Someday Fran McCaffery would love to emulate the success Bob Knight had in the Big Ten. For now, the second-year Iowa coach will have to settle for an imitation of one of Knight's most infamous tirades.
With Iowa trailing at Michigan State 69-41 midway through Tuesday night's second half, referees hit McCaffery with a technical foul for arguing for an off-ball foul on the Spartans. An irate McCaffery berated the referees at mid-court during the ensuing timeout before returning to his bench, screaming at his players and hurling an unsuspecting folding chair to the ground to grab their attention.
Despite McCaffery's buttoned-up school teacher appearance, the technical foul was hardly out of character for the fiery Iowa coach. Referees ejected him in the second half of an 80-60 loss to Northern Iowa earlier this season and he also slapped the clipboard out of the hands of an assistant coach during a 79-76 loss to Purdue on Dec. 28.
McCaffery had every reason to be upset with his team during Tuesday night's 95-61 loss, considering Iowa wasn't competitive almost from the outset. Since back-to-back surprising road wins at Wisconsin and Minnesota, the Hawkeyes have crashed back to reality, falling to Ohio State and Michigan State by a combined 63 points.
Of course, McCaffery still has a ways to go to match Knight's temper tantrums. The "Fran Slam" was memorable but Knight's chair throw is legendary.