After doing an in-depth take on Iowa’s recruiting policy last week, Love/Leave is going back to its more traditional style. Because we’re Iowa. We’re not sexy enough for these new ideas.
In the meantime, it’s basketball season folks. Fran is excited.
LOVE IT: One of the many questions the basketball team will have to answer this year is how will they adapt without departed PG duo Mike Gesell and Anthony Clemmons. The position will be split between sophomore Devyn Marble-remake Christian Williams and true freshman sharpshooter Jordan Bohannon. Nobody really knows anything for sure about these two. Sure, Williams came on alright towards the end of last year, but we are largely dealing with two unknowns. One thing is for sure though. If Williams is at the point, teams will have to respect his ability to use his 6’5 height and 6’11 wingspan to do stuff like this...
LEAVE IT: Staying with the basketball theme, I remain disappointed that Iowa does not do a Midnight Madness event for its fans/students. I get it. Iowa basketball does not get the same kind of support that the football team does. And even if Iowa were as consistently good as, say, Wisconsin, it still would struggle to fill the arena for crappy non-conference opponents and the Penn State’s of the world. You can find whatever excuse you want for why students do not show up for Iowa basketball games (personally, I think they get jipped on seat location but that’s just me). Regardless, Iowa did something like a student hype event a few years ago. I remember it because Mike Gesell won the dunk contest. When you have a team full of youngsters, several of whom are very able dunkers, I think you want to showcase that for your students. Get them in the arena by any means necessary.
LOVE IT: Last week, the NCAA Board approved of an initiative that would essentially reward schools for excellent academic progress by permitting the schools with a cut of the NCAA’s media rights. Anyone who regularly reads this column knows that I rarely speak in the positive when it comes to the NCAA. I fail to see where this is a bad idea, however. Realistically, we are talking about pennies when it comes to the distribution. Each school that meets the requirements obviously will shrink the pot, so individual schools will be lucky to get $500,000 by the time the plan is fully implemented. But at least we can say some of the money the NCAA earns on the backs of the athletes will make it back to where it matters most.
LEAVE IT: More LOL at the Big 12. Last week, the Big 12 announced that even though it would implement a football championship game in 2017, it would not have divisions like it used to. I actually think this is the right decision because one of two things would happen: 1) the divisions would be split along geographic lines (LOL at West Virginia vs. Baylor/Texas/Oklahoma each year) or 2) they would create two divisions without any rhyme or reason, a la Legends and Leaders style. A conference with 10 teams should not have two divisions. The bigger story here is just the terrible PR that the Big 12 has managed at every turning point during the conference expansion talk.
After announcing they would expand, taking applications from powerhouse programs like New Mexico, and then not expanding, the Big 12 just doesn’t seem like a conference that understands how this game is played and cannot get out of its own way. In the latest matter, ESPN reported that Big 12 coaches wanted divisions, but presidents did not. Great sign of unity there, guys.
Basketball season is here folks. Never forget...