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Swelling with Iowa Hawkeye pride since 2007

Updated: 2018-02-17T12:14:22-06:00






Iowa basketball takes on Indiana today. Now is the winter of our discontent.

Here’s our preview of the game.

Here’s what else you need to know:

What: Iowa basketball (12-16, 3-12) vs. Indiana 1(5-12, 8-7)

Where: Carver-Hawkeye Arena, Iowa City, IA.

When: 1:05 PM, God’s Time

TV: ESPN //Jason Benetti & Dan Dakich

Online: Watch ESPN

Radio: Hawkeye Radio Network

Online Radio: HSN

Vegas: Indiana -1

Play nice in the comments.

Home Cookin’: Iowa Hawkeyes Host Indiana Hoosiers


Can the Hawkeyes flip the script from an early conference loss? The Iowa Hawkeyes (12-16, 3-12) face the Indiana Hoosiers (15-12, 8-7) in the penultimate home game of the 2017-18 season. The Hawkeyes look to flip the script from an early season loss which helped send this campaign into a tailspin. In the second conference game, the Hoosiers took advantage of first half foul trouble from Tyler Cook. After he notched his second foul, Indiana finished the half 24-7 and took a 15-point lead into halftime. They were the aggressors throughout much of the game and forced the action inside. Juwan Morgan, De’ron Davis, and Colin Hartman combined for 41 points and 21 rebounds, eight offensive. Iowa continued their trend of being loose with the ball and turned it over 18 times on 11 Hoosier steals. It was a script we’ve known well. It was the singular time Fran McCaffery sent a message with wholesale changes to the lineup in the second half. Maishe Dailey, Brady Ellingson, Nicholas Baer, Jack Nunge, and Tyler Cook were able to spur the Hawkeyes to within a single point on two separate occasions but could never get the requisite stop to allow them a chance at taking the lead. Ellingson had his best game that evening and shot 6/9 for 16 points. He was never able to rekindle that magic. Since then, Indiana was able to brighten a rebuilding year and sit in the top half of the conference standings. They’ve been led by Juwan Morgan in scoring at 16.8 points a game and he’s joined in double figures by Robert Johnson at 13.4. Davis has since been sidelined with an Achilles tear and Archie Miller has opted to go small, as wings Justin Smith and Freddie McSwain have filled in for the 6’10 Davis. The Hoosiers won’t play anyone over Morgan’s 6’7”, though it hasn’t stopped them from becoming one of the better defenses in the Big Ten. Morgan averages over a block per game and McSwain will also help protect the rim. Their swarming defense also forces opponents into a bevy of turnovers as they average over five steals per game. If Iowa is going to take advantage of their size down low, it’s important they don’t fall victim to the same ills which took them out against Michigan earlier this week. It’s easy to hyper-focus on such a stark “on paper” advantage and being stagnant while forcing it down low are an easy way to turn the ball over. Can Luka Garza and Cook hit the offensive boards? Despite their size disadvantage nearly every night, the Hoosiers have successfully kept opens off the glass with a defensive rebounding rate which ranks fourth in conference. Iowa’s girth down low might also be able to force Indiana into foul trouble, as only Colin Hartman sits behind Morgan as a nominal center. Indiana also allows opponents to take plenty of three pointers, often at a high clip. Jordan Bohannon should be able to get free but can Isaiah Moss or Maishe Dailey add to it? Maybe Brady Ellingson shows more of where the early season matchup came from. Like most other games, though, this one will come down to some semblance of defense for the Hawkeyes. The size advantage they’ve toted nearly every game this season has often left them slower on defense. Indiana has the skill off the dribble to take advantage of Iowa in this area. After Wisconsin’s unforeseen victory over Purdue, Iowa is pretty much locked into a bottom four spot in the Big Ten tournament. That doesn’t mean they can’t take advantage of a bad situation. If history is any guide, being home offers the Hawkeyes a chance to do just that. [...]

Iowa Football Recruiting: National Signing Day Postmortem


Both signing days are officially in the rearview mirror. We’ve looked at each individually, as well as the large group of walk-ons headed to Iowa City. But how does Iowa’s class of 2018 look in its entirety? With both of college football’s national signing days officially in the rearview mirror, it’s time to reflect on how the recruiting class of 2018 as a whole for the Iowa Hawkeyes. Previously, we’ve taken a look at the group which signed in December and the group that signed in February separately, as well as the large group of walk-ons headed to Iowa City. But how does the group look as a whole? Let’s dive in. In total, the class includes 22 scholarship players and 20 walk-ons. That’s pretty big. In a typical class, Iowa would have 20-25 scholarship players and 10-12 walk-ons. As pointed out earlier this week, this year’s group of walk-ons isn’t just big, it’s quite good. In many years of past, several of the players walking on would have received last minute scholarship offers from the Hawkeyes. With the new early signing period, things changed this year. They appear to have changed for the better for Iowa. The class of 2018 is ranked 39th nationally according to Rivals and 40th according to the 247 Composite. That’s good enough for 7th in the Big Ten according to Rivals - behind only Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska and Maryland - and 8th in 247 behind the same group and Minnesota. It’s also good enough to be Iowa’s best recruiting class since 2011 and the 4th best going back to 2002. There seems to be a general consensus among Iowa fans that recruiting rankings and stars and all that jazz don’t mean anything. That’s almost certainly true on an individual level. Recruiting services depend largely on people who have played very little, if any, actual football to go out and identify talent and assign some objective rating to them. There are thousands and thousands of players to evaluate and the recruiting services may have a couple hundred people doing evaluations in the best case scenario. Players are bound to fall through the cracks. Historically, Iowa has done a tremendous job of both finding those players who have fallen through the cracks as well as taking players who may have been properly rated and developing them into much better players. That’s been integral to the Hawkeyes’ success under Kirk Ferentz. But success has also been highly correlated with finding honest to goodness talented players who the recruiting services didn’t miss. The major difference between Iowa and your run of the mill blueblood program who looks to amass as many stars as possible is the need to keep those players in the system. Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State and the rest can simply reload. They look to add a bunch of 4- and 5-star players and plug them into the 2-deeps in year one or two. At Iowa, those high quality players are typically asked to develop and contribute as juniors and seniors. When you look at Iowa’s recruiting classes compared to their on-field success when those athletes are upper-classmen, the correlation is pretty obvious. Chart updated... Iowa beat the "expected" wins in 2017 for the third year in a row. Recruiting continues trend upward. Not shown here, but 2016-2018 is now the 4th best 3-year run in Rivals recruiting rankings under KF (42, 40, 38). @BlairRIVALS @marcmorehouse @ChadLeistikow— 07 Hawk (@07__Hawk) February 7, 2018 Let’s dive in. The weekend starters #24 Nick Allgeyer (RS JR)2017: Missed season because of Tommy John surgery. World University Games: 0-0 (1.93 ERA in two appearances), pitched 4.2 innings total. Iowa certainly could have used Allgeyer last season. Surgery, however, robbed what could have been a great campaign and turned it into a number of long, grueling rehab sessions. Perhaps because of this, he’s been named a captain this season for Iowa. But with that behind him, the lefty is back. One of Iowa’s[...]

Iowa Baseball Preview: The Infield


Team captain Tyler Cropley will lead a new-look infield in 2018. While the Iowa Baseball squad gets ready to begin their 2018 campaign in Kissimmee, FL this weekend, we here at Black Heart Gold Pants are also getting gearing up for the start of college baseball. Yesterday, we ran a piece on Iowa’s 2018 schedule. Our season preview continues with a look at the infield. Rick Heller has a difficult job to do in 2018. The most popular topic of conversation this offseason has been about how Iowa will need to replace their entire starting rotation. It’s a huge deal - Iowa won 39 games on their way to being crowned Big Ten Tournament Champions last year, largely off the strength of their stellar pitching staff. While Heller has gone about organizing a new pitching staff for this year, he’s also quietly revamping his entire infield. Key Departures 1B Jake Adams: 61/61 GP/GS - .335 BA, 82 H, 14 2B, 29 HR, 72 RBI. .991 Fielding Percentage. SS Mason McCoy: 61/60 GP/GS - .328 BA, 83 H, 18 2B, 5 HR, 34 RBI. .974 Fielding Percentage. Of course, no one has really forgotten that Iowa will be without Jake Adams and Mason McCoy in 2018. How could you, when they combined for a .331 batting average, 34 home runs, and 106 RBI last season? Not only were they productive at the plate, but they also set the table for the rest of the lineup - they tied for the team lead with 55 runs scored apiece (although it’s probably important to note that Adams drove himself in 29/55 times). Their departures, as well as an injury to starting left fielder Chris Whelan, have forced the Hawkeyes to make some major adjustments on the infield. With all the major roster changes coming off an impressive season, Heller will have to be creative in order to replace their production in the lineup. The World University Games gave him a chance to experiment with players at different positions. Will he move his infielders around early and stick with a lineup? Go with committees to fill the vacancies all season? He has some intriguing combinations to work with. Catcher #5 Tyler Cropley (SR)2017: 61/59 GP/GS - .268 BA, 55 H, 8 2B, 9 HR, 36 RBI. .990 Fielding Percentage.University Games: 7/7 GP/GS - .273 BA, 6 H, 2 R, 4 RBI. Cropley comes into the 2018 season as a team captain and the incumbent starter at catcher. Even while he scuffled a bit at the plate for the first half of the season, he was a terrific defensive catcher - he rarely made mistakes and he helped lead a pitching staff that was utterly dominant for the majority of the season. With an entirely new pitching rotation this year, expect the senior to catch more often than not. Pair his defensive abilities with a bat that caught fire in the second half of 2017, and he should be a fixture in the middle of the lineup for the Hawkeyes in 2018. #20 Austin Guzzo (SR)2017: 32/22 GP/GS - .225 BA, 16 H, 1 2B, 2 HR, 10 RBI. 1.000 Fielding Percentage.WUG: DNP Guzzo saw a decent amount of action in 2017, but only four of his starts came behind the plate. The majority of his appearances came as Iowa’s DH. He’ll likely see limited action again in 2018 in the same role, particularly in games where Cropley starts in left or grabs some bench. #32 Brett McCleary (FR)2017 (HS): Iowa Newspaper Association all-state; .331 BA, 6 HR, 47 RBIWUG: 6/6 GP/GS - .292 BA, 7 H, 2 R, 2 RBI. #13 Matt Berst (FR)2017 (HS): Iowa Newspaper Association all-state; .416 BA, 9 2B, 6 HR, .491 OBP These two are likely to see very limited action in 2018 unless they can hop Guzzo on the depth chart. McCleary would be the favorite to do so after performing well in the World University Games, but redshirts appear likely here. First Base #3 Matt Hoeg (JR)2017: 60/56 GP/GS - .277 BA, 54 H, 16 2B, 5 HR, 38 RBI. .962 Fielding Percentage.WUG: 7/6 GP/GS - 3 starts at first base Hoeg seemed primed to take over for Jake Adams at first base this season before LF Chris Whelan went down with a UCL injury that required Tommy John surgery. He’s still likely to se[...]