Saturday, April 22, 2006

Code Words

I hear certain descriptions being used for the Wayne Morgan era of ISU basketball:

Street Ball
Father Figure
Great recruiter, lousy coach

Some of the talk-radio types using these terms seem to be talking in code- the same code I heard about George Raveling. It's subtle, almost unconcious racism. Nobody's dropping the N Word when describing coaches or players, but its there.

When was the last time a white coach was hung with the "Great recruiter, lousy coach" label? Who was the last black coach to be a great "X and O man"?

Are either descriptions really accurate?


Thursday, April 20, 2006

Catching up

A few things have happened since I was last able to post:

Cael Sanderson was elevated to Head Wrestling Coach aka "The Move That Had To Be Done". Like Cael's ankle pick, everyone knew it was coming, but this arrived sooner than expected. I believe Cael will be a solid coach, but he certainly has almost unreasonable expectations to meet as "The Next Gable", who ironically has come out of retirement in Iowa City.

Cael's quiet, soft spoken demeanor belies the fierce competitor inside. I don't see Cael being much of a screamer, and he certainly won't be as animated at the mat as Tom Brands or Mark Manning. But I expect he will learn exactly what to softly say to a wrestler as they head out onto the mat.

The starters dominated the backups in the spring game, as it should be.

A new feature at Cyclone Stadium has arrived: One of the brick pillars from old Clyde Williams Field has been installed at the bottom of the ramp the players use to enter Jack Trice. The last thing the players will see will be the weatherbeaten plaque that states: "Honor Before Victory". That is an appropriate motto for a program that is dismissing players for being unable to stay out of trouble (Berryman) or monitor what they ingest (Robertson). A cynic would point out that placing honor before victory has kept ISU football lousy over the years. Both are correct- and ISU should be proud to place that motto front and center.

Greg McDermott continues to look like a great hire. While half the team has weighed options outside ISU, and a couple of recruits have decided they don't fit into a more regimented scheme, others are choosing to come in. I'm not sure if a two-for-one with Iowa will be equal in the end, especially with the baggage some of the players bring with them.

Tasheed Carr, according to my source, doesn't look like a player who is transferring by the effort he is giving in workouts.

Steve Alford remains in Iowa City, his personal Elba, and he cut loose two assistants as he signed a contract extension. Odd. The new help should come cheap since, as Jim Rome joked, "they need not have experience in the second round of the NCAA's". Ouch.

My source in IC says Steve was deeply hurt by not getting an interview in Bloomington. So much for using Iowa as a stepping stone.

I'm on the road for many of the coming weeks. Set your RSS reader to pick up posts as I make them.