IOWA CITY, Iowa – The officiating during Iowa’s game at Maryland Sunday created a lot of discussion on social media and elsewhere. The Hawkeyes lost the game, 91-73.
Referees hit Iowa coach Fran McCaffery with a pair of technicals that resulted in ejection. Leading scorer Tyler Cook received a technical after being taunted and not really retaliating, and point guard Jordan Bohannon was called for a foul when he never touched Anthony Cowan.
The most egregious moment occurred when nothing was called, however. Cordell Pemsl took a Cowan elbow to the back of the neck while screening for Bohannon.
McCaffery discussed it with Big Ten Rick Boyages, the Big Ten associate commissioner who oversees basketball officiating. The coach said it was a long talk.
“I thought we had a very healthy discussion. He was disturbed by the play, as was I,” McCaffery said.
McCaffery said he did not witness the elbow to Pemsl when it happened.
“Normally, I’ll see it but I think I was watching J-Bo with the ball and I didn’t notice it. It was an unfortunate situation, obviously,” he said.
Boyages recommended that when something like that occurs, Pemsl should alert his coaches right away. They then can ask the officials for a review.
“I talked to Cordell about that (Tuesday). You have to tell us if we don’t see that,” McCaffery said.
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FLUID SITUATION: Backup point guard Connor McCaffery, Fran’s oldest son, still is recovering from a pair of recent surgeries brought about by mononucleosis than resulted in tonsillitis. He did not travel with the team to Maryland.
“He’s still recovering,” Fran McCaffery said. “When he had the second surgery, the clock starts over. We’re still not to the part where he can get back on the court and do anything. He lost a ton of weight (15 pounds) again.
“We have to get his strength back before we can even get him back out on the court. That’s a ways away. It’s still a possibility that he could seek a medical redshirt.”
Connor’s recovery leaves open different possibilities about what he’ll do this semester. He could red shirt in basketball and play baseball, although Fran was not sure if, by rule, that would be legal.
“I don’t know how that works,” he said.
Connor might end up red shirting in both sports. It would lend more time for his classwork, where he already is excelling.
“I’m really proud of him,” Fran said. “Here’s a guy that gets mono and he still makes the Dean’s List. He’s tried to help our team as best he can. He’s a positive guy on the bench. He’s positive in the locker room.”
ROTATION REVIEW: For the first time this season, Brady Ellingson did not play when the Hawkeyes were at Maryland. It wasn’t a permanent shortening of the rotation, however.
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Fran McCaffery said he should have played Ellingson in the first half and would have played him after halftime had he not been ejected. He understood why his assistants chose to stick with the pre-intermission rotation, however.
“Brady deserves to play and he’ll be back in there,” McCaffery said.
Lone senior Dom Uhl has only logged 35 minutes all season. He did not play in last week’s three games.
McCaffery still believes Uhl will be a factor this year.
“He’s been ready,” he said. “You look at our situation defensively, maybe he could help with his length, with his speed. So, that’s a possibility.”
TIP-INS: Iowa plays at Illinois on Thursday (7 p.m. CT, FS1). The teams are a combined 0-9 in the Big Ten…The Hawkeyes have won two of the last three meetings in Champaign…Cook is averaging 1.9 dunks per game during his last eight contests…Iowa is 9-1 this season when scoring 80 or more points. The lone setback came last week in a 93-81 loss to Ohio State…The Hawkeyes ranks fifth nationally in assists per game (19.2).