A picture is worth a thousand words, or so the saying goes. But I’ve always been prone to lots of words as any regular reader of OM can attest. So rather than just show you some of the intriguing images pertaining to the Hawkeyes floating around the interwebz this week, I am of course going to over-analyze and overreact to them. I will certainly use more than a thousand words. Sorry, not sorry.
Up first, we have a basketball photo with a LOT going on. Like, a lot, a lot.
The scene is this: The July evaluation period has just started. Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery learned a little less than a week ago that 5-star PG DJ Carton would not be attending his school. He still has scholarships available and as such is out scouting at one of the country’s premier AAU events, Peach Jam. He is not alone.
Coach K, Roy Williams, Archie Miller and a TON of other head coaches on hand for Brad Beal Elite and Meanstreets. Who might they be watching and who else is here? Check the #Peachjamblog https://t.co/ujgGjSLBGG pic.twitter.com/aYMKs6tTP6— Eric Bossi (@ebosshoops) July 12, 2018
First things first, Fran looks like a man watching this tournament shortly after losing out on a top-20 in-state prospect at a position of need. He’s not hamming it up with other coaches, he’s not smiling and enjoying his time, he’s looking for talent.
You’ll also notice he has strategically placed himself nowhere near his Big Ten brethren (screw those guys anyway, right?) and in the same field of view as Coach K. You know every major prospect playing noticed Coach K and when they looked over at him, they saw Fran. Now, Fran ain’t stealing ‘croots from Duke, but maybe he has a kid who doesn’t get that blueblood offer remember seeing him at his games. Maybe that kid is on the rebound after having his heart broken by Coach K and there’s Fran ready to swoop in?
But what about those Big Ten coaches Fran isn’t sitting by? Oh, there’s plenty to unpack there.
First, they’re all apparently too loaded with talent to actually watch the games they’re attending. Every one of them is either staring at another coach (Painter), into their phone (Underwood) or the dark abyss (Pitino).
I mean, I get it, Ricky. Sure you saved your job for a year with a solid season last year, but your dad’s universally known as a sleazeball and finally met his fate after yet another scandal, you were on the verge of losing your own gig heading into last season and will be soon enough, and you have been big-dogged by Matt Painter.
Seriously, what a way to assert your dominance by Painter? Not only do you have the extra seat beside you to sprawl out, you’ve gone ahead and sprawled out to the other side and pinched Pitino into a space small enough to stick his dad’s family values. Assist to Brad Underwood for leaning in with the leg-cross.
I envision the conversation going something like this:
I’m not going to comment on the length of Underwood’s shorts because they only add to the level of discomfort for Pitino and I love it.
I am going to comment on the shoe situation for Georgetown coach Patrick Ewing.
Did he just walk into a room full of his peers, pull up a chair and kick off his....
Yes, yes he did.
Talk about asserting your dominance.
Not only do these coaches have to cram into a tiny plastic chair with an inch between them and the out of bounds line, but they get to do it with the stench of sweaty teens and Patrick Ewing’s shoeless feet. At least they’re all millionaires.
At the end of the day, this is just one of dozens of sweaty, smelly, crammed gymnasiums Fran and the other Iowa coaching staff will be checking out in their pursuit of playmakers to fill out the 2019 class and build on in 2020. They’ve already been incredibly busy.
Iowa has 25 offers outstanding to players in the class of 2019, including 19 to players who are still uncommitted. In 2020? They’re already up to 20 offers, all of whom are uncommitted. Almost half of them (9) are to point guards. The quest continues
On to football.
As is customary around this time of year, the Iowa coaching staff is working with the team on building relationships. Fall camp is still a month away, but summer workouts have been ongoing and the new freshmen are trying to fit in.
Part of the team building exercise is typically having the entire position group over to the position coach’s house for a meal or two. For Iowa fans, that present an opportunity to over-analyze every detail of any pics that might come out. Up first: the linebackers, who were hosted by coach Seth Wallace last week.
Great evening with these guys. Excited to see this group of @HawkeyeFootball LBs compete this year. #GoHawks pic.twitter.com/SBP5sdhOTN— Seth Wallace (@CoachSWallace) July 13, 2018
First of all, that’s a pretty big group. I count 16 in total. For those of you concerned with the math, Iowa typically plays 3 linebackers at a time so if you go three deep, that’s 9 linebackers needed. Iowa has nearly double that here.... And that’s without RS sophomore-to-be Kyle Taylor, who is missing.
Sound the sirens! We have a missing player! Has he been on Twitter? What’s going on? The people demand answers!
Well, let’s double-check our math here. Who is actually pictured?
From left to right, Front: Amani Jones, Barrington Wade, Mitchell Riggs, Mike Timm, Aaron Mends, Jayden McDonald, Seth Benson, Jack Hockaday
Back: Christian Welch, Dillon Doyle, Nick Niemann, Nick Anderson, Nate Wieland, Logan Klemp, Colton Dinsdale, Djimon Colbert
Not pictured: Kyle Taylor.
/Hurriedly scours the internet for mentions of Kyle Taylor./
We haven’t gotten word of Taylor moving on. He’s still listed on HawkeyeSports.com. Maybe a scheduling conflict?
I don’t have answers, but I sure have questions.
Aside from the Taylor quandary, there’s some stuff to note here. We’ll begin with how much of a shame it is that Mends had that injury in the spring. He looks ready to roll.
Speaking of ready to roll, good Lord does Jayden McDonald look ready to go as a freshman who’s been on campus for only a few weeks.
And word out of summer workouts are he’s the fastest in the group as well. Yikes.
Can we also just take a moment to recognize how scary Amani Jones looks? Holy cow. Is he pushing to surpass Bob Sanders as the guy you want on your side in a street fight? I say yes. Exhibit A:
(Seriously, nobody would ever actually suggest Bob is losing that title, but this kid is as close as it gets.)
Right behind Jones is the little girl, who I assume is Seth Wallace’s daughter, who may have the meanest of mean mugs pictured.
Someone is getting the major stink eye.
This next one is a series of pictures and while the pics themselves aren’t exactly worthy of much analysis, the text on them is. Specifically, that second picture.
What are you wearing to Kinnick this year? Check out our 2018 @HawkeyeFootball spirit games! https://t.co/tr3OilZG08 pic.twitter.com/NTQxk7Qp9f— The Iowa Hawkeyes (@TheIowaHawkeyes) July 12, 2018
That’s right, the Wisconsin game is the annual spirit game. That’s not a huge shock, but let’s get to analyzing here. Iowa plays Wisconsin week 4 - September 22 per the pic. That’s the first game of the Big Ten slate for both teams. It’s also the first of Iowa’s games that doesn’t have a start time yet.
Week one against Northern Illinois is a 2:30 CT kick. Week two against Iowa State? 4:00 CT. Week three against UNI? 6:30 CT.
Nothing is assured, but the stars are certainly aligning for another late start. Should both teams be undefeated at the time, it’s a virtual lock to be at least a 2:30 CT kick, but given the divisional implications of the game I think a true night game could be in store.
Might this be the annual night of terror for a highly ranked opponent in Kinnick?
And finally, if a picture is worth a thousand words, I’m not sure I can quantify how many words a video is worth. In this particular case, there may not be many necessary.
IOWA HAS A ROBOT PUNTER pic.twitter.com/SlUURXa0Pp— SB Nation CFB (@SBNationCFB) July 14, 2018
In a world where punting is winning, Iowa is planning to do a hell of a lot of winning in the year 2100.
Or wait, does this mean our actual punters aren’t good enough to use in practice and they’ve been replaced by a robot?
The Hawkeyes’ punting a season ago, was uh, not great. Maybe the problem has been solved? They fixed the glitch?
But wait, there’s more!
The Seeker is ready to go to work today; are you? Get more valuable reps than ever before and capitalize on your opportunity to reach your full potential. pic.twitter.com/G4pyTXeW61— Monarc (@MonarcSport) July 12, 2018
It throws passes too?
We know this can’t possibly be due to some lacking abilities from the QBs given what we saw from Nate Stanley a season ago. One doesn’t simply tie the school record for touchdowns and get replaced by a robot.
Although, perhaps this thing can teach him how to throw the long ball?
I kid, I kid!
But seriously, this is a pretty nifty tool. It sure as hell beats the old JUGS machine. It uses sensors on the receiver and a computer program to throw a number of different routes with all sorts of intricacies like body location of the pass, timing, spin on the ball. It’s pretty remarkable.
Some video of the #Seeker from early on in our developmental stages! We've come a long way in a short time, looking forward to sharing progress soon! #NFL #CFB #Football @OBJ_3 @AB84 @tae15adams @juliojones_11 @ochocinco @RobGronkowski @Mike_Daniels76 @micah_hyde @DeAndreHopkins pic.twitter.com/eVR9pI3PsG— Monarc (@MonarcSport) July 9, 2018
So perhaps this is a tool the Iowa receivers can use to run routes until their legs don’t work all summer without landing Stanley with Tommy John’s surgery? I think we can all agree that group is one of the question marks...should we feel better knowing they have a robot replicating Stanley’s every motion to throw them passes to their heart’s content?
Or is this how the Terminator series started? Is the Iowa football staff working in conjunction with the engineering department (ICYMI, the machine is produced in Dallas, but was designed in Iowa CIty) and UIHC on turning Stanley into a cyborg? How would Hawkeye fans feel about a half human, half robot slinging the pigskin around from a moral standpoint if it also meant a Big Ten Championship?
I say fire that f@&$ing pigskin!
Happy Monday, y’all. Now get back to work, before you find yourself replaced by a robot.