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Is Iowa's Bold Decision to Hire Fran McCaffery Paying Off?

On March 28th, 2010, Fran McCaffery was introduced as the men's basketball coach at Iowa, taking the place of Todd Lickliter. A little over one year later, is Iowa's decision to hire McCaffery paying off? Does he have the program on the right track to restore it to former glory? Decide for yourself.

McCaffery came to Iowa from Siena, where he was the head coach from 2005-2010. In his time at Siena, he took a struggling program to a program who made the NCAA Tournament three consecutive times from 2007-2010 and who won the conference title three consecutive times during the same period. Iowa hired him with the hopes that he could work his magic and do the same for their program.

Fran McCaffery's first season at Iowa was no drastic, incredible or amazing turnaround, but with the way Lickliter left the program, we all knew that it was going to take some time to rebuild. Even with that being said, we did see progress in Iowa City last season.

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Last season, we saw Iowa start to build something that hasn't been seen there in recent memory.. a home court advantage. During the 2010-2011 season, we saw Iowa give Ohio State a run for their money, almost down Wisconsin in overtime, lose to Michigan in a close overtime match, destroy Michigan State and beat a hot Purdue team. Sure, they did indeed finish 4-14 in the conference, but the main key to last season was, they didn't finish last and they never stopped trying.

The downside to McCaffery's time in Iowa City is the fact that he has yet to land the signature recruit to begin rebuilding his program around. All they have brought in thus far are players who have a lot of potential. Recruits need to consider the best options for them, and until Iowa puts a decent team, who wins more than 11 games a year on the court, I honestly don't see them landing a big name recruit unless that recruit has exclusive ties to the University of Iowa or McCaffery himself. Iowa also lost Cully Payne this year, as he decided to transfer from Iowa to Loyola. If you are losing players to Loyola, that might not send out the best message to players interested in Iowa.

IOWA'S 2011 RECRUITING CLASS: (From Iowa Week's recruiting post, found here)

"Josh Oglesby is a 6'5" two guard with range beyond the arc on a good jump shot. ESPN says he has a high basketball IQ but at only 180 pounds needs to gain strength to play at the next level.

The other member of the class of 2011 is Aaron White, a 6'7" forward from Ohio who was recently named the MVP of the Ohio-Kentucky All Star game. Hawkeye fans are hoping he can help Melsahn Basabe make Iowa's frontcourt a force to be reckoned with in the near future. McCaffery called White "sneaky athletic" in the Des Moines Register. At only three stars, they hope he's a sleeper."


So there you have it... is Iowa's decision to Hire Fran McCaffery paying off? Answer in the poll below.