Mike Woodson Has Beef With Iowa's Fran McCaffery And Thinks He Should Have Been Thrown Out Of Last Night's Game Against Indiana
Indiana blew a monster lead (21 in the first half) and ended up losing on the road to Iowa last night. To make matters worse, Indiana had Race Thompson go down with a leg injury.
Indiana coach Mike Woodson had issue with the play (among other things ... we'll get to that later).
It's been a very emotional week for Iowa. Earlier this week, starter and third leading scoring Patrick McCaffery announced he would be taking time off from the game due to issues with anxiety that affect him on and off the court.
Patrick, and his brother Connor are the sons of Head Coach Fran McCaffery so the issue wasn't just losing a player on your team for a few games it was also taking care of your son, and brother and dealing with that off the court, while also trying to maintain your commitments on the court. You could tell the game last night was very important to Iowa given the week they've had, and the fact that they dropped their first 3 Big Ten Conference games, and needed this one pretty bad.
Iowa came out struggling, likely due to everything going on off the court, but you could tell Iowa wanted this game really bad by Fran McCaffery's reactions early on.
The Hawkeyes ound a spark when they could expose Indiana not being able to handle the zone defense. Connor McCaffery would explain in post game interviews : “Indiana didn’t know what to do against the zone. Their coaching staff had no idea. It’s like they’d never seen a zone before." Kris Murray exploded in the second half, and Iowa was off and running for a major comeback.
Kris Murray by the way if you haven't watched is an unbelievable player. His late block was what sealed the win.
Those emotions were very evident late in the game. Iowa looked like every bucket mattered that much more as they knew they needed this win given the week they've had, and to show their teammate they are behind him until he gets back on the court. Indiana got emotional as they wanted to get a road win , were dealing with one of their best players going down, and the pressure of blowing a monster lead.
Late in the game the broadcast cut to Iowa's Fran McCaffery getting into it with Indiana's bench . There was no real explanation as to why Fran was upset with their staff, but as viewers we saw a pretty heated exchange.
Players had to be separated, coaches were at each others necks. It was clearly heated. When you watch the clip again, it's actually a great point by David Eickholt that it looks like someone was issued a technical. The ref does point to Indiana's staff after the signal, but then no technical was called. This is even more important to consider because Fran McCaffery was issued a technical earlier in the game, so a 2nd would have been an ejection. Now that's not assuming the tech was even on McCaffery because what I see is a point to the Indiana bench.
Former head of NCAA officiating, John Adams, commented even he thought the situation was bizarre to have a ref signal the tech then call nothing.
Whatever that weird situation was, the game went on and Iowa held on to a 2 point win (which was a massive win for those laying -1.5 who thought the game was all but dead early on.)
You would think bygones would be bygones. Guys get heated in game … shit happens. Shake hands , get showered and head home. Wrong.
Mike Woodson doubled down on the officials , as well as taking shots at McCaffery saying he should have been thrown out.
247 Sports- "I'm not even going to comment on that because that's bulls--- is what it is, and you can print that," Woodson said. "Because, again, when you can allow coaches to come across half court into your space, that's bulls--. It is."
Added Woodson: "… [The official] did call the tech and he pulled it back, which was bulls---. Guy should've been thrown out of the g--damn game."
McCaffery made no comments directly about the comments by Woodson, likely because Woodson's comments were going on in his press conference around the same time McCaffery's was, or McCaffery just wasn't aware of them at the time.
My take is this, Woodson is obviously going to be upset with a coach coming across half court onto his side, that's a given. To take a shot at a ref for the handling of that, and the botching of the situation with the signal for the tech and calling nothing is fair. But ….
The one thing Woodson refuses to address is that his asst coach likely started the issue, or what his asst said to set off McCaffery. Seems like he wants to crucify the other sideline for reacting, but hasn't said a word about what his own sideline did to start it, or that they were woofing back just as much as Iowa's. A coach said this a long time ago and I always thought it was a great piece of advice, "Coach one team." Woodson should take that advice. He's policing the other sideline yet doesn't have his own guys in order, or is shifting blame to get his guys out of the line of fire.
One thing is for sure to wrap this whole thing up …
February 28th .. Iowa at Indiana … a must watch rematch given the now bad blood between these two teams.