Schwartz: 10 Sentences – Basketball, Basketball, Basketball Edition

April 7, 2019

Written by David Schwartz

Spring football is in full swing, but it was Hawkeye basketball that made the biggest news. Ten sentences to sum up a big week:

1. I don’t think we’ll ever know for sure whether Arkansas reached out to Fran McCaffery and whether McCaffery had a conversation with Razorbacks officials, and frankly, it doesn’t matter whether he did or didn’t.

2. On one hand, McCaffery says he never talked with Arkansas about its head-coaching opening, and on the other, we’ve got Scott Dochterman’s flight-plan reporting that fits nicely with other reporting about Arkansas from around the country.

3. But again, it doesn’t feel like much of a story that McCaffery would listen to pitches from programs that might like to hire him – even if he denies it – because, well, people ponder career moves all the time, because who wouldn’t want to see what’s on the other side of the fence?

4. Maybe they talked and maybe they didn’t, but either way it’s McCaffery’s right to listen and it’s Arkansas’ right to talk, and now we move on to more interesting stories, like Megan Gustafson being named the National Player of the Year and Tyler Cook leaving the Hawkeyes to pursue his NBA dream.

5. At this point, there’s not much more we can write about Gustafson – there isn’t enough praise in all of college basketball to do her career justice – but earning the biggest individual honor in her sport just cements her already legendary position within Hawkeye athletics (and this AP video is awesome):

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6. It’s pointless to ask “Who will replace Gustafson next season” because she’s irreplaceable – and I pity whichever Hawkeye has to step into her starting role and unfairly be compared to her; just a hunch, but if there’s any Hawkeye fan out there who is waiting for the next Gustafson, we could check back in with them in the year 2068 and they’ll likely still be waiting.

7. And Cook – well, Cook will be missed; in addition to being a talented, hard-working, productive player, he seemed like a genuinely good person who always had time to take a picture with young fans.

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8. But it was time for him to go.

9. It’d be great if he stayed for his senior season, but Iowa City isn’t home to Cook’s professional dreams – we were lucky to have him three years – and now it’s time to see if he can buck the current NBA trend by catching on as a power forward with a killer work ethic but not much of a 2019 NBA jump shot.

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10. Wherever he lands – NBA, G League, EuroLeague – he’s earned a standing ovation the first time he returns to Carver as an ex-player.

11. The first-ever bonus sentence goes to Lisa Bluder, who can now officially call herself the Naismith National College Basketball Coach of the Year (not that she would), and who – it’s important to remember – taught Gustafson, coached Gustafson, figured out an offense to best use Gustafson, and knew which players to surround her with; this is an honor long deserved, and if Bluder won’t win her national championship this season, perhaps this award will serve as a partial substitute. 

* Talk with David Schwartz on Twitter @daveschwartz.

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