Ulis to Announce Friday, Weisman Workload

Let’s begin this mashup with some hoops recruiting:

In the item, Ty’s father says that Ty still hasn’t made up his mind on where he is going to go.  That’s interesting, given he’s said he will announce his college decision on Friday.  If you don’t know where you are going, why would you create a self-imposed deadline since signing day is still about two-months away?  So I’m not buying that; I think they are probably 90% down the road with where they are going and are going to use a couple more days to sleep on it.

As for the decision, the article says most analysts believe Ulis will pick Kentucky. I’ve felt all along it would be MSU given the family ties there, but this article from the Chicago Tribune thinks it’s down to Kentucky and Iowa.

The following is going to sound like blatant homerism, but it’s what I think:  if he goes to Kentucky, he MIGHT start one year, being possibly next year and then he’ll get recruited over.  There is a possibility that he could get recruited over THIS year and he is a four-year player and at 5-8, an NBA carer is going to be long odds.  At Iowa, he probably starts all four years, possibly makes the dance all four years and if healthy, he could leave a long lasting legacy.  I think there is very little chance of leaving a legacy at either Kentucky or Michigan State.

Again, I realize how biased that reads, but you think about it then get back to me.  I’m not sitting here poking holes in the kid’s talent; he has it otherwise he wouldn’t have offers from Michigan State and Kentucky.  But both of those programs are still recruiting point guards.  Ulis is already a fall-back recruit for Kentucky as they lost one of the players they really wanted to SMU and they are still out actively recruiting other point guards and still may do so even if Ulis commits.  Ulis could come to Iowa and really make a big impact on the program.

All that said, a player has to go where he wants to go and if that is Kentucky or MSU, I’ll certainly wish the kid well and hope he has a great career.  Recruiting doesn’t always make the most sense, or rather logic doesn’t always apply.  Then again, my ‘logic’ here may be tainted with too much black and gold….but if Iowa lands Ulis, it will begin to open Chicago back up for the Hawkeyes, a road that has been mostly closed since the late 1980’s due to the Deon Thomas affair.

On to Mark Weisman…Iowa’s running back is ranked 2nd in the Big Ten in rushing after two games and he is 9th in the nation with 280 rushing yards and his 50 carries in two games is tied for 4th most in the nation.  50 carries in two games is an average of 25 per game, even I can do that math.  More math tells me that is a pace for 300 carries is 12 games this year.  Is that too many for Weisman?  Shonn Greene toted the ball 307 times for Iowa in 2008, but he was Iowa’s featured back.  Jewell Hampton had a few carries per game but it was primarily a Shonn Greene affair, en route to his Doak Walker award winning season which was also one for the Iowa record books.

Is Mark Weisman that kind of guy?

He has a punishing running style and is one of the strongest players on the team, but I worry about his durability because of how he runs.  Greene took some hits too, but not to the percentage that Weisman does considering Weisman’s running style is more vertical than was Greene’s.  I also worry a bit about Weisman’s fatigue factor making him more of a target.  I’m not saying Greene was in better shape, but there have been times during certain drives this year where Weisman’s tongue has been wagging a bit on some carries given Iowa’s uptempo offense — it’s still odd typing that — and the number of plays per game they are running.

HawkeyeGameFilm, who is presently doing scouting work for an NFL team, tweeted this last weekend:

In two games, Iowa has run 167 plays; 80 plays vs NIU and 87 against Missouri State.  The Ferentz era average plays per game is around 65, so we’re talking about a huge increase in volume here.  Given Iowa’s strength is going to come from the rushing game this year, if they average 75 plays per game for this season and they run the ball around 65% of the time, that’s 49 carries per game.  The temptation will be there to keep feeding Weisman the ball 25-plus times per game.  That still leaves over 20 carries for everyone else, which includes Damon Bullock, Jordan Canzeri and LeShun Daniels.  I think Daniels is going to keep climbing the ladder and he’ll wind up with second most carries this year, as long as he hangs on to the football.   There’s room for Canzeri in the mix Kirk Ferentz said during his Wednesday night radio show that he could get more and more carries as the season goes along.

I like Weisman and I love seeing his power displayed on the field.  I was chatting with a friend of mine that while I like Weisman and while there is a place for him to be sure, he has little home run potential and this offense needs someone in there who is a threat to take the ball to the house, just to take some pressure off of the passing game.  Weisman is never gonna be that guy and perhaps Iowa doesn’t have that guy on the offense; they are what they are and grinding it out is just going to be a part of the process for these Hawkeyes.  There’s little one can do about it right now and look for a healthy dose of Weisman this Saturday in Ames, which is the best thing to do given how the Cyclones gave up nearly 200 yards to UNI’s running back two weeks ago.

Weisman is going to get a lot of carries this year…I just hope he can make it to the finish line.  Even Shonn Greene was knocked out of a game during his record setting season.


What are the keys to winning Cy-Hawk game? Fox Sports 1 analyst tells us | Hawk Central
Chizik leaving ISU sent Valley grad Boffeli to Iowa | Hawk Central
Ferentz radio — Room for all four RBs | TheGazette
Iowa feels good about its King | TheGazette
Renewing Iowa-Iowa State rivalry for ’77 wasn’t easy | TheGazette
Ulis to make announcement Friday | TheGazette
OMG! Big Ten has good slate of games Saturday | TheGazette

  • RBtime

    Good points on both Ulis and Weisman, Jon. I think Fran gets Ulis, but I don’t care, because Fran will get somebody who will keep Iowa basketball in the national conversation. If Ulis goes elsewhere, it’s a bigger loss for him than for the Hawkeyes.

    It seems Daniels may be Iowa’s best back, more like Greene in that he has a combination of speed, power, and quickness. Canzeri may be next since he probably has the greatest big play potential. Then Weisman the battering ram. This is the 3-headed monster that a good coaching staff would use intelligently to batter, confuse, and wear down a defense. I’m not confident Iowa has that coaching staff.

    And, of course, move Bullock to WR permanently. That’s where the help is needed and that’s where his skills would be best utilized given the other 3 RBs Iowa has. Then, should injury or other situation require it, Bullock could always fill in at RB if needed.

    So, once again, it comes down to coaching. Or do you think NW, Indiana, Minnesota, Michigan State, et al., actually have more player talent than Iowa? I guess we’ll see.

    But when an Iowa team is going to Ames to play an ISU team that has already been beaten and outclassed by FCS Northern Iowa and everyone believes it’s a toss-up, what does that tell ya?

    • manlets win ulis

      we were once in the discussion foe chris leak. i heard the same bs argument, “just to be considered is an honor”, fact is either you go home with the prom queen or you dont. does you noservice to be the adorable alternate date if things dont work out. not saying that ulis is the end all be all but lets not pretend our team is better just because we are in the convo.

    • Conservative Iowa

      well we didn’t get Ulis so strike one and the rest of your post either means you should have Kirk’s job or at least OC. We have seen Daniels on what 5 carries? and Canzeri has broke a couple big gains but also been tackled for losses several times in his career. While I would like to see him a little more to better judge I do not yet see either of them as proven B10 15+ carries a game backs. Weisman and Bullock both are. Till otherwise shown I trust the coaches on their judgement

  • Davey

    While I still consider Iowa a long shot for Ulis, its still fun to be in the conversation for once. I can’t imagine a 17-18 year old kid going to Kentucky and meeting all those NBA alumns and not going there. If he was from Iowa I could see him maybe choosing his home state, but being from Chicago I just don’t see it happening. I’ll gladly eat my shoe if he chooses Iowa though

    • Josh Yelland

      I’ll save you the pain and share in said shoe. Come to Iowa and be a legend or go to UK or MSU and be a who? Whatever he chooses I hope it works out for him

  • Conservative Iowa

    It was 110 degrees or more on the field for the first two games- My guess with 25 carries per game Greene’s tongue would have been wagging too ~