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Fran downplayed the importance of the upcoming game against Mich St on his meeting with the media this week, which I think he should have done as a coach, saying what every coach says in similar circumstances: every game is important... we go in with the attitude to win every game... No opponent can be taken lightly...., etc. But I think losing a second game at home (this early in the season) with so many tough road games still on the schedule can be very harmful to IA from an NCAA bid perspective, not to mention the massive negative psychological impact the loss would have on the kids' minds and hearts.
However, the strangest things have been happening against Mich St ever since the game played at East Lansing after the tragic passing of late Chris Street, the memory of AC Earl pointing to the carved out number of Chris' jersey on his head and pointing his index finger toward the heavens is perhaps forever tattooed in every Hawkeyes' mind and heart. So I'm cautiously hopeful, but I also say that this is a game IA can hardly afford to lose if it has aspirations of dancing in March. If we don't win, I'll put my money on an NIT appearance instead of what I had always considered an outside chance of making the Dance. Of course a win against the Spartans would get all of us excited and back on this board planning our trips for IA's Sweet 16 appearance. I know my always optimistic friend, Lao, definitely will - and in his honor, I will follow suit! :)
This post was edited by Hawklove 15 months ago
IMO, this is a HUGE game....we must show we can defend our home court vs the elite teams, plus we need to start racking up some "quality" wins since I think we will be a bubble team come March.
Starting conference play 0-3 isn't a season breaker, but this teams must get some momentum back, and as a young team it needs to reclaim some swagger.
I agree and think it is a team we normally play fairly well. These kids need to win this game as the next two games against NW and Wiscy are very winnable. Winning here and the next two gets us above .500 and some confidence going to OS. and Pur.
Not a season breaker but big none the less!
Agreed. While I don't think a loss against MSU put Iowa out of a possible NCAA tourney bid, these are the types of games that become "resume builders" for bubble teams. Big game, hopefully Carver is packed!
well, coach only kind of downplayed the importance of the msu game. that is, he downplayed it, then threatened to bench marble and white if they didn't start playing harder. never a good sign about team chemistry or character when come january a coach wonders aloud about sitting his two best offensive players because he thinks they're dogging it on defense.
i've been adamant in saying that this year's team is better than last year's. surely it is deeper and has more talented players and more big guys. what it doesn't have is matt gatens. we'll see. i might have to adjust my sense of what "better" means. this team needs a floor leader badly. i'm not sure if there's a natural in 2013.
Completely agree with this. Beating MSU would be a huge win for Iowa, but there are a lot of very winnable games in the back half of the conference schedule. Even if Iowa starts 0-5, there would still be time to make up some serious ground as the schedule lightens up.
I already had this and the next game at NwU as "W," so drink up, lol. Yes, I think the coaches and players know this is a must win and will play their butts off Thursday night on ESPN2! MSU knows it will be a dog fight but IA should prevail. Go Hawks! ;0)
Huge for both teams - for Iowa to prove that it has NCAA-worthy chops, and for MSU to prove that it belongs in the upper tier of B1G teams.
Iowa can beat MSU. MSU does have a good inside game, but they aren't consistent with outside shooting.
Silver made a very good point which I've been saying this season. Iowa doesn't have a go-to shooter like Gatens was. Iowa is in need of a consistent shooter.
While many people like Oglesby and May, Oglesby is not the sharp shooter he's been described as being. Maybe he's good in practice. Maybe he was good in high school. While he does sometimes get a hot shooting hand, most games he doesn't shoot well.
May just needs to stay on the bench. Against Michigan, Iowa was in the game. As soon as May and Oglesby came in together, Michigan went on a run and pulled ahead.
Can Iowa beat MSU? Yes. Will they? Probably not.
The fact is, as with most young teams, half court offense is going to be a struggle. And as in the case of the scUM game, we were not the more athletic team and we were unable to run the fast break AND unable to defend the fast break and so, we got blown out.
I am very disappointed in the fact that Fran does not have them playing better in the half court offense. Thats what he should have had them working on in the last two games before the B1G season. Instead, we played a couple of sloppy, helter skelter style games that have taken away any consistency from our half court sets. Dribble, dribble, pass, dribble, dribble, pass, dribble, throw up a contested 3 pointer as the shot clock winds down seems to be our half court system.
Even with losses, there needs to be improvement as the season goes along, and right now, there isn't any team improvement. Hopefully Fran can correct this. I had us starting out 0-3 and 2-5 before things got better, and finish out at 10-8, but if things don't change, 1-6 could be the likely start.
You bring up a great point regarding Oglesby's shooting, and the impact of losing Gatens. While they obviously have different body types, it'll be interesting to see if Oglesby has a similar career arc as Jon Diebler did at Ohio State. Coming into his college career, Diebler was known as being one of the best shooters ever, yet he really struggled with his shot as a freshman, to the extent that a lot of people labeled him as a bust. By the time he was a senior, he was arguably the best shooter in the country. Some great shooters just take a year or two to make some minor tweaks and adjust to the next level. Not saying Oglesby will necessarily do this, but there's still plenty of time for it to happen.
I don't think MSU is near the level of Michigan or even Indiana at this point in the season, and yes I know Michigan is only up 9 on Nebraska right now. Iowa has a great opportunity to win 3 of its first 6 games and 5 of the first 8. That said, a win over MSU at home would be the biggest win to date this season and likely the biggest win until Minnesota. Not a "must win" but definitely a statement game to see where the team is at this year.
"I was brought in here to change the culture. I'm going to coach with passion" - Fran McCaffery.
This is a crucial game. I mean crucial.
Todd, I'm not following this at all. If IA goes 0 - 5, they will have road games at Ohio St, Purdue, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Penn St, and Indiana. They also still have to play Ill at home. My math just doesn't add up here - how can we make serious grounds with this schedule?
I think that the Mich St and NW games are in the must win category. There is no hope in heaven to beat Oh St at Columbus, to lose to Wis at home (based on 0 - 5 calculations) and then beat them in Madison. The only way I can see us in the tourney then is by winning the Big 10. I bet my retirement on that not happening. :). I also think this goes back to what both you and I said on another thread. Fan enthusiasm aside, Realistically, we are a year or two away from being a top tier big 10 team. This is not the year, it pains me to say. :(
One last thing and sorry for the long post: I certainly agree with Silver. Deven and Aaron didn't deserve being called out by the coach. I don't care how slow they were getting back on defense. And this goes back to some of last year's discussions about how mature this coach really is under pressure? Are we going to see another chair slamming episode as the losses pile up? I hope not, and I hope we win both our next games.
I was thinking off the top of my head that the OSU game was the fifth game rather than the sixth game. So scratch what I said earlier and make it 1-5 instead of 0-5. It definitely wouldn't be easy, but I think Iowa is good enough to steal an upset or two. A 1-5 start obviously isn't ideal, but Iowa could still get back into the mix for 8-10 conference wins if things click down the stretch.
Definitely a big game, and could set the tone for the rest of the season. As some have said, Mich St. is not nearly in the same class as Michigan, and arguably is the 5th or 6th best squad in the league this year. We definitely need this win if there any aspirations of the NCAA at all.
As for Fran publically calling out White and Marble, I personally don't have a problem with that at all. While I don't think that should be a common practice for a coach, doing so in moderation and picking your spots can be effective. In fact, I wish KF would do this occasionally. Fran didn't dress them down, he simply intimated that they both could have hustled more on defense, and he's correct. Also, I think there is probably an ulterior motive here: he wants some of his players to step up as leaders for this young team, and this may be a way of providing some motivation for the older guys.
I sincerely believe that Oglesby is one of the best pure shooters Iowa has had since Kingsbury. His problem is mainly one of mental toughness on the court, and, as Todd said, that will come with time. He also is not really a "quick-twitch" athlete and so he struggles getting separation off the ball, which may or may not improve as well. But, I'd pick him in a game of HORSE anyday.
I hope you guys win so no chairs are injured tonight.
Got it - I kept doing the math and it wasn't working. :) Can't wait for tonight's game.
Oglesby I believe was a light's out shooter in high school. It's quite different in college. Let's hope Oglesby develops into the college shooter he was recruited to be.
Mac Mcausland's son Kent was like that in high school too, he came and played for Tom Davis, is like number 2 statistically with regard to the 3 point shot. But even he had to be encouraged at times to shoot it more, the most notable game was the 18pt comeback Iowa at Phog Allen field house to snap their 63 game winning streak. In that game Macausland went 15 points on 5-9 treys and three assists, four of his three-pointers came in last eight minutes to lead the Iowa rally...
Statistically Oglesby can't be compared with Mcausland (yet), but he should at least try or be encouraged to try and surpass Mcausland in 3 point attempts, if he does, we might see more results like last years game at Indiana when Oglesby scored 24 in the losing effort.
This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by Truthhurts 15 months ago
While I said all along I thought Iowa needed to go 2-3 in their first 5 games, I think this is a very winnable game. MSU isn't a great team. They are good for sure, but not great. It would definitely be an excellent win for this team. You don't want to drop your first 3 games in the conference and have to claw your way back the rest of the season.
I heard there will be about 13,000+ in Carver tonight. Plenty to make it loud. Hopefully there are a lot of walk ups and it sells out.
With the talent that Fran is assembling on the roster, Oglesby would be a very dangerous weapon if he develops into that type of shooter in Iowa City.
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