Last night was another incredibly depressing game for the Hawkeyes as they found a way to lose to Michigan 80-78 in Overtime. Some people are complaining about the fact that the Hawkeyes didn't foul with time running down in regulation to avoid Michigan firing a three pointer, but Michigan is not a good three point shooting team so I agree with that call. What angered me about last night's game was on Iowa's possession before when they had a two-point lead and threw it in to Cully Payne. Payne is barely over 50% on free throw attempts this season, and has been awful lately. They should have tried to find any way to get the ball into Gatens with May as a second option. But I digress.
With this Iowa season almost over, I wanted to run down Iowa's roster from my least favorite players to my favorite players. Also, I will always try to end on a positive note.
First, the list of guys who did not qualify for my list: Nick Neari and Devon Archie. I don't think I've seen either of these guys on the court this year, so I really can't comment on them.
9. Andrew Brommer - Brommer loves to foul and hates to be worth a shit. He is slow, awkward, and bad on defense. When he is in, bad things happen for the Hawkeyes, and unlike the next guy, he's a scholarship player.
On the bright side, he appears to be doing well in the classroom.
8. John Lickliter - Todd's kid. He's small, unathletic, and he takes stupid shots. Plus, he is the only Hawkeye that sports the white tee underneath his jersey. Obviously, we wish Anthony Tucker could have handled his alcohol when he is on the floor. But he does give effort.
He is shooting 75% from the line, so we might want him shooting free throws instead of Payne at the end of games.
7. Brennan Cougill - Cougill's outside shooting was a big help in an ugly game at Indiana, but then he thought he was a three point shooter. I do not want anyone taking three point shots that can't jump, so Cougill should not be hanging out behind the arc. Without jumping, it makes him tough to be a great inside presence, but he has shown a little ability to sneak some rebounds when he isn't hanging out in Devan Bawinkel territory.
The good news is he is Iowa's largest player and actually looks like the size of an NCAA big man.
6. Devan Bawinkel - His defense makes Brommer look All-World. He might actually be less athletic than Lickliter. He doesn't move on offense; he just finds a spot and waits.
He can shoot threes. He realizes that's all he can do, and doesn't try to kid himself by doing other things. I can respect that.
5. Cully Payne - Cully really needs to hit free throws. Having a point guard who can't do that is a recipe for defeat. He's inexperienced and that shows a lot of times as he makes some dumb mistakes with turnovers and attempting shots.
But he is pretty damn quick, and he seems to be able to penetrate at will. I'd definitely like to see more of that, especially if he can learn free throws. When he's on the court, Lickliter isn't, so that's also a bonus he has going for him.
4. Jarryd Cole - There really isn't much to say about Cole. He works hard, but he's undersized. He gets into foul trouble, which leads to Brommer minutes. The guy isn't anything special, but if he only had to be a role player, he'd be phenomenal.
3. Matt Gatens - He doesn't look like he's trying out there a lot of times. He takes bad shots, and a lot of times his drives lead him into really bad positions. This was a year where the Hawks needed him to take a big step forward, and it looks like he's regressed.
On the other hand, he is still the most talented player the Hawkeyes have. At times, you'll see glimpses of what he can do on the court, and I think that he will take a big step forward next year when Iowa is able to bring in some more talented players.
2. Aaron Fuller - Although he is our smallest big man, Fuller is probably the best. Nobody crashes the boards better than him, and last night was an awesome example of it. He destroyed everybody on Michigan, and it was awesome. If Fuller were three inches taller, he'd be heading to the NBA. He isn't, so he won't, but he's still a fun Hawkeye to watch.
1. Eric May - The man. May is awesome in so many ways that I don't care that he takes stupid shots a lot of times. He steals the ball, and he could probably block a shot from Manute Bol. He hustles nonstop, and he is by far the most fun Hawkeye to watch this season. When I heard Dan Majerle comparisons early on this season, I was skeptical, but this guy deserves them. He is that awesome.
As bad as the Hawkeyes have been this year, there is talent on this team, and everybody is raving about the incoming class of freshman for next season. I'm actually starting to get excited for the future of Hawkeye basketball. As long as he's given a chance, I think Todd Lickliter will have the Hawks will be in the NCAA Tournament within two years.
If not, I do know of a great guy coaching down in New Mexico...