Schwartz: 10 Sentences – Hawkeye Success Edition

April 14, 2019

Written by David Schwartz

It’s been a good week for the Hawkeyes, and if all goes to plan, the next couple of weeks are going to be equally as enjoyable. Ten sentences to note where we are and what’s coming up:

1. You can file this under a number of headings: overprotective, greedy, incredulous.

2. And by “this” I’m referring to my reaction to Iowa’s Megan Gustafson not winning the Wooden Award on Friday as the nation’s women’s basketball player of the year, an honor she did earn from numerous other organizations, including The Associated Press and Naismith, among others.

3. Gustafson deserved all of the awards, every last piece of hardware there was to give to the country’s top basketball player, so when Oregon’s Sabrina Ionescu took home the Wooden, well, clearly there was a conspiracy theory afoot to deny Gustafson, the 17th pick in last week’s WNBA Draft, her rightful accolades.

4. (I shouldn’t have to say this, but it’s 2019 and this is the Internet, so yes, I’m being tongue in cheek: Ionescu led Oregon to this year’s Final Four, and despite just finishing her junior season is already the all-time NCAA leader in triple doubles – so obviously she’s deserving of this award.)

5. What a screwjob – Gustafson was robbed!

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6. Alas, even Gustafson can’t win them all, so instead she’ll have to settle for being part of one of Iowa’s best basketball seasons in history, too many individual awards to count, including so many Big Ten Player of the Week honors they should name the award after her, an Elite Eight appearance, WNBA Draft success, a professional career, and an undeniable spot among the greatest Hawkeye athletes of all time.

7. Switching gears to football, we’re about 11 days away from the first day of the 2019 NFL Draft and a strong likelihood that commissioner Roger Goodell will twice call out “The University of Iowa,” thanks to tight ends Noah Fant and T.J. Hockenson; NFL.com even has them potentially both going among the first 12 picks.

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8. Not that the Hawkeyes have really ever struggled to recruit tight ends over the last 15 or so seasons, but what a dynamite boon to recruiting this is, especially with those athletes who might be on the fence between Iowa and a more prolific recruiting school, like Ohio State, Michigan, and 75 percent of the SEC.

9. Steering this conversation back to the present, what pride Kirk Ferentz and his staff will feel two Thursdays from now to see two people they met as high schoolers represent Iowa while taking the ultimate step in their football careers – I hope Ferentz and company are able to enjoy the moment.

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10. What blows my mind the most is how much of quarterback Nathan Stanley’s career stats are tied up in Fant and Hockenson: With Stanley throwing to them the last two seasons, and with their productivity relatively equal to one another (the lone big exception being Fant’s nine extra touchdown catches), they have combined for 142 catches (33 percent of Stanley’s total completions), 2,093 receiving yards (40 percent of Stanley’s passing yards), and 27 touchdowns (52 percent of Stanley’s touchdown passes), which means this coming season we’re going to learn how good Stanley really is – or how much he was aided by those two NFL-caliber tight ends (my guess, and it is just a guess: Stanley will have a solid senior season even without Hockenson and Fant).

* Talk with David Schwartz on Twitter @daveschwartz.

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