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Positive Comments Post Season Thread

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  • Positive Comments Post Season Thread

    It was a tough loss yesterday. Can’t help but feel bad for the team, they played their hearts out all weekend long. Lots of discussions will be had about what could have happened differently, but I wanted to make sure we had a place to talk about all the great things we saw this season and what we can look forward to.

    1) The improvements the team made over the course of the season was tremendous. After some really rough non-conference losses, the fact that the team never gave up and continued to improve shows a lot about their character. These guys want to win, want to get better and are willing to be coached.

    2) I spend a lot of time at home games watching how the players interact with each other. With knowing nothing other than what I observed, I got the feeling of real camaraderie between everyone. If a starter was struggling and sitting on the bench and a bench player comes in, starts hitting shots and playing well – that starter was always first jumping off the bench at timeouts, giving high fives and happy for his teammate. I never felt like anyone put themselves above the team. I saw a lot of smiles this year, way more than the past couple years.

    3) We are going to miss Wyatt a bunch. I remember seeing someone refer to Wyatt as a “gamer” several times over the season. I think Spencer will be our “gamer” next year. I felt like he made a huge jump this year. His confidence was sky high and it showed. He was making big shots, when it mattered, all year long. Not only that, he made a bunch of plays I can only refer to as “scrappy”. Blocks, charges, steals, swipes, drives to lanes, fall away jumpers, etc. His veteran presence will be a huge asset for us next year.

    4) The unselfish play of Brown and Pickford. Those two guys do so much that never show up on the stat sheet. We are very lucky to have two guys that are motivated to play defense at such a high level. Again, shows how committed these guys are to the concept of a ‘team’.

    5) The added experience Luke and Justin got this year. Each of those guys brings a different skill set to the table. Mix in Austin and Biggie and we have a nice set of big guys who all have lots of in-game experience.

    6) Obviously AJ was tremendous this year as a freshman. Lots to look forward to from him. He will be having big games for UNI for years. After he missed that game winning jumper against Loyola, I just get the impression from him that later that night or the next day he was at the gym and he shot that exact shot 100 times.

    7) Trae is a fun player to watch. He hits big shots, plays hard defense, and always seems to be grabbing a rebound out of nowhere. He always looks like he is having fun out there too. He is very vocal too, I think he will be a big vocal leader for the team the next two seasons. Very happy he came to UNI.



  • #2
    I’m just always amazed at the number of just straight up great people in and around our program. We have made it an annual thing to go down to STL for the tourney for many years now and I would just strongly encourage all Panther fans to make the trip when they get the chance, I always walk away with so much pride for our school and our people.

    From the coaches, the players, the parents, the AD staff, just straight up class from top to bottom. Its an absolute pleasure to have these guys represent our school.

    As for the basketball, it was awesome how our guys continued to battle this year and play HARD from game 1 to the final horn on Sunday. Tons of adversity mostly via devastating injury, and they found a way to get themselves literally 1 bucket or 1 missed call away from playing in the NCAA tourney. Incredible.

    Wyatt and Miles, you will be missed dearly. Great players and great Panthers.
    UNI FIGHT

    Originally posted by 9YRPLAN
    iowa sucks, fran sucks, their schedule sucks, iowa fans suck

    Comment


    • #3
      As much as the ending sucked, if you told me we'd play on Sunday in St Louis in December I woulda laughed. A lot of positives about going into next year. Does the team practice at all throughout the offseason? With how long it took the team to get a grasp on the offense, it'd be nice to see the guys continue working together in the offseason. It'll be real interesting to see which incoming freshmen redshirt. I don't really know enough about the youngsters, but with Croft and Phyfe added to the mix, I have a hard time seeing any of them get too much time. Either way, super excited about next year, we have a great core of guys, hopefully the nonconference doesn't kill us again.
      To avoid confusion - my username is baseball (Cy Young award) related, NOT for the Cyclones.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by CyCarp View Post
        As much as the ending sucked, if you told me we'd play on Sunday in St Louis in December I woulda laughed. A lot of positives about going into next year. Does the team practice at all throughout the offseason? With how long it took the team to get a grasp on the offense, it'd be nice to see the guys continue working together in the offseason. It'll be real interesting to see which incoming freshmen redshirt. I don't really know enough about the youngsters, but with Croft and Phyfe added to the mix, I have a hard time seeing any of them get too much time. Either way, super excited about next year, we have a great core of guys, hopefully the nonconference doesn't kill us again.
        A lot of great points in your post Cy. There wasn't anything that led me to believe we could play our way into a Sunday game or that we would have put ourselves into a position to win. Great job by the coaches and great development by the players.

        Dahl and Luke - The growth from the beginning of the season is incredible. Both played really well down the stretch and really complimented each other on the floor with their respective skill sets. Hard to pick a most improved between the two of them because they both moved the needle so far.

        Getting Trae for 2 more years is huge and it was great to see his confidence back. He looks to be a vocal leader on the floor in the coming years.

        Brown is just a tremendous talent that we are blessed to have on the team and I look forward to watching him continue to shutdown the other teams best player again next year.

        AJ is everything promised and with some additional resources around him (Croft?) he can elevate to one of the best ever. Yes he had silly turnovers but I recall a lot of complaints about Kwadzo, Deon, Wes too. It's the price of a guard that attacks and I expect to see a more balanced assist to turnover ratio moving forward. The thing to remember with him is that he's probably never going to have a great assist ratio because he is going to score 20/game. That's his role and we need that consistency.

        I see Spencer continuing his 6th man role and hopefully taking up some of the Wyatt character we have needed on the team over the years.

        Pickford will be great to have a full healthy season as with Trae and Brown we have three pretty good forwards that are basically interchangeable.

        To Wyatt and Miles - You were great Panthers and you will be missed but I am really looking forward to another year with the core group plus Austin and Trey in the mix. Expectations going into next year need to be sky high and the team needs to show it on the court.
        If computers ruled college basketball the way they do football, we'd have skipped all this March Madness monotony and just waited a month for the Kansas-Kentucky title game. And watched Northern Iowa play Cornell in the Poulan Weedeater Bowl. ~ Dwight Perry The Seattle Times

        Comment


        • #5
          The thing I am most impressed with, which isn't something new, but just realized it fully yesterday is the amazing culture Coach Jake has brought to our program. From the t-shirts that said "Family" on them, to the cool and collected demeanor all throughout the tourney, and much, much, much more, I am impressed. It really shows the type of program Jake has built when there is literally 0 panic in teenagers who are playing collegiate level basketball.

          I remember listening yesterday and just hearing the differences from the sideline reporters view on team huddles.
          • Bradley's was characterized by their coach loudly telling their players to get their hands up or else Trae was going to bury them.
          • UNI's was characterized by the no panic, calm, and collectedness.
          Not that every time will be like that but wow, I'm blown away by Jake's program.

          Also of note and something we all need to remember is that AJ is 19 years old. Jake even said for everyone to remember that in the halftime interview. He's going to be so amazing these 4 years at UNI and has already over-performed.

          Great season regardless of the final record. These guys played their hearts out, grew a lot and had fun.

          We all need to remember that there's so much more to basketball than just the W-L record. Yes, that matters. I get that. But these boys and their lives are so much more important than anything basketball. Proud to be a Panther.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by kochrab View Post
            The thing I am most impressed with, which isn't something new, but just realized it fully yesterday is the amazing culture Coach Jake has brought to our program. From the t-shirts that said "Family" on them, to the cool and collected demeanor all throughout the tourney, and much, much, much more, I am impressed. It really shows the type of program Jake has built when there is literally 0 panic in teenagers who are playing collegiate level basketball.

            I remember listening yesterday and just hearing the differences from the sideline reporters view on team huddles.
            • Bradley's was characterized by their coach loudly telling their players to get their hands up or else Trae was going to bury them.
            • UNI's was characterized by the no panic, calm, and collectedness.
            Not that every time will be like that but wow, I'm blown away by Jake's program.

            Also of note and something we all need to remember is that AJ is 19 years old. Jake even said for everyone to remember that in the halftime interview. He's going to be so amazing these 4 years at UNI and has already over-performed.

            Great season regardless of the final record. These guys played their hearts out, grew a lot and had fun.

            We all need to remember that there's so much more to basketball than just the W-L record. Yes, that matters. I get that. But these boys and their lives are so much more important than anything basketball. Proud to be a Panther.
            I really, really hate to be 'that guy' but that is the Nike postseason theme this year. Every single Nike school will have that same shirt with 'Family' written in their custom font.

            Other than that, yeah, good post!
            #MACtion

            Comment


            • #7
              I don't care that it's Nike's thing... because it's also always been Jake's thing. I love the shirts and that we chose to wear them this tournament.

              I love this thread. So much negativity on this board for months now but this is the good stuff.

              I have my own story even though I was not in St. Louis for the weekend. I'm friends with Haldeman's mom on Facebook and she was live broadcasting the pep rallies each day. During Jeremy Morgan's senior year - when I was in St. Louis - his mom got up and performed the most amazing pre-game rap before we won the championship. So yesterday I'm watching Haldeman's mom's live broadcast of the pap rally when I see Jeremy's mom sign into the same video. And then all of the sudden a bunch of the player's moms get up on stage and sing their own pre-game song "on behalf of Cris Morgan" - to surprise Cris Morgan as she watched it live. Seeing the comments and support coming from players families - even those that are no longer with the program - is just another example of the culture that Jake has built.
              "...the Northern Iowa men's basketball team reached the ultimate highs before hitting a devastating low. Unexpected success, followed by unimaginable failure. And they owned it -- all of it -- for the world to see. Like men. Like leaders. Like champions -- in a way no tournament bracket could ever define."

              Comment


              • #8
                Bigs:
                Phyfe: hopefully he’s healthy. Justin developed a lot. Luke developed a lot. Will be three guys battling for that spot.
                New guys: Cole Henry (6-10), Noah Carter (6-6), James Betz (6-6) - redshirts?

                Defending guards:
                Pickford: at the Arch, he seemed to be just approaching "back to his old self." A healthy off-season and he’ll be exciting. (I only make this category because I don't generally expect Pickford to score. At least it's pretty rare than he makes his own shot. He contributes so much on defense and rebounding that he doesn't need to score.)
                Isaiah: He will thrive on the defensive end, but he also scores efficiently. I think statistically, he is way more efficient when he drives than when he shoots a 3, even adjusting for the 3 vs 2 points.

                Shooting Guards:
                AJ: so many things he does so well. If he can learn what to do when he dribbles into heavy traffic (not do it in the first place, go straight through like Spencer does, draw a foul, or a layup), then he will truly take over. The occasional turnover on a tough pass is acceptable, but loosing it on the dribble must be improved.
                Spencer could fill in Wyatt's spot. He is willing to drive, and when he drives into trouble, he dribbles out well. 1000 shots a day all year.
                Burhow: He could go in the defender category.

                Unsure whether I should make a true Point Guard category. Hopefully Croft can DRIVE to the BUCKET. How tall is he? Cole Bair listed him as a "6-foot guard" in the spring of '18. UNIPanthers.com lists him at "6-1." But I think I've seen 6-4 somewhere, also...

                Ideas for this summer:
                1. Luke and Justin spend some time rock climbing. Get some tough, keratinized, STRONG hands.
                2. AJ, Trae, and Spencer have a competition for made 3pt baskets - first to 100,000 wins something.
                3. Pickford doesn't do whatever he did last summer! Be safe!
                4. Luke should eat a lot of food.

                Comment


                • #9
                  If ever there was a summer to take a foreign trip, this would be it. Blend Croft and Phyfe in, maybe get a couple of the freshman on campus this summer so they can participate as well. Any big time donors able to step in and help fund this?

                  Anyways, looking forward to the improvements AJ makes over the summer. Everyone noted how often he was getting hit/knicked/nudged/etc. on his shots, he knows now he has to hit the weights some to fight through that. His decision making with the ball will improve with experience, the assists will come if people are ready and able to make some shots when he delivers. Avoiding the silly dribbling into traffic will also grow out of him.

                  We will miss Wyatt. 8th most games played at UNI with 135, tied for 10th most wins at 84. Only player to make a top 10 career list for UNI this year or last.

                  Season accomplishments include Spencer finishing with the 3rd best FT% in single season history (86.6%) and AJ with the 6th best (86.4%), AJ finished with a freshman best mark of 509 points, topping Jason Reese's 395. He also tied for 10th for most made 3's in a season (71). The 509 points puts him just outside the CAREER top 100 (Brian Heying 538). Spencer is 3 treys from cracking the all-time top 10 and tying Maurice Newby at 146.

                  Good things ahead.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Great minds Khan. They were fundraising for a foreign trip all fall.
                    #MACtion

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      If you're a Panther fan and you haven't been to Arch Madness...put it on your list.

                      It's a great time.

                      And you get a very different experience than going to a game at the McLeod.

                      Stay at the team hotel if you can. Go to the Pre-Game pep rally's at the Brewhouse at Ballpark Village.

                      The behind the scenes stuff is really fun and will make you appreciate being a UNI fan even more.

                      And if you catch a year when we get hot...it's just a blast.
                      Winning is more fun than losing.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Next year should be our year at the arch... Hopefully a great regular season topped by cutting down the nets in St Louis with a big Panther crowd.
                        If computers ruled college basketball the way they do football, we'd have skipped all this March Madness monotony and just waited a month for the Kansas-Kentucky title game. And watched Northern Iowa play Cornell in the Poulan Weedeater Bowl. ~ Dwight Perry The Seattle Times

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Great thread. I'd like to see it made sticky. Or better yet, let's keep the positive comments coming so that the thread stays at the top!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Blue42 View Post
                            If you're a Panther fan and you haven't been to Arch Madness...put it on your list.

                            It's a great time.

                            And you get a very different experience than going to a game at the McLeod.

                            Stay at the team hotel if you can. Go to the Pre-Game pep rally's at the Brewhouse at Ballpark Village.

                            The behind the scenes stuff is really fun and will make you appreciate being a UNI fan even more.

                            And if you catch a year when we get hot...it's just a blast.
                            The UNI crowds in St. Louis have stayed pretty consistent the last few years, too - even in the down years.

                            All points being made about the experience at the Arch are dead-on. Our family only misses it on a regular basis now because our own son plays AAU ball and we have our own weekend traveling for that on a regular basis. Agreed that if you get the chance to really surround yourself with and amongst the core UNI administration and followers, you will feel really good about what we have here.
                            "...the Northern Iowa men's basketball team reached the ultimate highs before hitting a devastating low. Unexpected success, followed by unimaginable failure. And they owned it -- all of it -- for the world to see. Like men. Like leaders. Like champions -- in a way no tournament bracket could ever define."

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Blue42 View Post
                              If you're a Panther fan and you haven't been to Arch Madness...put it on your list.

                              It's a great time.

                              And you get a very different experience than going to a game at the McLeod.

                              Stay at the team hotel if you can. Go to the Pre-Game pep rally's at the Brewhouse at Ballpark Village.

                              The behind the scenes stuff is really fun and will make you appreciate being a UNI fan even more.

                              And if you catch a year when we get hot...it's just a blast.
                              It is a lot of fun. We've been few times in the last several years. Had a hotel and plans to go this year, but the whole family got sick - so we cancelled.
                              We've been for a Friday loss - still had a good time in St Louis. And we were there fore "He made the shot!"

                              Comment

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