.m.
Jan. 27OHIO ST., 7:35 p.m.
Jan. 30at Michigan, 3:35 p.m.
Feb. 3ILLINOIS, 7:35 p.m.
Feb. 7at Ohio St., 11:05 a.m.
Feb. 10NORTHWESTERN, 7:35 p.m.
Feb. 13at Purdue, 3:35 p.m.
Feb. 16MICHIGAN, 8:05 p.m.
Feb. 25at Northwestern, 6:05 p.m.
Feb. 28INDIANA, 5:05 p.m.
Mar. 2-3-4at Wisconsin, TBA
Mar. 7at Minnesota, 5:05 p.m.
Mar. 11-14Big Ten Tournament
Winning at Carver-Hawkeye becomes even more important due to Iowa's recent struggles on the road. The Hawkeyes start the year with a road losing streak of 11 games. Iowa won at The Citadel in its first road game of 2008-09 and proceeded to lose its following 11.
"When Carver is full and rocking, it's one of the top arenas in the country," said Iowa sophomore guard Matt Gatens. "At the end of the season last year when we did get it rocking, obviously we won more games.
"The more fans we can get the more it helps us, so we appreciate all the help."
The Hawkeyes' first three games of the year are on their home court. Iowa hosts Texas-San Antonio Nov. 15, Duquesne Nov. 17 and Bowling Green Nov. 20.