All American Daze. His season (and Iowa career) is over, but Jarrod Uthoff is still racking up individual accolades. Yesterday, he added All-America honors from the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) to the lengthy list of honors he's achieved this season. The NABC placed him on the third team, along with Duke's Grayson Allen, Oakland's Kay Felder, Villanova's Josh Hart, and Indiana's Yogi Ferrell. Uthoff is the first Iowa player to earn All-America honors from the NABC in a very long time:
#ICYMI Jarrod Uthoff was named NABC Third Team All-America, the first Hawkeye since Ronnie Lester (1979) to earn NABC All-America laurels.— Iowa Basketball (@IowaHoops) March 28, 2016
Uthoff previously earned All-America honors from The Sporting News (second team), Scout.com (third team), USA Today (third team), and the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (second team). It was certainly one hell of a remarkable season for Uthoff -- one that we won't soon forget. Thanks for the memories, Jarrod.
Simply the Best. Heading into the 2016 season, Iowa football finds itself in the slightly unusual position of returning some of the best talent in the Big Ten -- on offense. ESPN has been rolling out a series of previews spotlighting the best returning units at several positions and Iowa has checked out favorably in several areas.
Along the offensive line? ESPN rates Iowa #2 there, behind only Michigan.
Iowa is another team with some depth and experience, despite the loss of center Austin Blythe and guard James Walsh, a pair of all-conference performers. Promising sophomore James Daniels is in line to take over for Blythe at center, and tackle is in good hands with Boone Myers and Cole Croston. This should be another strong line in Iowa City in 2016.
Blythe and Walsh are pretty significant losses, based on their play last season, but Iowa does return a lot of promising talent from a line that was generally very strong last season. That should make things even easier at QB, where ESPN also rates Iowa #2, behind Ohio State (and some former Heisman Trophy contender named J.T. Barrett):
All C.J. Beathard did during his first full season as a starter was guide the Hawkeyes to their first 12-0 regular season, earn team MVP honors and get named to the All-B1G second team.
Not too shabby. As ESPN also notes, Beathard did all that while hampered by a sports hernia surgery, too. It's very exciting to contemplate what a fully healthy and very experienced Beathard might be able to do for the Iowa offense in 2016. The rest of the Iowa backfield won't be too shabby, either, as Iowa slots in as the team with the #3 best returning running backs, behind Michigan State and Wisconsin.
Even as Iowa loses senior and leading rusher Jordan Canzeri, the Hawkeyes reload with a talented trio. Leshun Daniels and Akrum Wadley return, and each had his moment in the sun during Iowa's stellar 2015 season.
Canzeri's departure will hurt, but Daniels and Wadley both flashed great ability last year and Derrick Mitchell was intriguing as Iowa's third-down back. If all three can stay healthy and Iowa can find quality replacements for Blythe and Walsh up front, Iowa's running game could be quite strong again.
Meanwhile, ESPN also has some praise for the other side of the ball for Iowa, too, with one writer there tabbing the Hawkeye defensive backs as the best position unit in the Big Ten. That's pretty heady praise, but Iowa does return three starters, including the reigning Thorpe Award winner for best defensive back in the nation (sup, Desmond King). Greg Mabin and Miles Taylor made strides over the course of the season, and could be even better in 2016. The secondary will need to replace Jordan Lomax, a steady performer at FS, but this is certainly a unit with a lot of experience, a lot of ability, and a lot of accolades.
Flex it. Iowa women's gymnastics will host -- and compete in -- an NCAA Regional this weekend. The Hawkeyes, ranked #19, will compete with #1 Oklahoma, #12 Nebraska, #13 Arkansas, Central Michigan, and Kent State at the regional. The top two teams, plus each individual event winner will advance to the NCAA Championships in Fort Worth, Texas on April 15-16. Iowa finished 5th at the Big Ten Tournament a few weeks ago after going 7-2 in dual meets during the season. The top-ranked Sooners will be probably be hard to unseat for one of the two advancement spots, but it would be great if Iowa could sneak past Nebraska and Arkansas for that second advancement spot.
The gymnastics team was showing off some of their moves during a rather creative first pitch at the Iowa-Maryland baseball game last Saturday:
Run, Christian, run! We don't talk a lot about track and field around here (mea culpa), but freshman Christian Brissett is definitely turning some heads with his performances so far:
Brissett finished second in the men's 400-meter relay (39.73), fourth in the 200 meters (20.98) and sixth in the 100 meters (10.43). He leads the conference in all three events and ranks in the top 10 nationally in the 100 (10th) and 200 (seventh) meters, and ran the second leg on the nation's second-fastest 400-meter relay.
Yowza. Brissett and UI junior Madison Rouw were named Big Ten Track and Field Athletes of the Week for their strong performances:
Swagtime. While there's no shortage of Iowa football and basketball gear (and wrestling gear, for that matter) for you to wear to show off your Iowa fandom, there is a definite lack of Iowa baseball gear to be found at most retailers. If you're interested in some sharp-looking Iowa baseball gear, you might want to hit up this temporary store:
By popular demand, the Hawkeye Baseball apparel store is reopened. Get your gear before the store closes on April 6. pic.twitter.com/56Af9iCaHJ— Iowa Baseball (@UIBaseball) March 25, 2016
* HATERS GON' HATE
Deeply unsettling.— pourmecoffee (@pourmecoffee) March 28, 2016
"A jackal hawk on the hunt in Kwa Zulu Natal, South Africa" (Clint Ralph/Caters) pic.twitter.com/ZGYu1jTYob
* Here are some nifty old aerial photos of the UI campus. The Pentacrest still looks much like it does today, but there are a lot of differences elsewhere. The hospital is unrecognizable compared to the sprawling steel-and-concrete behemoth that is the modern day UIHC and Iowa Stadium (decades from becoming Kinnick Stadium) looks positively quaint.
* That seems pretty impressive. Congrats, Roman!
* On this day six years ago, Iowa named Fran McCaffery the new head basketball coach. That move has turned out pretty well for the Hawkeyes.