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What kind of Baer was Nicholas in Iowa's despair-inducing loss to Ohio State?


The Baer-ometer has been on hiatus because it is supposed to be a fun thing and we've been waiting for a win to use it again, but that appears to not be on the horizon, so we are going full stare-into-the-void mode with it.


13 minutes, 1-2 FGA, 1 rebound, 2 points




After such a difficult, perplexing loss, Hawkeye fans are looking for answers, explanations, reasons for what has happened to such a promising team. The most frustrating thing about the recent spate of poor play is not so much the losing, it's the sheer inexplicableness of it all: not so much why this team has turned bad, but why were they ever good? What does anything mean anymore? In the face of all this basketball-related absurdity, we consulted the famous existentialist philosopher Albear Camus for his thoughts:

BHGP: Thanks for sitting down with us today.

AC: Bien sûr. Do you mind if I smoke?

BHGP: Not at all. Now, you're a bear?

AC: Oui. A European brown bear.

BHGP: And do you follow Iowa basketball?

AC: As a devotee of the absurd, I follow all Iowa sports.

BHGP: Great. So what can you tell us about the recent play of the team?

AC: Well, I am not an expert at your American basketball. I play mostly bear alai —

BHGP: Excuse me – bear alai?

AC: Yes, it is like jai alai, but it involves salmon and bee hives and ... it's a bear thing. I can't go into it. But I think the struggles of the Iowa basketball team, and more importantly the struggle of fans to understand these struggles, teach us important lessons about bear's – and I suppose man's – encounter with the absurd.

BHGP: Such as?

AC: What I know as a bear, what is certain, what I cannot deny, what I cannot reject — this is what counts. I can negate everything of that part of me that lives on vague nostalgias, except this desire for unity, this longing to solve, this need for clarity and cohesion.

BHGP: So our attempts to understand – to explain the recent play, that's the problem?

AC: I can refute everything in this world surrounding me that offends or enraptures me except this chaos, this sovereign chance and this divine equivalence which springs from anarchy. I don't know whether this season has a meaning that transcends it. But I know that I do not know that meaning and that it is impossible for me just now to know it.

BHGP: So, is there hope for this team?

AC: The ursine heart has a tiresome tendency to label as fate only what crushes it. But happiness likewise, in its way, is without reason, since it is inevitable.

BHGP: What about the tournament? Think they're an eight seed? Nine?

AC: The absurd enlightens me on this point: there is no future. Henceforth this is the reason for my inner freedom.

BHGP: Wow, so a ten seed?

AC: I'm afraid yes.

BHGP: A precipitous fall for the team. Are there any practical moves Fran McCaffery can make?

AC: The best are led to make greater demands upon themselves. As for those who succumb, they did not deserve to survive. Also, he may want to consider running some new actions with Uthoff bringing the ball up and then running a pick and roll with Jok as the screener. Teams have scouted Iowa's motion offense pretty well and too often the team's best players can't even get the ball. Plus they're getting hammered running off of screens over and over.

BHGP: Thank you for your time.

AC: De rien. Now, I believe you said something about a bucket of delicious garbage?

BHGP: Of course.


Baer's production has been curtailed, mostly because he depends on other players for his offense. If Iowa's offense is not forcing opposing defense's to rotate and get out of position, there are few opportunities for Baer to take open shots. He did get one good look at a midrange jumper, though, and nailed it calmly.


Until he contracted tuberculosis in 1930, Albert Camus was the goalkeeper for a prominent Algerian university team. He once remarked about his experience playing soccer:

"After many years in which the world has afforded me many experiences, what I know most surely in the long run about morality and obligations, I owe to football."