Wednesday, August 24, 2005
(Old) News and Notes
There have been a lot of newsworthy Iowa-related topics in the past month that I have yet to write about. Today I'll try to purge my backlog of unwritten blog notes so I can move on to some other things I want to cover.
- The USA World University Games team that included Greg Brunner brought home gold medals after it won all eight of its games. Brunner's shooting was less than impressive (just 12-30), but he tried to make up for it by being a monster on the glass. He finished second on the team in rebounds per game (5.8) despite playing significantly fewer minutes than a lot of his teammates. His corresponding rebound % would no doubt be impressive, but it's hard to calculate since the WUG stats site doesn't provide playing time. That technicality can be brushed aside by using FGA as a proxy for minutes played - i.e., we assume Vincent Grier played twice as many minutes as Brunner did because Grier took twice as many shots. For all this to work, we have to assume each player shoots an equal number of shots per minute. That's a bit of a stretch, certainly, but slightly less so since this is an all-star team (players are closer in ability level than a typical team, so shots should be more evenly distributed) and each game was won by at least ten points (no need to rely on a go-to guy). Anyway, this method results in a rebound rate of about 30%, which is ridiculously good. Alternatively, Bru was grabbing close to six boards a game in only 10-15 minutes per. It was an impressive rebounding performance any way you look it.
- Jeff Horner is one of 50 preseason candidates for this season's Wooden Award, which is given to the nation's best college basketball player. The other Big Ten nominees are Michigan State's Paul Davis and Maurice Ager, Illinois's Dee Brown, Wisconsin's Alando Tucker, and Minnesota's Vincent Grier. I'm a little surprised that Horner was included, since I don't even consider him Iowa's best player. For the record, I think Purdue's Carl Landry got snubbed. Yes, it's only a preseason ballot and doesn't mean much, but this guy has to eventually garner some recognition, right?
- Iowa gave a scholarship to Justin Wieck, who walked on last year after two years at Kirkwood CC. His scholarship was the last available for this year's team, which essentially means that Nathan Skinner will not make the squad. Skinner was not expected to meet academic qualifications.
- The Iowa athletic department drastically reduced student ticket prices for the upcoming season. The move was well past due, but I wasn't expecting this big of a cut. A student season package was $204 last year; I paid $95 for mine this year. As if the prospect of Iowa having its best team in several seasons wasn't exciting enough, now there might actually be a few students to make noise at the games! I've already heard from people who wanted to go last year but were turned off by the prices, but plan to buy season tickets this year. I. . .can't. . .wait.
- 2006-07 recruit Isaiah Dahlman narrowed his list of schools to Iowa and Michigan State, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. According to the Pioneer Press, "A little birdie says. . . Dahlman probably will pick Iowa over Minnesota or Michigan State." Nine days later (Sunday), they printed this -"It's still a good bet that. . .Dahlman will commit to Iowa this fall," though they provide no sources. I won't take any rumors too seriously, but I'll keep my fingers crossed. Dahlman will visit Michigan State soon and is expected to make his decision shortly after.