Thursday, February 4, 2010

Thoughts on Iowa basketball coach Todd Lickliter and the next two seasons for the Hawkeye program

I have been an Iowa football and basketball fan, since 1974. I am a football first guy and I follow other basketball programs, such as my alma mater, in basketball, but I am a Hawkeye fan.

The past three years have certainly proved the Good, the Bad and the Ugly in Iowa basketball.

Like in football, all we can wish for is a competitive program in the Big Ten. Our demographics clearly suggest that.

From 1981-2009, Iowa Football has become a program to be proud of. As the Wall Street Journal pointed out after Iowa was 10-1, the Iowa program is good for College Football. Coach J. Hayden Fry and Coach Kirk Ferentz have both been a great source of pride for the University, the State and the sport.

The Evy era was great on the field, but his time as a AD was some of the lowest points in our history. The term Ugly is appropriate.

Iowa Basketball has three great seasons, two back to back in the 1950s and the 1980 season.

Lute Olson brought in one point guard and rode him to the top and his next job. Ralph Miller was good too, but his top team at Iowa couldn't play defense, as a recent story by a friend pointed out, but they were able to out score most opponents in a super season.

Coach Todd Lickliter appears to be a great fit for Iowa. The Iowa program has had a poor decade, since the 2001 season, which was the last time Iowa won a first round game in the NCAAs. Heck, look at the University of Michigan in basketball. They went from NCAA Champs to a decade of decay.

Personally, I believe Iowa is in a better position to succeed in basketball than Michigan. Iowa has a long climb to make, but let's be patient, and like the ride in 1999-2001 in football; the next two seasons (2010-11 and 2011-12) should be worthy to let unfold.

If Coach Lickliter and his staff can take five new parts and develop them as we are seeing with May, Cougil and Payne ... the future should be bright for Iowa.
The product has declined. We saw that during the Dr. Tom Davis era, we saw that throughout the Steve Alford era and the Lickliter nearly three seasons reminds people of the three awful years under Dick Schultz.

Life often is the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. I am looking forward to some better fruit and better dividends over the next two seasons. Has Iowa ever had a coach who hates losing at the level our current coach does?

Lickliter appears to be a good person, a competitive coach, a solid X and O guy, a teacher and a stand up guy. I wish Todd Lickliter good health and look forward to the next couple of years ...


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