What's Fran's ceiling at Iowa?

Discussion in 'Basketball' started by tweeterhawk, Apr 2, 2017.


What's the farthest Fran McCaffery can take Iowa basketball?

Poll closed Apr 12, 2017.
  1. NCAA Championship Game

    11 vote(s)
  2. NCAA Final Four

    15 vote(s)
  3. NCAA Elite Eight

    4 vote(s)
  4. NCAA Sweet 16

    11 vote(s)
  5. NCAA Second Round

    11 vote(s)
  6. B1G Regular Season Championship

    1 vote(s)
  7. B1G Tournament Championship

    0 vote(s)
  8. NIT Championship

    1 vote(s)
  1. tweeterhawk

    tweeterhawk Well-Known Member

    The boys over at Black Heart Gold Pants have semi-debated a question I've been kicking around for a while. We've experienced Fran McCaffery for seven years now, some good, some not so good. In your opinion, how good of an NCAA men's basketball coach is he? How far can he take this program? What's his ceiling at Iowa?

    Answer the attached poll and then discuss. If you answer NCAA Second Round, you apparently believe he already has hit the ceiling bince he has taken his Hawks there twice.

    If you choose anything less than the NCAA championship game, why? What's stopping you from thinking he can take this team all the way? I'd be especially interested in hearing from some of you charter members of the Franimal House.

    For comparison purposes, here's the best some coaches have done in Iowa City:

    1944-45 Pops Harrison Big Ten 1st
    1955-56 Bucky O'Connor NCAA Runner-up (two NCAA appearances)
    1969-70 Ralph Miller Big Ten 1st, NCAA Sweet 16
    1979-80 Lute Olson NCAA Final Four (five NCAA appearances)
    1984-85 George Raveling NCAA First Round (two NCAA appearances)
    1986-87 Tom Davis NCAA Elite Eight (nine NCAA appearances, two NIT appearances)
    2000-01 Steve Alford NCAA second round (three NCAA appearances, three NIT appearances
    2015-16 Fran McCaffery NCAA second round (three NCAA appearances, three NIT appearances including NIT runner-up)
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2017
    thedukeofearl likes this.
  2. PCHawk

    PCHawk Well-Known Member

    I've never understood the thinking that a coach has a ceiling because players can win despite the coach and there can be upsets by other teams in previous rounds that clear the path to make it farther in the tourney. Also key injuries can happen to other teams that help you to finish higher in conference standings.
    BrueCrew3 and thedukeofearl like this.
  3. thedukeofearl

    thedukeofearl Well-Known Member

    The Sky's the Limit, Tweeter.....

    Of course, I am an unrepentant HomeBoy.....

    I do believe that Fran will take us to the promised land, Final Four territory, that is. The success the past season, with such an extremely young team, was far above what the majority of us thought it would be, and as has been mentioned myriad times, the future is blindingly bright. Having Garza in the middle will give us a strong presence defensively. He has a notable wingspan to go with his height, has attitude, and he does remind me a little of Zach Collins as far as offensive style is concerned, close in hook shots with either hand, softly bouncing around and in…..

    When Joe Weiskamp comes on board we shall be a force to be reckoned with, and his sophomore year, I have a feeling we will be Final Four bound…..

    At any rate, I will be overjoyed to make it to the Sweet Sixteen which is within reach next season.....

    In my humble opinion.....

    homes and BrueCrew3 like this.
  4. BrueCrew3

    BrueCrew3 Well-Known Member

    I agree with both Duke and PC. Once you get into the NCAAs, anything can happen. One great player on an otherwise good team can lead a team to the promised land. Don't believe me? Just look back on '79-'80. That was a decent Hawkeye team except that they had a great point guard who, when healthy, only lost one game he started and finished that year.

    With what this year's team did, the experience they gained, and the incoming talent, Elite 8 is not out of the realm of possibility. Once there, anything goes.

    Just my $.02 .. .. GO HAWKS!!!
    thedukeofearl likes this.
  5. DDThompson

    DDThompson Well-Known Member

    Why doesn't the guy who started this poll answer his own questions first?

    Be a leader.
    HawkGold and HawkeyeHypnosis like this.
  6. Tierney

    Tierney Well-Known Member

    I agree that the sky is the limit. Fran seems to have hit the jackpot with the recruits he has coming in and no one transferring out. They will be deep and experienced next year with the returning players, and he guys coming in all sound to be pretty talented.​
  7. deanvogs

    deanvogs Well-Known Member

    I think in 2 years Iowa will be competing for a conference championship. How deep they go in the tournament is a bit trickier. I mean they will be good enough to be a sweet 16 team, but it takes some luck/good bounces to get into the Elite 8.

    Fran is killing it recruiting wise right now. (2) 4* kids this year in Garza and Connor, as well as Nunge who might end up better than both of those guys. Then you got Wieskamp coming in. His Fr. year is the year we will contend for a B1G championship.
    thedukeofearl likes this.
  8. PCHawk

    PCHawk Well-Known Member

    I'm sure Frank Martin's ceiling was nowhere near the final 4. I don't put much stock in a coach based on how they do in a one and done setting. Martin isn't out of nowhere some great coach just because his team went on a 4 game winning streak. It's all about how well you position your team to give them a better shot at a good run

    I think Fran will have us in the conversation for a Big 10 championship and a top 2 seed in the NCAA once every 2 or 3 years on average.
    HawkeyeWalker and thedukeofearl like this.
  9. BryceC

    BryceC Well-Known Member

    Iowa has only been a 2 seed once in the history of the program and hasn't won a Big 10 title in almost 40 years. Expecting him to do that every 2 to three years is way too much. If Fran can make the tournament every 3 of 4 years and make a couple of sweet 16s I think that would be great. Making it past the sweet 16 at a school like ISU or Iowa takes a ton of luck honestly.
  10. WinOneThisCentury

    WinOneThisCentury Well-Known Member

    I didn't see "Drywall and plaster as an option".
  11. PCHawk

    PCHawk Well-Known Member

    If this is in response to my post, you need to reread it. I said be in the conversation for those things. Kinda like they were in the conversation last year but didn't get there. Also I don't expect it, I just think that's what he will do. He's the best coach we've had since Lute at least.
  12. HawkGold

    HawkGold Well-Known Member

    I would argue that pt guard wasn't "healthy" during that lost. He was the number one player in the nation prior to his injury.
    BigD likes this.
  13. HawkGold

    HawkGold Well-Known Member

    You knew I'd argue. Cook was a great find. His 2 number 4's are not typical game changing players that any other mid Big team has. The old argument....until he can show the ability to get a pt that you see on TV that past week or so....isn't going to happen...

    Except that the Big really isn't a top conference anymore...at least for the time being. Outside of maybe MSU, there just isn't any reason to see a big change in the BIG. As long as they are not strong, then maybe they can be in the Conference conversation for a championship. Remember they fell apart with an NBA player, PJ and a 5 star 7 footer.

    Now, Garza can and will dunk which will be fun to watch. I will grant you that CM may get JB more open looks with his passing. CM will be a reluctant shooter and won't be able to shoot off the dribble, which gives us 2 players up top that don't have a fully arsenal. Great passing...yes. One terrific shooter...yes. Fully loaded? No.
  14. PCHawk

    PCHawk Well-Known Member

    When did Woody get bumped up to a 5 star?
  15. Stanzi

    Stanzi Well-Known Member

    I was about to say, Woody was never a 5 star.
  16. HawkGold

    HawkGold Well-Known Member

  17. tweeterhawk

    tweeterhawk Well-Known Member

    Fair 'nuf.

    I've voted Sweet 16. I think Fran is an average to good coach, not a great one. I think his overall approach to the game and particularly his in-game decisions will prevent his teams from ever competing with the really "elite" programs like Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky, Louisville, Kansas and UCLA, or up-and-comers like Oregon and Gonzaga, in the post-season. With the re-surgence of Minnesota and Maryland, and the perennial strength of programs like Purdue, Wisconsin and Michigan, I don't see Iowa ever competing for a B1G regular season or tournament title.

    I also see Fran as a decent recruiter, particularly for a program in the middle of the country with no national titles in its resume and located in a relatively smaller city that for much of the basketball season is bitterly cold and snowy. But he will always have to deal with this those drawbacks as he seeks to recruit blue-chip, game-changing players, and I just don't see him being able to lure many of those players to Iowa City.
    BigD, thedukeofearl and hawkeyemark like this.
  18. HawkGold

    HawkGold Well-Known Member

    I agree with a lot of what you say, except..

    Purdue/Wisy/M are not powers. As much as M's coach, they just aren't. Wisky is a pesky fly that just won't go away. MN has a lot to prove before being called resurgent.

    Iowa City is good enough to recruit. It's actually pretty nice. Gonzaga is not an up and comer. Players don't care about championships more than 5 years out unless they are a local kid or the kid of a big alum. It can be done. Fran's ceiling probably ins't what going to get Iowa there, but He can with breaks be Sweet.
    thedukeofearl likes this.
  19. tweeterhawk

    tweeterhawk Well-Known Member

    Mark Few has had Gonzaga basketball "right there" in his 18 years with the Bulldogs, going to the NCAA every year of his tenure and frequently making it to at least Sweet 16. So I think they are near elite status in men's basketball and just below some of the blue-bloods.

    Purdue is perennially strong and sadly I think little Ricky P has Minnesota on the rise and will be a contender for some time to come. Maryland also is going to be strong and Wisky, as you say, is pesky, but I think they'll also be there. So I think it will be hard for Fran to break through and win the conference either outright or in the tourney.
    BigD and thedukeofearl like this.
  20. PCHawk

    PCHawk Well-Known Member

    What you say is pretty fair except the fact that Iowa just competed for a conference title last year. Also he might not be able to bring in top ranked recruits from out of state, but that doesn't mean he won't get lucky with in state kids being really good. He actually already has been pretty lucky there and it seems like he's about to get even luckier with Weiscamp and potentially Foster and the kid from North. He also seems to get in really early with kids that aren't ranked high but then blow up later. Ulis blew up just a little too early to land. It sounds like Nunge and Garza blew up at exactly the right time for us to still land.
    thedukeofearl likes this.