You’ve heard the tweets. You’ve seen the uncomfortable post-game news conference. And it seems to be true, our man Fran thoroughly chewed an official out after the game. For this offense, he was suspended two games. In case you’ve been completely devoid of Iowa sports news in the past 20 hours, here’s the reporter’s tweet that started it all:
Uh, wow. Iowa coach Fran McCaffrey was just screaming at an official walking down a hallway of Value City Arena. "You cheating motherfucker! You're a fucking disgrace!"
— Kyle Rowland (@KyleRowland) February 27, 2019
And I’m glad. Seriously.
Over the past two weeks, Hawkeye basketball has let inferior opponents hang around all game, relied on last second heroics to win, and last night, put up the worst defensive second half performances this year. The wheels came off.
A good mollywhopping on the road isn’t always the worst thing for a team long term. But it’s clear with the level of talent on this team, the McCaffrey special (an early Big Ten Tournament exit, followed by an early NCAA exit) is insufficient. I was glad to see Fran take a not-even-close loss personally. It was reminiscent of, lord help us, the chair spike of 2012.
You may recall that Fran was not apologetic after his Gronk impersonation:
"No apologies, none whatsoever," McCaffery said... "I'm going to continue to coach the same way, and we're going to keep working, improving, and battling, and fighting until we're up by 40."
This is who Fran is. Probably how most coaches at this level are, to some extent. And it does little good to pretend otherwise. We’ll see how Iowa reacts down the stretch, especially on the road in Madison. But for now, I’m hopeful this will light a fire in the Hawkeyes and improve the postseason performance.
Let Fran be Fran.