Caring is... family. I don't think there's ever been much doubt that Patrick McCaffery would be going to Iowa to be coached by his father -- at least not since it became apparent that P-Mac would be a legitimate power conference college basketball prospect. But Patrick makes that decision more or less official -- and comments on the weirdness of being recruited by a college coach when that coach also happens to be your dad in an article with Hawk Central.
"That will be weird to see how that works out," Patrick McCaffery said Tuesday at an I-Club gathering at the I Wireless Center, where he accompanied his father. "Usually we have the official kids over to our house. So it will be kind of funny to see he'll just be at his own house so it will just be like regular."
"He has an edge, so I probably will go there and nowhere else," Patrick said. "Sometimes if he doesn't get me food or something like that, I'll go, ‘Oh, I'm not coming anymore.' Just jokes like that."
Bonus: Patrick has access to all the delicious apple cobbler that he wants.
The C in CJ stands for clutch. Did you know who the Big Ten's best quarterback in the fourth quarter was last year? Per ESPN, it was our very own CJB:
Who's the Big Ten's best QB in the fourth quarter?
The best: Iowa QB C.J. Beathard (88.1 QBR)
Besides Beathard, only one other quarterback in the Power 5 attempted more than 50 passes in the final quarter without throwing an interception. His name? Clemson's Deshaun Watson. Any way you really look at it here, Beathard was in elite company in this category. He tossed 14 passes of at least 20 yards in the fourth quarter, the second-best total in the Power 5 behind only Washington State's Luke Falk, who had more than twice the number of pass attempts as Beathard. The Iowa quarterback's total numbers: 44-of-63 (69.8 percent) for 706 yards, six TDs and no interceptions.
Those are some mighty impressive numbers for Beathard. He avoided costly mistakes and he wasn't just doing so by throwing short, safe passes, either -- as noted above, he threw 14 passes that went least 20 yards in the fourth quarter. CJ was absolutely getting it done in the fourth quarter last year -- hopefully that stays true this year, especially if Iowa finds themselves in some tight games late.
Get your watch on. It's Watch List Season, which is yet another official marker on the countdown to the return of college football next fall. The first postseason award to issue their watch list is the Rimington Award, given to the nation's best center. Last year Iowa's Austin Blythe was a finalist for that award. This year Iowa finds themselves with another player on the watch list in Sean Welsh. If you're thinking that's weird because, hey, Sean Welsh has never played center for Iowa before... well, now you now exactly how meaningful preseason watch lists are. But hey -- football!
Listamania. More preseason Top 25 lists keep leaking out, this time from FOX Sports' Bruce Feldman and Athlon Sports. Feldman is more bullish on Iowa than most of the preseason pollsters have been, plugging them in at #14 and has some strong words for the doubters:
Some might snicker seeing the Hawkeyes this high. Don't. Quarterback C.J. Beathard (17 TDs, 5 INTs) is good and has NFL potential. LeShun Daniels Jr. and Akrum Wadley should combine for around 1,500 yards rushing. All-American cornerback Desmond King leads a defense that has seven starters back.
Meanwhile, Athlon slots them at #20, which is more in line with the other preseason lists that we've seen so far. Athlon does peg Iowa as West Division favorites, though, and puts them on one of the regional covers of their Big Ten preview magazine (although, in fairness, they do that pretty much every year):
Athlon also picks Iowa in the West Division. Here's the cover. Iowa people, ignore a few subheads on the right. pic.twitter.com/qxuoDdHPBj— marcmorehouse (@marcmorehouse) May 16, 2016
The only opponent from Iowa's 2016 schedule to show up on either Top 25 is Michigan, who is ranked #5 in both polls. That Iowa-Michigan game in November could be a real doozy if preseason expectations hold true.
The coaching carousel is closed for business. Iowa basketball has steadily improved over the course of Fran McCaffery's tenure in Iowa City and one of the key factors in that improvement has been the presence of a skilled -- and very stable -- coaching staff. There's been plenty of idle speculation in recent years about whether one of Fran's assistants would leave for another program -- but so far that speculation hasn't amounted to any action. Why is that? Well, as Sherman Dillard explains to Hawk Central, if it ain't broke...
"(Former NBA coach) Mike Fratello told me once when I was thinking about looking for another head coaching job ... 'don't mess with happy,'" Dillard said Tuesday night before an I-Club banquet at Elmwood Country Club. "Right now, I'm happy. I'm content the way things have gone here. If the right opportunity presents itself, yes, I would take a hard look. Be certain, I'm not out there looking."
There will be turnover in Iowa's assistant coaching ranks at some point -- but it doesn't seem like any of the current assistants are too keen to leave unless a very good opportunity opens up.
To offer or not to offer. Speaking of hoops, Fran McCaffery had two scholarships open up semi-unexpectedly this spring -- and promptly went and filled them, giving one to former walk-on Nicholas Baer and the other to incoming freshman Maishe Dailey. Lisa Bluder also had two scholarships come open this year when Whitney Jennings and Tagyn Larson opted to transfer away from Iowa -- but unlike Fran, Bluder may simply carry over the scholarships to next year, per Hawk Central.
"There is one player that we're kind of talking to, but we'll know in the next couple of weeks," Bluder said. "Most likely, we're going to hold them (the scholarships)."
The "one player" Bluder alludes to is believed to be Kathleen Doyle, a touted point guard recruit (#97 overall in ESPN's Top 100) and Miss Basketball in Illinois who was previously committed to Nebraska but has opened up her recruitment after Nebraska coach Connie Yori resigned a month ago. Given the departure of Jennings, a point guard, replacing her with Doyle would be a nice like-for-like replacement, although Iowa is also already bringing in another 2016 point guard recruit in Makenzie Meyer from Mason City (#79 in ESPN's Top 100).
The math involved makes saving scholarships in women's basketball a little more practical than doing so in men's basketball -- women's hoops has 15 scholarships per team, while men's hoops is allowed just 13 scholarships per team. So even if Bluder opts to save these two scholarships for next year, she'll still have 13 players under scholarship next season. It doesn't often make sense to save scholarships in men's basketball because doing so and then having a few injuries (or arrests or grade-related issues) can have a significant impact on depth. With two additional scholarships in tow, women's basketball already has a bit more cushion to deal with situations like that. If Bluder opts to carry over these two scholarships for next year, I believe she'll have five scholarships to offer for next season.
Get in the hole. Iowa golf came up short at the Big Ten Tournament thanks in no small part to a historic performance from Illinois, but they did earn an 8th straight trip to the NCAA Regionals. That streak is tied with Illinois for the longest such streak in the Big Ten.
NCAA Regionals began on Monday and Iowa sits in a tie for ninth place today in the third and final day of competition. Only the top five finishers in the Regional advance to the NCAA Championships in Eugene, OR and it's not looking good for Iowa to crack that top-five. Iowa's at +47 overall, 19 strokes behind fifth-place USC.
Drop the beat. ESPN identified who the unofficial team DJ is for each squad in the Top 25, but it's frustratingly light on detail.
23. Iowa Hawkeyes
RB Derrick Mitchell
A versatile talent who moved from wide receiver to running back in the spring of 2015, after he impressed Iowa coaches in 2014 with his scout-team impersonation of Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon, Mitchell has proven equally skilled at selecting tunes for the Hawkeyes in the locker room. -- Sherman
Why Mitchell? What music does he play? We have so many questions about this.
* Iowa opens up as a 29-point favorite over Miami (OH) in next fall's season opener, per WagerTalk.
* Campus Insiders predicts a 9-3 regular season record for Iowa next year.
* Briana Guillory was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year after finishing first in the 200 meter race and as part of Iowa's 1600-meter relay. She's the first Iowa athlete to be named Freshman of the Year since the wonderfully-named Peaches Roach in 2004.
* Former Iowa player Maurice Fleming is transferring to West Virginia -- best of luck to Reese in stopping Big 12 offenses next fall.
* Iowa State beat Iowa in softball a few weeks ago, which meant that the Cy-Hawk Series finished in a 12-12 tie this year, and since a tie goes to previous holder that means that the overall Cy-Hawk Series crown went to Iowa State for the third-straight year -- Iowa hasn't won the Cy-Hawk Series since 2012-13.
* Iowa baseball reliever Lucas Vandermatan got rung up on public intoxication and fifth-degree criminal mischief charges for, uh, punching a hole in the wall at DC's bar. Punching the wall probably isn't a great idea for a baseball player.