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Iowa Basketball Diaries: A Hypothesis

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The Setting

Moments before tip-off of the Iowa v. Penn State game in the home team locker room of Carver-Hawkeye. The players are all sitting in chairs surrounding their coach, Todd Lickliter.


Coach Lickliter: Okay guys. I've finally got, we've got a real opportunity here today. I would expect that you're a little nervous. I understand. First, forget about the crowd. They....

Andrew Brommer: Crowd? What crowd coach. During warm-ups all I saw was the mini-band setting up and my buddy Skeeter and couple of...

Coach Lickliter: Shut it Brommer. I'm rollin here. Where was I?

Cully Payne: You were talking about the crowd I think sir.

John Lickliter: No. No. He was talking about our opportunity today!

Coach Lickliter: That a boy Johnny. You just got yourself 30 seconds of court time today.

John Lickliter: Yes!

Coach Lickliter: Boys, we got a real opportunity here today. Penn State is not a basketball powerhouse, it is a women's volleyball school, as we all know. We, on the other hand, are a wrestling school that loves football but is looking for just one reason, one reason at all to fall back in love with basketball. Today, this afternoon, we are going to give this University, this town, this state, a reason to believe in Iowa Basketball again!

Matt Gatens: Yeah, well we are a wrestling school but I would also say that since Hayden Fry was hired...

Coach Lickliter: Matt, no more University of Iowa history lessons, please. Just one game I would like for you not to correct my obviously inferior knowledge of all things Iowa.

Matt Gatens: Alright. Alright. Just trying to help. Coach.

Coach Lickliter: Okay, where was I?

Andrew Brommer: Iowa's a wrestling school?

John Lickliter: Actually, I think you were discussing a reason to believe.

Coach Lickliter:  Yes! Yes! That's a full minute of court time now son. Good work. Men, we've got a chance to give Iowa fans across the country and around the world a reason to believe again in Iowa Basketball!

Devan Bawinkel: You really think there are Iowa fans around the world?

Matt Gatens: Oh yes, absolutely. Brussels has a small pocket of Iowa fans and even a fan club thanks to Jeff Horner playing pro there a few years back. Then there's Mozambique. I would say that Mozam....

Coach Lickliter: Goddammit Gatens! I'm talking here! John, where was I?

John Lickliter: Iowa's a wrestling school!

Coach Lickliter: No!

John Lickliter: A reason to believe?

Coach Lickliter: Yes, that's it.  Come on son I need to you to pay attention! You're back down to 30 ticks. Sorry.

Andrew Brommer: And me sir?

Coach Lickliter: We'll see Brommer. Okay. Now, people, if we are going to win back the fans we gotta stay calm out there. Don't be wowed by their fancy uniforms, their catchy dunk celebrations or their made baskets. Just remember what got you here.

Jarryd Cole: What got us where?

Coach Lickliter: Here Cole. Here today. We got a real opportunity here.

Jarryd Cole: Okay, just checkin. You made that sound like here was somewhere and I just wanted to know where here is exactly. I still got my minutes?

Coach Lickliter: Yes. Yes. You got your minutes. Fellas, do you see what I see here?

Aaron Fuller: That rug tear's been there all week coach. Oh, and I didn't do it neither.

Coach Lickliter: Metaphorically Fuller! Do you see metaphorically what I see?! Jesus son.

Aaron Fuller: I've never seen Jesus coach, but if you see him God Bless.

Whole Team: Amen.

Coach Lickliter: What?! No. No. No.

Iowa Grad Assistant: 30 seconds coach.

Coach Lickliter: John, where was I?

John Lickliter: I lost the thread after the whole Jesus thing dad. Sorry.

Coach Lickliter: No minutes today then son! Well, unless Cully gets tired.

Andrew Brommer: Ha!

Cully Payne: But you told me with our personnel I could never, ever get tired sir.

Coach Lickliter: Not in front of John! Jesus Cully, we discussed that in private.

John Lickliter: It's all right dad. I kind of knew anyway.

Iowa Grad Assistant: It's time coach.

Coach Lickliter: Okay. Okay. I just gotta finish motivating the troops here. We'll be out in less than a minute.

Iowa Grad Assistant: I'll tell the officials coach.

Coach Lickliter: Listen up now. Forget about the crowd, the size of their school, their fancy uniforms...

Andrew Brommer: You already said the fancy uniforms part Coach.

Coach Lickliter: Can you shut that hole under your nose Brommer? Please?!

Andrew Brommer: Okay Coach.

Coach Lickliter: Guys listen up here. Today is the day. Forget about the crowd, the size of their school, their fancy uniforms [Brommer rolls his eyes] and remember what got you here [Jarryd Cole giggles]. Focus on the fundamentals that we've gone over time and time again. And most important, don't get caught up thinking about winning or losing this game. If you put your effort and concentration into playing to your potential, to be the best that you can be, I don't care what the scoreboard says at the end of the game, in my book we're gonna be winners!

Devon Archie: I'm pretty sure that's from the movie Hoosiers coach. I grew up in Indiana, so I would know that.

Coach Lickliter: Archie, you're barely on the team. No talking in the locker room, at least until you have bare legs and sneakers on.

Iowa Grad Assistant: Coach, they told me to tell you that "by rule" this game is a forfeit if you and the team are not on the court in the next 10 seconds.

Coach Lickliter: Really? There's a forfeit rule like that?

Matt Gatens: Let's go then! Iowa basketball has never forfeited a game. Not even in the Sharm Scheuerman era!

Coach Lickliter: Wait. Wait! Let me think this forfeit thing through for a second...