Fran’s team is set up for future success
Many people point to the past two seasons of disappointment as reasons why Fran should be let go, and again, there’s some merit there. Those two seasons, however, were expected to be somewhat small rebuilding periods as the Hawks lost four senior starters from the 2015-2016 team. Now, I will say McCaffery should have done a better job of restocking the cupboards, but that’s neither here nor there at this point.
What’s important is that the future is very bright in Iowa City for the Iowa basketball program, and if Fran were to leave that bright light would significantly dimmer. He has recruited one four-star player to the program in each of the last three seasons and one next season. Three of those four were top-100 players while the other (Luka Garza) was ranked 118th. It’s important to note that the other two previous four-stars are current starters Tyler Cook and Joe Wieskamp while the future four-star recruit is none other than Fran’s son Patrick McCaffery.
Cook may be gone for the pros after this season, but the rest of that core will remain intact and continue to get stronger with the addition of the youngest McCaffery and three-star recruit Joe Touissant. Let’s not forget about the return of Jack Nunge (who is redshirting due to playing time concerns), Cordon Pemsl (who is likely redshirting because of injury), and CJ Fredrick (who is redshirting because of playing time concerns)as well.
Even though Iowa has lost the last two games, they are still very much in the NCAA tournament as of right now and with the young core that they have, they are likely to be heading to the NCAA tournament pretty consistently over the next three to four seasons.
Getting rid of Fran could seriously set this program back right as he is about to hit his stride as head coach of the Iowa basketball program.