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Iowa coach shoots down talk of issue with Terps' basketballs


Iowa coach shoots down talk of issue with Terps' basketballs

Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery shot down talk that the Under Armour basketballs used during his team's loss to Maryland on Thursday had anything to do with his team's performance in the game, quotes from a Friday teleconference that were transcribed by

McCaffery's comments about adjusting to playing with an unfamiliar brand of equipment are in line with what his players said immediately after Thursday's game. Asked about the basketballs by the Des Moines Register, junior Peter Jok said that the brand Maryland uses felt "different" and that there "was complaining about the ball" but then flatly denied that it had any impact on the final score.

From McCaffery on Friday:

“We practiced with an Under Armour ball for three days before we went down there,” he said, via AllHawkeyes. “So there is absolutely no excuse for any shots that we missed. That was a function of Maryland’s defense.”

The original article from the Des Moines Register was far from accusatory. It presented Jok's comments along with his thoughts on any effect it had on the game, then did the same with comments from point guard Mike Gesell. This CSN story built on that with context.

If anything, the underlying story has nothing to do with Maryland-Iowa or its outcome.

It is the continuing conversation about variations in feel among different brands of basketballs. Without uniformity, there are instances where teams could theoretically have to adjust to two different brands of balls during two different stops on a regular-season road trip, then return home and use a different brand all together. It happens.


But that conversation has evolved to a point where McCaffery feels the need to push back harder than the team initially did on any sort of notion that the basketballs influenced the game -- even if that was not the basis of the question in the first place. So that is what the coach did, taking aim at the question itself.

“I don’t know why anybody would ask about the ball. That’s idiotic,” McCaffery said. “You can’t ask the players about the ball and then criticize their answer, which is what happened. Nobody made any excuses. It’s a different ball. But it’s the world we live in."

Chad Leistikow of the Des Moines Register, who wrote the original story, responded via Twitter.

It is not the first time that Under Armour basketballs have been mentioned after a game. The context is much different than how the issue was communicated by Iowa Thursday night, but in 2013, North Carolina State's Scott Wood mentioned the balls after a loss to Maryland. 

The inference taken from Jok affirming that there "was complaining about the ball" does not have to be that the Hawkeyes are crying that they were wronged. That is the notion that McCaffery is pushing back against today.

It can (and should) be about the lack of uniformity in this small but important aspect of the game. In Friday's comments, McCaffery even made reference to the fact that he does not think it will change because of how entrenched programs are when it comes to individual contracts.

Read more from here.

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Maryland lineman Jordan McNair dies two weeks following workout collapse

Barbara Haddock Taylor / Baltimore Sun

Maryland lineman Jordan McNair dies two weeks following workout collapse

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Jordan McNair, a University of Maryland football player hospitalized after an organized team workout two weeks ago, has died.

Maryland executive athletic director Damon Evans said McNair was hospitalized on May 29 and died Wednesday.

McNair was a 6-foot-4, 325-pound offensive lineman preparing for his sophomore season. A graduate of McDonogh (Md.) High School, McNair played one game last season.

After leading McDonogh to an 8-3 record as a senior, McNair chose Maryland over Ohio State, Auburn, Penn State and Rutgers.

In a statement, Maryland coach DJ Durkin said, "Our team is heartbroken with the loss of Jordan McNair. Jordan was an incredible young man, and his passion and enthusiasm made him an invaluable and beloved member of our team."

He added, "Over the past few weeks, Jordan never gave up with his family, friends and team by his side. Our team will continue to be inspired by the spirit of this brave fighter."

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Dustin Clark to part ways with Maryland basketball


Dustin Clark to part ways with Maryland basketball

Maryland basketball head coach Mark Turgeon announced earlier today that assistant coach Dustin Clark is parting ways with the program to pursue an opportunity in Texas with a family business. 

In three seasons as a full-time assistant, Clark was responsible for recruiting Kevin Huerter and Anthony Cowan Jr., along with incoming freshman Aaron Wiggins. 

The 35-year-old also made a point to recruit overseas, spending much of his time at the Canaris Basketball Academy in the Canary Islands, where he found former Terps center Michal Cekovsky and current redshirt freshman forward Joshua Tomaic. 

Clark will become the second member of Turgeon's staff to leave the team following this past season. Nima Omidvar, who was brought on to replace Clark as director of basketball operations in 2014, walked away to become a full-time assistant coach at South Alabama in April. 

At the start of the 2018-19 season, Bino Ranson will be the only original member of Turgeon's staff. 

Matt Brady, who has had previous head coaching stints at James Madison and Marist, will replace Clark. 

In his eight years at JMU, Brady won 139 games and enjoyed four seasons with 20 wins or more. His 2012-13 team won the Colonial Athletic Association and reached the NCAA tournament. He finished with a 73-50 overall record after four seasons at Marist. 

The news comes after a season in which the team failed to make the NCAA tournament with an overall record of 19-13, including 8-10 in Big Ten play.