IT'S NOT PLAGIARISM IF YOU LINK TO IT: HAWKS KICK OFF THE BTT WITH NORTHWESTERN

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

It's tournament time!

WE OFFER OUR THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS WITH FRAN AND HIS FAMILY. News broke this week that puts things in perspective. Fran McCaffery released a statement Tuesday that his son Pat will have surgery next week to remove a tumor from his thyroid. In the statement, Fran said,

"I was made aware of Patrick's condition prior to traveling to East Lansing, Michigan, last Wednesday. Margaret and I notified our players and staff of Patrick's health issue after a biopsy was done on Monday. We appreciate your concern and ask that you respect our family's privacy as we address Patrick's health."

MCCAFFERY TALKED BASKETBALL AND THE BIG TEN TOURNAMENT. Scott Dochterman, of the Cedar Rapids Gazette, has the videos here. McCaffery mentioned the team's travel and possible fatigue but didn't make excuses for poor defense and offense. He also thinks his team lost it's confidence.

THE PLAYERS CALL THAT CONFIDENCE SWAG. They think they can get it back. Aaron White said the team had a "phenomenal practice" Monday. Per White, it's a "new season" and a "new slate."

HOOPS RECRUITING. Hawkeye commit Brady Ellingson was named the top senior shooter in Wisconsin. Here's something too, he shot over 91% from the free throw line. Here's some new highlights just released to YouTube:

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THIS FITS HERE. The University of Iowa Children's Hospital is taking nominations for 2014 Kid Captains. The Kid Captain program is the best thing Iowa Football does. If you know of a potential captain, send the nomination here.

IOWA HAS SOLD THE NAMING RIGHTS TO THE NEW FOOTBALL FACILITY BUILDINGS. Goodbye Hayden Fry Football Complex and hello Richard O. Jacobson Football Operations Building. The indoor practice facility will also carry the name: Stew and LeNore Hansen Football Performance Center. The Hansen's paid $8 million dollars in donations. I worked for Stew once. He gave me his tickets a time or two. He's a helluva guy and obviously a huge Hawkeye supporter.

LET'S TALK WIDE RECEIVERS. The wide receiving corps will likely be the most interesting thing to watch this spring. Mostly, because Iowa red-shirted four freshmen at the position last season. Which, if any emerge and a possible candidate for playing time next fall?

HAWKS IN THE NFL NEWS. Former Hawkeye tight end Brandon Myers signed with a new team. Myers reunites with former Hawk Adrian Clayborn when he signed a deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Also, Jonathan Babineaux signed a new deal with the Atlanta Falcons and Markus Zusevics was released by the Patriots.

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