Ask D: Iowa Mailbag March 4

Derek Young of Hawkeye Insider answers your weekly Iowa Hawkeyes questions.

AM I CRAZY TO THINK KIRK FERENTZ IS BETTER THAN HAYDEN FRY? HE HAS AN ELITE BOWL WIN, BIG TEN COACH OF THE YEAR FOUR TIMES, FIVE TOP TEN FINISHES COMPARED TO HAYDEN'S 2.

I think it is too early to compare the two, myself. Kirk Ferentz's accomplishments certainly speak for themselves and he's probably criticized much more than he should be. He deserved flak when the program started to tumble but not for being inept as a coach. Ferentz can still coach and he proved that this past year. He deserved criticism because they weren't reaching the same heights that they were in the past. Once he is finished, history will be kind to Kirk Ferentz at Iowa.

IF FRAN MCCAFFERY DOESN'T WIN AN NCAA TOURNAMENT GAME, IS HE ON THE HOT SEAT NEXT YEAR?

I don't think he'll be on the hot seat next year. He'll have taken Iowa to three straight NCAA Tournament appearances which is much better than it was before he took over so you have to be a realist. However, if the slide continues in poor fashion this season in combination with a possibly dreadful following season, then it may be time to discuss it. It may be. But he's been phenomal for the University of Iowa and has brought Carver-Hawkeye Arena back to life and instilled a lot of energy into the program that wasn't there before. He's been incredible.

FOR AS GOOD AS BIG TEN BASKETBALL HAS BEEN, WHY HAVE THEIR ONLY BEEN FOUR ABOVE AVERAGE BIG TEN PLAYERS IN THE NBA IN THE LAST TEN YEARS; VICTOR OLADIPO, ERIC GORDON, DRAYMND GREEN, AND DERON WILLIAMS?

I love this question. It provokes a lot of thought. Roughly, I think there's less one and done players in the Big Ten on a predominant basis. Michigan State has one and done players sometimes. Ohio State does sometimes. Indiana has here and there. But nobody else has most of the time. Quite frankly, the one and done players are the ones being drafted high and having great NBA careers when you look across the landscape. Also, Indiana had some down years thrown in there and now Illinois has been down. Michigan was down until recently. The Big Ten programs build their rosters differently. They aren't Kansas, Kentucky, Duke, North Carolina, Syracuse, UNLV, SMU, UCLA, or Arizona. 

I would contest that it is more than four. Evan Turner and Mike Conley have been above average for Ohio State plus D'Angelo Russell and Jared Sullinger are averaging double figures. Devin Harris from Wisconsin had an above average career. Trey Burke and Jamal Crawford from Michigan are averaging double figures. Gary Harris of Michigan State is averaging double figures. 

WHICH TWO GUYS ON IOWA'S ROSTER RIGHT NOW WILL HAVE THE BEST NFL CAREERS?

On offense, I like the potential of C.J. Beathard and George Kittle. You also almost have to look at the offensive line and James Daniels and Sean Welsh stand out there. Defensively, it's impossible not to like the future of Ben Niemann, Desmond King, and Jaleel Johnson. If you're asking me to single out two, I would say Desmond King and Jaleel Johnson.

DO YOU ANTICIPATE ANOTHER JUNE LIKE LAST YEAR WHEN SO MANY RECRUITS COMMITTED TO IOWA?

It's certainly possible because of the tailgater events they have established at that time of year. It's a great recruiting tool and sparks relationships between prospects, players, and coaches. The pieces are in place for it to happen again. I would not go as far as to say I anticipate it. It'll depend who is visiting that time of year, spots available, and the camps that they have.

WITH IOWA LOOKING AT MULTIPLE RUNNING BACKS AT THIS POINT, IS IT ONE TO SIGN OR WILL THEY WAIT TO SEE ON ENO BENJAMIN? IT SEEMS LIKE HIS RECRUITMENT MAY LAST ALL YEAR.

They took two last year so it's hard to see them doubling up at running back again. I think it will only be one. They'll want it to be Eno Benjamin and I doubt they'd jump on someone else if they still felt good about their chances with Benjamin. But they won't be held hostage by him and they can't be. They have to know so they aren't alone sitting at the altar on National Signing Day.

DREW OTT'S REDSHIRT DECISION BEING PASSED ON TO THE NCAA GIVES A LOT OF REASON FOR OPTIMISM, NO?

The Big Ten granted Iowa's request for it to be passed on to the NCAA so that sounds like a good thing to me. If they had rejected the medical waiver application, Iowa would then move on to the NCAA in their own right I believe on an appeal of their own. They don't ask the Big Ten if they can appeal it to the NCAA after they are rejected. The language was vague, but as I understood it, the Big Ten approved but passed it on to the NCAA for final approval. I would think that the NCAA would follow the Big Ten's lead since they seemed to investigate it for months but predicting what the NCAA will do is a tough task. 

Now, after they've put him through the ringer as much as they have so far, and still haven't come to a conclusion despite his career hanging in the balance, I would think that he has to be granted a fifth year.

WHAT IS THE SITUATION ON FRANK DARBY?

There's been no clarification surrounding the sitaution on Frank Darby from what I hear, positive or negative. It is still in 'wait and see' mode from what I gather.


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