Wednesday, December 31, 2008

FOOTBALL: Mitch King is All Iowa

Monday, December 22, 2008


Recap of the Iowa-Iowa State Football, Basketball, and Wrestling Head to Head Matchups.

And the ISU Blooper Reel, of course:

If you want the high quality, original video, I have it on my site. This is the original piece, but due to YouTube restrictions on length (10 min), I had to edit it. Here is the original in all it's 13 minute glory.

Friday, December 19, 2008

MEN'S BB: Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Drake Bulldogs Preview VS

GAME INFO: Sat., Dec 20, 2008 - 3:05 PM CST - Knapp Center; Des Moines, IA
IOWA: 9-2 (0-0); POM: 42; RPI: 72 / DRAKE: 8-3 (0-0); POM: 128; RPI: 143

LINE - Iowa is a 2 point underdog on road.

Coach Lickliter had mentioned a few weeks ago that his team needed more practices and less games. With Finals Week finishing up, Coach got his wish. Iowa hasn't hit the hardwood for over a week (since its romping of rival, Iowa State). The winner of the Iowa-Drake will be declared the King of Iowa... I think that equates to something funny, but can't think of anything remotely worth adding.

Drake is a pretty smart team, but don't fool yourself, this isn't Keno or Dr. Tom's Bulldog squad. They are going to play efficient ball, however they are not close to the level they were at last year. Face it, Drake had a magical year in 07-08, but that enchanting season has come to an end and the Bulldogs are sliding back to where they have been in recent years. The point spread for this game has me dumbfounded.

Anthony Tucker has been allowed to return to practice with the team, and Lickliter stated he would be available for this game, but couldn't forecast if (or how much) he would play. My thoughts are that Tucker would be the 9th player off the bench in this one, if he gets that shot. Obviously, if some of the guards get into foul trouble, Tuck is going to be called on.

1.) Control the Tempo. Iowa wants to keep this game in the half-court set. If the Hawks can set up their offense each time down, they'll get a LOT of good looks against Drake.
2.) Handle the Press. You won't see Dr. Tom's press in this one, but I am still amazed that teams aren't coming at Iowa with full court pressure every time out. If Drake decides to throw one in there, Iowa had better be ready to handle it.
3.) Play Solid Defense. We'll likely see Man to Man D once again in this one.
4.) Get Cyrus Tate Involved. This key is going to be permanent on this list for each game for obvious reasons. Tate is really good down low. Iowa doesn't get him the ball enough. That's really the bulk of the point right there.

Iowa - 70
Drake - 62

Sunday, December 14, 2008

MEN'S BB: Rejoice! Iowa Now Has Successful Inbound Plays: The Anatomy of a Perfectly Designed and Executed Inbounds Play

Iowa - Iowa State Game

Following a timeout... 8 seconds left on the shot clock, Iowa needs get a good look right out of inbounds play. They get just that, thanks to a terrifically designed play.

The Setup. Gatens will cut out to the left wing.

Ball inbounded by Kelly from the baseline to Gatens on the left wing, Bawinkel starts down the lane.

As soon as Gatens passes the ball out to the top to Davis, Bawinkel (who was at the left elbow) comes down to the low block and sets a screen on the player defending the inbounds pass (Kelly's man).

Jake looks like the first option to all onlookers as he flashes across the lane - by doing this Bawinkel's man hedges and the player who was initially guarding Kelly follows in tow.

With Kelly taking two defenders with him, Bawinkel curls and is able to step behind the three point arc on the left wing.

Gatens then sets a pick on his own man to deny help coverage.

Bawinkel's man doesn't have enough time to get back to the shooter. The shot is off.

Nothing but net.

It's been a while since Iowa fans have seen this sort of play calling in Carver, and I can't tell you how nice it is to see it return. Nothing fancy, but a terrific play call, nonetheless.

Here's the video of the play:

Friday, December 12, 2008

MEN'S BB: Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Iowa State Cyclones VS.

GAME INFO: Fri., Dec 12, 2008 - 7:05 CST - Carver-Hawkeye Arena; Iowa City, IA
IOWA: 8-2 (0-0); POM: 47; RPI: 83 / IOWA STATE: 6-2 (0-0); POM: 137; RPI: 205

TV COVERAGE: BTN: Steve Schlanger and Shon Morris will call the action.
LINE - Iowa is a 8 point favorite at home.

Iowa looks for the sweep (in the sports that matter - football, wrestling, basketball) against ISU for 2008. Lickliter didn't give a definitive answer as to if Tucker would be back for this game, but all signs point that Anthony will remain in street clothes. Jermain Davis should pick up minutes, as will Bawinkle. The more PT Davis is getting, the more comfortable he is looking on the court. If Iowa's bigs cannot stay out of foul trouble (ahem, Brommer), the Hawks will have a great deal of difficulty stopping ISU's inside game. The good thing for Iowa is that even if ISU is constantly pounding it down low, the Hawks can always stay in the game with their outside shooting prowess.

Lucca Staiger went Monkey Banana Ape Crap against Drake last time out (8-11 from behind the arc), but the Clones couldn't take down the Bulldogs despite having a large lead. ISU's guard play (or lack thereof) is really going to hurt the Clones in this game, as they are severely over-matched in this area. On the other hand, they have the overwhelming advantage on the blocks (who doesn't vs Iowa this year?). Game planning will be crucial to the success of ISU, Mac will have to be up for the challenge. And don't forget, #5 is back.



1.) Contain Brackins. You aren't likely going to stop him, but get a body on him and play hard-nose D all night against him. Let Brommer use his five fouls in 2 minutes on him if you have to.
2.) Handle the Press. If Mac has done any scouting against Iowa, he would know that Iowa's turnovers increase dramatically when a press is installed. And without Tucker to help bring the ball up, Iowa State can take advantage by pressing.
3.) Convert on the Blocks. Iowa has missed far too many bunnies this season, and it will eventually bit them in the butt at some point.
4.) Get Cyrus Tate Involved. He doesn't get near enough touches as it is. I realize ISU has some trees down low, but Cy needs to get more touches in the flow of the offense.

Iowa - 71
Iowa State - 64

Thursday, December 11, 2008

MEN'S BB: Word on the Street is Alex Thompson Still Plays for Iowa State

I kid you not, Alex Thompson is still playing college basketball. Thompson has absolutely EXPLODED since he left the University of Iowa for greener pastures (yes, those pastures on the ISU campus to be exact). The timeless wonder is averaging a whopping 3.4 points per game while averaging 23 minutes per contest... wait, what? His average playing time is over a half of a ball game and he is averaging 3.4 points per game? Nice... 27 points on the year in 188 minutes. Um, Bryan Peterson averages more points than Alex Thompson, former All-Stater. He is being out-rebounded by two guards on his own team so far this year... but I hear he TEARS it up in practice (he schools Brunner on a constant basis, you know).

Hey, at least he got rid of the all-black tennies. (Photo -

So the last time anyone really heard from #5 was back in 2006 (yes, like 2 and a half years ago)... and by "anyone", I mean anyone. Watchable footage of Alex Thompson in game was harder to track down than legit Bigfoot tape. However, this 30 second highlight has been uncovered - bask in it, as it all that exists.

And truth be told, the only reason I uploaded that clip is because Kendra Haluska is in it.
This is the only other photo of Alex Thompson that exists on the Intraweb.

Ok, wait, this one, too:
For some reason, this looks like a different Alex Thompson, though.

#5 is gone, we welcome #14 back to Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Friday (the last time he was in Carver he was redshirting from his transfer to ISU from Iowa). Best of luck to Mr. Thompson in his return to Iowa City, may the waning days of his basketball career continue to treat him well.

FOOTBALL: Shonn Greene Wins the 2008 Doak Walker Award

Photo by Rodney White/Des Moines Register

Mad props go out to Shonn Greene for winning the Doak Walker Award for 2008!

Whether it was having the Play of the Year in the Big Ten or taking home the Silver Football, Shonn Greene is on his way to an award-filled postseason. He's an All-American. He is Iowa Football. Greene just completed arguably the best season by a running back in the history of the Iowa program, and we are lucky to have witnessed it. While I'd like to get all sentimental reflecting back at the season that was Shonn Greene, BHGP (HawkeyeState specifically) does a far better job than I could dream of - READ HIS STORY HERE IF YOU HAVEN'T ALREADY.

Congrats to Shonn; thanks for the memories!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

FOOTBALL: Shonn Greene is NOT a Finalist for the Heisman Trophy

And neither is Graham Harrell.

Epic fail by those involved in the voting.

Greene was, by far, the best running back in the nation. Did he have a shot to win it? Hell no, but he deserved to be invited to NYC.

What a crock.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Thursday, December 04, 2008

MEN'S BB: Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Bryant Bulldogs VS.

GAME INFO: Fri., Dec 5, 2008 - 7:35 PM CST - Carver-Hawkeye Arena; Iowa City, IA
IOWA: 6-2 (0-0); POM: 68; RPI: 73 / Bryant University: 1-4 (0-0); POM: 267; RPI: 177

TV COVERAGE: Big Ten Network. Mark Neely, Spencer Tollackson (former Gopher) and Lauren Bohlander will call the action.
LINE - Really? You are looking for a line on this game?

Iowa returns home from a long road trip to face Bryant University this Friday. What do you mean you've never heard of Bryant? It's that independent school up in Rhode Island with a yearly tuition of $40K* and a student demographic of 2,669 men and 1,607 women**. Their lone victory of the year was over Quinnipiac (presumably a territory, parish, or province in Canada), a team that has a Pomeroy rating of 300+. Needless to say that if Iowa loses this game, they might as well start Lil' Lick for the rest of the season.

* - No joke, check out Wikipedia.
** - This ratio constitutes the mandatory label of Sausage Party.

1.) Cyrus Tate with a MINIMUM of 10 field goal attempts.
2.) Get Anthony Tucker back on track.
3.) Play solid defense.
4.) Rebound.

Iowa - 78
Bryant - 53

Monday, December 01, 2008

MEN'S BB: The Hawkeyes Through the First 7 Games (6-1)

The Hawkeyes Through the First 7 Games (6-1) of the 2008 Season

Tate's Buzzer Beater vs. Kansas State (Photo courtesy of the AP)


Anthony Tucker, before last game, had scored in dbl digits every single game to start his career. Excellent outside shooter (we knew that already). Can rain threes. Was off last game, but has a short memory. Needs to get tougher, D is a liability. Good handles, good passer, can get into the lane if he has to. Best shooter on the team.

Matt Gatens has fouled out of the last two ballgames, he is Big Ten ready right now. Doing all the things to make his team better. Can get frustrated at times, when he has good looks at the basket, he has made almost all of them. Good passer, good handles for his size, needs to rebound more. Great looking shot, too.

Aaron Fuller still seems undersized and will get eaten up in Big Ten play, but he plays very, very hard and has a great motor. Lacks a little on the D end, has trouble finishing near the basketball, has shown the ability to knock down the 3 ptr as well.

Jeff Peterson is stronger than last year, but I still see the tendencies of last year creeping in (driving into traffic, leaving his feet, forcing shots, etc...) However, he has kept his turnovers in check and has distributed it well. Has also hit some nice runners and treys from time to time.

Cyrus Tate has not been getting the ball downlow at all. A couple games ago he didn't even attempt a shot (that should NEVER happen). Isn't quite at the level he was at the end of last year, but he is working extremely hard down low and he will be key to our success this year. Rebounding very well this season and getting in good position, just needs more touches from the guards. Buzzer beater at the end of the KSU game for the win.


It's not who starts, it's who finishes.

Jake Kelly is the first guy off the bench (I'd assume because of his broken finger). I don't think he has an issue coming off the bench. He is coming in with a lot of fire and looks really good. There have been some sweet, sweet dribble drives by him, and some step back jumpers that have been really smooth. He has worked on his game and it shows. Our best all around player, in my opinion. His defense is very, very good this year so far. Really like what I see with him.

Jarryd Cole just is not in game shape yet. He hasn't been able to really do a lot of basketball things over the summer and he is still recovering from the ACL. Right now he doesn't look like the Jarryd of last year, he needs to continue to be weaned into the games. Hopefully by BT season he is ready.

Jermain Davis is a guy that is doing a lot of good things out there. Great handles, can get into the lane, plays good D, probably could work on his outside shot a bit more. Very athletic and can get up with anyone his height.

Andrew Brommer is the least refined of the new guys, as expected. He plays hard, which I liked. Very aggressive near the basket, but has a problem with fouls. Also has a problem with foul shooting, not the prettiest of FT shots.

Devan Bawinkel has a pretty good stroke (not as good as Tucker, Kelly, or Gatens), but he really suffers on the D end. Limited PT so far.

David Palmer could be the next Sam Perkins if he got more PT. He can stroke it from downtown, but other than that I don't know what else he can bring. He is still learning this new system, too. Limited PT.

JR Angle has only gotten mop up minutes.

Lil Lick has only gotten a few minutes of PT.

We are seeing about 9 players in the rotation right now.

Current Ratings for Big Ten Basketball Teams (RPI/KenPom)

It's still early, but fun to take a look... check out the discrepancies between the Pomeroy ratings and the RPI ratings. This is how out of whack these things can get this early in the season.

FWIW - in all my years following statistics, ratings, etc.... Pomeroy's system is far superior to that of the RPI. Far superior. Pomeroy's stats take in so much more than the RPI, once he figures out how to cap the scoring margin, it will be nearly flawless.

4. Ohio State
10. Purdue
22. Northwestern
27. Michigan State
28. Illinois
34. Wisconsin
57. Minnesota
59. Penn State
71. Iowa
74. Michigan
249. Indiana

Others of Note:
156. ISU
189. UNI
157. Drake

3 Big Ten Conference                  .9148

7. Illinois
16. Michigan
20. Northwestern
24. Michigan State
28. Wisconsin
32. Minnesota
62. Purdue
75. Ohio State
93. Iowa
146. Indiana
148. Penn State

Others of Note:
233. ISU
174. UNI
142. Drake

Conf. RPI Rank: 1 Conf. SOS Rank: 3

The Big Ten is UP this year, some will disagree, but it's the truth. The Big Ten is a better conference than last year.

Michigan State

Ohio State

Penn State