Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Readers Wonder.....Does Jeff Horner Need Glasses? Did Iowa Run Out of Gas? Isn't Drew Tate Even Good Enough To Be On the Honorable Mention List?

The e-mailers are making a lot of sense again today.

"I think Iowa looked tired last night," Kevin of West Des Moines writes. "Maybe Horner [pictured on the right playing against Texas] needs some glasses."

Two good points -- which was something Jeff Horner, Iowa's senior guard, had trouble coming up with last night and the night before in the Guardians Classic at Kansas City.

Horner, who's supposed to be able to walk out the front door at 2 o'clock in the morning and make a dozen straight baskets in any gym in the country, missed on 10 of 12 field goal attempts in the Hawkeyes' 68-59 loss to No. 2-ranked Texas.

Critics of coach Steve Alford continually say that too many of his players get worse as their careers go longer. Sadly, Horner seems to be one of them.

He's certainly proving again this season that he can be stopped by good defenses.

If I were Alford, I'd take the advice of Kevin of West Des Moines and send Horner to an eye doctor.

[NOTE: I fully expect Horner to score 40 points -- without glasses -- against Iowa's next crummy opponent.].


Kevin of West Des Moines isn't the only guy who wonders if Iowa ran out of gas against Texas.

That seems to be a trait of Alford's teams, too -- especially when they're playing talented, quick opponents.

The same thing happened last season when the Hawkeyes played, and lost to, such teams as North Carolina and Cincinnati.


I listened to former Iowa standout Bobby Hansen dissect Iowa's loss on the radio when the clock was approaching midnight last night, and it was clear to him that a decisive factor was when Texas switched to a zone defense in the last half.

But, if you read the local paper, you wouldn't know if Iowa's problem was a zone defense or if the Hawkeye players had their arms amputated in the locker room at halftime.

There was no mention of Texas' zone. The local paper could've saved money and had a copy editor listen to the game on the radio so it could get a decent game story.

Oh, well.


Still on the subject of basketball, Bud Appleby of Des Moines writes:

"The Register's story on the Iowa women's loss to Louisiana Tech on Tuesday night somehow failed to mention that the Hawkeyes had a 19-point lead with less than 8 minutes to play."

The Hawkeyes lost to Louisiana Tech, 95-91, in two overtimes at Ruston, La. The local paper wrapped up the account of that game in seven paragraphs. I guess an eighth paragraph would've been needed to get something in about the 18-point Hawkeye lead.



John Cavanaugh sends this e-mail about the all-Big Ten football teams:

"Ron, Interesting that no one has mentioned that Tate did not even receive honorable mention in the all-Big Ten teams after making first team last year."

Very, very interesting, John.

Interesting that Iowa quarterback Drew Tate [pictured on the left] didn't get on the honorable mention list despite being named the Big Ten's preseason offensive player of the year.

Interesting, too, that Hawkeye running back Albert Young was only an honorable mention pick by the conference coaches. Reporters had him on the second team.


Drake's men's basketball team, off to its best start since 1999-2000, will have to do some growing up in a hurry when it plays the final two games of the Las Vegas Holiday Invitational.

The matchup with 10th-ranked Boston College on Friday will mark the first time a Drake team has played a top-10 opponent since a Dec. 27, 1998 meeting with then-No. 10 Indiana in the first round of the Hoosier Classic in Indianapolis, Ind.

When Drake plays Boston College, it will mark a reunion of sorts for Coach Tom Davis, who had a 100-47 record at Boston College from 1977-82. Davis took the Eagles to the NCAA Tournament in 1981 and 1982 as well as the 1980 NIT.

Davis led Boston College to the 1981 Big East Conference regular season title, with the team advancing to the 1981 NCAA Elite Eight.