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Nicholas Baer Excels on East Coast All-Stars

Entire country of Italy falls into the Baer trap

Iowa v Villanova Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

In between the only two media-accessible events during the Iowa football practice season, one of the Hawkeye basketball players was carrying the banner all the way to Italy. Nicholas Baer was selected to play on the USA East Coast All Star team, which spent the last week in Italy playing a series of games against a handful of “select” teams over there. I’d be lying if I said I knew exactly how good or how experienced the Italian teams were. But based on the scores of the games, I think it’s fair to assume the teams are likely the caliber of a mid-to-lower level Power 5 team. Regardless, any extra injury-free competitive basketball for our favorite Baer should only be viewed as a positive. This is also the same squad that Dom Uhl, Mike Gesell, and Adam Woodbury have played on in the past, so Fran seems to like having his guys included.

Visual Approximation of Nicholas Baer

To be sure, the East Coast All-Stars do not feature the stud players from the blue blood programs and instead include mostly role players from some decent programs. This year’s roster included West Virginia defensive specialist Jevon Carter and former Kansas State point guard Jevon Thomas. Interestingly, the roster featured four players that Baer and the Hawkeyes will play against this upcoming year: two from Notre Dame and two (including Thomas) from Seton Hall.

So how did our boy do? Here are the game-by-game breakdowns:

Game 1 (a 93-68 East Coast win): 6 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, and a steal

Game 2 (a 75-73 East Coast win): 13 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 steals

Game 3 (a 94-75 East Coast win): 9 points, 8 rebounds, 1 assist, and 3 steals

Game 4 (an 88-81 East Coast loss): 6 points, 9 rebounds, 1 assist, and a steal

For those counting at home, that’s 8.5 points, 8.3 boards, 1 assist, and 2 steals per game. Two things stand out. First, the consistency is awesome. One of the knocks on Baer last year was that after he broke out at the end of the nonconference season and was a royal pain for the first few B1G teams, teams started to figure him out and started slowing him down. And then all of a sudden, he was the only one that showed up for the Villanova game. So being consistent is probably the most important thing for Nicholas to go from brown Baer to grizzly Baer (long live the Baer-ometer). Second, look at those rebounding numbers! Without Woody around, it is imperative for the Hawks to not fall off a cliff when it comes to the boards. Ahmad Wagner, Dale Jones, Tyler Cook, Dom Uhl, and Baer must all chip in to replace his production.

Good job, Nicholas. We are looking forward to more games like this:

Introducing Myself

Hello BHGP friends, I have not introduced myself elsewhere and this is my first article for the Pants. I am a longtime lurker with no posting history so I’m a huge mystery to you all (you’ve been warned). I am originally from a small town called Guthrie Center, Iowa. I went to Simpson College for undergrad and Washburn Law School (Google it, it’s a real school) after that. So I am not a UI grad, but I do bleed black and gold so put your torches and pitchforks down for now. My lovely wife and I currently live in West Des Moines. In my free time, I officiate high school football and basketball. [insert your best lawyer and/or referee joke here...bonus points if you cover them both in one shot]