Hawk Talk Daily: Random Thoughts

Jan. 27, 2014

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Random thoughts on the Sunday after a busy Saturday for the good guys and gals in black and gold…

In chronological order, starting with Iowa versus Northwestern in Evanston, Ill…Fran McCaffery’s squad proved why it’s going to be a contender in the Big Ten Conference race and a player in the postseason by going out Saturday and nipping it in the bud. They went on the road and made certain a one-game losing streak didn’t become a two-day losing streak. Good teams to do that. Teams that compete for championships do that. Teams that make noise in March do that.


You can read our take on Iowa’s 76-50 win over Northwestern, No. 16 (against just four tough losses) for the Hawkeyes in 2013-14 HERE.

You can watch the highlights of the win and much more HERE.

I’ll join the chorus that cheers that it’s the variety Fran has at his disposal — talent, too, of course — that’s so tough on our opponents. One game it’s White, the next it’s Marble, the next it’s Oglesby or Uthoff or McCabe, the next it’s any combination. The source of the headache for our opposing coach doesn’t change by game, it changes by halves. Saturday in Evanston I thought it was the group effort by the bigs that was the biggest difference: Adam, Melsahn, and Gabe all had solid days. Gabe had a superior day: 14 points — including one ESPN Top 10 slam — and 10 rebounds in just 17 minutes. That’s efficient. You can review it for yourself HERE.

What can you say about the play of Mike Gesell? When your point guard scores 11 points on a nice variety of shots including a pair of drives to the rim, chalks up six assists, and turns it over just once, the head coach is smiling.

By the way, Tuesday night’s game against Michigan State is an early start…so please be patient as you’re making your way to Carver as employees of the UI are making their way out of town and (b) it is the Hawkeyes’ annual Black and Gold Spirit Game. Here’s the map: HERE. We need a loud and proud and colorful Carver to make a statement to Michigan State and the audience that will be watching on ESPN.

Here’s how the Gazette’s Mike Hlas begins his column today: “With business effectively taken care of here Saturday, the Iowa men’s basketball team embarks on the biggest week of Big Ten play it’s had in seemingly forever.” Excitement. Hype. Sensationalism. All of it beats the alternative. You can read the rest of Mike’s work HERE.

Iowa versus Minnesota on the mat in Carver Saturday afternoon…. Iowa found itself in an unexpected hole early and never dug itself out. I’ll predict that won’t happen again and, more importantly, our coaching staff will use it to our advantage in the weeks to come.

You can read our take on yesterday’s goings-on on Mediacom Mat HERE. And here’s a link for the video highlights: HERE.

Iowa versus Indiana on Mediacom Court…. Bluder’s Bunch won from start to finish in a game Saturday night that was an opportunity to give a little payback to the Indiana Hoosiers for a loss in the Hawkeyes’ Big Ten opener. It was Iowa’s fourth league win in five outings and their 16th win this season. Diversity on offense is always a good thing: Four Iowa players scored in double-digits.

Loud and proud Tuesday night, Hawk fans. Loud and proud.

You can read our take on the victory HERE. And you can watch some video HERE.

This year’s Super Bowl will be played in some chilly weather, maybe the coldest ever for the NFL’s championship game: HERE. I guess that’s OK, but probably not perfect for the biggest sports event of the year.

Saturday was also a good day in Evanston for the UI’s women’s swimming and diving program. You can read the details ,b>HERE. The Hawkeye men came tantalizingly close to upsetting the nationally ranked Wildcats: HERE.

On Friday, the UI announced some parking changes for football game days that will take effect this fall. The high points? The impact is exclusively on season ticket customers who area also contributors to the National I-Club; there is no change to the parking that was available a year ago to those who are not I-Club members and the Hawkeye Express remains in operation. Second, all contributors will enter the 2014 season knowing exactly which UI parking lot they’ll tailgate in all year. Third, there was no increase in prices, either on the pay-the-full-season-price-in-advance price or the single-game price. Fourth, all of the changes were put in place to create a safer and more fan-friendly parking environment…and to make it easier to enter and exit on game days. Lastly, the most generous of contributors will have the opportunity to purchase two spaces. Here’s what we distributed on Friday: HERE.

There are few folks that spend more time around our men’s basketball coaches, its student-athletes, its managers, and a variety of support staff than Rick Brown of the Des Moines Register and Scott Dochterman of the Cedar Rapids Gazette. They have a pretty good sense of the pulse of the Hawkeye program. From my vantage points, each penned a pretty good piece that kind of “nailed it” after Iowa’s recent visit to Michigan. If you didn’t read them, here’s a link to Rick’s — HERE — and here’s one to Scott’s: HERE.

That’s a pretty good Michigan team that we played toe-to-toe with last Wednesday night and now sits atop the Big Ten standings as we approach the halfway point in the race: HERE.

Loud and proud Tuesday night, Hawk fans. Loud and proud.

Go Hawks!