Thoughts on Iowa basketball (forgetting Fran's ejection for a minute)

Discussion in 'Basketball' started by SwirlinLingerie, Jan 6, 2014.

  1. SwirlinLingerie

    SwirlinLingerie Well-Known Member

    My oldest memory in life, not only in sports, is watching Steve Carfino and the rest of the Hawkeyes with my father in the basement of my parents’ house.

    I’ve been a fan of Iowa basketball ever since. There have been some ups and downs, and exciting moments, but only a couple times in that span has Iowa assembled a roster that gave me chills thinking about the possibilities.

    During the first half last night, I texted a buddy that this Iowa team gives me chills. I think it was triggered by seeing the versatility of Iowa’s second shift come in – Olesani running and dunking like a thoroughbred, Uthoff driving, shifting hands, and scooping up and around two Wisconsin players, McCabe banging down low and then hitting an outside shot – followed by a silky smooth jumper from Marble.

    I get that Wisconsin won the game last night. And Iowa has some issues to deal with, particularly as it relates to having the mental toughness to close out an elite opponent on the road. However, taking a step back for a minute, Iowa looked more like the elite team to me last night. When they were playing well in the first half, they seemed to hit a level that I’m not sure Wisconsin can reach.

    I know everybody is frustrated by Iowa not being able to finish off Iowa State and Wisconsin on the road, but let’s have a little perspective. That’s the final step for any elite team, and in college basketball, even top 5 teams are going to often drop games in those types of environments.

    So while I’m frustrated that Iowa couldn’t finish last night, part of the frustration comes from Iowa being extremely close to an elite level. I don’t see any flaws that aren’t fixable, and eventually getting one win on the road against a top 10 team might be all it takes to clear that mental hurdle.

    I think we’re in for a fun ride.
  2. Skeets77

    Skeets77 Well-Known Member

    There is definitely a learning curve here for our players in order to maintain leads and stop runs by the other teams. You see it every night in the NBA. We all know nowadays especially with the 3-ball the game can swing 10 points within a few minutes. Nobody coaches this strategy better than Hoiberg at Iowa State IMO. When a team starts to make a run and you get down 4 or 5 you stay calm and allow your players to work out of the jam. This more than anything develops confidence and maturity in your players. When you start screaming and freaking out and your players see this it creates anxiety and frustration which results in mistakes on the court, turnovers and mental errors.
  3. SwirlinLingerie

    SwirlinLingerie Well-Known Member

    Iowa's 3 losses are to top 10 teams. Two of them were road games, the third was on a neutral floor. Iowa was in a position to give up the lead because they played extremely well in each of those games.

    Let's not worry until Iowa starts losing road games to inferior opponents or can't close out home games.
  4. ibahawkeye

    ibahawkeye Well-Known Member

    Interesting take... I think Fran gives his team plenty of opportunity to play through runs. In fact there have been many of times I wish Fran would have called a timeout to stop the momentum of a run.
  5. SnapBack

    SnapBack Well-Known Member

    I agree, Fran let's them play through too much at times. He needs to use his timeouts more effectively, especially on the road to stop momentum, crowd, etc.
  6. hawkinn3

    hawkinn3 Well-Known Member

    That last game will stick with me a while. I hate getting so close to that next step. On the road, big halftime lead against a traditional BIG power, playing good. We win that game we get national press and a big bump in the polls. We come out with an embarrassing half of basketball and it just crumbles. If feels like there is a glass ceiling keeping us middle of the pack and we will never break out of it. Its hard to even get upset because it feels inevitable. Ranked team on the road, we are going to find a way to lose it.
  7. 1977Hawkeye

    1977Hawkeye Well-Known Member

    That's the way it feels, and I'm having a hard time dealing with it right now, particularly considering the way the last 15 years has gone.

    This team is built to win now.. FINALLY... Yet Iowa is still 0-3 against ranked opponents even though it had double digit leads in each game. That hurts, no matter how many of you tell me it isn't supposed to.

    I'm happy with the progress this program has made, but I look at next year with Marble gone, and wonder where the offense is going to come from. Sure, players develop and someone will emerge (or so I hope) but I can't help but feel that this year is "the year" and that Iowa is blowing it's chance to really have a special season, attracting better recruits in the process. Could still happen I guess, but only if it finds the fortitude to start sealing the deal.

    Missing opportunities one after another when you are good enough to win (ditto for last year) is almost tougher to swallow than if you are just simply losing games.
  8. DDThompson

    DDThompson Well-Known Member

    True. And I think a more difficult OOC schedule would have helped that learning curve as there were not that many games to do so and to do so successfully.

    Xavier and ND were on the success side. ISU, Nova, and Wisky were not. The big thing in those last three games was poor FT shooting to maintain leads.
  9. DDThompson

    DDThompson Well-Known Member


    What is equally true is the necessity of closing out games to top 10 teams when Iowa has double-digit leads. I know it isn't going to happen every time. But it needs to happen some time.

    And Aaron White agrees.
  10. HerkeyHawk

    HerkeyHawk Banned

    Love your enthusiasm, but the "fixable" things haven't been fixed for going on 2 years.

    BILLBUCKNER Well-Known Member

    good post....agree is sad that many on this board can not enjoy the growth and ride of this team. And what Fran is building here. He took over crap team at the bottom of the league. Learn to be patient.
  12. volhawk50

    volhawk50 Well-Known Member

    Absolutely agree with this here statement. I fully expect Ohio State and Michigan State both to go into Kohl Center and lose, likely by more than 4. It sure is frustrating, but it is not a big blemish on the team's resume by any means.
  13. LG210

    LG210 Well-Known Member

    Iowa has to figure out two things: (1) how to score at the end of games; and (2) how to get over the 12 point (or so) lead plateau--it seems that Iowa gets up by double digits fairly easily, but then wastes possessions, etc., when they have a chance to really open up a good lead.

    If they figure out (2), they are probably a Top 20 team. If they figure out (1), they are a probably a Top 10 team. If they figure out both, they'll be something special.
  14. hawkinn3

    hawkinn3 Well-Known Member

    I like Fran, think he is a great coach. But, this is year 4 which means most of the roster has guys he recruited. Hawks fans have been pretty darn patient for the last 7 years. This is no longer a rebuild, this is the team he has built. We had enthusiasm for Lickiter well beyond when most fanbases would and are all in with Fran. Last year we were by most accounts one of the first teams out of the Big Dance. We have the talent in place NOW to be a very good or even great team. Every fan who watched us blow the ISU and Wisky game has a right to have just a little less patience.
  15. HawkinGoferLand

    HawkinGoferLand Well-Known Member

    Swirlin, Carfino is some of my earliest Iowa BB memories too. I'll never forget Steve on a fast break where the defender cut across in front of him to and Carfino did instinctively went up off 2 feet and did a 360 twirling lay-up off the glass. The Twin Towers of Stokes and Payne burn bright in my noggin as well as Gannon, Hansen and Burkenpass.
  16. GVGiant44

    GVGiant44 Well-Known Member

    I always liked Carfino, and remember him well. But I will never forget a game we played at UCLA in his time. To show you how student sections can be, every time he touched the ball, the chant from that section was clear, loud and unmistakeable: "Carfino, you're ugly."

    These days, I'm used to hearing booing all the time (Uthoff was getting it the other night, which was predictable). But I'm not so sure a student section would be allowed to say stuff like that anymore.

    But he was a great find for Lute, and part of a legacy of basketball I'll never forget either.
  17. SwirlinLingerie

    SwirlinLingerie Well-Known Member

  18. WindsorHawk

    WindsorHawk Well-Known Member

    Up tempo basketball is even more conducive to runs...both ways. It used to happen to Dr. Tom all of the time. We could be way behind and catch up. No lead was safe. We could be way ahead and blow the lead. lead was safe. It's all part of the deal...but a lot of fun to watch if it doesn't drive a person crazy.