The Hawkeye fan, now immortalized in a poster that depicts an advanced state of inebriation ($3.75 at the university bookstore, $4 elsewhere), is loyal, generous and spirited. Why, last year when Guard Steve Carfino casually mentioned that he was homesick for California, the people in Seymour, Iowa officially adopted him.
The Hawkeye fan is also forgiving, which is good, because Iowa had a lot to be forgiven for last year. After going 8-1 in the first half of the Big Ten schedule, the Hawkeyes lost five of their next nine league games and finished third, with a 21-8 overall record.
This year hopes are high, even though Forward Kevin Boyle and Guard Kenny Arnold have departed. "Frankly," says Lute Olson, now in his ninth year at Iowa, "this team has more physical attributes than any team I've had, but intangibles like leadership often make the difference." Chief among those physical attributes is 6'11" sophomore Michael Payne, a man of many moves who will be moved from center to forward. Payne averaged 11.4 points and 7.4 rebounds as a freshman, but he's perfectly capable of scoring 20 a game. The fans are excited at the prospect of watching 7-foot freshman Brad Lohaus play center, but Olson says, "Media hype would make you believe he's going to make us a national champion or something. Brad is going to be a very good player—someday." Until then, Greg Stokes will be the pivotman.
Taking Arnold's place in the backcourt will be Carfino, a 6'2" junior who, in Olson's estimation, "just may be the best point guard in the nation. Bob Hansen, a 6'6" senior who averaged 12 points a game, will swing from guard to forward. Mark Gannon will be on the wing when Hansen isn't. Olson will choose either sophomore Todd Berkenpas or freshman Andre Banks to be his third guard.
The gospel according to Lute is defense and a rather deliberate offense. Usually, Olson's word is sacrosanct around Iowa, but some people thought the Hawk-eyes hung onto the ball a little too much last year. There were also suggestions that Iowa staggered at season's end because of the way Olson drives his players in practice, which is hard. "That's a lot of hogwash," he says. "Why didn't they point out that we had three of our starters ailing in the stretch drive?"
Barring any serious injuries and/ or alibis, Iowa should have a nice team with which to inaugurate its new 15,000-seat Carver-Hawkeye Sports Arena. And that's not hogwash.