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Hello Jerry Mailbag: Bench Celebrations, Carver Concessions and TONS of Iowa Hoops

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I think people are ready for basketball season...

NCAA Basketball: Penn State at Iowa Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Do you have questions? Comments? Concerns? Theories? General stories of debauchery? Send them to me! I will feature as many as my editors will allow every single Thursday until the end of time. You can send them via Twitter (@JerryScherwin) using the hashtag #HelloJerry (Eat It Blevins), add them in the comments of this column, shoot them over via email (jerome.scherwinjr@gmail.com), or on Facebook.

Football is back. Basketball is around the corner. And I am back to give you the best damn mailbag this site has ever seen. Let’s roll.

Q: If you were to be on the end of the bench, what’s one choreographed celebration you would do with the crew?

— JPinIC

Hello Jerry: I touched on this yesterday in my solicitation post, but it’s hard to beat something like the Human Scissors. But, if I was a walk-on on a college basketball team I think I’d go with a throw back...

EAGLEEEEEE!

If you stage this right (one walk-on near the end of the bench, one talking with an assistant coach at the front) you could even get a solid running start before doing it.

I’m not sure there is enough room for it, but damn would it be great.

Also, on the Mount Rushmore of bromance’s, Turk and J.D are on it right?

Q: In the opening picture, is Fran playing the, "stop hitting yourself" game alone?

— indyhawk

Hello Jerry: For those wondering what picture indy is talking about:

NCAA Basketball: Indiana at Iowa Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

I personally think he’s just passionately acting out the “flex” and “side eye” emoji after this Tyler Cook dunk:

Q: Could you order the 3/4 spots in terms of minutes they will play? Cook>Baer>Wagner>Kriener>Uhl, and does Nunge fit in here? I mean he is tall enough to be a 5 but it sounds like his game is perimeter.

— 95Hawkeye01

Hello Jerry: You just asked me the one question I’ve thought a ton about this past week in preparation for our basketball coverage here at The Pants. Obviously with the hype that’s going on around Tyler Cook, he is the easiest pick for most minutes played at the position. I think you’re spot on with Baer being next in line as well. It’s going to be interesting to see how many games Baer ends up starting and coming off the bench as the 6th man that can provide a necessary jolt.

Ahmad Wagner is probably next because of the reported work he’s put in from the outside during the off season and his defensive capabilities/intensity that this team feeds off of.

Honestly, I’d be shocked if Ryan Kriener ends up with more minutes per game than Jack Nunge at the end of the season. Don’t get me wrong, I like Kriener a lot (especially if he can in fact extend the floor now), but I think both he and Dom Uhl are the odd men out here.

I think Jack Nunge is a toy Fran McCaffery can’t wait to play with. As you mentioned, he walks into Iowa City as probably the best outside shooter of the bunch.

That bodes well for his future minutes as a needed offensive accessory to partner up with Luka Garza and Cordell Pemsl (who I think can play more minutes at the 5 now that he’s given up Sprite and popcorn).

I know that McCaffery had a lot to say about the defense in his presser the other day, but having some one like Nunge stretch the floor takes pressure off of everyone (something Dom Uhl just isn’t going to do). Jordan Bohannon suddenly gets a little extra room to do his best Steph Curry impression, Isaiah Moss has better lanes to cut to the rim and I already mentioned how it benefits the big boys in the paint.

That’s just my personal call. I can see a scenario in which McCaffery leans on Kreiner early in the season as Nunge gets up to speed with the level of competition only to unleash him during the Big Ten schedule.

Either way, this is an amazing problem to have.

Q: And a follow up to that question: If any restaurant in Iowa City could open a concession stand at Carver, which one would you pick?

— 95Hawkeye01

Hello Jerry: Your follow up game is STRONG, 95Hawkeye. I’m not going to lie to you, this question got the BHGP Slack Channel buzzing yesterday.

The most corporate friendly answer to this is Pancheros. It’s semi-quick to make and it could lead to some fun during the actual burrito lift... that is until the first person who had a few too many Appletini’s before the game throws their EXTRA queso-filled pillow at Ted Valentine.

Short’s couldn’t handle the sheer numbers (they like to take their time even when there isn’t a table in that dark hallway of theirs) although having a few craft beers would be a nice touch. Pagliai’s would cost you more than your basketball ticket. You’re not getting any breakfast foods from Blue Bird or Hamburg (although that would be dope to get a half stack and some bacon). And I’ll pass on The Vine.

That leaves Falbos (they already have a proven by-the-slice business model), Graze (Chicken Lips on a Stick! You’re welcome.) and MARCO’S (just roll the cart right in and right back out for the festivities down town that night!).

I think I’m going with Marco’s if only because the salty, cheesy morsel would be the perfect snack to eat while I wait in the 45-minute Carver Ice Cream line.

Q: Do you think 2019 is the most likely year for the Iowa Men’s Basketball team to win a National Championship? Why?

— CapitalHawk

Hello Jerry: Thank you for the three questions, Capital Hawk. I think a few of our readers touched on your first two in the comments (shouts to NickHawk08 for the Missouri insight), but left this juicy question for me.

This all hinges on how much of a step Tyler Cook takes this season and if he ultimately jumps to the NBA early. If, in fact, the rumors are true that Cook is a completely unrecognizable player to the guy he was last year, I wouldn’t be shocked if he ultimately jumps at the end of this year or next year for the “greener” pastures.

Now, that’s not to say Iowa wont still have the horses in the stable during the 2019-20 season. They absolutely will. Connor (4-star) and Patrick McCaffery (4-star) running alongside sophomore Joe Wieskamp (4-star), junior versions of Nunge (3-star) and Garza (4-star) and seniors Maishe Dailey, JoBo, Pemsl, Moss and Kriener?

That’s one of the best teams in Iowa history with our without Cook.

Is it good enough to win a National Title? Sure? Anything can happen in the tournament if a team can get hot. That team will have the depth (Moss and JoBo will be key for a deep run), offense and experience to make a push.

Like most of you, I can’t wait to see it all develop.

Q: Dan Gable: Greatest coach in Iowa history OR greatest coach in history?

— BlackHawkCountyChazz

Hello Jerry: How about our first guest spot?

Well done, benvious.

Q: Which Hawkeye basketballer (non-Baer division) is most deserving of a nickname and what should that nickname be?

— Close Shave America

Hello Jerry: It’s Jack Nunge because NOBODY knows how to say his name correctly. I can’t wait to hear the BTN announcers butcher it week in and week out.

I’m going with The Bungee Cord since he’s a legit 7-footer, can stretch out when he’s in the air and 225-pounds soaking wet with shoes and winter clothes on.

Q: Do you think Iowa finishes in the top 4 in Men's basketball this year, earning the double bye in the BTT?

— MdHawkeye

Hello Jerry: It’s going to be close. While my heart wants to say yes, my head is telling me no. I think there are tiers going into this season with the first three teams being Michigan State, Purdue (Can you believe Isaac Haas is still on this team?) and Minnesota (I enjoyed watching Nate Mason and Amir Coffey last season). After that I can see Northwestern, Iowa and Maryland all jockeying for the next three spots and Michigan, Wisconsin and Penn State right behind them

Q: In case you forgot from last mailbag: If a troll comes to this site to cause trouble (most likely a school to the west) and says "At least our blogger doesn’t watch Real Housewives" what would be a good comeback to that line? I can’t think of one.

—ncthawk

Hello Jerry: Well, I guess it would go something like this:

Good afternoon TommyHuskerfan69-

I must ask you a question. Have you ever had a significant other? Do you enjoy spending time with them? Do they ever bat their eyes at you and ask for you to do something you don’t necessarily want to do, but it makes them happy so you do it anyways? Perhaps you’ve gone apple picking on a football weekend? Or taken them to an expensive dinner at a stuffy restaurant that doesn’t offer boneless chicken wings for an appetizer that you can ravage on to display how superior you are?

Have you ever gone to a Reese Witherspoon chick flick on a Friday date night? Or do you hate Reese Witherspoon too because most of her movies don’t generally involving shoot guns or grizzly divorced men working for the NYPD (Actually, if that’s the case you should probably check out Hot Pursuit... You’ll hate it!)?

I don’t know about you friend, but I’m not oozing with so much machismo that I can’t spend 42-minutes watching something that helps her turn off her brain from the hard day’s work SHE put in. It’s not “my way or the highway” in my Orlando bungalow because I’m overly nervous about having to turn in my “He-man membership card” (it’s in the mail, BTW) whenever my wife asks for us to do something SHE likes. Maybe that makes me troll-able? Fine. I’m proud of that.

At the end of the day, I like to give a little back to her for all the countless hours of football that she (maybe) pretends to enjoy every weekend because it makes me happy. And you know what, maybe I enjoy watching some of her stuff too. If that means I now have female traits in your eyes... GOOD!

That just means I’m not so cold that when I come home from work, I immediately stuff myself in my basement, turn on the game and only communicate with my wife when I want another beer or some Great Value Pizza Rolls.

Maybe you should try bonding with that person you love. It’ll do wonders for you in other departments. Pinky Promise. Hell, you might even have bigger, wilder conversations about family, friends, children, education, money, future plans or what it would take for you to flip a table at a dinner party. I don’t know what you know about relationships, but a stimulating conversation can go a long way...

But perhaps this is all falling on deaf ears, for you TommyHuskerfan69, might JUST be such a manly man that gets all the lovin’ he needs by poking around message boards and comment sections looking to start a war of words.

Now, if you’d please return to your regular scheduled programming about Tanner Lee being the savior of the Mike Riley offense, that’d be greattttttt.


Quickly on This Is Us:

Raise your hand if you’re actually a fan of the Kate being six weeks pregnant storyline? Anyone? Bueller?

To me it’s a lazy vehicle to have Kate continue to fight with her mother as she slowly becomes her while Toby freaks out and then apologizes while Kevin slowly develops a pain killer addiction.

Maybe it’s just me, but this show doesn’t have the same kind of steam it did last year?


Thank you all for the questions this week. I really do appreciate your week in and week out contributions to this. There were a few I couldn’t get to (Pumpkin Beers and the Best of Epcot and the best tailgating vehicle) that I will save for next week. If something pops up before next Wednesday, remember you can Tweet them me (@JerryScherwin) at any time.

For those going to Chicago for the game, make sure you stop at Mustards right outside Ryan Field before or after the game and have a dog for me.

Until next week, Go Hawks!