Point/counterpoint: Should Angle have gotten playing time on Saturday?


YES — Jordan Garretson

The final home basketball contest of the regular season means one thing — Senior Day, a time to honor the student athletes who have dedicated themselves to the program for the last four or more years.

This wasn’t the case with redshirt senior J.R. Angle. The Franklin, Ind., native failed to see a mere second of playing time.

Now anyone who even casually follows the men’s basketball team knows Angle’s role on the team isn’t a crucial one or even close to being crucial. The contributions that fellow Hawkeye senior Cyrus Tate has made on the floor since his transfer from Northeast Community College are undoubtedly more significant than Angle’s. A mere glance at the teammates’ career stats will tell you that story.

But in this situation, that’s irrelevant.

Angle was just as deserving as Tate was to see the floor at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on March 7.
It wouldn’t have been a complicated or difficult move to make. No major strategic adjustments would be necessary. Last time I checked, Iowa wasn’t in the same hemisphere as the bubble.

All I asked for was for Lickliter to start Angle and play him a minute or two. That’s all that was necessary. Did he really think Angle was enough of a liability that playing him for a measly minute or two would have cost Iowa the game?

Or was it something else?

Perhaps it was the fact that Angle isn’t one of Lickliter’s “own guys.” Angle was recruited by previous coach Steve Alford (yes, I dared to say his name). I have a feeling the same thing wouldn’t have transpired if the situation was two or three years in the future where the team would be composed entirely of players recruited by Lickliter, and there was a player on the team with a career and role identical to Angle’s.

But hey, I’m sure that’s not true.


NO — Mike Slusark

Iowa beat Penn State in double overtime, a gutsy victory for a young team with sights set on the future. J.R. Angle did not see action, and although it may be unpopular, it was the right move.
Iowa coach Todd Lickliter giving Angle a few minutes at the beginning of the game would not have changed his life. Everyone loves the image of the walk-on who never has taken off his warm-ups lining up with the starters for his last home game, but that’s not Angle.

Angle is a scholarship player who has seen some playing time in his four-year career. I’m sure he was fully aware what his role on the team would be this season.

The school does not owe Angle one last chance to start. Other players have earned that right.
It doesn’t matter that Iowa had already secured its place in the Big Ten Tournament. Tell Jake Kelly, who played against Penn State severely ill, that it was a meaningless game.

With a young team, every start and every victory against Big Ten competition matters. Building confidence in our young players through big victories is one of the most important aspects to future success. Starting Angle would have just prevented one of Iowa’s contributing players, such as Devan Bawinkel, from getting his rhythm going early, which is important for a shooter.

It is not as if the university has been cruel to Angle. While playing very little, he had his full tuition paid for throughout his college career. I think that alone should be enough consolation for not getting to play in his last game.

Lickliter is doing the right thing by focusing on developing his team and his players. Resurrecting the Iowa basketball program is more important than charity minutes for a scholarship senior.

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