As the week began and the (probable) end of the Iowa basketball season drew nearer, the rumor mill uttered a loud groan and creek before slowly beginning to churn.
I’m not sure when exactly it all began, but the topic of postseason departures came up on the latest Hawkeye Report podcast episode (251) featuring Rick Brown. Around the 40 minute mark, the trio discusses who they think will be leaving the team. Kakert says he believes there will be three transfers, and Brown two. Later in the same episode, they talk about the starters for next season, and name Jordan Bohannon, Joe Weiskamp, Isaiah Moss, Luka Garza and “another big man.”
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That episode was posted on February 24. The rumor mill began turning even faster as the week went on. Wednesday night after the Hawkeyes defeated the Illini, Tyler Cook was asked about the transfer rumors, but put them aside and focused primarily on the next day’s game against Michigan.
“Fans are going to say whatever they want on Twitter,” Cook said, but it’s not Twitter that has everyone in a tizzy. It’s a thread posted on a Mizzou message board that claims the Tigers have been tampering with Cook and that his mom has been openly discussing it.
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Then today shit hit the fan after the loss to Michigan in the Big Ten Tournament, where Cook was “non-committal” about his future with the Hawkeyes.
Tyler Cook was noncommittal about whether he would return to Iowa next season.— Mike Hlas (@Hlas) March 1, 2018
The stuff you want to hear starts around the 1:30 mark of the video. Cook doesn’t flat-out say he’s leaving, but his tone has certainly changed from people making things up on Twitter.
Kakert has video of Cook too, where Cook says “only God knows” if he’ll be back with the Hawkeyes next year, and that he’s thinking about testing the NBA waters. Now I’m no NBA Draft junkie by any means, but there hasn’t been much said about Cook being a hot commodity for this year’s draft, so this ambiguity about his return is a bit unsettling.
Cook is not the last player we’ll hear rumors about in the coming months. But for now, nothing is concrete. The only message board comments and rumors I trust as 100% reliable occur right here on Black Heart Gold Pants...wait that’s not true at all.
Clearly, something has changed for Tyler Cook. We’ll just have to wait and see what actually happens. Until then, the rumor mill will continue to churn.
UPDATE: Pat Harty of allhawkeyes.com has chimed in, saying that he’s heard these rumors since the fall.