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Hoop Tales: Iowa Hawkeyes Men's Basketball (Hoop Tales Series) Paperback – October 1, 2006
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From the Back Cover
In Hoop Tales: Iowa Hawkeyes Men’s Basketball, veteran journalist Buck Turnbull shares his favorite memories of this beloved team. Together you’ll relive the highs and lows and become reacquainted with some of the team’s all-time greatest heroes and legends including:
Murray Wier, the 5’7’’ “Little Redhead” who sunk off-balance shots with deadly accuracy in the 1940s
The “Fabulous Five,” the 1950s standouts who won back-to-back Big Ten championships
Legendary coach Lute Olson and the rise of Iowa’s basketball program to national prominence
Steve Alford, the former Hoosier great who has coached the Hawkeyes back to the top of the Big Ten
Top customer reviews
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I am familiar with the author, Buck Turnbull, because I read his sports columns and articles in the Des Moines "Register" growing up in that fine city. I even graduated from high school with one of his sons. His style of writing is more than adequate for this book. He's a bit of a "homer" (with a small h - let's not get carried away). However, he's a good historian of the program and filled in the background on all the names I heard dropped while I was growing up. Names like Murray Wier, Sharm Scheuerman, Don Nelson, and others. I heard of them and knew of them but I didn't know their history with the Hawkeyes; now I do.
Mostly what I enjoyed about the book was what I already knew about; the big wins and the heartbreaking losses. Relieving those special moments brought back memories of where I was at the time. One game in particular got a good write up in the book. It was the first game after the tragic death of Chris Street. My wife and I were driving at night from Williston, ND to Bismarck and I caught the game on WHO radio. The Hawkeyes were down by over 15 points with less than 4 minutes to play at Michigan State and pulled out a victory in overtime. Even my wife was excited (although she wouldn't let me listen to the post-game show). That and many other memorable games are chronicled in this 168-page book. I didn't come across the Connie Hawkins matter or the serious illness that left James Speed blind but the book focusses (as it should) more on the teams than the individuals.
Good or bad, there are many memories associated with all major collegiant sports programs. This was a good overview of a program that wasn't the best but was good enough for a lot of great memories.