This was supposed to be Iowa's unveiling to a national television audience on CBS. Hopefully, potential recruits were glued to the NFL playoff game of the Green Bay Packers versus the San Francisco 49ers on Fox. I captured all the Iowa highlights and crowd excitement on my Polaroid Land Camera.
The tradeoff in the first half left little to be desired for Iowa. Indiana hit unguarded three point baskets while Reggie Evans threw up a few bricks. Evans, Iowa's strongman, finished the first half with an uncharacteristic goose egg next to his name in the scoring column. Meanwhile, Iowa's golden boy Hoosier turned Hawk Hero, Luke Recker, had scored a grand total of two points.
Luke hadn't practiced all week due to an injury while Reggie had missed two days of practice due to illness. We're not going to make excuses," Recker said. "We have been sick, we've had a few injuries, but there are no excuses. Indiana had a great game plan and they executed it."
The lone bright spot for Iowa was the play of Ryan Hogan off the bench. While Hogan led Iowa with 15 points, he had no fellow heroes today.
Mike Davis, the unpopular head coach at Indiana, did a superb job of preparing his troops for Iowa. All week I had kept hearing from Indiana faithful that this would be Davis' first and last year under contract as the General's successor. Whether these Hoosier fans are suffering from Knight vision or just don't like the Myles Brand style of basketball remains to be seen. Today belonged to Mike Davis
"It really helped us to come into this environment and keep our composure," Davis said. "I thought there were a couple of situations that if this would have been the same team as last year, we would have lost our composure."
Hoosier soph Jared Jeffries dominated inside with 26 points. However, he was resting in the first half when Iowa got their last lead at 22-21. Three straight three pointers by Kyle Hornsby and Tom Coverdale started the run and led to a 40-29 Hoosier halftime advantage.
This was not the same Iowa team that overcame a 17 point Hoosier halftime lead last year. The energy level and meshing of gears wasn't there today.
The Hawks closed to within 5 points in the second half but Indiana's agressive man to man defense sapped Iowa's strength.
On a day when there was little to be happy about for Iowa, I was happy for Mike Davis. He's a good man that may never be Knighted by the Hoosier faithful. Shame on them.