Iowa basketball ditches Twitter in hopes of finding spark

The Hawkeyes won’t be on social media in the coming days as they prepare to find their groove again.


Lily Smith

Iowa guard Jordan Bohannon attempts a 3-pointer during the Iowa/Northwestern men's basketball game at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Sunday, February 10, 2019.

Pete Ruden, Sports Editor

Log onto Twitter between now and the Big Ten Tournament, and you’ll surely see plenty of entertaining memes, loud opinions, and up-to-date sports news. One thing you won’t see, however, is the Iowa men’s basketball team.

As the Hawkeyes try to find their groove on the court again, they have deleted social media in preparation for the conference tournament, which will begin for them on Thursday when they take on the winner of the Illinois-Northwestern game.

The reason for the lack of posts is simple, really.

“Just to focus on our team and not worry about outside distractions,” Iowa guard Jordan Bohannon said.

This isn’t a new phenomenon by any means. Before every NBA playoff run, LeBron James activates “Zero Dark Thirty-23” mode, cutting off access to all social media to focus on his upcoming games, and it has paid off.

After all, he has won three NBA titles and took home Finals MVP all three times.

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No matter how James’ regular season goes, he hits a second wind in the postseason and proves why he’s the most dominant player in the league.

That’s exactly what the Hawkeyes are hoping to do in the Big Ten Tournament.

“It’s been present all year, but I don’t think it was necessary,” forward Luka Garza said. “It was just starting to get a little bit more amped up, especially with everything going on. I think it was just a good, clean decision. I wasn’t on Twitter too much anyways, so it’s not really a big effect on my life.”

While staying off Twitter might not have a big impact on most Hawkeyes, their play on the floor has. Iowa has lost four in a row heading into its postseason matchup with its last loss coming in heartbreaking fashion.

Iowa led Nebraska for most of the game on Sunday but blew a 7-point lead in 47 seconds to lose its fourth straight.

The Hawkeyes showed their potential earlier in the season, consistently finding themselves ranked in the AP Top 25 and scoring big wins, including a dominant victory over then-No. 5 Michigan in Carver-Hawkeye.

“We executed fairly well in certain situations, not so much in others, and that’s what happens in the course of a long season,” Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery said. “You try to continue to have a businesslike approach. You want to enjoy the ride to a degree, but there’s always that businesslike approach that you have to have when you’re preparing to play games at this level.”

Iowa hasn’t won a game in March since taking down South Dakota in the NIT in 2016-17. The Hawkeyes are 0-5 since then.

Iowa has shown its potential all season, even recently beating one of the hottest teams in the Big Ten in Indiana on Feb. 22. Now, it’s a matter of putting it all together and executing during the most important stretch of the season.

“I don’t think we would change anything — just keep being ourselves,” forward Tyler Cook said. “We don’t want to second-guess what we know how to do. We were one of the hottest teams in the country earlier for a reason, so we just want to get back to being ourselves.”

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