Monday, April 04, 2005

10 Things I'd Like to Say About the 2004-2005 Basketball Season

Before the 2004-2005 collegiate basketball season is forgotten and the 2005-2006 season starts, I’d like to say 10 things:

1. If Wayne Morgan was the fourth or fifth choice to get the Iowa State coaching job after Larry Eustachy was told to take his act elsewhere, I wonder if any of the guys who said “no” to athletic director Bruce Van De Velde’s offers could have done any better. Morgan came to Iowa State with the reputation of being a coaching lightweight, but he has proven his critics wrong by taking the Cyclones to the semifinal round of the NIT last season and to the second round of the NCAA tournament this season.

2. It’s amazing how Steve Alford went from being a “can’t-miss” young coach when he was at Southwest Missouri State to a guy who always seems in over his head at Iowa. Is it just me or do other people think it’s a shame that Hawkeyes such as Jeff Bruner, Greg Brunner and Adam Haluska are going to have their collegiate careers expire without getting the coaching that could make them the winners they deserve to be?

3. I wonder how long it’s going to take for Iowa State’s Curtis Stinson to develop a three-point shot to go with the rest of his game. Don’t waste my time talking about how you’re worried that Stinson might declare for the NBA draft until he can consistently hit the 15-footer. Stinson is smarter than that.

4. I like Greg McDermott’s style and his coaching ability at Northern Iowa. He’s taken the Panthers to the NCAA tournament in each of the last two seasons, and that’s nothing to sneeze at. But it’s time for McDermott and the Panthers to not be satisfied with just getting to the tournament. They need to win a game or two.

5. If the Indiana job should open up, I think Alford would take it in a heartbeat, if asked. I know one thing. That would make the Alford-haters in the state of Iowa very happy.

6. Surely there must be a couple of 6-8 guys with quickness and shooting ability who would be willing to come to Drake and finally give the school an above-.500 record. Players still wore short pants the last time the Bulldogs had a winning season.

7. I’ve been waiting for a long time to hear the real story on why Adam Haluska and Shane Power left Iowa State. I’m still waiting.

8. I don’t remember many of my dreams, but I woke up the other morning and recalled dreaming that I was sitting in Carver-Hawkeye Arena at Iowa City, and there wasn’t an empty seat in the place during a Big Ten game. Then reality set in. I was dreaming about 1988.

9. Speaking of dreaming, quite a few Drake women’s fans wonder how long they’ll have to wait for a year when no Bulldog players quit the team.

10. Gary Thompson keeps saying he’s retiring as a TV commentator for basketball games, but I hope he’s kidding us. The ol’ Roland Rocket is as good as there is on the tube. Guys like Jay Bilas and Billy Packer can’t hold a candle to him. Heck, Packer is wrong more often than he’s right. So maybe they’ll be able to talk Thompson into coming back for more games next season.

[This column originally appeared in the April issue of "Iowa Sports Connection"]