(NOTE: Due to technical difficulties with the recording software, the BHGPodcast is cancelled for this week. We'll return next week.)
We Were Merely Freshmen. With the footballing and the winning and the defending and the Stanziing, we almost missed basketball media day earlier this week. A quick roundup:
- Luke Meredith of the AP gives us a status update on Iowa's newcomers. The synopsis: We're really hoping Cully Payne can play the point, Brennan Cougill needs to lose another 15 pounds, May and Archie will probably be often-used reserves.
- Sean Keeler asks Lickliter about the near-universal predictions that Iowa will finish last in the conference. Lickliter responds with a Seabiscuit reference (Really, coach? There's not a more recent movie?) Also, Anthony Tucker doesn't know what irony is.
- New strength & conditioning coach Rusty Burney -- and, no, I'm not making his name up -- has the players training like Rocky in Russia, carrying sandbags up and down the court and running steps. They call the exercises "Rusty's finishers." When they fail to complete them, the players hear "Rusty's trombones."
- Mark Pawlak of the Times-Republican details the erosion in basketball ticket sales. Average attendance at home games last season was the lowest since Carver-Hawkeye Arena opened in 1983.
- Dochterman does the video thing as only Dochterman can do.
- Not from media day, but a good story nonetheless: ESPN's Dana O'Neil reports on Jake Kelly's move to Indiana State and Coach Lickliter's efforts to get him a hardship waiver so he can play immediately. This piece goes a long way toward dispelling the rumors surrounding Kelly's relationship with Lickliter and the transfer.
He May Be a Gunslinger Named Tate, but He's Our Gunslinger Named Tate. Bleacher Report got an interview with former Iowa quarterback Drew Tate, who is now a backup with the Calgary Stampeders of the CFL (in classic Bleacher Report fashion, they say he's playing for the Calgary Stampers, which is actually a scrapbooking club). After the obligatory "Canada is good, metric system is weird, we have 12 players and 3 downs and it's all very strange" questions, Drew talked about this year's incarnation of the Hawkeyes:
Stanzi is doing great. He wins games and everyone seems to overlook that now a days. You play to WIN and it doesn't matter how that's accomplished. The defense has been the most impressive thing to me. I have only seen the Penn St. game and they played phenomenal.
The offense played great when they had to and the defense was able to keep them in the game the whole time. That was a great team win and a huge boost of confidence for not just the team but the coaches and everyone involved in that building.
The most interesting part of the interview has to be Tate's favorite moment as a Hawkeye. You would think it was this, of course, but he says it actually was beating Wisconsin to win a share of the Big Ten championship one game earlier. His least favorite moment, of course, would be when Andy Brodell dropped his seventh consecutive pass against Indiana in 2006, causing Tate's head to explode like that guy in Scanners.
Caring is NOT SO FAST MY FRIEND. Remember the hullabaloo last week over the on-again-off-again recruitment of Illinois tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz? The Illinois commit planned on visiting Iowa last weekend, but cancelled his visit at the eleventh hour under pressure from The Zooker.
Looks like [NAME REDACTED] isn't as persuasive as we thought. During a press conference where he was named a U.S. Army All-American Tuesday, The Polish Hat came THISCLOSE to decommiting:
Fiedorowicz, who earlier this summer gave the University of Illinois his verbal commitment talked about his latest recruiting news. "I'm still with Illinois, but they are playing a little rough right now," he said. "I'm planning to keep my options open right now with Illinois and Iowa. I went to Illinois this past weekend for an unofficial visit. I'm planning to take my official visit to Illinois on Dec. 12.
"I'm also looking at going out to a game soon at Iowa, and I'll take an official visit to Iowa most likely toward the end of October or early November. I haven't set up anything with Iowa just yet, but I'm planning to take an official visit there as well."
Those are not the words of a solid verbal, folks, and there is no mention of another school in contention for his services. Funny how things like "losing by 30" and "not actually using a tight end" can hurt your recruitment of a tight end. Save a scholarship.
- Per Morehouse on Twitter, Ferentz told the radio audience yesterday that Jeff Brinson is back in a cast. He didn't see much action when healthy, but it looks like we may have another paper mache running back on our hands.
- Rittenberg brings the fluff on high school teammates, college injury rehabilitation projects, and BFFs Tony Moeaki and Dace Richardson.
- The Rivalry examines the Big Ten at the halfway mark. Most of their contributors look at the rest of Iowa's slate, see land mines everywhere, and pick Ohio State to reign supreme (I can't argue with it, even as bad as OSU looks). TRE also breaks down Pat Angerer's play against Michigan.