The Hyball is a weekly Iowa men's basketball column.
Whoever said "comparison is the thief of joy" clearly never got to contrast Caitlin Clark with literally anything else.
Because I've seen enough. It's crown time.
I've had this thought more than a few times over the last 1.3 years, but god damn, she is the greatest Iowa athlete I've seen in my 18 years following Hawkeye athletics. I've covered soccer, men's and women's tennis, gymnastics, water polo, field hockey, basketball, and football, and the woman is untouchable.
There's a French gal on Instagram named Émilie, and she's a podcaster/massive fan of music. She goes by the name Punk Roquette on IG, and in her bio, she refers to herself as a "punk rock spreader."
Honestly, that's what I want to be for Caitlin Clark going forward. A spreader of her game via anecdotal evidence, tweets, articles, links, stories -- anything. And yeah, in pandemic times, that label likely needs massive retooling, but she's that fucking good, and she deserves it and more.
Every checkbox. All criteria points. Good to start, good to finish, "holy shit!" moments, pro potential, cool name, elevates teammates, sense for the moment... and still, somehow, the sense that there are higher places this can go.
My (reverse) breaking point was the Penn Sate game this week. Clark started off shooting 0% from the field (0/5) with five dimes; I am physically attracted to that line. She then did what all great players do: picked it up. She finished with 20 points and 17 fucking assists.
...18 fucking assists.
If her games somehow weren't already, any time she graces the court needs to be appointment viewing for you going forward. Keegan Murray is my favorite Iowa men's player ever. You know this. But when she's checked in, there is no one else on campus. Maybe never was.
The range. Shit, not even the range. The crispness of the swishes when that ball hits the net. If you've ever watched Paul Pierce play basketball, it's the exact opposite of that. The IQ. The confidence. The movement. Who else has ever made you go "Oh, that's Sue Bird and Larry Bird"?
She's unphased, undaunted, unflappable. The respect she gets from other athletes says it all. From KD to Bird herself...
SHEESH https://t.co/4HRsfkUZVp— Sue Bird (@S10Bird) January 21, 2022
I need to see her in person, and I'm already sad there are approaching only double digit games remaining in her Hawkeye career (assuming she is even on campus for all four years). [Ed. Note: She will be here for four years, due to WNBA draft rules. -- Ross] I want this to go on forever and cannot believe how lucky we are to have her on our side.
And ohbytheway, let's not sell the rest of the squad short either.
Beautiful fucking basketball. And yes, they've taken some bad L's this year, no question, but when they're on, the sport is perfection and a perfect anecdote to the many, may Big Ten rock fights that have permeated this league since forever.
“He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends.”
1/22 - Iowa 68, Penn State 51: Honestly, my main takeaway from this game was how boring Penn State was and how unexcited I am to watch them again just nine days later.
1/27 - Iowa vs. Purdue: I previewed this last week and no one called me out. Win or loss, seeing the spread at 2.5 (Purdue's way) has me at least hopeful for a competitive/toss-up type game.
1/31 - Iowa at Penn State: no away no
She, just... wow.
only bad part is she got compared to Russ pic.twitter.com/W8XQmQUbJW— Bobby L. (@bobbystompy) January 21, 2022
It, just... wow.
Back-to-back 30-point triple-doubles in NBA, WNBA & Division I men's & women's college basketball, since 2000:— Stats By STATS (@StatsBySTATS) January 21, 2022
Caitlin Clark, @IowaWBB
THAT'S MY QUARTERBACK https://t.co/PEU8W8cpbw— Bobby L. (@bobbystompy) January 21, 2022
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Caitlin Clark averaging a dime a minute tonight; life feels good.— Bobby L. (@bobbystompy) January 25, 2022
MORE WOMEN'S HOOP SHOW LOVE
Brad Davison Is Definitively A Senior.
Brad Davison has apparently been studying film of Grayson Allen. Gabe Brown's knee got lucky here. pic.twitter.com/asx3xKKf8C— Steve Beckman (@SteveBmSu) January 22, 2022
Obligatory Michigan Section
Y'all, Michigan played Northwestern and there were 46 fouls in 40 minutes of basketball. Selective recap snippets:
a deeply unpleasant viewing experience
A deeply strange game that was upsetting to watch
It's hard to know what to take away from a game like this.
very normal game— The Bucket Problem (@BucketProblem) January 27, 2022
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Can't find the stat, but I swear I saw there were no fouls in the first four minutes, meaning the 46 fouls were called in a 36 minute span of game play. Everyone needs to reevaluate themselves after that one.
M lost their DC.
Michigan's DC Mike Macdonald is reportedly heading to Baltimore— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) January 26, 2022
Macdonald is going from Jim Harbaugh back to John Harbaugh for Ravens DC position pic.twitter.com/5NMO2M4ltM
two-loss playoff michigan soon come https://t.co/o36TKTbyFn— ace (knish has two syllables) (@AceAnbender) January 25, 2022
Bill Walton's Western Civilization
Bill Walton calling Devin Booker Kevin Booker is peak Bill: pic.twitter.com/qjkM6EwWQC— Eli Hershkovich (@EliHershkovich) January 26, 2022
No Context College Basketball
Wrapping It Up...
Bobby Loesch is a weekly contributor to Go Iowa Awesome. Follow him on Twitter @bobbystompy or email to bobbyloesch [at] gmail.com.