It's Not Plagiarism If You Link To It is BHGP's regular news roundup. Send all tips to any of the email addresses at the bottom of the page. But preferably not all of them at once. We usually end up laughing at people who do that.
Should I stay or should I go? The ESPN article that broke the news of William Lowe's rhabdo-influenced decision to ask for his release seemed pretty definitive, but a HawkCentral interview with Lowe's uncle stepped back from that stance a bit:
"If I had to guess right now, I’d say Willie goes through the process of seeing if there are other options, and then at the end of the day, sticking with the Iowa program," Lowe’s uncle, Troy Fultz, said Wednesday after ESPN.com reported his nephew was considering a transfer. "That’s what Willie is thinking right now."
Fultz also mentioned that they held no ill will toward Iowa, which would seem (for the time being) to forestall the possibility of litigation against the university for Rhabdogate. For now, we continue to hope Lowe is able to make a full recovery and finish his football career, whether that's at Iowa or elsewhere.
Caring is creepy is on the board. Iowa picked up their first football recruit of the 2012 class last night, one Mitchell Keppy. Keppy's a big dude (6'5", 280 lbs.) and an Iowa legacy recruit (his father, Myron, played defensive line for Iowa in the '80s). Mas Casa says Iowa's looking at him for the offensive line, likely guard. No star ratings or other grades yet, but he seems like exactly the sort of guy the Iowa coaches like for the offensive line. He's certainly got the wrestling background they tend to favor: he went 38-2 and was state runner-up at the 1A level in Illinois last year. Oh, and he knows how to pin a dude.
Going, going... Cully Payne (who, so far as we know, is not related to NOTY contestant Leviticus Payne) did the interview rounds in the aftermath of his decision to leave the Iowa basketball program and he had a few interesting things to say:
"I’d still be a Hawkeye if coach Lickliter was here," Payne said. "I understand (Iowa athletic director Gary) Barta did what he felt was best at the time to make a change.’’
Payne might still be here, but unfortunately Melsahn Basabe and Bryce Cartwright wouldn't be and based on the rumblings a year ago, a few other current Hawkeyes would have joined Aaron Fuller in flying the coop last spring. So if the trade-off is Payne and Lickliter for McCaffery, Cartwright, Basabe and whatever the future holds... well, no offense to Payne and Lickliter, but we'll be taking Door No. 2.
So was it style of play? Something about Coach Fran?
"Style of play had nothing to do with it," Payne said. "I got along with coach McCaffery. He’s a great guy. What’s not to like about him? I wish coach McCaffery, the coaching staff and the team the best of luck."
How about a potential loss of playing time with Cartwright seemingly well-established at the point guard spot?
"That played no factor at all," Payne said.
Either Payne isn't being entirely forthright in those respones or it really was something else that led him to leave the Iowa team. Or, more likely, it's just a combination of factors that led to Payne feeling uncomfortable and seeking a better fit elsewhere; hopefully he finds it.
The replacements. So, in the aftermath of Payne's departure, what next for Fran and the Iowa hoopyballers? They were already recruiting guards hard to add much-needed depth to a backcourt that was a bit shaky a year ago; Payne's departure only underscores the need to get a talent infusion back there (especially at point guard). Luckily, Fran and his staff are looking in every nook and cranny:
Iowa coaches have recruited point or combination guards from coast-to-coast this winter. They’ve gunned for top prep recruits like Eli Carter (Brewster Academy, Wolfeboro, N.H.) and Cezar Guerrero (Bellflower, Calif.). They’ve searched through the junior-college circuit and looked at guys like Pierre Jackson (College of Southern Idaho), Matt Glover (Sheridan [Wy.] Community College), Anthony Hubbard (Frederick [Md.] Community College) and Ty Nurse (Midland [Texas] College).
Carter is the crown jewel, but he knows it and every other team knows it, so securing his services will be a tall order. Hubbard carries with him some notable baggage (those four years in the pokey for armed robbery), but he could also be the scoring threat this team badly needs. Three of Iowa's biggest offensive shortcomings last year were poor outside shooting, the lack of a player who can find ways to get buckets when the offense stagnates, and a lack of options to get points at the end of games (Iowa's offense devolved into letting Cartwright go 1-on-5 and try to get off a decent shot); Hubbard could probably improve all three of those areas for Iowa. Jackson and Glover could also give Iowa added scoring depth and, from the sounds of it, play either guard spot.
The other name that blew up in recent days was Wes Washpun, a local kid who starred with Iowa recruit Josh Oglesby at Cedar Rapids Washington. Washpun was seemingly headed to a mid-major (Missouri State and North Dakota State appeared to be the favorites), but then Iowa and Tennessee got involved. A beat writer for NDSU claimed that Washpun had committed to Iowa last night, but no Iowa source has confirmed that. Washpun's an intriguing prospect: the biggest knock on him is his poor jump shot (which is bad, since Iowa needs better outside shooting from the guard spots), but he has a reputation for being a strong ball-handler, a tenacious defender, and an incredible athlete. There would probably be a role for a guy like that.
DAHMICIDE. The Iowa baseball team followed up their 19-7 beatdown of Michigan State on Sunday with a 14-1 stomping of Coe that improved their record to 11-15 heading into a three-game series this weekend at Illinois. The second game of that Illinois series is on TV (6:05pm CDT, BTN). The offense is certainly clicking right now.
In other baseball news, if you're in the Iowa City-Cedar Rapids area and looking to watch a little live baseball on a lazy April afternoon, you could always take in the University of Iowa Baseball Club's games with St. Louis University on Saturday at Vet's Memorial Stadium in Cedar Rapids.
* I had no idea that GoDaddy.com even named preseason football All-Americans, but they do and Shaun Prater was named to the second team. Riley Reiff earned honorable mention honors.
* Brent Metcalf was tabbed the 1-seed at 145.5 lbs in this weekend's US Open, a freestyle event. There's a pretty healthy contingent of former Hawkeyes at the event, in fact, including Dan Dennis (5-seed at 121 lbs), Mike Zadick (2-seed at 132 lbs), Ryan Morningstar (2-seed at 163 lbs), and Dan Erekson (7-seed at 211.5 lbs).
* Brian points out the utter lunacy of the current coaching arms race in women's basketball; at least the outrageous sums of money spent in the service of football and men's basketball are for programs that often, you know, make money.
* Could Iowa be the last-ever Insight Bowl champions? Probably not, but one of the consequences of the corruption scandal clouding the Fiesta Bowl (and, by unfortunate extension, its little brother bowl, the Insight) could be the revocation of its license.
* Gary Dolphin is being honored as Iowa's Sportscaster of the Year. Yes, really.
* Justified fucking owned last night. That is all. EDIT: Let's go easy on the spoilers and keep it vague, though. Not everyone has seen last night's episode.