You know the rules by now... I’m going to ramble on about something in Iowa sports only to trick you into giving me questions for tomorrow’s mailbag. You can throw them in the comments section or send them directly to me on Twitter (@JerryScherwin) or use the hashtag #HelloJerry.
Well, 2018 is off to a ravishing start. A guy goes away for the holidays and all of a sudden we have a crisis on our hands. The Iowa Hawkeye basketball program I once thought would finish in the Top-4 of the Big Ten (we’ll leave that take in 2017, thank you), is 0-5 in the Big Ten conference and their best win is against a 10-6 Colorado team. Fran McCaffery’s mental state is being questioned along with his actual ability to coach this basketball program UP to the next level. Jordan Bohannon can’t play Fortnite in peace:
#BIGTENREFS are Big Ten Reffing their way into our hate filled hearts. And Patrick McCaffery is mad online:
it was a half of his team getting absolutely hosed, god forbid anyone stands up for their team and cares about their job! https://t.co/9B5IRHC5rJ— Patrick McCaffery (@patrickmccaff22) January 8, 2018
dude stood over him running his mouth and TC didn’t say a word... just adding onto the BS tonight https://t.co/6JZhPhdBqE— Patrick McCaffery (@patrickmccaff22) January 8, 2018
Things are rough in basketball land.
Look, I’m not happy about any of it either. The laundry list of McCaffery’s short falls that have been tossed into this losing lime light is extremely infuriating. But I’m still not ready to say that he’s not the guy for this job.
It will be interesting to see what McCaffery and Co. do the rest of this meaningless season to try and pull this roster of young but talented individuals (emphasis on “individuals”) out of the black hole they are getting dragged deeper and deeper into (IMO, it starts with the defensive effort that this team seems to have very little interest in).
I understand that it’s extremely easy to point the finger at McCaffery right now. I understand that his antics have been even more extreme this season (because Iowa is losing). I understand that this team looks like hot vomit for long stretches at a time. I understand that that’s on McCaffery a lot of the time. I understand that his deployment of head-scratching lineups is getting worse and worse. I understand that he refuses to help his team in the moment by using those things called “timeouts” in hopes of letting his guys gather some composure.
But I’m just not ready to call for his head.
Instead, I’ve decided that I’m going to judge McCaffery for what he does from here forward. What happened in that Maryland game was despicable on so many levels. But it’s one of those games that good coaches get their team to rally behind. It’s the Hawkeyes against the Big Ten.
It’s the Hawkeyes against the world.
There are thirteen conference games and a conference tournament left on the schedule. How will this team respond? Will they shrivel up and quit knowing full well there is absolutely nothing to play for? Will they go out there looking to fill the stat sheet and not much else? Will McCaffery’s word fall on deaf ears?
OR... will they come together? Will they give even more effort to fight for their coach that continuously fights for them in hopes of stomping out whatever fire has been lit under Fran’s trampled chair? Will they grow and become a unit that is a Joe Wieskamp and a junior college PG away from contending like we all thought?
We’ll soon see.
God speed, my friends.
Got questions? You can hit me up in the comments section of this post. You can leave them on the BHGP Facebook comment section as well. Or, if you’re feeling ELITE, follow me on Twitter @JerryScherwin and send your question to me directly by using the hashtag #HelloJerry.