Insider Notebook: Behind the Scenes

A look behind the scenes at some insider notes related to Iowa men's basketball.

IOWA CITY, Ia. - Here are some news and notes nuggets on things I picked up during the search about the basketball situation. These are for Insider subscribers only:

-Todd Lickliter sensed his time at Iowa might be coming to an end as early as the game at Wisconsin on March 3. He started to express to some people around him that there might be a movement to remove him as Iowa coach and it included current players and athletic director Gary Barta.

I heard from a booster a few weeks ago that he spoke with Barta around that time and he also got the sense that a coaching change was coming.

I had heard during the season that some of the lettermen spoke during the season and considered putting together a petition asking for a change in leadership.

As a few people have pointed out on our premium board, you can read and listen to statements made by Barta, McCaffery, former players and other folks that speak directly to some of perceived Lickliter shortcomings.

-OK. This one I tweeted and posted on the board already. It was too interesting to keep to myself. John Lickliter had planned to transfer from Iowa after the semester even if his father was retained as coach.

I think it was a tough year on John even though he got to play at a level of basketball many of us could only dream about. He heard the criticism and I think realized the competition was above him.

I'd look for John to possibly surface at a lower level college in the Indianapolis area.

-I'm pretty sure Barta met with B.J. Armstrong. I can't say for sure if it was an interview or just to ask advice, but I get the sense that Barta wanted to see if he would work and didn't get the right vibe.

-Aaron Fuller has declined to be interviewed about the McCaffery hire. He turned down a request by the media on Monday after not talking to the university web site reporter a day earlier.

Aaron is a quiet kid and not the most comfortable in front of the media, but I find it a bit odd that he wouldn't talk to the university reporter for a fluff piece. It could mean something. It might not mean anything.

-I think there also is some merit to the idea that Brian Gregory might have been the top choice for the job or at least even with McCaffery.

Connecting some dots, I think Barta might have been worried that he could lose McCaffery because he was talking with St. John's and Seton Hall. Iowa's AD didn't feel comfortable waiting for Gregory to finish his season at Dayton before he'd talk about the position.

Gregory also makes almost $1M annually at Dayton while McCaffery is earning half that at Siena.

-Bobby Hansen sounded like there would be a former Iowa player added to McCaffery's staff.

I'd go for Kevin Gamble. He's run a program and can recruit Illinois.

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