Feb. 27, 2004
Looking at the statistics of Iowa’s four seniors, who are completing their final year this season, is a mind-boggling experience. The day they will have to hang up their Hawkeye jerseys and bid Carver-Hawkeye Arena farewell is closing in for Brody Boyd, Glen Worley, Jared Reiner and Kurt Spurgeon.
“I remember when Ryan Hogan and Luke (Recker) and all them were talking after their last game here. I always wondered how that would feel. But before you know it, it’s here. Time flies by.”
Iowa Senior Brody Boyd
Through the 124 games of their careers, the four seniors have made 848-of-1942 field goals for 43.7 percent. They’ve scored 2,560 points for a combined 20.6 points per game. They have 237 steals and 1,253 rebounds between them. And the Hawkeyes have a record of 73-51. They have also helped Iowa to three post-season tournament appearances and the 2001 Big Ten Tournament championship.
And the recessional hasn’t yet played for the durable quartet.
“It’s going to be sad,” Boyd said. “I remember when Ryan Hogan and Luke (Recker) and all them were talking after their last game here. I always wondered how that would feel. But before you know it, it’s here. Time flies by.
“It’s been a great career for me. It’s been enjoyable and a lot of fun, while getting a great education. It’s been a great ride.”
Boyd won’t say goodbye to the University of Iowa, though, as he will come back for a fifth year to finish his degree in Health, Leisure and Sports Studies. He plans on pursuing a collegiate coaching program following graduation.
“I’d say the collegiate level is the best fit.”
Boyd’s journey to Iowa City may not have been the longest – Boyd’s hometown of Dugger, Ind., is only 389 miles away – but it probably seemed that way for the 5-foot-11 guard.
Despite leading the state of Indiana in scoring as a junior and a senior, Boyd’s height precluded much attention from many premier schools. Boyd’s best advice was to pursue a career at a mid-major and build a name there. He nevertheless held onto his dream of playing in the Big Ten – the same league as one of his state’s legendary players, Steve Alford.
“I always had those doubters who said I was too little, I’d never be able to play in the Big Ten, I might as well give it up,” said Boyd. “That’s just something I didn’t buy into. I never really wanted to go to a mid-major. I wanted to play Big Ten basketball and here I am.”
Boyd was offered a scholarship by Alford following a Nike all-American camp.
“(Coach Alford) relates to his players well. I have a real good personal relationship with Coach on the floor and as a mentor.”
Iowa Senior Jared Reiner
“He came to my house and everything,” Boyd said, “And it was a pretty big deal. For him to come to my house and talk to me and recruit me was big.”
According to Boyd, though, Alford didn’t saunter into rural Dugger loudly proclaiming that he owns an Olympic gold medal and even has a hotel named after him in his hometown of New Castle.
“Coach is a very down-to-earth kind of guy,” Boyd said. “Everybody knows who he is. Growing up, I had seen tapes and watched his workout videos. It’s great to be able to be around him and learn from him, because he learned from one of the best, Coach (Bob) Knight. And I’m learning from one of the best too. He knows his stuff.”
Boyd has flourished at Iowa, first becoming known for excellent three-point shooting and now leading the conference in steals with 55 for the season. Ranked third on Iowa’s all-time three-point shooting list, he’s closing in on his totals from his previous three years combined. He was also an instrumental part of Iowa’s 2001 Big Ten Tournament title victory. Boyd said that he is “pleased” with how his career at Iowa is finishing.
“Overall, I am pleased with it,” he said. “It could have ended up better with everybody being healthy and everybody hanging in there. That kind of stuff happens and that’s basketball and that’s life.”
Two-time academic all-Big Ten selection Jared Reiner also weighed in on his experiences as a Hawkeye.
“I had some pretty big schools recruiting me, but Coach Alford was always very persistent and his name was always out there,” Reiner said. “He made an effort to get to know you individually, and I appreciate that. He brings a lot of energy and enthusiasm into his recruiting and coaching.”
Reiner said Alford’s persona and youth were major selling points.
“He relates to his players well. I have a real good personal relationship with Coach on the floor and as a mentor,” he said. “All of our players can relate to coach. He’ll sit and talk with you about things not pertaining to basketball. He does a great job with that.”
But it was Alford’s system of motion offense that put Reiner on the Iowa squad.
“It’s predominately reads and reading off your man,” he said. “I’m going to screen with Jeff Horner and I’m not only reading what he’s doing, but what his man is doing and that is going to determine what I do.”
Worley agrees with Reiner about Alford’s style, which he describes as “freelance.”
“I knew it was the place for me. It sounded like it was a family thing. That was something I was real big on. It sounded like, why go away from home when you have everything right here?”
Iowa Senior Glen Worley
“There’s a quote in the locker room that says, ‘Work hard and have fun,'” said Worley. “That’s the main thing.”
Worley, a Coralville, Iowa-native, sat down with Alford and his assistants his senior year in high school. He decided that he wanted to stay in Iowa City. The decision to stay home was a good one for the forward, who became just the 35th Hawkeye to make it to the 1,000-point club this season. He also has snatched 525 rebounds.
“I decided I liked him and I liked the direction of the program and where it was going,” said Worley. “I knew it was the place for me. It sounded like it was a family thing. That was something I was real big on. It sounded like, why go away from home when you have everything right here?”
Spurgeon, from DeWitt, IA, was recruited by Coach Steve Alford at Southwest Missouri State University before Alford took the head coaching position at Iowa. The senior has been an instrumental part of the 2003-04 Hawkeye squad, hitting two key free throws to seal Iowa’s 69-61 win over Michigan on Valentine’s Day.
“This has been a great experience, getting to know my teammates and the coaching staff, and I’m grateful for the opportunity.”
Iowa Senior Kurt Spurgeon
“This has been a great experience, getting to know my teammates and the coaching staff, and I’m grateful for the opportunity. I’m happy to be a part of a close group of guys, and it’s nice to be able to finish my career back in Iowa. It is ironic that I’ve been able to play closer to home, while closing my college career playing for Coach Alford.”