The recent exodus from the Iowa basketball program has created an opportunity for the entrance of a life-long Hawkeye fan to be not just on the team, but to gain significant playing time.
Kurt Spurgeon, a 6-5 walk-on WF from Dewitt, IA is looming large in Iowa City now.
A native of Dewitt, Kurt has always dreamed of putting on the Black & Gold. However, the route to his basketball Mecca has been circuitous to say the least.
Spurgeon was recruited by Steve Alford at Southwest Missouri. Kurt accepted the offer before Steve left for Iowa City. Spurgeon played his first year at SMS and then took a medical red-shirt year for a problem with a disc in his back. Then he tranfered to Tyler Junior College, where he played for coach Mike Marquis. Many of you remember Mike from his days of coaching Jacob Jaacks and Jason Price at Marshalltown JC and Chauncey Leslie at Indian Hills.
Spurgeon played well last year as the following numbers attest. Kurt played in 30 games last year, averaging 9.1 points a game while shooting 41% from behind the arc (65-159).
However, when I caught up with Tyler Coach Mike Marquis, he added a lot of sizzle to the stats. "Kurt really had two seasons last year. Coming off a year of injury and inactivity he was rusty and tentative during the first half of the season. But by January he really became a good player. He must have shot 47% from behind the arc down that stretch", said coach Marquis. "He was much more athletic and a better defensive player also", added Mike.
Steve Alford told the National 'I' Club Board last Friday that he wants players that "Know what it means to put on an Iowa uniform!" Spurgeon certainly qualifies in that regard.
Look for Kurt to be getting some quality playing time this fall. Finally, he'll be diving for loose balls and draining threes for the team that he always wanted to play for.