Nov. 9, 2008
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Editor’s Note: Jarryd Cole was becoming a force on the men’s basketball court last season for the University of Iowa as the Hawkeyes neared the Big Ten portion of their schedule. He was the team’s leading scorer in back-to-back games against Iowa State (15 points) and Drake (12). Then, on Dec. 29, 2007, Cole landed awkwardly on the court during Iowa’s 57-50 win over Southeastern Louisiana. A torn ACL ended his freshman season after 13 games and six starts. Cole, from Winnetonka High School in Kansas City, Mo., is healthy now and the Hawkeye co-captain shared some thoughts at media day Oct. 13 inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Cole and the Hawkeyes open the 2008-09 regular season Friday at 7 p.m. against Charleston Southern in the Arena.
Question 1. Is this a day you’ve had circled on your calendar for awhile?
I’ve really been looking forward to getting back in the groove. Sitting out made me realize that you can’t take anything for granted. You have to play every day like it’s your last.
Question 2. How do you feel physically right now?
I feel pretty well. I have to wear a brace whenever I do basketball activity for a safety precaution, but other than it, things are going real well.
Question 3. What attributes do you hope to bring to the team this season?
I hope to pick up where I left off last year. I want to keep contributing to the team by doing whatever I have to do to help us build in a positive direction. That’s what I’m willing to do.
Question 4. Talk about the injury and the way you tore an ACL on Dec. 29.
It never entered my mind that I tore an ACL. The pain definitely wasn’t as significant as I thought it would be. The day after, of course, was a little hectic. It was devastating at first when I did realize it was my ACL that was torn. I knew right then that I had to keep a positive attitude, not only for myself, but for everyone around me. That was real crucial to me — I didn’t want to bring anybody else down around me. I think that helped us a lot.
“I hope to pick up where I left off last year. I want to keep contributing to the team by doing whatever I have to do to help us build in a positive direction. That’s what I’m willing to do.”
Question 5. It’s year No. 2 of the Todd Lickliter Era at the University of Iowa. How is this preseason different from last year?
It’s going a lot more smoothly than it did last year. The newcomers have picked up the system really well and as for the guys who have been here before, we’re trying to help them. It’s not just the coaches feeding the newcomers everything, it’s us, too. We’re taking on that role pretty well.
Question 6. What was your mindset while rehabilitating your knee?
I wanted to go in and get better every day. I gave it my all. I went after rehab just like I would go at a basketball game. I think it paid off. It took me about five or six months to get back on my feet and get back running and get back into the basketball groove, so that’s all I can expect and I’m very grateful for that.
Question 7. Share some of the goals that you have for this team.
All we want to do is play together as a team and work hard as one as we work toward our goal.
Question 8. What parts of your game do you feel you’ve improved the most in the off-season?
I’ve been working on a lot of things I was working on last year, like my inside play. I’m starting to extend a little bit, but not too far — just enough to give the defense something else to guard so that my teammates can get open.
Question 9. How do you think Hawkeye fans will react to the seven newcomers?
They’re going to love them. We love them. They have a lot to bring to the table. They all have different things to bring to the table. We need that diverse atmosphere around here so that we have hard matchups for the defense and we can match up well with their offense.
Question 10. How do you feel after being named team co-captain prior to your sophomore season?
It feels good. It shows that Coach Lickliter has a lot of trust in me. I really appreciate that, but I take it with a grain of salt. I don’t see it as being an authority-type position. Everybody on the team likes to see eye-to-eye and I want to keep it that way. That’s how it should be and that’s how we’re comfortable.