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Bryce Miller’s 3 for 3: Iowa hoops shows two faces; Chris Street; and Earl Weaver

[ 0 ] January 21, 2013 |

The 3 for 3 blog for the Hawkeyes out in cyberspace …

1: IOWA SHOWS DUAL PERSONALITY — The two faces of Iowa’s basketball team made appearances Saturday during a key, 70-66 win over league-leading Wisconsin.

In the first half, the Hawkeyes played the kind of defense coach Fran McCaffery said could enhance the postseason fortunes of the program when he discussed upgrades before the season.

Iowa locked down on the defensive end, harassing Wisconsin repeatedly and scrambling for rebounds and looses balls while building a 30-10 lead.

The offense held up its end of the bargain against the Badgers, who found the spark for a second-half comeback. Iowa ended Wisconsin’s nation-leading run of 11 games holding opponents to 60 or fewer points.

It reinforced a thought: If Iowa puts together 40 minutes of both — it could become one of the surprise teams in the Big Ten, America’s toughest conference.

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2: STREET WAS ‘RARE’ FIND — Saturday night in Iowa City also was special for the Hawkeyes beyond the Big Ten standings. The program honored late Hawkeye star Chris Street, 20 years to the day after an auto accident claimed his life.

Read a story by the Register’s Rick Brown about Iowa’s unique request to honor Street that was denied by the NCAA … HERE.

A unique perspective on Street came from someone who was barely born when Street last played.

Sam Middleton, a 21-year-old Iowa junior from Colfax, spent the last week reading stories and watching videos online to understand more about Street, a Hawkeye icon.

“Considering it’s 20 years after his death and people still talk about him, he meant a lot,” Middleton said. “Pretty special guy.”

Middleton said something about Street became more and more clear as he studied the history of the Indianola native.

“He seemed like a nice guy who could be cocky, but wasn’t,” Middleton said. “That’s rare to find these days.”

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3: IOWA CITY NATIVE REMEMBERS MR. EJECTION — Earl Weaver was the cantankerous and highly successful manager of the Baltimore Orioles for 17 seasons, earning a dual reputation for wins and umpire run-ins.

Weaver died over the weekend of an apparent heart attack at age 82.

Weaver was ejected more than 90 times in his career, an American League record, including twice in both games of a doubleheader. He was kicked out of games a time or two before the first pitch had been thrown.

Orioles fans, though, remember him as much for results as rants.

Weaver won 1,480 games and led his team to the World Series four times, winning it in 1970.

Jeff Lantz, an Iowa City native, worked as media relations director for the Iowa Cubs before taking on a media relations role with the Orioles.

Lantz, 39, attended an Orioles fantasy camp last year at the team’s spring training site in Sarasota, Fla. Weaver visited for a day or two to mingle with campers, tells stories and sign autographs.

“The next day, we had a game,” Lantz said. “The umpires came out and Earl fired out of the dugout, turned his hat around backwards and started yelling at them. Pitchers hadn’t even warmed up yet and he got tossed.”

The moment left all involved laughing until it hurt.

“Then the umpire stood there and posed for pictures with him afterwards,” Lantz said.

I tried to locate a Weaver ejection video for the blog, but honestly couldn’t find one without language that would make a shore leave-bound sailor blush.

Fitting, I suppose.

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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball

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