Speculation is rife about the future of Iowa basketball coach Todd Lickliter. The Hawks have suffered through the two worst seasons in history the past two years. Some of that is not Lickliter's fault.
Steve Alford is a good coach as he is proving at New Mexico, but he was never a good fit for Iowa. His star system won a few Big Ten titles and some NCAA tournament bids, but it also produced the Pierre Pierce fiasco. That's not how we do things in Iowa, and every rumor of an opening at Indiana proved a distraction to the team. So good riddance to Alford. The decline in attendance began and only accelerated during his tenure.
Now on to Lickliter. He had a very young team this year who gained valuable experience and has a good recruiting class coming in next year. Transfers have been a problem which brings up two questions. Could he have done more to encourage these guys to stay? I'm not inside the program and so have no idea.
The question of should he have done more only requires my opinion, and I would say yes. That has been his biggest failing.
My guess as to Lickliter's future? Based on this young team's effort and the recruiting class coming in next season, I'd say he has one more year to produce at least a winning season if not an NCCA tournament bid.
My personal preference would be that Tom Davis had never been unceremoniously let go. Davis then began building the program at Drake and handed it off to his son last year who then took Drake to the tournament. Shortly after, he took the coaching job at a higher profile school out east. Does anyone seriously think that if Tom Davis had been retained and handed the program off to his son that the son would have left for greener pastures? You can't get much more big time than the Big Ten.
Enough. It is what it is, but I do miss those days when Hawkeye basketball was fun to watch. I'll give Lickliter another year. For now, good night.
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