A single moment, deconstructed, can be a great vessel for storytelling. Dealey Plaza, for example.
Illini fans will want to remember the 87-83 win at Carver-Hawkeye. They’ll enjoy the outrageous moments of injustice. The 21-2 run won’t bother them, nor the final moments when a 15 point lead disappeared.
The orange team won. That makes all of it enjoyable.
Before I deconstruct the moment, I’ll share some others. It was a frustrating game for the Illini, and the fact that maintained their composure is the reason they won. That’s why Brad Underwood talked about Jacob Grandison in his postgame comments.
Kofi Cockburn should also get credit. And Da’Monte Williams. And Trent Frazier.
Watching replays and looking at photos, I feel bad for DJ Carstensen. He’s an earnest person, a little nerdy, not an egomaniac. He wants to be a good referee.
He was responsible for most of the outrageously bad officiating on Monday. But when you analyze all the calls he got wrong, you can see that he had bad angles on the action. He couldn’t see Alfonso Plummer pushed to the ground.
He couldn’t see Jordan Bohannon molest Trent Frazier.
The latter play happened at the other end of the moment captured above. It started when Plummer left his feet (bad) which prompted Joe Toussaint to make a terrible pass (worse).
Trent got the steal, and headed downcourt, where Bohannon hacked him. Because Trent moves at near Dee Brown speed, you can understand why Carstensen wasn’t in position to see the hack.
There were plenty of bad calls, and plenty of bad non-calls. In general, DJ, Eric Curry and Lewis Garrison allowed Hawkeyes to batter Kofi. On the other hand, Kofi was the victim of a phantom foul call, among other injustices.
But the thing that made Kofi mad wasn’t the hacking. He got really mad when DJ missed an out-of-bounds call. Kofi is a mild-mannered person, and he’s learned not to dwell on things (as Brad Underwood pointed out in the postgame press conference), but he was really mad in the moment. Probably because it began with yet another uncalled foul, but not one that hindered him. He’s sensitive to injustices against others.
After Gunman was hammered, the injustice was compounded when Keegan Murray batted the ball out of bounds, and DJ Carstensen awarded posession to the Hawkeyes.
Nevertheless, once his protest was logged, Kofi got back on D.
Now, back to the Frazier steal. The thing I like about the picture is that it tells many different stories, depending on how it’s cropped.
A BIT MORE ABOUT CARVER-HAWKEYE
Following @TylerCott’s lead in writing about media access at various #B1G and non-conference venues, I’ll revise & extend my remarks about Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Carver-Hawkeye is arguably the best place in the #B1G for a photographer to shoot a game. It’s also the worst place for media overall. The photography is good because the place is well lit, folding step stools are provided (the #B1G tournament is the only other place I’ve seen this handy accessory offered), and both home and away benches are immediately adjacent to the assigned photography spots, so one can get great pictures of the coaches and players on the bench.
One can’t hear most of the things they say to each other, because it’s an arena full of people and piped noise; but one can usually hear the head coach and whichever assistant had the scout for that game.
One is also free to imagine what the participants are saying.
Before the game tips, and once the game is over, Carver-Hawkeye reverts to being the worst place for media. Iowa doesn’t have a media workroom, nor a media hospitality room. There’s no place to hang a coat. If you know who to ask, you’ll get a coupon good for $12 at the concession stands, which are all at the top and accessible only by walking up every last stair in the building.
Once the winded, sweating reporter makes it to the top, and waits in line for ten minutes, an industrial grade bratwurst or hot dog awaits. Conveniently, these food-like substances cost $12 with a soda. (Pro-tip, somehow it’s only $10.50 for the bunned, meatlike salt torpedo if you get a coffee instead, but they won’t make change anyway, so it’s not an exceptionally devilish trick.)
Iowa was the first #B1G program to employ the coupon method. Since then, tOSU and Penn State followed. That’s a shame because they both had great food, and comfortable places to eat it.