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It’s All About Fran the Man

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  • Fran McCaffery goes from no-name to household name in one day. Only in Iowa.
  • No red flags from McCaffery’s news conference. I was impressed. He knew what needed to be said, and heard.
  • McCaffery will run an up-tempo offense and, at times, pressure defense. This shows Gary Barta listened to the fans (and Bobby Hansen). Fans want to see a return to the style of the 80s and 90s. This is a start. Of course, it only looks really good when it leads to wins.
  • McCaffery has turned three programs around and taken all three to the NCAA tournament. This is different from Todd Lickliter, who took an already good Butler team and made it slightly better (and since Lickliter left, it’s only improved more).
  • McCaffery stressed recruiting over and over with reason. This remains the key and great unknown. Without the players, you can’t win in the Big Ten. (Well, Tom Izzo could probably take Iowa with last season’s players to the Final Four.)
  • Lickliter’s players felt no closeness to their coach. McCaffery has players to his house all the time and gives out more hugs than Oprah. Can’t hurt. Also nice to see Fran the Man reaching out to former players.
  • McCaffery knows Carver-Hawkeye Arena once rocked, and now snores. He already had a meeting on how to wake the place up. This is key.
  • Winning fixes everything, everywhere.
  • Gary Barta got off a good joke about installing a seat belt at CHA for McCaffery’s wife. She was once tossed out of a game for yelling at the refs. Any energy is welcome right now.
  • Six year contract? Why give a coach unproven at this level six years?
  • McCaffery may look like your accountant or dentist, but he doesn’t lack swagger. He’s had a lot of success, and he’ll let you know it.
  • All told, I was impressed by McCaffery. Unlike Lickliter, and especially Gene Chizik at Iowa State, I think McCaffery does understand what he’s getting into. That’s important.
  • Fans have already passed through the stages of a hiring: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Acceptance.
  • Some nuggets confirmed on the Murph & Andy Show by key search commitee member Bobby Hansen, who knows better than perhaps anyone exactly what Iowa needs in a coach: Bruce Pearl, Lon Kruger, Jamie Dixon were all on the list, but too expensive to even pursue a conversation. Brian Gregory and Doug Wojcik were the other finalists with McCaffery, who was Bobby’s top choice. Gary Barta did interview BJ Armstrong, but with no coaching experience, was an outside the box choice.
  • We won’t really know how Fran McCaffery worked out for a couple years, but he’s off to a good start. That’s all you can ask at this point.
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