Later this morning as Gary Barta steps to the podium, puffs out his chest and flashes a toothy shit-eating grin, and introduces Fran McCaffery to Hawkeyes across the land; one might wonder what he will say? More important yet, what will the new coach of the once proud Iowa Hawkeye basketball program say to validate Barta's decision to hire him?
While these press conferences tend to be tightly scripted and play out with little or no surprise disclosures or confessions, there will nevertheless be coded messages that with the proper briefing can be translated and decoded for later analysis. So here is what you need to look for later this morning:
- Expect Barta to say he looked high and low across the basketball landscape and considered every conceivable candidate, and interviewed some formally and others informally. However, when he interviewed Fran McCaffery, once the Siena coach uttered his first sentence it was as plain as day he was destined to be the next head coach of Iowa basketball. [CHECK]
- Bata will praise McCaffery's value, work ethic and competitive desire. The term "fit" will be overused. [CHECK]
- Expect Barta to praise McCaffery's track record of graduating players, and in doing so, make it clear that players who start with him, finish with him. [CHECK]
- Barta will highlight some distinctions between McCaffery and other candidates -- which Barta will term as "criteria" -- but if you listen carefully you will actually hear Barta highlighting the differences between McCaffery and Lickliter. [CHECK more or less]
- At some point Barta will say McCaffery just "looks" like a winner. [NOPE]
- Barta will emphasize McCaffery's intelligence and basketball IQ and one way or another point out he played at an Ivy League school and has a business school graduate degree which proves he "gets" the off-the-court side of being a basketball coach. [NOPE although he said he understands the other issues]
- Barta and McCaffery will use the words "excited" and "exciting" at least 20 times over the course of the press conference and during questioning. [9 times]
- McCaffery will use the words "grateful" and "humbled" at least 10 times. [NOPE, grateful used 2 times, humbled not at all, which I liked]
- McCaffery will make a joke that he did not direct The Breakfast Club, is not advocating for a flat tax as a presidential candidate, and has never written political commentary. [NOPE, but should have]
Once the transcript is released BHGP will do a thorough, detailed analysis of each word, sentence, and turn of phrase in order to squeeze every ounce of meaning out of it. Or not. We'll see how it goes.