Iowa’ Fran McCaffery pulled his team off the floor and refused to shake hands after a home win on Tuesday night because the coach did not approve of the way that North Dakota closed out the game.
Check the video. On the final possession, after UND missed a shot and Iowa’s Nicholas Baer grabbed a rebound, the visitors stole the ball and tried to score at the buzzer in an 11-point game:
That play wasn’t the only thing that had McCaffery heated.
With 37 seconds left in the game, Iowa’s Jordan Bohannon received a technical foul following a dust-up with a player from UND, and on the ensuing possession, Iowa star Peter Jok was fouled hard by Quinton Hooker.
But … just how bad was it? Here are the two incidents that got McCaffery so riled up:
“I was not pleased with how the game ended and the things that happened,” McCaffery told reporters after the 84-73 win. “I will say this, I have a lot of respect for [UND head coach] Brian [Jones] and certainly [UND assistant and former Hawkeye] Jeff Horner. I don’t think they teach that type of stuff. But I wasn’t having it. That’s not the way to play.”
“We don’t need Pete getting knocked to the floor. We don’t need guys getting up in Jordan’s face. We don’t need Nicholas Baer’s head getting chopped off. We don’t need it. The game’s over. Move on.”
On the one hand, there is something to be said about a coach standing up for and protecting his players.
But this is coming from a coach who has a reputation for letting his anger get the best of him. Remember when he body-slammed one of the bench chairs in the Breslin Center? Or when he punched a clipboard out of an assistant’s hands? What about when he got himself ejected for bumping an official and cost his team a shot at a win at Wisconsin? Or when he popped off at Dan Dakich on his radio show? He’s also been especially hard on water bottles and suit jackets.
I say all that to say this: McCaffery is a good coach, but at this point his program is known for his in-game meltdowns and his team’s late-season meltdowns. At what point is it fair to question whether or not those two things go hand-in-hand?