Siouxland basketball fans had the rare opportunity to watch four of their own play for the Hawkeye basketball team this past season. Adam Woodbury, Mike Gesell and Zach McCabe were a big part of Iowa's 25-win season and a second place finish in the NIF, along with walk-on Chris Rickert.
Basketball is a big part of this year's Siouxland I-Club banquet. Head coach Fran McCaffery led Iowa to 25 wins, the most Iowa has had in seven years.
McCaffery reached the 300-win mark for his career this past season and in three years at Iowa, his Big Ten wins have gone from four to eight, to nine. The Hawks only lose one scholarship senior next season and expectations are rising.
"Next year they're going to be really high and rightfully so," said McCaffery. "In a lot of publications, a lot of people have picked us in the top 25. We welcome that challenge. I think we have really good players and now we're an experienced team. We're going to have a really good team but we're going to have to recognize what that challenge means. It's one thing to be ranked, it's another thing to stay ranked."
The Hawkeye wrestling team is another program with high expectations. Iowa finished undefeated in Big Ten dual action for the fifth time under head coach Tom Brands.
They also had a national champion in Derek St. John this season and finished fourth overall at nationals. But the Sheldon, Iowa, native says they could do better.
"Regardless of what the landscape is, we need to be at the top. As a competitor, you want to be the best and you can ensure that and you can control that," Brands said. "As a coach, what you try to do is get guys in the best position to duplicate that so they're the individual champion. We've got to do a better job."
The I-Club banquet was a sellout, with over 500 people attending.
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