Hawk Talk Daily: Random Thoughts
Oct. 29, 2010
IOWA CITY, Iowa - Random thoughts on the morning of the first big freeze in Iowa for fall 2010...
Yes. For those of you reading this on a beach in Florida or on your sun porch in Tempe, the Heartland got a taste of what's to come last night/this morning. Chilly, really chilly. Now, having said that, the sun is shining brightly today and is forecast to shine brightly again tomorrow at historic Kinnick Stadium. Heck of a deal.
Hope springs eternal in the college basketball world during the month of October, but on the UI campus the surge of momentum behind Fran and Lisa's squads was stymied recently by the injury bug. Matt Gatens is the latest Hawkeye to be sidelined - three, four, or five weeks with an injured thumb on his non-shooting hand. As bad as that is, it's Bluder's Bunch that has taken the biggest hit with a foot injury to Trisha Nesbitt and another ACL tear for Theairra Taylor. "She's handling it beautifully," Bluder said yesterday of the talented Taylor. "She's doing tremendous...probably much better than her coaches are doing." Let's hope these are the last bites by the bug for the season.
Two superior quarterbacks who are throwin' it accurately and productively, two salty defenses, two solid offensive lines, two teams that hang onto the pigskin, two coaches who appear to be cut from the same football cloth, and one football game. Hawkeyes by 10 Saturday at Kinnick, folks. The sky isn't falling, Hawk fans, and there's going to be 70,000 of you in the stands - all dressed in black in honor of "Blackout Saturday" - helping to make it happen. Heck of a deal.
You might have seen this reported elsewhere - and hawkeyesports.com will offer a closer look this weekend - but the UI football program is cranking out graduates at the same time its cranking out record-setting success on the playing field. According to information released this week by the NCAA, the "Graduation Success Rate" - GSR - for Kirk's program hit a high-water mark of 79 percent for the last reporting period, a whopping 10 points better than the national average. That's good stuff, folks.
The "Get Well Soon, NORM!" banner that was available for fans of the Hawkeyes to sign during pre-game last Saturday in the Krause Family Plaza made its way out of Carver-Hawkeye Arena and to the football offices this week but not before I took a quick peek. It was quite a sight - nary an inch of unused space. Lots of great wishes for our defensive coordinator...and I'm certain he'll appreciate the sentiment. Look for a photograph of the banner next week on hawkeyesports.com.
Melsahn Basabe...that's a name fans of the Hawkeye men's basketball program are going to hear often in the weeks and months and years to come. Here's some of what Fran had to say about the talented freshman in a story that appeared this week on hawkeyesports.com: "Melsahn is a young man of phenomenal character and great personality. He is an incredibly talented person -- a long-armed shot-blocker; a runner and dunker who has a legitimate low-post game offensively. Melsahn has a great work ethic and clearly he's going to be an impact player and one of the best freshmen in our league." I invite you to click HERE and watch an interview with Melsahn. An impressive young man, indeed.
Here's a suggestion: Sunday is supposed to be a pretty nice fall day so why not head over to City Park in Iowa City and watch Mandi Kowal' s Hawkeyes as they host the 2010 Head of Iowa. "It means a lot to the student-athletes to be here and to race in front of their friends and family," Kowal said earlier this week. It would also mean a lot to these talented and determined young women to have a nice chunk of fans of the Hawkeyes on the west bank of the Iowa River cheering them on...and, probably, learning what this rowing stuff is all about. 10 a.m., Sunday...we'll see you there.
Random Thoughts is written by Rick Klatt, the UI Athletics Department's associate athletics director for external affairs, and first appears in the digital world as an exclusive feature of Hawk Talk Daily, the daily e-newsletter of the UI Athletics Department.