Todd Lickliter’s house is for sale in Iowa City, but he’s not moving out of the area

May 29, 2009
1100 N. Dubuque St.

1100 N. Dubuque St.

Iowa men’s basketball coach Todd Lickliter’s home is for sale. The home, which is located at 1100 N. Dubuque St., is listed for $1.2 million. Here’s the listing through Lepic-Kroeger Realtors:

However, it appears Lickliter isn’t going to leave the Iowa City area, said Tom Lepic, co-owner of the real estate company.

“They are looking to purchase a different home, and they’ve already found that home,” Lepic said. “They’re just looking to sell theirs now.

“They’re not going anywhere. They’re just moving from one home to another.”

Lickliter and his family are in Greece, along with the Iowa men’s basketball team, following their three-game exhibition tour.


Quick look at Kinnick Stadium’s new FieldTurf

May 29, 2009

 

Here's the north end zone of Kinnick Stadium with new FieldTurf. (Scott Dochterman/The Gazette)

Here's the north end zone of Kinnick Stadium with new FieldTurf. (Scott Dochterman/The Gazette)

 

Here's a view of Kinnick Stadium's new FieldTurf looking north to south. (Scott Dochterman/The Gazette)

Here's a view of Kinnick Stadium's new FieldTurf looking north to south. (Scott Dochterman/The Gazette)

 

This view is from the northwest bleachers looking at Kinnick Stadium's new FieldTurf. (Scott Dochterman/The Gazette)

This view is from the northwest bleachers looking at Kinnick Stadium's new FieldTurf. (Scott Dochterman/The Gazette)

IOWA CITY — The end zones are black. The hash marks are cut. The surface is light and shaggy.

Kinnick Stadium’s latest makeover was unveiled Friday with plush new FieldTurf, a synthetic fiber that appears and feels like grass.

Iowa now is the seventh Big Ten school to install FieldTurf as its football playing surface. Iowa’s football program already had two practice fields with a similar version of FieldTurf.

The shift to FieldTurf ended two decades of a grass field at Kinnick Stadium, which became a hot button topic among Iowa football fans. Annual maintenance cost savings were one factor in switching to FieldTurf, Iowa senior associate athletics director Jane Meyer said Friday.

“We looked at putting in real grass again,” she said. “We looked at putting in the type of infill surface that we did. And we weighed the options in regards to maintenance and with regards to how long a grass turf field would last. At that point we just sort of presented those options and said, you know what, the way we’re going to move forward is by putting in an infill product in. (Iowa Coach) Kirk (Ferentz) was supportive of that.”

The FieldTurf surface is a combination of multicolored fibers for each section of the field. The green portion between the goal lines is shaved in different spots for hash marks. Workers will sew in the yardmarkers and glue in the Tiger-Hawk emblem in each end zone.

The surface is slightly different from those at The Bubble and Iowa’s outdoor practice field. Kinnick’s new surface has a monofilament fiber, while the older turf models had one strand with three fibers at the top. Kinnick’s surface still requires a sand and rubber infill, which will fill in all but about a 1/2-inch of a 2 1/2-inch fiber.

The project’s budget is $2.025 million, and Meyer said the department will finish under budget and likely ahead of the scheduled Aug. 1 completion date. The department has an eight-year warranty with FieldTurf, a Canadian company, with hopes the surface will last up to 15 years. The state Board of Regents approved the project in February, and work began March 12.

Kinnick Stadium’s drainage problems led to the new surface. Thedrainage system was installed in 1989, and drainage tiles below the playing surface were plugged. It caused a near disaster with heavy rain on Sept. 13 before the Iowa State-Iowa football game.

“We had about three inches of water sitting on the 30-yard line south,” Meyer said. “And so at that point, even though we had known we had an issue, it just escalated and heightened our awareness.”

The new drainage system allows for water to flow away from the stadium, both under the field and under the grandstands.

Iowa also has new goal posts in each end zone. Neither are the style of older goal posts designed to keep fans from tearing them down.


Ex-Hawk Aaron Kampman keeps quiet about position switch

May 29, 2009

Per the Green Bay Press-Gazette, it appears former defensive end and current outside linebacker Aaron Kampman is unhappy with the move. Here’s the article:

http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/article/20090528/PKR01/90528143/1058


Cole, Fuller pace Iowa men in final exhibition

May 29, 2009

Iowa’s final opponent canceled so the Hawkeyes played only three games in Europe, finished 2-1. Here’s the game story from today’s game in Greece, courtesy of Iowa associate sports information director Steve Roe:

ATHENS, GREECE — The University of Iowa pulled away in the fourth quarter to take an 85-72 win over the Dukas Club team in its third exhibition game.  The Hawkeyes end the tour with a 2-1 record.  A fourth game scheduled for Sunday had to be cancelled due to the club team opponent ending their season and not being available.

 Against Dukas, Iowa used a 26-14 scoring advantage in the fourth period to pull away.  Aaron Fuller connected on back-to-back three-point baskets to key Iowa’s scoring spurt to close the game.  His first trey gave Iowa a 62-61 advantage.  Cole followed Fuller’s spurt with a jumper and Devan Bawinkel added a three-pointer to give the Hawkeyes some breathing room.

 Dukas featured a seven-foot center that dominated play early, as the host team built a six point advantage at the end of the first period.  Iowa held a 25-16 advantage in the second period and held a 42-39 halftime after advantage after Devan Bawinkel hit a three-point shot just before the end of the period.

 The third period was even before Iowa pulled away over the final 10 minutes.  Iowa was able to secure the win, despite a 31-13 disadvantage in free throw attempts.  Iowa shot 53.2% from the field and 31.3% from three-point range.  Iowa made 9-13 free throw attempts, compared to 17-31 for Dukas.

 Led by Cole and Fuller, Iowa dominated the rebounding by a 40-25 margin.  Fuller had 14 rebounds and Cole collected 11.  Cole led Iowa’s scoring with 27 points, hitting 12-of-16 field goal attempts.  Fuller added 19 points, hitting 7-9 field goals.  Anthony Tucker scored 16 and Matt Gatens led the team with seven assists.

 “I was pleased with the way we battled today,” said Iowa Coach Todd Lickliter.  “This was the best team we played, and I think we played our best basketball.  We had good balance inside and outside, with Jarryd and Aaron really being aggressive with their inside play.  We shot the ball better today, and that’s tough when you have been on the road and haven’t practiced.”

 With the cancellation of Sunday’s game, the Hawkeyes end the tour with a 2-1 record.  “I think we improved and grew in a number of ways,” added Lickliter about the three games.  The entire trip has been outstanding, but we have also really seen some growth from these seven guys and their play since the end of the season.”

 The contest vs. the Dukas Club team was played in front of a crowd of young students who cheered the home team during the game, yet gathered around the Hawkeye players for autographs and handshakes when the game was completed.


Big Ten football fans like Cotton as next league bowl

May 28, 2009
Although this building won't host the annual Cotton Bowl any longer, many fans want the bowl to select a Big Ten team, according to an online poll.

Although this building won't host the annual Cotton Bowl any longer, many fans want the bowl to select a Big Ten team, according to an online poll.

It’s hardly a scientific poll, but you’d be hard-pressed to find one today online.

On this blog, readers were asked which non-Big Ten bowl would they like added to the Big Ten lineup. Overwhelmingly, readers chose the Cotton Bowl.

Forty-nine percent (213 votes) of the 435 votes cast picked the Dallas-area bowl. San Diego’s Holiday  Bowl finished second with 29 percent (128 votes). Others receiving votes include the Gator Bowl (10 percent) in Jacksonville, Fla., the Atlanta-based Peach Bowl (OK, so it’s called the Chick-fil-A Bowl) with 7 percent and Memphis’ Liberty Bowl (3 percent). The category “Other” also received 3 percent.

The Cotton Bowl has more tradition than any bowl outside of the Bowl Championship Series, crowning a national champion or dislodging the top-ranked team seven times. But it moved to also-ran status in 1995 with the Bowl Coalition and a year later with the break-up of the Southwest Conference. It now hosts the Big 12 runner-up against usually the SEC’s fourth-best team.

Five of the Big Ten’s seven bowl agreements expire after the upcoming football season, including contracts with the Capital One, Outback, Alamo, Champs and Motor City bowls. The Big Ten has four years left on its contracts with the Rose and Insight bowls.

The Cotton Bowl’s agreements with the SEC and Big 12 expire after the upcoming season as well. It’s unlikely the bowl ever will sever ties with the Big 12. The Big 12 includes four former Southwest Conference schools and the SWC champion anchored the bowl from 1941 through 1996.

The Cotton Bowl would like to rejoin college football’s top-tiered bowl games as a BCS member. The bowl is leaving its long-time venue in Dallas for a $1 billion palace with a retractable roof in Arlington this year. The open-air venue (which saw its share of frigid weather and snowstorms) was one reason why it was left out of the BCS nearly 15 years ago. (The other, some say, is athletic directors like playing golf in Phoenix with no chance of rain/snow rather than crossing their fingers and hoping for the best in Dallas.)

The league has expressed concern with Orlando’s stadium, which hosts the Capital One and Champs bowls. The Citrus Bowl is 73 years old and a $175 million renovation plan has fallen by the wayside during the current recession.

The Capital One Bowl boasts the highest payout of any non-BCS bowl at $4.25 million per team, while the Cotton Bowl pays around $3.3 million. But the Cotton Bowl features tradition and recruiting possibilities. It’s possible if the Cotton Bowl sweetens the pot near Capital One Bowl levels, the Big Ten might jump at moving its second-place team to Dallas against the Big 12′s No. 2 team. Some years, like last year, that might mean Texas Tech vs. Michigan State. Other years, that could pit Michigan vs. Oklahoma.

Coincidentally, only one Big Ten school has played in the Cotton Bowl. Ohio State beat Texas A&M 28-12 on Jan. 1, 1987.Penn State had played in three Cotton Bowls, but each appearance came before the Nittany Lions joined the Big Ten.

The Holiday Bowl featured a Big Ten team from 1986 through 1994. Iowa played in three Holiday Bowls in that span, winning two games by a point each (39-38 against San Diego State; 20-19 against Wyoming) and tying Brigham Young 13-13 in the other. Iowa also has played in two Peach Bowls (a 28-22 win against Tennessee in 1982; a 28-23 loss to North Carolina State in 1988) and one Gator Bowl (a 14-6 loss in 1983 to Florida). Iowa never has played in the Liberty Bowl, which last hosted a Big Ten team in 1994. Illinois lost the 1982 Liberty Bowl 21-15 to Alabama featuring legendary Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant in his final game.

Iowa nearly played in the 1986 Cotton Bowl, mainly because of then-Coach Hayden Fry’s relationship with bowl officials. Had Iowa lost its final game and not won the Big Ten title, Cotton Bowl officials planned to offer Iowa the slot against Texas A&M. Instead, Iowa beat Minnesota and claimed a Rose Bowl berth. The Cotton Bowl selected Auburn and its Heisman Trophy running back Bo Jackson.


Wyatt Suess keeps level-headed approach to joining Iowa football

May 27, 2009

Cedar Rapids Washington quarterback Wyatt Suess (17) runs for a gain of three yards against Cedar Falls in a semifinal playoff game at the UNI Dome in Cedar Falls on Nov. 14, 2008.

Cedar Rapids Washington quarterback Wyatt Suess (17) runs for a gain of three yards against Cedar Falls in a semifinal playoff game at the UNI Dome in Cedar Falls on Nov. 14, 2008.

Wyatt Suess went out for track to get in shape for football.

The Cedar Rapids Washington senior is a preferred walk-on at Iowa this fall and wanted to gain some speed before hitting the field this fall. Suess led off Washington’s 4×100-meter relay team that finished fifth at state last weekend. Washington ended up winning the state meet, its first state track title since 1977.

“Obviously, we’re really happy about this,” Suess said moments after the relay team clinched the state title. “It’s pretty exciting for us.”

Suess, the son of former Iowa starting quarterback Phil Suess, now is focused on football. He’s the only recruited quarterback in this year’s class but immediately finds himself at best fourth on the depth chart. As of right now, he’s OK with that.

“I  just want to go in there and show them what I’ve got and if it works out, maybe I’ll move up the depth chart,” Suess said. “It is an advantage coming in. I don’t have a ton of expectations.

 Washington football video

“This summer I’m going to try to work really hard and get my strength up and my speed up. It’s mainly why I came out for track and for a state title. The next few years I know I’m not going to play, but I’m going to work hard and hopefully get a scholarship eventually and just make the team better and do the best I can.”

Suess stands 6-foot-4 and weighs 215 pounds. He earned Class 4A all-state honors last fall for Washington, throwing for 3,163 yards, 24 touchdowns and only five interceptions. Suess helped Washington reach the state semifinals in football and also helped lead Washington to the basketball substate finals.

Suess will join former teammate Keenan Davis at Iowa. Davis was an all-state wide receiver at Washington and also played basketball and ran track with Suess this year.

With his size and speed, Suess has left open the possibility to switching positions at Iowa.

“I’ve just got to work hard,” he said. “If I switch positions, then I’ll switch positions. Just do anything I can do to get on the field.

“If they want me to move positions, then track has helped me get my speed up. It’ll help me in the long run.”


Lickliter likes how new captains lead Hawkeyes

May 26, 2009
Iowa's Devan Bawinkel (15) pulls up for a three-point shot over Ohio State's Walter Offutt (3) and Jon Diebler (33) during the second half of their college basketball game Tuesday, March 3, 2009 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City. Bawinkel went 8 for 13 from behind the three-point line. Iowa lost 60-58.  (Brian Ray/The Gazette)

Iowa's Devan Bawinkel (15) pulls up for a three-point shot over Ohio State's Walter Offutt (3) and Jon Diebler (33) during the second half of their college basketball game Tuesday, March 3, 2009 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City. Bawinkel went 8 for 13 from behind the three-point line. Iowa lost 60-58. (Brian Ray/The Gazette)

IOWA CITY — Iowa men’s basketball coach Todd Lickliter isn’t averse to providing surprises when it comes to naming captains.

Last year he tabbed then-sophomore Jarryd Cole as a co-captain along with senior Cyrus Tate. It didn’t matter to Lickliter that Cole was coming off season-ending surgery for a torn ACL in his left knee. It mattered even less than Tate and Cole shared the same position.

This year, Lickliter tabbed Cole and incoming senior Devan Bawinkel as his captains. Cole, a junior this fall, was a given considering his previous status. The move to install Bawinkel as a co-captain shocked the player as much as anyone.

“Extremely surprised,” Bawinkel said. “He called me into his offense and I didn’t know what to expect, and he said, ‘We’re thinking about naming you co-captain. So I was in shock a little bit, but I was excited. I was just fortunate to be named that.”

Bawinkel, a 6-foot-5 guard, is the team’s only incoming senior but is entering only his second season with the program. He played one season at West Virginia before transferring to a Highland (Ill.) Junior College. He played in all 32 games last year (starting nine), but he was strictly one-dimensional on offense. He attempted 144 shots, but 139 were 3-point attempts. 

Bawinkel’s persona also drew wrinkles from many Iowa basketball observers about the choice. Bawinkel often keeps to himself and brings a low-key approach.

“The vocal part is not really my style,” he said. “I’m more of a quiet guy … just people should do just what is expected of them. I really don’t actually feel like I should tell them. At the same time I know they look for me to be more vocal.”

Lickliter wants Bawinkel to become more assertive on the floor as well as off the court. That includes shooting the ball almost at will.

“I don’t want him to hesitate,” Lickliter said. “I wanted him in position to shoot it, and we need for our other guys to be able to make some plays and get inside the defense. That’s what we worked on a lot, because he should spread the floor for us. And if they collapse, then he should be ready.

“I thought last year his shot preparation needed to be better because either he didn’t shoot it or he was a little bit late and contested. If he’s ready to shoot the ball, and we can deliver it with some precision, he’s a very capable shooter.”

Cole struggled to regain his explosiveness on the court following knee surgery. He started nine games last year and said he’s in good health.

Cole, a 6-7-center, also is a quiet leader who prefers to lead by example.

“I’ve said this time and time again, but I’m not really an authoritative-type figure,” Cole said. “I don’t mind talking by any means. If people need to hear something I’ll make sure that they do hear it. I’m not going to go out of my way to tell somebody that they’re doing something wrong. I’m always going to congratulate them.”

As the team prepares for its second of four exhibitions games in Europe, Lickliter raves about how his upcoming captains are leading the seven-member team.

“Jarryd is doing terrific,” Lickliter said. “I wish I were that healthy. He’s got great strength, and he’s a terrific leader. He and Devan are leading. I really appreciate the way they’ve embraced being captains.”


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