Iowa coach Fran McCaffery stepped to the podium at Big Ten media day and proclaimed this was “the deepest team we've ever had.”
Perhaps he meant it at the time, but the results have hardly bore that out.
The Hawkeyes come to Crisler Center Wednesday at just 12-15 overall and 3-11 in Big Ten play, good for 11th in the conference — with no major role to play for the rest of the year but spoiler. This season will mark the first time since 2010-11 that Iowa has won fewer than eight conference games.
He calls himself — and insists others in the locker room also call him — “The Microwave.” As such, Poole serves as an offensive sparkplug off the bench. When the offense needs creativity, assertion or sure shooting, Poole can provide just that. It’s a role that suits his game as much as his gregarious personality.
“People go to me for the ‘hype guy,’ ” Poole said. “Me personally, I feel like if I hit one, I’m hot.”
WEST LAFAYETTE — The pregame theatrics at Mackey Arena are quite a sight.
Blinking lights scatter the arena, the ritual chants splatter expletives at in-state rival Indiana. Students line the seats to the rafters, swaying back and forth in preparation. Right before the lineup announcements and tip-off — just seconds before the lights dim and the show begins — a video starts on the jumbotron. There’s one sentence before the crowd renders it nearly inaudible.