Iowa just doesn’t rank with the rest of the Big Ten when it comes to men’s basketball facilities and niceties.
Is that a statement of fact? It’s quite possible. But does Steve Alford need to say it now that he’s in New Mexico instead of Iowa? That’s arguable.
Alford doesn’t go around ripping Iowa. But when he’s asked about how fabulous everything is in Albuquerque for him, he uses Iowa as a reference point. He did so again in a new ESPN.com interview with his pal, Andy Katz.
“The last couple of years at Iowa, it didn’t matter how hard I worked,” said Alford. “We were going up against [Big Ten teams] that had more bullets in their gun.”
“I want to be here,” Alford said. “It’s got everything I’ve ever wanted. … But I couldn’t get it [at Iowa]. And if you don’t have it, then it’s not good enough to compete with Indiana, Ohio State and Michigan State year in and year out if your facilities aren’t as good, if not better.”
Oh brother. Is he telling us that he didn’t recruit a single player who was drafted by an NBA team in his 8-year Iowa tenure because of the program’s facilities?
Was it just the facilities as the explanation why Alford left his Iowa successor, Todd Lickliter, without more than a couple of players who would be starters at any other Big Ten program other than maybe Northwestern? It seems unlikely.
Is this beating a dead horse? Of course. But when a former Iowa coach says such things about the school and its facilities, it’s news. Here’s the link to the ESPN story: