Wednesday, January 25, 2006

It's No Wonder Some Indiana Fans Would Still Like To Have Alford As Their Coach -- Mike Davis Didn't Have a Clue Against the Hawkeyes

I've been watching collegiate basketball for almost 60 years, and rarely have I seen a team that was as poorly-coached as Indiana last night at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City.

Hoosiers coach Mike Davis didn't have a clue in a 73-60 loss to Iowa.

His lack of preparation and inability to make adjustments throughout the game made Hawkeye coach Steve Alford look like Mike Krzyzewski's twin brother.

After surveying the mess Davis left in front of a national TV audience, it's no wonder many Indiana fans aren't happy with him and still want him replaced with Alford -- who was a standout as a Hoosier player -- or someone else.

Indiana had no inside presence and tried to rely on three-point field goal shooting to stay with Iowa. Despite having a forward the size of 6-8, 268-pound Marco Killingsworth -- who has a body that should be able to take on the entire Russian Army -- Indiana could do nothing against an Iowa front line led by Erek Hansen, who looks like he should be eating more Wheaties at breakfast.

You know Alford [pictured on the right] loves beating Indiana, and he did his best coaching job of the season against a Hoosiers team that came into the game with records of 4-1 in the Big Ten and 12-3 overall.

Iowa was the team that was supposed to be on life support after somehow managing to lose by 30 points three days earlier at Michigan State.

But it was Indiana that was gasping after a game that certainly should have attracted more than the 11,825 fans who showed up in the 15,500-seat building.

Iowa is obviously one of the seven Big Ten teams that will be invited to the NCAA Big Dance in March. With 15 victories already, I can see the Hawkeyes finishing the regular season with 22 or so heading into the tournament.


Mike Gartner gets blamed for everything that happens around here, and now he's taking the rap for David Skorton [pictured on the left] leaving at president at the University of Iowa and going to Cornell University.

Norton from Newton, not his real name, said this in an e-mail to me:


"The news about Dr. David Skorton is very upsetting.

"Your old buddy, Michael Gartner, is behind this whole deal. As an M.D., Skorton was very familiar with the scurrilous practices of health insurance companies. Skorton's public fight with Wellmark did not sit well with Mikie because Wellmark CEO John Forsythe and he are good friends. Forsythe and Wellmark board member Dave Neil resigned from the Board of Regents due to a clear conflict of interest.

"Gartner got his revenge by giving Skorton only a 3 percent raise, while ISU and UNI leaders got 5 percent. What a slap in the face! Skorton's job was much bigger than the other two, as he also ran the largest teaching hospital in the United States.

"I thought Skorton would be at Iowa forever. He was a big supporter of athletics and an all-around good guy.

"The only positive out if this horrible news is that at least Gartner didn't have to fake any gas tank exposions this time."

--Norton from Newton

[RON MALY'S COMMENTS: Norton from Newton seems to be on top of things over there in Maytag Land. It's obvious he isn't spending all of his time crawling around inside of freezers, wondering if he's got the right metric wrench in his tool-belt. I'm also assuming Norton from Newton -- smart guy that he is -- didn't waste any of his overtime pay on getting Reggie Jackson's $75 autograph at the I-Cubs' Fan Fest last week].


Milo from Menlo, not his real name and not his real hometown, sent this e-mail:


"So, how do you really feel about Gartner and the I-Cubs?!

--Milo from Menlo

[RON MALY'S COMMENTS: The same as I felt last week, and the week before that].


Gordy Scoles of Bennettsville, S.C., writes:


"Thanks for using my remarks about Buck the Youngest [that would be FOX TV announcer Joe Buck]. For me, he belongs with Dick Vitale. I'm surprised that the Drake athletic director [Dave Blank] left Des Moines for Elon University. When we moved out here 20 years ago, Elon was a struggling NAIA college. Lately, it's moved into D-IAA pretty quickly, but I'm not sure exactly what that says about Drake and the Missouri Valley. Appalachian State, the team that beat UNI in the recent playoffs, is a member of the Southern Conference, the league Elon joined a few years ago. Maybe the future in the SoCon is brighter than the Missouri Valley."

--Gordy Scoles

[RON MALY'S COMMENTS: Dave Blank is making the move to Elon because he's going home to the Carolinas. The athletic director's job at Drake has never been easy, and never will be. I thought Blank did a good job while he was here, and he figures to do well wherever he is. Now let's get Jean Berger hired and start kicking some ass at Drake].