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Archive for August, 2010

Familar surroundings

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010
The last time I spoke with Rock Island native Sharm Scheuerman I was talking to him from a place he remembered well. It was before Iowa's basketball game at Northwestern last season and I arrived early to phone Scheuerman to talk with him for a piece I was working on about Galva native Rich Falk, who Scheuerman attempted to recruit to play basketball at Iowa. He wasn't successful in his attempt, but Scheuerman maintained a life-long friendship with Falk. I mentioned to him I was sitting in the arena in Evanston and that opened a floodgate of memories for Scheuerman. He recalled playing in the Final Four there when was then known as McGaw Hall was nearly new and Bucky O'Connor's Fabulous Five was making its second straight apperance in the Final Four. Scheuerman talked a bit the Hawkeyes' 83-76 semifinal win over Temple and the challenge that awaited the winner in the final, a Bill Russell-led San Francisco team. The Hawkeyes -- with seniors Carl Cain, Bill Schoof, Bill Logan, Bill Seaberg and Scheuerman -- in the lineup, held their own for a half but eventually fell 83-71 in Iowa's only appearance ever in the NCAA title game. Scheuerman recalled Russell as being one of the most gifted players he ever stepped on the same court with. He said that Russell and his teammates were so good that Iowa probably could have played them a dozen times and the outcome would have remained unchanged. Scheuerman, then a little over two months after asking doctors to end chemotherapy treatments that he had undergone to deal with cancer, seemed to enjoy the small talk and remembered coaching the Hawkeyes against Northwestern there. We talked a bit about last season's Iowa team. Scheuerman said he tried to attend gatherings in the Denver area where Hawkeyes would meet to watch games on television. A point guard himself, Scheuerman said he liked what he had seen from Cully Payne during his freshman season and said he believed he had the potential to become one of the best in the league over time. Scheuerman said he could relate to the pressures that former coach Todd Lickliter had to be feeling at the time, saying that the Big Ten was a little too experienced for a generally inexperienced Hawkeye team to handle at the time. He said he believed the experience would benefit them over time. We talked a bit about his memories of Falk, who was being honored that night, and Scheuerman compared Falk's shooting abilities to those of Purdue legend Rick Mount. Scheuerman talked a bit about the camps he helped set up for youths and how he appreciated the opportunty to help, especially in the inner cities. For Scheuerman, it was a labor of love that was created by the memories he had of playing on some of the most memorable Hawkeye teams of all time.

The fine print

Thursday, August 26th, 2010
Unviersity president Sally Mason's signature on Monday finalized the contract of new Iowa basketball coach Fran McCaffery, which was released on Wednesday by the school and includes details of the six-year deal the parties agreed to. McCaffery's annual base salary begins at $650,000 through June 30, 2012 and escalates to $900,000 in the sixth year of the contract. McCaffery will be paid $150,000 per year for public speaking appearances, fundraising appearances and camps, $150,000 per year by Learfield Communications for television and radio coaches' shows and $150,000 by Nike as part of an apparel and shoe contract. The outside income leaves McCaffery's total annual guaranteed income at $1.1 million at the onset of the deal. It grows to $1.35 million in the sixth year of the contract. As is the case with most contracts involving Iowa coaches in recent years, the deal is filled with incentives. McCaffery can receive up to $100,000 per year if his team achieves academic success. Additional $100,000 bonuses are available for winning Big Ten regular season or tournament titles. An NCAA berth results in a $25,000 bonus and each win in the tournament is worth $15,000 during the first three years of the contract. McCaffery will also receive a $10,000 bonus if Iowa qualifies for the NIT during his first three years on the job. Additinal bonuses are laid out for everything from reaching the NCAA Sweet 16 to winning a national championship - something that would be worth $150,000. An NIT championship? It's worth $50,000. McCaffery, who along with director of athletics Gary Barta signed off on the deal on Aug. 17, would receive additional compensation for being selected as the Big Ten or national coach of the year. The deal also calls for the university to provide two automobiles for use by the coach and his spouse. McCaffery also receives 12 tickets to each men's basketball home game, six game tickets to all home football games and six tickets to any bowl game for use by the coach and his immediate family. The university will also pay for four game tickets to each NCAA Final Four for McCaffery. The contract also calls for Iowa to pay a buyout owed to Siena, McCaffery's former employer, in the sum of $240,000. The payments will be made in three installments, as was dictated by McCaffery's contract with Siena.

Shaking the rust off

Monday, August 23rd, 2010
Former Hawkeye Jeff Peterson is back on the court, preparing for his junior season at Arkansas. The Iowa transfer averaged 8 points and just under 7 assists per game while playing for the East Coast All-Stars, a group of 10 collegiate players who went 1-4 during a tour of Switzerland and France. In a release issued by the Arkansas sports information office, Peterson said he welcomed the chance to compete in game situations before beginning the upcoming season with the Razorbacks. "It felt great to get get back on the court in real game situations,'' Peterson said. "I felt a little rusty at the beginning but felt that I was able to get back into game shape quickly.'' Peterson was required to set out last season after joining three other players in transferring from Iowa following the 2008-09 season. He started the first 25 games of his sophomore season with the Hawkeyes, averaging 10 points and 4 assists per game. He will begin practices at Arkansas as the probable starter at point guard. Coach John Pelphrey is searching for a replacement at the point for Courtney Fortson, who left the program following his sophomore season last spring to turn professional.

Bright lights, Tuesday nights

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010
ESPN unveiled its Super Tuesday schedule for the 2010-11 basketball season today, but Iowa will not be among the teams televised on the weekly doubleheader that includes one Big Ten game and one from the SEC. Actually only six Big Ten programs will be featured during the eight-week run in the upcoming season. Purdue will be featured four times, while Michigan State, Illinois and Ohio State will be featured three times apiece. Wisconsin is scheduled for a pair of games, while Indiana will make one appearance. Here's a breakdown: Jan. 11: Wisconsin at Michigan State Jan. 18: Michigan State at Illinois Jan. 25: Purdue at Ohio State Feb. 1: Purdue at Wisconsin Feb. 8: Indiana at Purdue Feb. 15: Michigan State at Ohio State Feb. 22: Illinois at Ohio State March 1: Illinois at Purdue The rest of the Big Ten schedule is expected to be released in upcoming days. Unlike in previous years, it is anticipated that a number of teams will play twice during the week between Christmas and New Year's Day. The two holidays fall on a Saturday this year and conference games will be played as early as Monday, Dec. 27.

Good to go

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010
The last piece of Iowa's four-member 2010 basketball recruiting class is in place. Point guard Bryce Cartwright has passed needed coursework this summer at Paris Junior College in Texas and is scheduled to arrive in Iowa City later this week for the start of fall semester classes later this month. "Bryce has worked hard to take care of business in the classroom,'' Paris coach Tom Schuberth said. "The chance to play in the Big Ten has him pretty motivated. He's good to go.'' Cartwright, a 6-foot-1 point guard, joins three incoming freshmen who spent the summer in Iowa City -- Melsahn Basabe, Devyn Marble and Zach McCabe -- as part of Fran McCaffery's first recruiting class. A native of Compton, Calif., Cartwright led Dominguez High School to a CIF title in Southern California and began his college career at Fresno State, where he started as a freshman. Cartwright averaged 9 points and 3.5 assists while leading Paris to a 27-6 record last season.

Hawkeyes hit the ‘U’

Monday, August 9th, 2010
Iowa's game at Wake Forest in the 12th ACC/Big Ten Challenge will be televised by ESPNU, it was announced today. The Hawkeyes will visit the Demon Deacons at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 30, the second of three days for this year's series between the two leagues. Pairings for the Challenge were announced earlier, but the tipoff times and television assignments were unveiled this afternoon. Not surprisingly, games featuring Illinois, Michigan State, North Carolina and Duke landed the prime-time assignments. Here's a breakdown: Monday, Nov. 29: Virginia at Minnesota, 6 p.m., ESPN2 Tuesday, Nov. 30: Iowa at Wake Forest, 6 p.m., ESPNU; Georgia Tech at Northwestern, 6 p.m., ESPN2; Ohio State at Florida State, 6:30 p.m., ESPN; Michigan at Clemson, 8 p.m., ESPN2; North Carolina at Illinois, 8:30 p.m., ESPN Wednesday, Dec. 1: Indiana at Boston College, 6:15 p.m., ESPNU; North Carolina State at Wisconsin, 6:15 p.m., ESPN2; Purdue at Virginia Tech, 6:30 p.m., ESPN; Maryland at Penn State, 8:15 p.m., ESPN2; Michigan State at Duke, 8:30 p.m., ESPN

Trimming the list

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010
Iowa remains on the refined list of schools that Cedar Rapids Washington guard Josh Oglesby is considering. The 6-foot-5 combo guard has cut his list of college possibilities to four and plans to visit Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota and Arizona State before reaching a decision later this fall on where he will continue his basketball career. Oglesby's AAU coach, Jamie Johnson of the Iowa Barnstormers, relayed his player's choices via Twitter on Monday evening. Iowa offered Oglesby a scholarship last month after new coach Fran McCaffery had his first chance to closely watch Oglesby in action. He saw him play both in Milwaukee and in Las Vegas, where Oglesby earned a spot on the all-tournament team at the Fab 48 Invitational. As has been the case with a number of Midwestern recruits in the Class of 2011, new Iowa coaches have been playing a game of catch-up as they catch their first glimpse of players this summer that other programs have been scouting for a year or more. Iowa was the last of Oglesby's final four to offer. That's no knock on McCaffery or an entirely new staff. It's a simple fact of life that accompanies any coaching change. Oglesby has the skill to play at the Big Ten level. He received his offer from Illinois after his performance in a camp in Champaign, Ill., earlier this summer and he has been one of Tubby Smith's primary targets at Minnesota for some time. His Arizona State offer came in early April. Another recruit has cut Iowa from his list of college possibilities. Cody Zeller, a top-50 prospect from Washington, Ind., announced today that he will choose from a final three that includes Butler, Indiana and North Carolina. The 7-foot Zeller listed Iowa among his possibilities after receiving a scholarship offer from the previous Hawkeye coaching staff. He is the younger brother of former Notre Dame player Luke Zeller and current North Carolina junior Tyler Zeller.