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Hawk Talk Daily: Random Thoughts

Jarryd Cole is deserving of a very long round of applause next Saturday when the UI entertains Purdue on Senior Day.

Jarryd Cole is deserving of a very long round of applause next Saturday when the UI entertains Purdue on Senior Day.

Feb. 27, 2011

IOWA CITY, Iowa - Random thoughts for a Sunday in late February...

All seven of Iowa's home football games a year ago reached sellout status, a game day attendance figure of 70,585. That total placed Iowa at position No. 21 in the NCAA list for Football Bowl Subdivision attendance. The UI was No. 21 a year ago, too. The same 20 teams finished ahead of the Hawkeyes in both years, although in a slightly different order each year. The UI can never "win" the attendance challenge because Kinnick Stadium's capacity is less than the facilities at Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Alabama and Texas - the nation's top five in 2010. Which leads me to think this: Perhaps the ranking should be done on percent of capacity.



There are lots of signs of life in the Fran McCaffery's men's basketball program but - as the nation saw last night - there's none larger, in my opinion, than the no-quit commitment that's been successfully installed in the psyche of the Hawkeyes by Fran and his staff. Impressive.

The Kachine Alexander era at Carver-Hawkeye Arena has come and gone, much like the Lisa Becker and Michelle Edwards, and Toni Foster eras that came before her. Those fans of the Hawkeyes who watched "Kash" play in person will never forget the energy she brought to the floor. Those who bumped into her in the hallways of Carver or, perhaps, on a sidewalk on campus, will likely never forget her engaging smile. Let's hope hers and Kelsey Cermak's final season as Hawkeyes extends deep into March.

One doesn't need to look too far for evidence of what a new facility means to a sports program. Iowa's two tennis programs are thriving inside the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex and have been since the three-year-old facility opened. Today, it's the UI's men's and women's swimming and diving teams. Marc Long's squad just completed their first regular season of competition in the UI's new $69 million facility. Last weekend, the women's team broke record after record at the 2011 Big Ten Conference Women's Swimming and Diving Championship. The weekend was capped with longtime UI diving coach Bob Rydze being honored by his peers as coach of the year. This weekend, it's the men's turn and they, too, are enjoying a record-setting performance. To read the details, click HERE.





There are lots of signs of life in the Fran McCaffery's men's basketball program but - as the nation saw last night - there's none larger, in my opinion, than the no-quit commitment that's been successfully installed in the psyche of the Hawkeyes by Fran and his staff. Impressive.


Jarryd Cole plays his final regular season home game next Saturday when Iowa entertains Purdue at 3 p.m. There's been a steady stream of wonderful stories about Iowa's talented senior, most pointing to his perseverance and loyalty. Me, I admire those, too, but I also love his smile and Jarryd's tenacity around the backboard. They say rebounding in 99 percent "want-to" and 1 percent position. I'm not sure those numbers are correct, but I do agree that effort and energy may just overcome good fundamentals when it comes to this category of the stat sheet. Like many, I hope Hawk fans help send Jarryd out with a bang next Saturday.

Pam Finke, director of ticket operations for the UI Athletics Department, asked me to remind readers of Hawk Talk Daily that the seat selection process in the non-club area of Carver-Hawkeye Arena will begin next week - March 7. Current season ticket holders in the sport of men's basketball should have received an e-mail last week that confirmed their customer number and provided the day and time that they can make their selection of seats for the 2011-12 home schedule for Fran McCaffery's squad. Here's a link to a section-by-section map of the seats in Carver: HERE. Also, we'll be adding the latest pictures of the renovation to the multimedia/photographs area of carverhawkeyerevitalization.com early next week.

A couple of notes about the reseating of Carver project: First, if you are making a gift for a certain seating area in Kinnick, you might not have to make another gift to have access to certain sections of Carver. If you have questions about that piece of this puzzle, contact a staff member at the I-Club office or the UI Athletics Ticket Office. Second, as was the case in Kinnick Stadium, there are thousands of seats in Carver that require no additional annual gift to the I-Club.

After a rugged 1-4 start in a rugged Black and Red Showcase in mid-February on the campus of the University of Georgia, Marla Looper's Iowa softball team has rattled off six straight victories. It's going to be fun watching the Hawkeyes' first-year head coach navigate the Big Ten Conference season. Iowa opens its home slate Mar. 20 against South Dakota and its league season Mar. 26 at Ohio State.

Enjoy the Oscars tonight...if that's your cup of tea. We watch for one reason beyond admiring all the beautiful people: To assemble the list of movies we missed and should consider renting.

Go Hawks!