“I voted him on the firs team,” McCaffery said on his weekly radio show Monday evening. “I think Matt Gatens is one of the five best players.”
Gatens was a second-team choice of media members and a third-team pick by coaches. But that isn’t what had McCaffery worked up the most.
“I’m shocked Matt Gatens wasn’t on the all-defensive team,” McCaffery said. “That was a stunner to me. A stunner. “
McCaffery was also puzzled that his rookie forward, Aaron White, wasn’t a unanimous selection to the all-freshman team. Center Cody Zeller of Indiana and guard Trey Burke of Michigan were unanimous picks. White, Branden Dawson of Michigan State and Dave Sobolewski of Northwestern also made the all-freshman team, but weren’t unanimous. Coaches picked the all-freshman team.
“It was the easiest five freshmen to pick in the history of the Big Ten,” McCaffery said.
No one can accuse McCaffery of being provincial. He wondered out loud how Penn State’s Tim Frazier wasn’t a first-team pick by both media and coaches. Frazier was a first-team pick by media and a second-team pick by coaches.
McCaffery also wondered how Zeller wasn’t a first-team all-league pick.
“He’s probably a first-team all-American,” McCaffery said. “Who is better than Cody Zeller in our league? Look where Indiana finished last year. Eleventh out of 11. This year? Kentucky has one loss (to Indiana). The difference on that team is Cozy Zeller. That kid has as complete a skill set as anyone I’ve seen in my 30 years of Division I basketball.”
McCaffery acknowledged that there are just five spots available on the first team, and someone had to get squeezed. But he hinted he’d take Gatens over John Shurna of Northwestern, a first-team pick and the school’s career scoring leader. Gatens held Shurna to a Big Ten-low nine points while scoring 17 in Iowa’s 70-66 loss to the Wildcats Saturday.
“As I called it after the game, it was epic,” McCaffery said of Gatens’ performance against Shurna. “Then coming to the other end and making shots. I don’t know if people know how hard it is to do what Matt Gatens did Saturday. And by the way, you’re not coming out.”
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball