Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Iowa Trip Redux

Two weeks ago, I was locked out from posting by Blogger. I think I liked it a bit too much, because I’ve got no excuses for the last two days of absence, other than the fact that I’ve simply neglected to write about (or watch, for that matter) basketball (though I could kick myself for missing two huge games that I had targeted the last two nights). I’m working on regaining my diligence, but it’s not an easy task this year.

Anyway, it was a tiring hoops weekend down at Coe College (we never did get to Iowa City), where I went with my friends Beau and Greg to watch their old high school coach, now the head coach at Coe, in action. In two nights we saw the Kohawks in action against Luther College Dubuque College. I saw better basketball than I had expected (Coe went 2-0 on the weekend), and got to experience the charming Coe College gym, one of the smaller venues, even for division three, that I have ever seen. A few quick notes below:

1) Despite the student section for Coe being dubbed "The Nut House," it was not exactly the craziest assembly of students that I’ve ever seen. Although, I did highly enjoy their student section t-shirts, dubbing each of them "Coe-ko-nuts." Even if their voices didn’t overwhelm the gym, bonus points to the students for creativity there.

2) Obviously, big thanks to Coe’s coach Jukem, who in addition to getting us into the game free of charge, was gracious enough to join us out post-game on Saturday night to talk about hoops and anything else that you could think of. Experiences like that are why I hang out with guys like Beau and Greg. I may not know anyone legitimate in the basketball world, but I’m great at riding the coattails of friends that do.

3) Coe’s nickname is the Kohawks. This past weekend they played the Luther Norse, and the Dubuque Duhawks. This begs the question–why are the nicknames at liberal arts colleges in Iowa (and for that matter, Minnesota) so absolutely painful?

4) Each of the nights that we attended games, the Coe staff had recruits that they wanted to talk to in attendance, and were planning other recruit meetings set up throughout the weekend. Seeing this up close, it struck me that division three recruiting must be a much more annoying ordeal than division one recruiting. If you’re the big state school like Wisconsin or Iowa, a lot of your recruiting work is pretty straightforward, since you’re typically going to be pursuing the top couple of guys in your state. If you’re a division three program, though, you must have to cast a ridiculously wide net, since variables such as desire to attend a small school, ability to get in academically, and ability to pay for a small private school all come into play. Oh yeah, and you need to be able to play ball, too. Filling out a division three roster is not a task I’d want to tackle.

5) Post-game on Saturday night, my group of people hung around the gym for several minutes after the game. It surprised me how many members of the team continued to mill around the gym, with one of the players actually being told by an assistant to stop working on his shooting and go home for the night. Didn’t these guys know that it was Saturday night, and they had partying to do? When you’re 20 years old, there’s no questions--that’s what you’re supposed to do on Saturday.

Indeed, my friends and I were a bit more diligent about getting to our post-game excitement. Ultimately, the weekend wore us down to the point where the original Sunday stop-off in Iowa City was nixed, and I ended up enjoying the game with Beau on the radio (Note to the Iowa announcing team–it’s not pronounced Joe "Kray-ben-hoft." Did you even try to learn proper pronounciations?) while we drove back to Milwaukee. While I would have liked to have seen the game, getting back early wasn’t the worst thing in the world, since I’m always a fan of relaxation on a Sunday night (and I wanted to get home before the Home Depot closed). I just wished my DVR hadn’t recorded the wrong channel, leaving me with no way to actually watch the game. All in all, it was a great weekend, though.

Back tomorrow with thoughts on Wisconsin-Indiana, which should be fairly scary tonight.


At 12:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would you now say you are kookoo for Coe Kohawks?

At 6:07 PM, Blogger Dez said...

"the weekend wore us down to the point where the original Sunday stop-off in Iowa City was nixed"

I don't even know who you are anymore.

At 8:44 PM, Anonymous Wally said...

Chris West should count his lucky stars that he got to spend time with the Holy Trinity of Roncalli Hoops - Stelzer, Sanders and Juckem.

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