McCaffery Puts Hawkeyes' Situation Into Perspective

John Bohnenkamp

Iowa was poised to be headed to the NCAA men's basketball tournament, but the COVID-19 pandemic changed those plans.

It's still affecting the Hawkeyes, who had their summer workouts put on hold when two players tested positive for COVID-19.

Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said during Sunday's press conference, in which center Luka Garza announced he would be returning for his senior season, that three players have now tested positive, and his first concern that morning was checking on their health.

And now the Hawkeyes wait, like everyone else, to see what the 2020-21 season will look like.

That's why McCaffery said it's important for his team to maintain its perspective.

"The only thing you can do is be transparent with what information you have, and then deal with every day that’s in front of you," McCaffery said. "We’re not the only ones that are dealing with difficulty. People are losing their jobs, businesses are shutting down, loved ones are getting (COVID-19), we have three players on our team right now who have it. So we’re supporting them and recognizing that while this decision is the most important thing, seemingly, really the most important thing this morning was making sure our three guys were doing OK, everybody else was doing OK."

There is plenty of uncertainty about how the Hawkeyes' upcoming schedule will look because of the pandemic. McCaffery said he is proceeding as if there is going to be a season, and then do whatever it takes to be ready.

"Nobody saw an NCAA tournament being canceled, especially when we played 31 fantastic games in the most competitive conference in a long time in NCAA basketball," said McCaffery, whose team went 20-11 last season, 11-9 in the Big Ten. "But it’s not only the adversity we’re facing as a group, it’s the adversity we face every day with our families and just going to school. We just roll with it.

"You deal with the adversity as it comes. Maybe it makes you stronger. It certainly brings you together. The information we have, like we said, is there will be a season. When that is, we’ll be ready."