Iowa Basketball: Alive or Dead?
The Bad News
I had the good fortune of attending the Iowa vs. Bryant University game last night. It had been at least 15 years since I had set foot in Carver Hawkeye Arena. I watched from afar as the Tom Davis era died a slow death and grew excited as the Steve Alford era began what we all felt would be a golden era of Iowa Basketball.
We were all wrong on that one. I am still trying to get the rash of that snake oil off me. I knew things had gotten bad but wow, I had not realized that Stevie had burnt the thing to the ground.
On a Friday night in Iowa City, IA (wind chill of five degrees) with a local hero, Matt Gatens as the leading scorer, the arena was half full at best.
I realize that Bryant University is not Illinois, hell, they are not even the Citadel, but other than high school sports, there is not much else that the residents of “the corridor” should be doing. The economy is not an excuse, tickets are $26.
There was no energy in Carver Hawkeye Arena. The place needs a dose of Kinnick. If you are considering going, don’t worry, there is not a security guard that is not part of the AARP crowd. Bring your flasks and have a good time. Don’t let the blue-haired season ticket holders scare you away. I don’t condone drinking and driving, Iowa City has an abundance of cheap cabs.
The Good News
Hawkeye Basketball is rising. We have a young and very talented team. I saw an Iowa team that ran a disciplined offense. They are very unselfish, the ball touches everyone’s hands and rarely does a shot go up that is not wide open. Gatens is a beast, I think he only missed three shots, and that includes pregame warmups.
Peterson is silky smooth and seems to be able to get to the hole with ease. Tucker has the fastest release on a three-point shot that I have ever seen, rebounds well for a guard and is a dead eye from three point land. Tate works hard in the middle as he did last year.
The best thing about this team, they do not whine about calls that don’t go their way. That is what I hated about Alford, I always felt it infected his teams and contributed to a losing attitude.
This team may be a year away from the NCAA tournament, but coach Todd Lickliter is putting a team on the floor we should be proud of and support in the stands.
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