Iowa hoops coach Fran McCaffery isn’t a fan of grad transfers, Tristan Wirfs is a three-time state champ, Jake Adams ties a baseball record and more
The best way to start your day is right here at Landof10.com as we prepare you for everything you need to know about Iowa sports. We’ll share our Iowa Breakfast Club here with you at 8:30 a.m. (ET) Monday through Friday.
So let’s get to it. Here is the Iowa Breakfast Club for Friday, May 19.
Not much room for interpretation
Iowa men’s basketball coach Fran McCaffery is not a fan of the graduate-transfer rule. There is no ambiguity about his position.
“You have the grad transfers, which is the worst rule in the history of college basketball,” McCaffery told WHBF reporter Adam Roscoe on Wednesday.
— Adam Rossow (@AdamJRossow) May 18, 2017
A lot of coaches, including McCaffery, aren’t in favor of graduate transfers. Transfers are increasing and it’s not just a graduate-transfer issue, but the graduate transfer is a unique part of the problem. If a player graduates and still maintains eligibility, the athlete can transfer. There are rules designed to limit how and why a graduate player transfers, but teams can easily work around them.
This creates a different recruiting market than existed years ago. Major programs can fill roster holes with a one-year player. It’s also believed to be a reason why there are fewer Cinderellas in the NCAA Tournament than in years past.
Grad transfers impact Power 5 conference teams, too. Forward Dale Jones is transferring from Iowa to North Dakota for his final season.
The constant roster shuffling makes it hard for coaches to project their future lineups and some staffs spend time developing players only to see them blossom for a different program.
Now, college coaches and administrators preach about academics and the student in student-athlete coming first. A player transferring because he graduated isn’t a bad thing. Athletes don’t often hold the upper hand once they get into the NCAA/college athletics machine. Graduating while retaining one year of eligibility gives them that chance.
Transfers create a seemingly never-ending recruiting process for players. The same dynamics and issues from high school recruiting pop up when discussing graduate transfers. Coaches want to do what’s best for their program, players want to do what’s best for them. The two don’t always mesh, especially when discussing the graduate transfers.
There is no easy solution here. It’s why we get in a spot where McCaffery calls it the worst rule in college sports. From a coaching point of view, it’s far from the best.
Tristan Wirfs, three-time champ
Mount Vernon (Iowa) High’s Tristan Wirfs ended his high school discus career in style. The Iowa offensive lineman signee won the Class 3A Iowa state title with a state meet record toss of 190 feet, 10 inches. It is his third straight state discus title, with two Class 3A titles and one Class 2A title.
— Iowa Prep Sports (@iowaprepsports) May 19, 2017
He beat the record of 187-9 set by Atlantic’s Tyler Hovey in 2012. It was a truly dominating performance. Wirfs beat his nearest competitor by more than 22 feet.
Wirfs wasn’t the only future Iowa football player to compete at state on Thursday. Solon’s Jacob Coons finished 14th in the Class 3A discus. Also, 2018 commit Dillon Doyle placed 12th in the Class 4A high jump on Thursday. He cleared 6 feet.
Jake Adams makes the record book
Iowa’s Jake Adams belted his 22nd home run of the season during a 6-5 win against Illinois on Thursday. The home run assured Adams’ place in history as he tied the program’s single-season home run record set by John Knapp in 1986.
— Iowa Baseball (@UIBaseball) May 18, 2017
The odds are good Adams will own the record by himself sooner rather than later. Four games remain in the season, two with Illinois and at least two Big Ten Tournament games. What may matter more than the number of contests left is the way Adams is swinging the bat. He’s as hot as any hitter in the Big Ten, with 6 home runs in his last five games. If he stays locked he may hit multiple home runs before the season ends.
Trevor Downing is off the board
The top-ranked 247Sports in-state offensive lineman made his college decision on Thursday.
Iowa already holds a 2018 offensive line commitment from Prairie Ridge (Ill.) High School 3-star prospect Jeff Jenkins.
The Hawkeyes will now look elsewhere to round out the offensive line in the 2018 class.
The defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots signed former Iowa C James Ferentz on Thursday.
He is the third member of the family to work along with New England head coach Bill Belichick. His brother, Brian Ferentz, served as a New England assistant from 2009-11. His father, Kirk Ferentz, was the Cleveland Browns offensive line coach from 1993-95. Belichick was the Cleveland head coach during that time.