(AP) IOWA CITY — The University of Iowa men's basketball team is scheduled to host Wisconsin Wednesday night in a game with big NCAA Tournament implications for both teams.
But only redshirt freshman Nicholas Baer appears to know it.
The first player to leave the locker room after Tuesday morning's practice, Baer affirmed to the gathered media that the Hawkeyes were ready for tomorrow night's game with the Badgers, but then quickly tried to change the subject.
"We're ready for Wisconsin, we know it will be a big game for both tea-- aw crap, forget I said that," the forward from Bettendorf said. "In fact, I really didn't say anything. Could you guys, like, not bring this up with the other guys?"
The strange scene gained some clarification as the rest of the Hawkeye players filtered out of the locker room.
"Who?" Iowa senior Adam Woodbury responded to a question about Wisconsin. "Were only concerned about Iowa and what we can do."
Fellow senior Jarrod Uthoff had a similar response.
"We got a game coming up and we know we will get back on track," the Wooden Award candidate said.
When asked who that game was with, Uthoff demurred. "We really wanted to keep that between us."
Woodbury seemed amazed that the assembled media even knew who the Hawks were playing Wednesday, but he had an idea.
"Did Baer tell you?" the center asked. "Son-of-a... oh, he's going to pay for that one."
Apparently this was the second times in two days that Baer had spilled the beans. On Monday, the freshman talked about a player's only meeting the Hawkeyes had the night before.
"We'll be talking to him shortly," Woodbury said after Baer's admission Monday. "He just got in trouble by me."
Tuesday, Woodbury was less cryptic.
"First, he talks about the players-only meeting and now he's blabbing about who were playing? It is officially time for a shunning."
A shunning against Baer?
"Who?" Woodbury responded with a smile.
Several Hawkeyes followed suit.
"He knows the rules," guard Mike Gesell said. "You give away one secret and it's a talking-to, give away another and you're shunned."
And a third strike?
"We haven't really thought of that, we're kind of just making this up as we go."
To his credit, Baer returned to the Iowa locker room a half hour after leaving and was later seen carrying a pair of bags.
"Woody's and Jarrod's," Baer said with a laugh. "U's bag is not too bad, but Woody's? That guy wears likes three pairs of socks during practice and he sweats through all of them. Umm... don't tell him that."