I'll keep this brief: Dan Dakich's tweet (see http://www.blackheartgoldpants.com/2013/2/24/4023854/its-not-plagiarism-if-you-link-to-it-its-hard-being-a-hawkeye-fan; I tried to link, apologies) that I quote in this post's title embodies a general opinion of outside observers that Steve Alford is and was a great coach, and that Todd Lickliter was solely responsible for Iowa Basketball's temporary demise. Seth Davis brilliantly (read: not) suggested this last year (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/seth_davis/02/22/Hoops.Mailbag/index.html).
Sorry if I'm going to town on a dead horse here, but with the Iowa aching for the NCAA tournament at a peak (seemingly) this year, I sought to confirm my recollection of Alford as a coach who took an NCAA-tournament-level program and made it an NIT-level one. So, I present the percentages of NCAA appearances for Iowa's modern-era* coaches (from http://www.sports-reference.com/cbb/schools/iowa/):
Lute Olson: 5/9 55.5% (Field varied between 32-48 teams during his tenure.)
George Raveling: 2/3 66.7 %
Tom Davis: 9/13 69.2%
Steeeeeeve Alford: 3/8 37.5%
Todd Lickliter: [as many NCAA appearances as he had in Jeddah]
Fran: [picking up the pieces]
*- Call me a cherry-picker if you'd like for starting with Olson, but before his time, the tourney was at 16 teams. I'll allow any comparisons between Alford and Dick Schultz.This is too long and not timely enough to tweet at Dakich, but I think it scratches enough of an itch for me to post it as we near the conference tourney (a.k.a. The Steve Alford Invitational). One thing I've really liked about Fran's teams is that they seem to steadily improve throughout the season, whereas Alford's teams seemed to often finish on horrid losing streaks.