Iowa head basketball coach Fran McCaffery had media availability on Tuesday, commenting on a number of topics ranging from Joe Wieskamps ankle to travel arrangements for the teams two upcoming tournaments. Embedded in those comments was an interesting nugget: the Hawkeyes depart for Indianapolis on Wednesday, March 10th and wont be leaving until their season is over.
The Hawkeyes wont play their first game in Indy until Friday night in the Big Ten Tournament. Then theyll have a week off in Indianapolis until the NCAA Tournament kicks off the following Friday (thats not a typo, the NCAA Tournament starts on Friday this year rather than the traditional Thursday start for the Round of 64). Iowa wont be returning home in between those two tournaments and with the condensed tournament format and all games being played locally, they wont be leaving until their NCAA Tournament run concludes. If things go according to plan, that wouldnt be until Tuesday, April 6th – a full 27 days later.
Thats quite the road trip and it begs a (few) question(s): how exactly does a college basketball team pack for a month-long road trip? We set out to answer that question with specific packing lists for each of Iowas players and coaches. And no, were not diving into how many pairs of socks or underwear each person needs. These are the items specific to each player or coach.
Fran is a simple guy who really only needs a few things for a road trip such as this:
- a years supply of his blood pressure meds
- his earbuds and copy of mindfulness techniques
- a bottle of whatever horse tranquilizer hes been taking this year to avoid exploding at miserable Big Ten officiating
- his tearaways in case things start to get a little nuts
For assistant coach Kirk Speraw, the packing list is a bit heavier. Thats not to say Speraw has more needs for a road trip than Fran, just that hes likely to end up going through more clothes.
Why? Well, because coach Speraw has long been the designated celebrator in chief among the Hawkeye staff. If Iowa intends to be in Indianapolis for an extended period of time, that means plenty of wins. Plenty of wins means plenty of post-game celebrations. So Coach Speraw is going to need:
- Family pack, towels
- 9 quick-dry dress shirts
- fresh app update for TikTok
- dancing shoes
Loading up a bag is likely no more difficult for any member of the Hawkeye family than it will be for assistant coach Sherman Dillard. The Shermanator is without question the best dressed on Iowas staff and come tournament time you know the man is going to be putting on a show.
- 9 premium quality suits of varying style
- 9 backup suits of premium quality and varying styles in case the mood strikes
- entire collection of 137 bow ties, because you just never know
- suspenders, probably
- stylish eye glasses to match each of the 18 suit and 137 bow tie combinations
- 49 pairs of socks, for flare
- last 2 years of GQ issues for light bedtime reading
- one large trunk
While Coach Dillard is likely to need some pretty large bags for all his incredible clothing options, star center Luka Garza is going to need some sizeable luggage not for his clothes, but for all the heavy extras hell be traveling with.
- one very large suitcase for trophies and awards to be won over next 27 days
- one moderately large suitcase for:
- collection of drill videos, including original George Mikan instructional video
- collection of 1970s-1980s highlight videos
- VCR to play said videos
- old school tube tv to connect to said VCR
- first aid kit for light touch ups after physical beating hes about to endure, without any fouls being called
As big as that bag is going to be for Luka, fellow senior Jordan Bohannon is likely to need the largest amount of luggage for any of the players.
- laptop, Bose headphones, Snowcone microphone for podcast recording on the road
- XBox (or Playstation? feels like JoBo is an XBox guy right?)
- webcam for Twitch streaming games
- blow dryer
- 3 cans of pomade
- 2 cans of hair spray
- beard trimmer and electric razor
- 19 year old savings jar of quarters to pay parking meters
Junior wing Joe Wieskamp is a bit of a lighter packer. Hes a family man these days and that, plus basketball, is really all he needs.
- spare basketball in case he cant get one at the hotel
- framed picture of wifey
- pen, paper and a months worth of stamps to write home to wifey
Sophomore shooting guard CJ Fredrick is also a lighter packer than some of his teammates. The biggest thing for him at this point is ensuring none of his breakables are in his checked bag.
- bubble wrap
- icy hot
- athletic tape
Note, CJ may in fact be packing a back solely as a backup bag for Joe Wieskamp, in case he forgets any of the above.
Junior guard Connor McCaffery may have the most interesting time packing of any of Iowas players. Not because he is indecisive or has too much he wants to bring, but because hes likely packing for the whole team.
- copy of Basketball Coaching For Dummies he found under dads bed back in 1999
- baseball glove and ball
- oranges, bananas and juice boxes to pass out to the team at halftime of every game
Oh crap, someone has to pack a bag for Pat!
- Patricks bag, complete with whey protein and extra socks
- extra thick seat cushion for those long stretches of being pulled after one turnover
- copy of Dale Carnegies How to Win Friends and Influence People
- dry ice to keep sideline water cool enough to inject into his veins in the waning moments
- oil for his robotic joints
- fake sweat to make it look like he had to try all game when on national TV
What did we forget? What would need to be in your bag?