The Shadow's 2001 Pre-Season Basketball Update

<p>Do you like tidbits of info? That is the real specialty of my friend, The Shadow. Read on as the Dark One has some news of note on Iowa basketball.

My friend, The Shadow, had a hard night of drinking beer to drown his sorrow after the Michigan Loss. Dick had fashionably over-served him at the Wig & Pen. Therefore, my call on Sunday morning was not exactly greeted with great warmth. His deep, gravely voice told me to proceed slowly and offer to buy breakfast. He accepted my invitation quickly and beat me to the Colony Village Restaurant. By the time I turned off I-80 at the Amana exit, he had already consumed a pot of coffee. He was sitting alone with the Register, Gazette, and Press Citizen spread out before him.

After eating a dozen or so scrambled eggs, a rasher of bacon and two cinnamon rolls, he uttered his first words. "Don't fans understand that Brad Banks has not grasped the offense yet? He will be a good quarterback but he needs more time to develop. I hope that the booing doesn't persist at the Minnesota game as there will be big-time recruits in attendance."

I asked what he thought about Iowa basketball. His answer is as follows:

1. Pierre Pierce is better than advertised as a point guard. His rangy 6-4 frame and long arms present an imposing defensive stopper for any opponent. He is unselfish with the ball, realizing his role on this team is to feed Reggie and Cool Hand Luke. He will get some points off the transition game as will Chauncey Leslie.

2. Erek Hansen will probably red-shirt. His 6-11 207 pound frame needs a year of lifting with Bill Maxwell and a lot of eating. He needs to add 25 pounds or so to take the pounding in the Big Ten. My Dark Friend didn't take kindly to my suggestion that Erek follow The Shadow's diet regimen.

3. Marcellus Sommerville is the other candidate to take a red-shirt year. Iowa is stocked at the wing. The depth of Duez Henderson and Glen Worley at forward and Luke Recker and Ryan Hogan at guard present little playing time opportunities for a true freshman. Marcellus will benefit greatly by improving his ball handling, perfecting his outside stroke and by adding ten pounds of muscle to his frame. Remember, he played CENTER in high school.

4. Kris Humphries, one of the top juniors in the nation, will visit Iowa on the weekend of November 17th. The 6-8 215 PF from Minnetonka, Minnesota is looking at big time programs. His list includes Iowa, Michigan State, UCLA, Arizona and other powerhouses. His sister is a swimmer at Texas. Although his father, William, played tackle for the Gophers, there is no hometown advantage. He wants to START as a freshman so schools with top incumbent power forwards need not apply. Kris would be a huge get for Steve Alford in his quest to continue the national power program that he has this year.

5. Jeff Horner is somewhat of an unknown quantity. Because he has played football and baseball in high school, his basketball development has not had the constant attention that other top players have had. Therefore, we don't know how good Jeff can become when he directs all his efforts on basketball. One thing for sure is that the ball is magic in his hands.

6. The emergence of Jeff Horner along with Chauncey Leslie and Brody Boyd will probably mean that Pierre Pierce plays the two guard his sophomore year. Recker and Hogan will both be gone and Pierce is the most logical candidate to fill the spot.

7. Don't write off Brody Boyd because of the series of injuries he has suffered. He will take a week off from practice to heal. Brody is a very tough cookie that will recover and be a STAR this year. He is a great shooter from three point land and will be a valuable asset for the Hawks down the stretch.

That's my take, but what do I know?


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