Howe: Hawkeye Monday Musings of May

May 13, 2019

Written by Rob Howe

IOWA CITY, Iowa – We may never know all the reasons why Isaiah Moss left Iowa as a graduate transfer. It’s a complicated case with multiple layers.

Hawkeye coach Fran McCaffery said Moss desired an expanded role, which could mean more minutes, more shots, more something. Moss hasn’t expressed publicly his reasons for leaving.

Despite starting during the last three seasons, including every game during the last two years, Moss wanted something other than Iowa. It was reasonable to think some nefarious was afoot.

Those concerns were squelched a bit Sunday night. In a story from the Illini Inquirer, Mike Moss, Isaiah’s father, expressed his son’s love for Iowa and its fan base.

The family was showing gratitude by passing on interest from other Big Ten schools and Iowa State. Isaiah trimmed his list of prospective landing spots to Kansas, Arkansas, Oregon and Arizona State. More than 50 programs reached out to him after he announced two weeks ago that he was transferring with immediate eligibility.

“He really wanted to stay close to home. But he didn’t want to disrespect Iowa fans by getting back in the Big Ten. He has a fan base for life with that school,” Mike Moss told the Illini Inquirer.

“Iowa State was the same. He couldn’t go there either because of that. He also has all the respect in the world for Coach McCaffery.”

The words ring loudly and are backed by action. Not even looking into situations in the Big Ten or the cross-state rival showed a lot of class.

We’re still left speculating why a player averaging more than 25 minutes in league play last year felt he’d be better off somewhere else. Time will tell if it was a wise move.

“His decision was to figure out the best fit for him,” Mike Moss told the Illini Inquirer. “His ultimate goal is to try to get to the next level, whether it’s overseas or NBA. That’s his goal, so he’s got to figure out a fit that’s going to help him get there. And that was his intention of transferring out.”

That he didn’t feel Iowa was the best place to do that after spending four years there is confusing. But at least it doesn’t appear personal.

On Track: The high school state track meet takes place this week at Drake Stadium in Des Moines. As usual, Iowa football commitments and targets will be competing.

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Senior offensive lineman Noah Fenske, a Hawkeye pledge from New Hampton, qualified first in Class 2A for discus and shot put. He won the latter at Drake.

Class of ’20 defensive lineman Logan Jones, who verbally committed to Iowa during the winter, qualified second in the 4A discus and shot. Pella senior Nick DeJong, a D-Lineman who will walk on this fall, qualified first in 3A shot and fourth in discus. Tyler Endres, a senior offensive line pledge from Norwalk, qualified fourth in 3A shot.

Class of ’21 Tiffin Clear Creek Amana defensive end T.J. Bollers received an Iowa offer when he was a freshman. He qualified for State as a member of the school’s 3A 4×200 relay.

Iowa City West quarterback Marcus Morgan picked up an Iowa State offer this winter and has visited Iowa multiple times. The sophomore won his district high jump title (6-4) and qualified 5th in 4A.

On Track, Part II: The Iowa men won their first Big Ten track championship since ’11 during weekend. That was the previous time it hosted the event.

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Chris Douglas, Mar’yea Harris, Carter Lilly, Wayne Lawrence and Chris Thompson earned first-team all-conference honors.

The Hawkeye women finished third, tying their best ever performance. They saw Laulauga Tausaga named first-team all-Big Ten.

The Iowa men won just their fourth conference championship ever. Prior to ’11, they last finished first in ’67. Their initial title came four years before that.

Coach Joey Woody, a former world-class hurdler by way of Iowa City High and Northern Iowa, has built a respectable program for a warm-weather sport in a cold-weather state .

Opportunity Missed: It’s hard to say exactly what the Iowa baseball team needed this weekend for keeping their push for an NCAA at-large bid alive. Losing two of three to Michigan State was what it didn’t need, however.

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A sweep would have been ideal. Winning two was acceptable. What happened pushed the Hawkeyes’ backs against the wall.

They’ll likely need a win at Western Illinois Tuesday, a sweep at Maryland later in the week and then a victory or two in the Big Ten Tournament get a berth. Any loss this week would probably make winning the conference a must.

Extra Points…

-Hat tip to former Hawkeye offensive lineman James Daniels, who came back to school this spring and earned his degree. He accomplished it in four years and with a season playing for the NFL’s Chicago Bears. That makes you feel lazy.

-All-world Iowa center Megan Gustafson returned to town this weekend to graduate with her class. She hustled right back to Dallas, returning to training camp with the WNBA’s Wings.

-Perry Hesse, the father of former Hawkeye defensive end Parker Hesse, posted on social media platforms Sunday night that Parker has signed a free agent deal with the Tennessee Titans, who are bringing him in as a tight end.

-In case you missed it, Iowa junior Alex Schaake was named the Big Ten Golfer of the Year. He joined Brad Klapprott (’92) and Vince India (’11) as the only Hawkeyes to accomplish the feat.

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