fbpx Iowa Hoops Will Be Better (Part I - Third Season) | HawkeyeNation

Iowa Hoops Will Be Better (Part I – Third Season)

September 30, 2009

Written by

Hawkeye Nation

Good things come in threes: Chevy Chase, Steve Martin, and Martin Short… Babe Ruth… The only shot in Devan Bawinkle’s arsenal…

The third season is ultimately the season where a coach finally starts feeling like he belongs at the school; the team is finally his team. The recruits he brought in are either sophomores or juniors and the majority of the previous coach’s players have graduated or left the program. He has been recruiting for his new school for the last three years and is genuinely invested in his program. The coach has players on his team who know all of the schemes and can help the newer players get adapted to the system more quickly. The veterans can now lead by example instead of being new players themselves. It’s also the year when the coach feels as if he needs to put a quality product on the court if he is ever going to receive that contract extension. This is something I like to call the Third Season Theory.

Here’s a look at the first three seasons of some very successful NCAA basketball coaches that may help illustrate the Third Season Theory.

  • Tom Crean (Marquette) 15-14, 15-14, 27-6 (NCAA)
  • Billy Donovan (Florida) 13-17, 14-15, 22-9 (NCAA)
  • Tubby Smith (Tulsa) 17-13, 15-14, 23-8 (NCAA)
  • Tom Izzo (Michigan State) 16-16, 17-12, 22-8 (NCAA)
  • John Beilein (West Virginia) 14-15, 17-14, 24-11 (NCAA)
  • Todd Lickliter (Iowa) 13-19, 15-16, ???

Yes, there are exceptions to the rule, such as Roy Williams, Jim Boeheim, Bruce Pearl, and Mark Few who just came in and dominated from the get go. There are also coaches that took longer to get going (Jim Calhoun, Mike Krzyzewski, and Lute Olson, among others).

Continue reading below

Related In HawkeyeNation Forums

Some may argue that coaches at other schools were able to get things going in the third season because they had more resources than an Iowa coach would. Fair enough. Let’s take a look at another Iowa coach and his first three seasons: Kirk Ferentz (Iowa) 1-10, 3-9, 7-5 (Bowl). You could even argue that turning a football program around is far more challenging than turning a basketball program around.

Then again, this Third Season Theory might be a hoax in itself; recall Lickliter’s first three seasons at Butler: 26-6, 27-6, 16-14. Uh Oh.

Continue reading below

Regardless if you buy into this theory or not, the bottom line is the past two seasons have been two of the worst in Iowa Basketball history. The combined 35 losses were the most in the program’s existence for a two year period. Combine that with the departures of four players and many people (fans and outside interests alike) are expecting this year’s squad to be equal or worse than the first two fielded by Lickliter. The conclusion here shouldn’t be that Lickliter is likely going to put up 22+ wins like the coaches mentioned earlier in this piece. Instead, using the Third Season Theory, Coach Lickliter should see a rise in his team’s win total, a total higher than most people expect.

Continue reading below

The next seven parts to this series will help explain why Iowa Basketball will be better than you think.

Trending in Forums View All >

HawkeyeNation Archives View All >

Hawkeye Nation

Fran McCaffery Uses Platform to Speak Out Against Systemic Racism

Rob Howe

June 1, 2020

Iowa basketball coach voices concerns for players of color.

Hawkeye Nation

’21 Wing Daniel Nixon Enjoys Virtual Visit with Hawkeyes

Rob Howe

May 31, 2020

North Carolina prep schooler discusses meeting with Iowa staff.

Hawkeye Nation

Hawkeye Coaches Working Hard for Joe Alt’s Commitment

Rob Howe

May 31, 2020

Iowa legacy feeling good about relationship with program.

Hawkeye Nation

Brown: Iowa Football Players to Watch Heading into ’20 Season

Rick Brown

May 30, 2020

Names Hawkeye fans on which Hawkeye fans should keep an eye this coming campaign.

Hawkeye Nation

Hawkeyes Past, Present, Future Share Feelings on Racial Injustice

Rob Howe

May 30, 2020

Death of George Floyd sparks responses in Iowa sports community.

Hawkeye Nation

HN Prospect Podcast: Logan Jones Ready to Realize Dream

Rob Howe

May 30, 2020

Getting to know the Council Bluffs Lewis Central defensive tackle.

Hawkeye Nation

Central Iowa QB Jaxon Dailey Learning About the Hawkeyes

Rob Howe

May 29, 2020

’22 in-state signal caller already holds offers from Michigan and Iowa State.

Hawkeye Nation

Looking at Performances of 1st-Year Starting QBs During Kirk Ferentz Era

Rick Brown

May 29, 2020

Reviewing new Hawkeye signal callers during the last two decades.

TOP