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It's Not Plagiarism If You Link To It: McCaffery, LeVar Woods and Brian Ferentz Speak

March 3, 2012; Iowa City, IA, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes guard Matt Gatens (5) dribbles past Northwestern Wildcats player Reggie Hearn (11) at Carver Hawkeye Arena.   Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-US PRESSWIRE
March 3, 2012; Iowa City, IA, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes guard Matt Gatens (5) dribbles past Northwestern Wildcats player Reggie Hearn (11) at Carver Hawkeye Arena. Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-US PRESSWIRE

IOWA AND ILLINOIS MEET FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THE BIG TEN TOURNAMENT. Iowa managed only 54 points in a loss at Champaign on February 26. The Hawkeyes will be a 2.5 point underdog in Thursday morning's game.

Iowa has a Big Ten Tournament overall record of 13-12. The Hawkeyes last entered the tournament as an eight seed in 2008 and lost to Michigan 55-47. Illinois has won nine of the last ten against Iowa. The Hawkeyes last defeated Illinois in 2007.

The Hawkeyes haven't won a Big Ten Tournament game since winning it all in 2006. Iowa could hold the record for most consecutive losses in the tournament if they lose to Illinois Thursday (and Indiana defeats Penn State).

MCCAFFERY SPOKE BEFORE THE MEDIA TUESDAY. You can read the transcript here. Fran talks about his disappointment with Gatens not getting first team all-Big Ten. He also discusses Aaron White's development and Roy Dev Marble's future. McCaffery doesn't want Marble to play much point guard next year (it'll be a pair of freshmen). McCaffery also talked about the future a little bit. He says that he might use that last remaining scholarship this spring rather than banking it for next year.

ILLINOIS IS PLAYING FOR PRIDE. MAN, EFF PRIDE. This article from the Beloit Daily News is full of words like "misery", "descent" and "agonizing". There's speculation that Illinois head coach Bruce Weber will be fired at season end. Weber is hoping for a win over Iowa because,

I don't think people realize the toll it's taken on our kids - their spirits, their mindset, their future

SCOTT DOCHTERMAN LOOKS AT LAST YEAR'S NIT AND CBI TEAMS. With the rule changes a few years back the NIT had 14 automatic qualifiers last year. Scott Dochterman, of the Cedar Rapids Gazette, has the breakdown for the other 18 teams invited into the tournament. It still looks like the CBI is Iowa's most likely destination.

ADAM WOODBURY AND HIS SIOUX CITY EAST SQUAD DEFEAT WEST DES MOINES VALLEY. In a first round match-up at the Well Sioux City East held on despite a wild finish to beat former Hawkeye Jeff Horner's Valley squad 66-60. Woodbury had 12 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks in the victory. Sioux City East will move to the next round and play Ankeny at 1:30 pm Friday.

PAT HARTY BELIEVES GREG DAVIS AND BRIAN FERENTZ ARE THE RIGHT GUYS FOR THE JOB. About Brian Ferentz, Harty notes it's rare when an up and coming NFL coach leaves the league for a position job in the college ranks. Is Davis the right man? His resume says yes.

GARY BARTA HIRED BRIAN FERENTZ, NOT HIS DAD. The Des Moines Register's Tom Witosky writes that Gary Barta hired and will supervise Brian Ferentz. Barta's involvement stems from University policy that frowns on hiring family members. Barta said,

"At the conclusion of the interviews, it was apparent to me that Brian's credentials and candidacy were worthy of recommending for hire"

Brian was encouraged to apply and was one of four applicants. Kirk Ferentz wasn't involved with Brian's interview process.

BRIAN AND LEVAR TALKED ABOUT THEIR NEW JOBS WEDNESDAY. You can read the transcript or watch the videos (I'd recommend the videos). Some highlights from Marc Morehouse's article:

  • Marc thinks both will be head coaches some day
  • Brian will recruit Ohio
  • Woods will recruit Kansas and Texas

Greg Davis will help LeVar recruit the Texas area but Ferentz doesn't want Davis recruiting full-time. Ferentz says he took the time in January to think about things and that's how LeVar ended up coaching linebackers instead of the defensive line (the position he took on an interim basis after Rick Kaczenski left). Neither will have the Florida or East Coast recruiting designation like Kaczenski and O'Keefe did. Ferentz says they will "spot target" those areas and work with the relationships they've already established there.

Brian might have been on the fast track to an offensive coordinator position in the NFL. Kirk liked the idea of Brian getting his feet wet away from the program and admits that he's happy to have his son on staff. Kirk said he didn't want to ruin his relationship with Brian's former boss Bill Belichick and believes because Bill's father was also a coach he understands the situation.

Both coaches are very well spoken and will be excellent representatives of the University of Iowa. They both exhibit enthusiasm about their new jobs and teaching players how to play the game. They both aspire to be head coaches some day and if Iowa is the Harvard of coaches, these are two examples of what you expect Iowa to attract as pupils.