If you’d have told me on Feb. 21 that one month later, the Hawkeye men’s basketball team wouldn’t play a game on Thursday or Friday at the NCAA Tournament, I would’ve wondered how Devyn Marble and Aaron White both got hurt.
There hasn’t been a public explanation why Iowa went from 19-6 to 20-13, ending with a “First Four” Big Dance exit.
We know how it happened. The Hawkeyes stopped playing good (or any) defense. They suddenly got outrebounded instead of owning the boards. And opponents seemed to score every time the shot clock wound to 3 seconds or less.
But why? I hear that question a lot. There weren’t injuries, other than an illness that sidelined senior Melsahn Basabe for most of three games.
Even in losses early this season, I thought Iowa looked like a national contender. Wins at Ohio State and against Big Ten champion Michigan, on Feb. 8, showed Iowa at its best. But by mid-March, the Hawkeyes were outplayed by the worst team in the Big Ten.
Was the 11-man rotation about three too many? Was there a rift in the locker room? Was there too little defensive communication, as broadcaster Dan Dakich theorized? Was it purely a psychological issue, especially in close games?
We can speculate, but we may never really know. So let’s put that in the past, and let’s look to 2014-15.
If you were put in charge of the Iowa basketball program today, what is the one change you would make? E-mail assistant editor James Kramer at firstname.lastname@example.org with your opinion, hometown and contact information.
We’re assembling your letters and will publish some of them in the Sunday, March 30, Register.
Heck, maybe one of you will solve the curious, puzzling tale of the 2013-14 Iowa basketball team.
Contact Register sports editor Chad Leistikow at (515) 284-8321 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter: @ChadLeistikow
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball