I spent a night in Corpus Christi, Texas. It involved Iowa basketball.
I flew in and out of Corpus when covering Iowa in the South Padre Island Invitational in 2007. It was Todd Lickliter’s first season as Iowa’s coach. The Hawkeyes lost 67-56 to Bradley, then fell in the third-place game to Utah State, 75-62. Which made it a sign of things to come.
However, it rained. Rained hard. And the wind blew. Blew hard. I kind of got a sense of what a hurricane might start to look like. I also got a sense of what it was like to be at a resort town in the off-season. They hold that basketball tourney there just to get some people in on the island. It doesn’t bring that many.
As for Corpus Christi-Texas A&M’s (oops, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi’s) basketball team, it’s nothing to get too excited about. The Islanders are 1-4. They have lost to Denver, Utah State, Houston and Toledo in their last four games after opening the season with a win over Division III Texas Lutheran.
Here’s quite the stat: Islander Nate Maxey had nine blocked shots in the 77-75 home loss to Houston on Sunday, eight of them in the first-half alone. He also had five dunks in the game. The 6-foot-11 Maxey has a 7-foot-10 wingspan. If Iowa’s Adam Woodbury is to “tall up,” as Coach Fran McCaffery recommended this week, a good time to start would be against Maxey on Saturday afternoon in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Oh yes, TAMU-CC also lost an exhibition game to University of the Incarnate Word, 68-56. Incarnate Word is a Division II school in San Antonio that intends to upgrade to Division I.
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi will play Texas A&M in College Station on Dec. 18. That’s a lot of Texas A&Ms in one place.
TAMU-CC’s coach is Willis Wilson, who has said this:
“We want to be the premier program in the Southland Conference and follow down the paths of a Butler, Gonzaga, George Mason or Virginia Commonwealth.”
The Southland Conference is home to Northwestern State. I’m sure you Hawkeye fans are familiar with that team’s single-greatest basketball day.
Wilson’s career record at TAMU-CC is 7-28, but Butler wasn’t built in a day.
The Islanders’ leading scorer is Will Nelson. Perfect for Texas, eh? Willie Nelson. Get it?
Alas, Nelson isn’t a Texan. He’s from Port Allen, La. Another Islander, freshman Dale Francis, is from Leighton Buzzard, England. To me, Leighton Buzzard sounds like it would be from Texas.
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