It's Not Plagiarism If You Link To It is BHGP's regular news roundup. Send all tips to any of the email addresses at the bottom of the page. But preferably not all of them at once. We usually end up laughing at people who do that.
Return of the pick-and-popsicle? Don't lie: as much fun as the resurgence Iowa basketball team has been under Fran (and, yes, we're using the term "resurgence" liberally here), it's missing a little something. Or a big something, perhaps. Yes, we're talking about the Cougillsaurus himself, the master of the pick-and-popsicle, the Dessert Fox: Brennan Cougill. So what has the erstwhile Mr. Basketball been up to since leaving Iowa? Luckily for us, his favorite
cheering section newspaper has the scoop:
The 6-foot-9 sophomore splits time at the post for Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where he leads the 13-3 team with averages of 14.1 points and 8.8 rebounds per game.
In addition to his improved production (which, y'know, Kirkwood), he's apparently been making progress on the conditioning front too -- Cougill claims he's dropped 15 pounds from a year ago. But the most curious thing about Cougill's Kirkwood exile is the list of teams supposedly showing him some love on the recruiting front:
Cougill lists California, Texas, South Dakota State, South Dakota, Iona, Florida Gulf Coast and "a bunch of schools that coach (Fran) McCaffery's teams played against at Siena'' as schools he has heard from since becoming a recruitable athlete again after enrolling at Kirkwood for the fall semester.
Um... two of those things are not like the others. But if the Dessert Fox is good enough for the likes of Texas or Cal, maybe there's a place for him at Iowa after all. Between injuries and a miserable offensive system, we certainly didn't see the best of Cougill a year ago. Although, selfishly, we just want to see the Cougillsaurus and his tiny little arms roaming the court at Carver again.
RESPEK. Maybe Stoopsy was onto something the other day. Per FOTP Mike Hlas:
We live in the present, and those November 2010 losses Iowa had are still as fresh as the winter air on the University of Iowa’s Pentracrest. But fans of Michigan look at Iowa and see stability, what has become a decades-long extension of what Hayden Fry started over 30 years ago. Michigan fans, who take enormous pride in their program’s tradition and trying to extend what Bo Schembechler molded into something proud and successful, probably see more of what they want to be in Iowa these days than from their own program.
Of course, where Hlas sees stability, some Iowa fans see stagnancy. Then again, there are worse fates than "stagnating" at 7-5 -- you could have one winning season in three, multiple public on-field humiliations, and a defense that was a national joke.
It's gotta be the shoes. How did the Iowa women's hoopyballers climb out of a 30-21 hole to outscore Minnesota 42-27 in the second half and pick up a much-needed conference win on the road? Maybe it was an impromptu pre-game shopping trip:
"Sometimes when nothing is going good … new shoes, new confidence," Wahlin said. "It’s a fun thing that happened, and they are very comfortable."
Wahlin, who was shooting just 4-of-21 in Big Ten play going into Wednesday’s game, hit five baskets, including a couple clutch shots in the second half.
Alexander had 20 points, eight rebounds and five assists. She started the shoe revolution by buying a pair of the Nike Hyperfuse shoes during a Tuesday evening team trip to the Mall of America.
Hey, whatever works. An 0-3 start to the Big Ten season might have been disastrous for a team that entered the season as one of the favorites to win the league. Saturday brings a rare national TV spotlight (the game's on CBS at 3pm) and visit from the other preseason favorite to win the league, #21 Ohio State. It's also Girl Scout Day and Kachine Alexander Bobblehead Night, so you know it's a big deal.
Melsahn Basabe has style, demonstrated by his impeccable attire 30 minutes after he led Iowa within five points of No. 2 Ohio State on Tuesday night.
Basabe entered the news conference with his head held high and carried a swagger usually reserved for only the best players.
"I just have confidence in myself," Basabe said. "I know I can play and maybe people outside don’t know the ability I have. It’s my responsibility to show people how good Melsahn Basabe is."
Stylish attire? Check. Swagger? Check. Talking about himself in the third person. CHECK. If Melsahn Basabe was a football player, he'd be placed in a gulag and never allowed to speak to the press for the duration of his career in Iowa City. Let's hope Fran stays a bit more reasonable because we have Wasabi Fever right now.
MONKEY KNIFE FIGHTZ
* Big 10 Rant: Iowa wonders which former Iowa players will have the best showings in the NFL playoffs; my money's on Shonn Greene blowing up some sadsack defenders -- again.
* Further proof that everything associated with Iowa football in November was cursed: the Air Force pilots who took part in the military flyover before the Ohio State game may be disciplined for flying too low.
* Wisconsin's road to a repeat Big Ten title just got harder: All-Big Ten DE J.J. Watt is taking his talents to the NFL.
* Kanye + Muppets? Yes, please. (VERY NSFW AUDIO)