Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Iowa Basketball Creates Stir

Iowa basketball coach Fran McCaffery signed a junior college player over the weekend and the whole state of Iowa is buzzing about it.

But this isn’t your usual buzz. The talk centers on the player’s personal life rather than his basketball skills.

McCaffery inked Anthony Hubbard a 26-year-old who served prison time in his younger years for armed robbery.

As you can imagine, the reaction has ranged from why Iowa is doing this to give the guy a second chance.

McCaffery said he has thoroughly checked out Hubbard and he comes to Iowa City with high personal marks.

In my mind, this is a curious addition. I wonder if behind closed doors, Iowa athletic director Gary Barta is wondering the same thing. Iowa’s other major sport—football—has been rocked with players in trouble with the law. You would think the athletic department would run from controversy not invite it.

But I guess we will have to give McCaffery the benefit of the doubt. He ran a clean program in year one at Iowa but this should tighten the microscope a bit.

On the court, Hubbard is an undeveloped player. He has played only two seasons of organized basketball all on the junior college level. He averaged over 20 points per game last season for a Maryland junior college.

McCaffery wanted people to start taking interest in Iowa basketball again. This move has definitely accomplished that objective.

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