The 3 for 3 blog rolls into Monday a little sluggishly, still fighting off Turkey Day feasting …
1: GREENWAY’S BRUISING NFL LIFE … On Sunday, the Register published a story on former Iowa linebacker Chad Greenway — now an all-pro for the Minnesota Vikings. Greenway, a first-round pick (17) in the 2006 NFL draft, has more tackles in the last two seasons (271) than any other player in the league.
Greenway is second this season with 107 tackles — five behind Jerod Mayo of New England.
How does it feel after making all those tackles in an NFL game?
“It’s not like something where I can’t get out of bed, but it takes you a few steps,” he said. “That first step, you touch the water and feel what the temperature is. You’ve got to scope out how your body feels.”
For my money, it’s a split vote — Gallery was dominant in ways that made him unique and special, and Kaeding (even though kickers receive less attention) was a game-changer at critical times.
Kaeding’s consistent leg helped win close games as Iowa was trying to turn the corner and become a consistent a winner under coach Kirk Ferentz.
More Greenway, via this great video from Register photographer Bryon Houlgrave …
And, with apologies for the video quality (no light in that corner of the locker room), here’s Greenway guiding a tour of his Vikings locker …
2. 117-POINT SWING … In one game, men’s basketball player Jack Taylor plunged from an NCAA, all-divisions record of 138 points (maybe you heard about that) to 21 on Sunday in Grinnell’s 131-116 loss to William Penn.
The 117-point swing wrapped up a crazy run of national attention for Taylor and Grinnell — but also for 138-point allowers (made up a word here) at Ankeny’s Faith Baptist, which ended up with a 70-point scorer in its locker room.
Brian Fincham, coach and athletic director at Faith Baptist, said tongue-buried-firmly-in-cheek that he didn’t start the season with the expectation of being interviewed on ESPN’s SportsCenter.
“No, I can safely say that never crossed my mind,” Fincham said. “I never thought that opportunity would come up.”
3: TOUGH TOURNEY ROAD … Iowa’s Division I men’s basketball teams finished 2-8 during non-conference tournaments last week. It was the state of Iowa’s most challenging set of events in the same season.
Win-loss records aside, there’s mostly good news hiding inside the numbers for state teams, particularly given how early it is in the season.
What it meant — and what it didn’t …
DRAKE (1-2 in Anaheim, Calif. … Rice win, losses to Cal, Xavier)
What it meant: Senior forward Jordan Clarke is going to be a handful for Missouri Valley Conference teams this season. The 6-foot-8, 255-pound was named all-tournament in the DirecTV Classic with three double-doubles — averaging 12.7 points, 13 rebounds and three assists while shooting 55 percent. If the Bulldogs keep building around Clarke and Ben Simons — Seth VanDeest, for example — it could mean consistent shots at upsets.
What it didn’t mean: Drake is guarding anyone well enough right now — or figuring out how to close out games. The Bulldogs have been out-rebounded in all three losses this season.
IOWA (1-1 in Cancun, Mexico … Western Kentucky win, Wichita State loss)
What it meant: Freshman guard Mike Gesell is gaining valuable experience. He’ll be up and down during the season, as freshmen are prone to be, but his 19-point performance against Western Kentucky showed the scoring ability that made him a top national recruit.
What it didn’t mean: Iowa can finish around the basket. The Hawkeyes made just four two-point baskets in the Wichita State game, which is Head Scratcher No. 1. To consider Head Scratcher No. 2, go deeper into that game’s box score. The Hawkeyes hit 53.3 percent from 3-point range, but just 26.1 percent overall because of the inability to score in close. In the middle, center Adam Woodbury finished with five points in two games.
IOWA STATE (0-2 in Las Vegas … Losses to Cincinnati, UNLV)
What it meant: Iowa State has scorers all over the court. Against Cincinnati at the Global Sports Classic, it was Tyrus McGeen with 22 points. Against UNLV, it was Will Clyburn with 21 (15 rebounds). It’s obvious, too, that there will be nights when it’s Georges Niang … or Korie Lucious … or Melvin Ejim. The point-firepower is there.
What it didn’t mean: The Cyclones have reason to panic. Both losses were to ranked teams — UNLV was No. 18, Cincinnati No. 22 — and Iowa State made solid runs at wins in both.
NORTHERN IOWA (0-3 in Bahamas … Losses to Louisville, Stanford, Memphis)
What it meant: Northern Iowa could be there in March, as they usually are with Ben Jacobson as coach. Jake Koch, Marc Sonnen, Deon Mitchell and Anthony James provide scorers. Winning the rebounding battle against top teams will be key — as the Panthers failed to win the battle on the boards in any of the three tournament games.
What it didn’t mean: The Panthers are far from panic mode about going winless, either, since they faced the toughest field of any team last weekend. UNI nearly upset No. 2 Louisville — and ditto that for Memphis, which was No. 19. Short version: They’re right there in game against great teams.
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