Here’s an update on Iowa basketball entering Friday’s game at Iowa State:
McCaffery wants greater flexibility in his non-conference scheduling, which has entered the discussions involving Iowa, Iowa State, Northern Iowa and Drake about playing one another each year.
The Hawkeyes didn’t leave the state for a exempt tournament this year, which is unusual. Within the last five years Iowa has played tournaments in the Virgin Islands (2006, 2010), Kansas City (2009), Las Vegas (2008), and South Padre Island (2007). Iowa tentatively is scheduled to play in Cancun, Mexico next year, and McCaffery would like to schedule made-for-TV games against high-profile opponents. That’s part of the reason why Iowa and Iowa State are considering altering their annual scheduling plans with Northern Iowa and Drake. Iowa now rotates locations with all three state schools.
“What that does then is that limits whatever scheduling opportunities that you have,” McCaffery said. “Then I think what you have to do is you have to think about, ‘All right, we’ve got to have some flexibility because in any given year you might want to take on Kansas or Duke or North Carolina. You might have an opportunity to have a TV game like that. If you don’t have flexibility in your schedule, you can’t play games.
“You might have a team that’s not as good. You might want to downgrade your schedule. If you graduate everybody — I’ve had teams before that graduated 6,660 points. In that given year, you want to have a little bit of flexibility if you try to get some easier games. So it’s going to be a function of what experience you have, what your philosophy is overall going forward.
“Obviously for me, when I have a good team, I want to take everybody on. I want to be on television. I think it’s our responsibility to do that. I think you have to look at the big picture moving forward and I think that’s what everybody’s doing.”
Senior point guard Bryce Cartwright did not practice on Wednesday after injuring his hamstring against Brown last Saturday. Cartwright did not play against Northern Iowa, and it’s doubtful he will against Iowa State on Friday. The Hawkeyes travel to Ames today.
“I would say, he hasn’t done anything since the Brown game,” Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery said. “We’re heading up today. I don’t see him practicing tonight. He hasn’t run since the Brown game. That doesn’t bode well for him playing Friday night.”
Sophomore Devyn Marble likely will make his second straight start at the point, replacing Cartwright.
McCaffery said “I have no regrets” when asked about getting ejected following two technical fouls against Northern Iowa. He said he can’t send in tapes to the Big Ten because, “the Big Ten office did not assign that crew so I have nowhere to assign tapes to.”
He also said the officiating crew is a part of any discussion before signing a contract with another school.
“I think that’s part of any contract negotiation when it comes to doing games,” McCaffery said. “Any time you schedule anybody, that’s discussed. I don’t think it would be anything unique to this.”
John Higgins, the official who tossed McCaffery against Northern Iowa, was part of last year’s crew that worked the Iowa-Iowa State game in Iowa City. McCaffery received a technical foul in that game when the score was 46-45 last year.
Paul Jannsen, one of the other officials in Tuesday’s game, will work Friday night in Ames. Jannsen and Higgins also officiated the 2009 game in Ames.
McCaffery also expressed displeasure with his team’s early-season television schedule. Only three preseason games were scheduled to a national audience — Creighton, Clemson and Drake. Most of the rest were available either through state outlets or online only.
“I think you want exposure in the state, but we want exposure nationally as well,” he said. “I think that’s what the Big Ten Network is. Obviously we aren’t pleased with TV schedule. But the reality is we’ve got to play better. That’s just a fact. I think as we do that we’ll get more games on the Big Ten Network, we’ll have more opportunities to play on ESPN, more opportunities to play on the major networks. That where we want to get this program. I don’t think I’m doing anything more than stating the obvious in regard to that.”