Monday, March 15, 2010

Lickliter Gone, So Is Chris, Jeriann Could Sing Lead for Poison

  • Well, that didn't take long. I've been certain since the post-game news conference following Iowa's loss at the Big Ten tournament that the Hawkeyes would have a new head basketball coach next season. Todd Lickliter looked like he knew what was coming, and Athletics Director Gary Barta left no doubt when he praised the players, but not the coach.
  • Barta said he didn't decide to fire Lickliter until Monday, but there must be a technicality in that statement. He had to know where this was headed after he met with players, and certainly as he was raising the money needed for a buyout.
  • I don't think it's fun to see a good man lose his job, but Barta really had no choice. Iowa hasn't just been bad, it's been historically bad. Making a bad situation worse was the tell-tale sign down the stretch that several key players were not buying the "Butler Way". The threat of more transfers forced Barta's hand. It's the one thing Iowa could not have. There is some good, young talent on this team, but it's still the same players who were often blown out in the Big Ten, and losing even one player would hurt.
  • Lickliter can coach---you don't take Butler to a Sweet 16 otherwise---but not every mid-major coach makes a successful jump to BCS conferences. Lickliter failed, Greg Mcdermott has yet to have a winning season. Mid-majors rely more on coaching. In the Big Ten, you can't grind through an 18 game conference schedule and beat more talented teams with a "system". You need players. The team with the best players usually wins.
  • Iowa prides itself on not firing coaches. Remember, Tom Davis finished his contract, Steve Alford left ahead of the posse. So you know this was bad. Carver-Hawkeye Arena two-thirds empty, and fans unwilling to donate more money, speak even louder than the losses.
  • Much will be made of Iowa pushing out Davis, Alford, and Lickliter---three successful coaches, but the U of I can still attract a top candidate. Barta has the money, even with the buyout and practice facility, and it's a sleeping giant.
  • Fans want up-tempo basketball again. No more Hoosiers, no more Butler Way. Bring back the 80s and 90s.
  • Did it just get better or worse for Jamie Pollard and Greg McDermott?
  • It's unfortunate the women's teams were bigfooted by the Lickliter story Monday. Congrats to Iowa State, Iowa and UNI on making the NCAA tournament. Proud year for a proud state.
  • Chris Hassel is gone. He begins reporting from Oklahoma City, with the Panthers, Tuesday.
  • Shawn Terrell begins reporting from Omaha, with the grappling Cyclones, Hawkeyes, and Panthers, Thursday.
  • Andy Fales begins reporting from Ames with the Lady Cyclones Sunday.
  • I begin reporting from the St. Patrick's Day Parade Wednesday.
  • I still haven't seen part one of HBO's The Pacific, but I have it on the DVR, and I can't wait.
  • Is there a guiltier pleasure than Celebrity Apprentice. What a silly show. But where else can you learn Poison's Bret Michaels is smaller than Jeriann Ritter?

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