Sunday, February 11, 2007

OPS's Big 2007 Season Recap

11/13/2006: vs. The Citadel. W 75-53 Iowa defeats the Citadel, who are about as good at basketball as the cast of The View is. I didn't even know this game was going on until I read about it in the paper the next day.
11/17/2006: vs. Toledo, Paradise Jam. W 78-65 Well, Haluska couldn't do anything, but Ty Smith tossed in 28 to help the Hawks get past the Holy Toledos. That, of course, is not their team name, but it really ought to be.
11/19/2006: vs. Alabama, Paradise Jam. L 72-60 Note to the Hawkeyes-- 30 3-point tries in one game? Last I checked, Chris Kingsbury hung up the cleats about a decade ago. Holy shit that makes me feel old. Haluska jacked up 9 tries and hit none of them, which is something I could probably do. Hey Steve, I'm not eligible or anything, but let's be honest, it's not like you'd be missing out on many wins by putting me in the lineup. Shit, I'd play for $15 a game. $20 if it's on TV.
11/20/2006: vs. Villanova, Paradise Jam. L 89-60 I remember the day of this game, that some of the more intrepid message boarders issuing warnings that Villanova could be in trouble in this game. The only thing the 'Cats were in danger of doing is losing their Nikes up Iowa's asses. What an epic beatdown this game was. Iowa can't get back to the mainland fast enough.
11/25/2006: at Arizona State. L 67-64 Arizona State has yet to win a game in the Pac-10 this year. As a matter of fact, here is a list of all the teams the Sun Devils have bested this season, up to 2/12/2007: San Bernadino (?!), San Jose State (who, at press time, is 4-20), Iowa, Northern Colorado (4-21), Colgate (seriously, it was 5 guys against a tube of tartar control toothpaste), and North Carolina A&T (a school that I did not know existed 45 seconds ago). We've got the rest of the Big 10 right where we want 'em!
11/29/2006: at Virginia Tech. L 69-65 The Virginia Polytechnical Institute was up by 16 with about 6 and a half minutes to go, and Iowa looked awful. Then the Hawkeyes banded together and announced as one, "We will not go quietly into the night! We will fight! As we represent the great state of Iowa, we will rise up and lose by a deceptively small margin!" And lo, they did. Ty Smith picked one hell of a night to miss 11 of his 13 shots, and Adam Haluska continued to enjoy his heave-ho carte blanche, increasing his 3-point FGA to over 9 a game.
12/01/2006: vs. Texas Pan-Am, Hawkeye Challenge. W 62-46 I'm calling shenanigans. You cannot tell me that facing Texas Pan-Am fits any legal definition of the word "challenge." Unless it's the athletic department challenging us not to change the channel at the half. In that case, I lost the challenge, which I suppose makes me less of a man.
12/02/2006: vs. Coppin State, Hawkeye Challenge. W 83-67 In a slightly less unwatchable showdown, Iowa claims its own trophy. Haluska dropped a 31-9-9, and since we fans knew there wasn't much point in rooting for big things from the team, we just hoped for individual awards instead.
12/05/2006: vs. UNI. L 57-55 An epic meltdown lets UNI back in the game, and surprises just about nobody. Seriously, Iowa had a double-digit lead for about 25 of the game minutes, and then took the last 5 minutes off. It's fine that a lot of people in Carver were waiting for the comeback, but it's not so good when 12 of then are wearing black and gold jerseys that say "IOWA" on them.
12/08/2006: vs. ISU. W 77-59 I don't think I've ever seen a worse ISU team than the one that showed up at Carver that night. Iowa State grabbed 17 offensive boards out of 32 opportunities (!!!), and still got murdered. That's because once they had the offensive rebound, they had absolutely no idea what to do with it--they committed 26 turnovers. I mean, sure, you could rightly credit the Iowa defense, but they only registered 12 steals; 14 times, then, ISU committed an offensive foul or sent the ball sailing out of bounds.
12/16/2006: at Drake. L 75-59 I have a hunch that Dr. Tom slept awfully well that night. Drake absolutely murdered the Hawkeyes for 40 minutes, and nobody that I talked to thought it was even an upset. Drake has pretty much taken the conference season off, which makes me wonder if Dan McCarney's been helping out this season--what with the extra free time he's found on his hands lately and all.
12/20/2006: vs. Georgia State. W 101-59 Well. I think they were mad. In a gloriously entertaining display of unsportsmanlike score padding, Iowa dropped a C-note on the hapless Panthers. For the majority of the game, Iowa was actually on pace to double them up; the score was 101-51 late before GSU scored 8 unanswered points while the Hawks let the walk-ons and cheerleaders throw the ball at the bucket. Haluska led the way with 36 points on an utterly ridiculous 13-19 performance from the field.
12/23/2006: vs. Texas Southern. W 90-63 The "Destroy the Cupcakes" tour continued against a Tiger team that, frankly, played like they couldn't wait to give Iowa a double-digit lead. Ty Smith worked his ass off in the first half with 17 points. The Hawks then spent the 2nd half dribbling and shooting only with their left hands (NOTE: totally untrue, but they probably could have), and they still led by 30 late.
12/30/2006: vs. Cornell. W 65-50 If I were in charge of scheduling teams for the Hawkeyes (or any school, really), I would absolutely never choose an Ivy League school. Here's why: I freaking hate watching those games. If I wanted to watch slow and unathletic basketball, I'd tape myself dunking on a children's nerf hoop. Congrats, Ivy Leaguers: by slowing the game down to an almost criminally slothlike level, you're only losing these games by 15 instead of 30. Have a cupcake.
1/04/2007: vs. Michigan State. W 62-60 Iowa absolutely worked Sparty for most of the night--they led for about 39 1/2 minutes straight, and the other 30 seconds were at the right part of the game (the beginning). Trouble was, Iowa had 13-point leads near the end of each half, and both times MSU made it awfully close before the clocks hit 0. Somehow, that Neitzel guy got 20, even though I remember him scoring, like, twice. Excellent way to start the Big 10 for the Hawks.
1/10/2007: at Illinois. L 74-70 I'd like to issue a statement that you can't win in the Big 10 by falling asleep during the 2nd half, but both teams did that in this one, so whatever guys. The Whining Illini led 65-52 late in the game while Iowa was grabbing a nice doze, but the Hawkeyes made a cute little comeback to cut it to one point with under a minute to go, but they couldn't get over the top. It sucks to watch your team scratch and claw on the road, hit over half their 3's, and get to the line 27 times... then still lose a close one. I suppose that's what happens when you hold the Illini guards to 6-28 shooting, but the Illini still hit over 50% of their shots. Yeah. Little help here, post defense.
1/13/2007: vs. Minnesota. W 60-49 The last 7 minutes of the first half were, in my humble estimation, the most brutal display of offensive futility in shot-clock-era college basketball. The score over those 7 minutes was 4-2, Iowa. The shots were clanging so wildly that Tony Freeman, who is literally shorter than I am, led the Hawkeyes with 9 boards. Sure, a win's a win, but fucking come ON.
1/16/2007: at Indiana. L 71-64 Hey, remember that story I told about Iowa forging a furious rally at Virginia Tech with the intent of just losing respectably? Same thing here. IU was up 20 awfully late, so let's not start attaching labels to this game like "competitive" or "ever in doubt." I wouldn't have been too upset if the Hawks decided to go with using a baseball bat to defend against DJ White.
1/20/2007: at Ohio State. L 82-63 I'm not going to sit here and pretend that Ohio State killed Iowa for 40 minutes, because it was close until Iowa ran out of gas or something with 11 minutes to go. But it's not like there's ever a "good" time for a team to have a 10-minute span where they're down 17 points, is there? The issue isn't timing; it's the fact that Iowa ended up losing by about 20 points, and that they still haven't played a game against a decent team where they played 40 solid minutes. Oh, and nice beard, Oden. You know who else had a beard? Jesus, and I don't think Jesus could hit left-handed hook shots by the time he was 19.
1/24/2007: vs. Penn State. W 79-63 Iowa controlled this entire game, which was nice to see. And if you're all right with a 16-point margin of victory, imagine how lopsided it would have been if the Nits didn't grab 27 offensive boards. Holy hell. Was it just Geary Claxton standing under a bucket and bouncing the ball to himself off the underside of the rim for a couple minutes straight? (ANSWER: No.) It's not like the ISU game, where the Cyclones were bewildered by things like entry passes; PSU only turned the ball over 13 times. They just can't fucking shoot.
1/28/2007 vs. Wisconsin. L 57-46 I don't know why I turned this game on. Honestly. Wisconsin games are about as ugly as Wisconsin girls (extremely). What I really don't get is how one team can be THAT much better at defense than anyone else in the conference. Anyhoo, Haluska and Smith combined to go 6-35 from the field, which once again is something that I can and will do for a fraction of the price of a full athletic scholarship. University of Iowa athletic department, make the economical choice!
1/31/2007: at Michigan. W 69-62 Congratulations to everybody who had January 31 in their "when will the Hawkeyes win a road game" office pool! It's not like they had many opportunities, this being their seventh true road game, but come on. Michigan owned the first half of this game, leading by 11 at the break (and still 48-37 with about 13 to go), but Iowa caught fire at the right time (see: before being down 25 with 5 minutes left). Smith scored 18 in the second half, so thank God for that. Dion Harris of the 'Rines went 0-11 for the game, so I'm more than willing to offer my services to Michigan if Iowa doesn't take me up. Ball's in your court, Barta.
2/03/2007: vs. Indiana. W 81-75 Holy crap, a winning streak against teams that I've heard of! I don't know if Sam Alford threatened DJ White at gunpoint before the game, but 4 attempts from the field is unacceptable. Once again, Iowa nearly lost the lead late, but their free throw shooting has been impressive all year.
2/07/2007: at Minnesota. W 91-78 I don't know what was more entertaining to watch: Iowa kicking Minnesota's ass up and down the court, or that huge Big Show-looking dude for Minnesota acting like a contestant on Deal Or No Deal every time he hit a bucket. Iowa scored about 1.30+ PPP, which I need not tell you is ass-bananas ridiculous. The Goofers actually hit a higher percentage from the field, but they rebounded like they were scared of the ball. Haluska went absolutely insane with 34 points on 14 shots. What made this game even better is that as soon as it was over, I got to watch UNC win at Duke, which is about the most satisfying experience in all of televised sports. Seriously, I wasn't even at the game, and I could smell Coach K's cock on Dick Vitale's breath.
2/10/2007: at Wisconsin. L 74-62 Well, of course. It's freaking Wisconsin and it freaking happens every single time Iowa plays up there. Tell me if this sounds familiar: (Iowa's top scorer) has a lousy first half, but the game's close. (Iowa fan named me) gets the notion that if (Iowa's top scorer) can have a decent second half, Iowa is in good position. (Iowa's top scorer) continues to have a similarly dismal second half, and Wisconsin dismantles Iowa. (Iowa fan named me) thinks about injecting alcohol directly into bloodstream.
2/14/2007 2/15/2007: vs. Northwestern. W 60-52 On the ugly scale, this game was somewhere between "Jerry Springer guest" and "David Wells taking a dump onto a glass table," but a win's a win. Now Iowa's 7-5 in the Big Ten, and people are talking about the bubble. Jesus Christ. Iowa has one win against a Top 25 RPI team, and 3 against the Top 50. I'm pretty sure the selection committee's panties aren't soaking wet right now.
2/17/2007: at Michigan State. L 81-49 When do you suppose this game was over? At 81-49? 71-31? 53-18? 36-12? How about 21-4? Sparty whooped some ass today. The Hawks didn't even do one damned thing well. They grabbed 10 defensive rebounds on 23 chances. They hit barely a third of their shots. One guy actually made a 3, and it wasn't Haluska (0-6). They managed 7 assists altogether, which is 3 fewer than they allowed to that Walton kid. There's nothing positive to take away from today's game, except "Iowa is positively not going to make the NCAA tournament this year."
2/21/2007: vs. Purdue. W 78-59 Purdue certainly earned the "PURDUE SUCKS" chant last night, didn't they? 10 assists on 20 buckets, free throw shooting under 50%, and a generally ugly offense. That Kramer kid can shoot, but so could Iowa. Haluska's not getting his flop job calls anymore, and if he can't hit those shots, Iowa's in trouble. 16-12, and 8-6 in the Big Ten. I gotta be honest, I didn't see .500+ in conference play happening this year.
2/28/2007: at Penn State. L 74-72 Iowa's tournament prognosis has been downgraded to Barbaro. The Hawks shot far better from inside the arc (1.33 PP2, 0.87 PP3), but still hoisted 31 3's anyway. Meanwhile, Penn State just won for the first time since January 3. These are times that drive Iowa fans to drinking.
3/03/2007: vs. Illinois. W 60-53 Iowa's officially 17-13, 9-7 on the season. I would have expected 13 losses, but 4th place in the Big 10 was a shock. Then again, so was losing at PSU and ASU, so whatever. Illinois had about 40 guys out with injury (I saw Weber warming up at one point--no such thing as shorts too long for that guy), but the bottom line is that Iowa now has another win against a Top 50 RPI team. Actually, the bottom line is that Iowa is still 100% screwed for the tournament unless they beat Purdue, OSU, and Wisconsin in consecutive days, but whatever, it'll be nice to have the NIT in town.

BIG TEN TOURNAMENT

3/09/2007: vs. Purdue (United Center). L 74-55 Iowa saved their most disinterested performance of the year for the Big Ten Tournament, which makes perfect sense. Nobody did anything well for Iowa, and it's hard to imagine worse performances from the Lotus Blossom or Haluska. Purdue isn't even very good. Whatever.

NIT

Ohhhh, whoops.

1 comment:

Deacon said...

Wow, when you see it all lined up like that, it really doesn't look so bad, especially there at the end.

Ah ha ha. Just kidding. NIT w00t!