It begins. The first names have begun trickling in as potential replacements for Todd Lickliter here at Iowa. During the Play-In Game--the results of which we do not care one bit about--Doug Gottlieb began speculating about potential names for Iowa: Dayton's Brian Gregory, Siena's Fran McCaffery, and UTEP's Tony Barbee.
Naturally, none are perfect candidates, which means nobody on the message boards is pleased about this. Gregory seems to be a particular sticking point for many, most of whom (in the above-linked thread, anyway) cite his inconsistent record at Dayton. Meanwhile, Gregory's widely thought to be Tom Izzo's coach-in-waiting for Michigan State. So just to recap: Brian Gregory is good enough for Michigan State, but not good enough for Iowa. Got it, Internet Hawk Fans. You guys just keep fighting the good fight against reality.
It's also worth reiterating: Gregory is Tom Izzo's old assistant and top recruiter. OH HEY, THAT REMINDS US. What was that Izzo had to say about Barta and the Iowa situation again?
"It's an amazing world I live in. I mean, I don't know Todd that well, to be very honest with you. But I know this: He's a quality guy. He doesn't cheat. He does it the right way. I feel sorry for some of these guys as I did Tommy Amaker, as I did Dan Monson, as I do Tom Crean a little bit. Guys that take over programs that have been decimated with crap.
"That right now would be where I would change my opinion of telling a friend to take a certain job."
Think he was talking to Gregory? We're guessing "yes definitely." Oh, also, Gregory's extended through '17-'18; best believe Barta has no interest in paying two mammoth buyouts at once. Brian Gregory? Probably not happening.
Meanwhile, Fran McCaffery is only as hot as how well his team does against Purdue in a few days; we expect his name to disappear when Siena's offense does the same.
As for Tony Barbee, he seems like the most intriguing option of the three. Good recruiter, up-tempo, exciting. Sort of a George Raveling 2.0! Perfect! This, of course, is dependent on Iowa finding a Lute Olsen 2.0 shortly thereafter; luckily, Quin Snyder is more than happy to fill this role. All he asks is a $750,000 yearly retainer until then. He's sure you won't mind such a modest investment in his loyalty.
But all that talk assumes one thing: that any of the three men are candidates for the Iowa job. Recall our rule from yesterday: if any coach's name comes up as a potential replacement, cross him off the list. Thus, we will confidently and unequivocally state this: Brian Gregory, Fran McCaffery, and Tony Barbee are all now officially not coming to Iowa. Now wait patiently for the next names to be floated for the Iowa job, so you can cross them off your list next.
The Sioux City Journal is officially beyond parody: You knew the Sewer Rag had to say something about Lickliter's firing, right? You know, since they spent the entire season thinking Lickliter was going to revoke Cougill's scholarship or something. So what do you suppose they had to say about a coach that gave a true freshman 12.5 minutes per game in Big Ten play, despite a glaring need for improvement? Hooo boy (emphasis, as always, ours):
Fair enough. Three years probably was cutting it a little short in terms of giving Todd Lickliter time to make a difference.
Fair enough. I'm probably not on Lickliter's bandwagon because I believe the way he handled a young man from Sioux City has been questionable if not downright shameful.
Oh no, that's not all. Not by a longshot:
I certainly haven't agreed with how he has handled 6-9, 260-pound Brennan Cougill, the former Bishop Heelan star, making it seem as if the all-time leading scorer and rebounder in Sioux City prep basketball history didn't deserve to be Mr. Basketball in Iowa last season.
The way Lickliter has handled Cougill has, instead, exposed a very nice and talented young man to the vicious horse manure that numbskulls like to spread on all those message boards.
In a state I've always been proud to call home, I'm embarrassed to think there are even a handful of Iowans who would be as thoughtless as the individuals who've dismissed Brennan as a serious Big Ten post player simply because his coach either can't or won't make him part of the equation.
Well, Lickliter won't have to work on that any longer. And, whether or not Cougill stays to play for another coach is something we'll just have to wait and see.
If the SCJ were at all interested in convincing people that these editorials aren't being written by Cougill's mother, this is a poor way of going about it. What kind of fragile porcelain doll is this person hell-bent on portraying Cougill as? And why? Pretending Cougill's, uh, sizable deficiencies and uh, sizable excesses don't exist doesn't help anybody. Cougill didn't see the floor more because he wasn't nearly as able to play the post as were Aaron Fuller or Jarryd Cole. Now, as for Andrew Brommer playing over Cougill... well, Lickliter got fired, didn't he?
Still, SCJ, we promise you this: Mr. Basketball is a big boy. A very big boy, as luck would have it. He doesn't need his hometown paper to be his second mother. Also, nobody says "numbskulls" anymore.
Steve Batterson has some more names to float, which is to say more coaches who will now never coach at Iowa. Shame, really; I was convinced that Ben Howland would come. Right.
The Iowa head coaching job is online.Here's the link, via the NCAA. Not sure why this is a big deal; is there any other high-level job at the university where that department could get away with just plain not listing the opening? But MPS got their OMG on when DePaul did it, so... here you go.
Marc Morehouse breaks down next season's situation at defensive line. SPOILER ALERT: Everybody gets benched. Yes, everybody. Even all the backups.
And finally... Rick Fox demands that you piss your pants (lots of yelling and NSFW sweary words; headphones and earmuffs):