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February 4, 2005

Down Memory Lane - 1962-63 Iowa Basketball

Photo Feature

1962-63 State University of Iowa Hawkeyes basketball media guide.

Many Hawkeye fans of my age know the name Sharm Scheuerman. Sharm was the analyst with Bob "Oh my" Hogue back when KWWL-TV first started regular telecasts of Lute Olson's Iowa Hawkeyes.

Scheuerman was a starter on one of the great Iowa squads of all time. The 1954-55 Hawkeyes won the Big Ten with an 11-3 (19-7) record and made it to the Final Four where they finished fourth losing to LaSalle 76-73 and then Colorado 75-54. The following year the Hawks went 13-1 (20-6) to again win the Big Ten and this time finished second in the Final Four, beating Temple 83-76 before losing to Bill Russell and San Francisco 83-71 in the title game.

After his senior year, Scheuerman was named assistant varsity/head freshman coach for the Hawkeyes. This was back in the day when freshman were ineligible for varsity play and instead played on a freshman team.

When head coach, Bucky O'Connor was killed in an automobile accident in April of 1958, Scheuerman, then only 24 years old, was named head coach.

The first two years Iowa finished in the middle of the Big Ten, but in year three he found lightning in a bottle as the Hawkeyes finished in a tie for second with Purdue. The 1960-61 season was more than just a second place finish though. It was a miracle.

The Hawkeyes came out fast and at 12-1 they were ranked fourth in the country. Then came losses to Purdue and Cincinnati and the Hawks fell to ninth place. The worst was yet to come though.

In early February, four starters (Frank Allen, Tom Harris, Ron Zagar and Dave Maher) were declared ineligible. Don Nelson moved back to center and with three sophomores now starting, the Hawkeyes rallied to finish 6-3 the rest of the way. Included in the losses was a heartbreaking 62-61 loss to defending national champion, Ohio State.

The Hawks would finish the season 8th in the nation, but more trouble was on the horizon as freshman phenom, Connie Hawkins, was banned for life for his involvement in a gambling scandal.

The 1961-62 Hawks would drop to fourth in the Big Ten and the wheels slowly continued to fall off with Don Nelson graduating.

The Hawkeyes had high hopes entering the 1962-63 season. Eight lettermen returned to offset the loss of two time, all Big Ten player, Don Nelson. Coach Scheuerman planned on stressing outside shooting behind returning lettermen guards, Andy Hankins and Joe Reddington and sophomore guard, Jimmy Rodgers (Future NBA coach and father of Iowa star quarterback, Matt Rodgers).

Two players would report to camp late as Matt Szykowny and Fred Riddle were the starting and third string quarterbacks on the football team. The Hawkeyes would also feature the two tallest players in school history (at that time) in seven foot center Don Faes and 6'9" Bill Skea. Neither player would be a factor though in a season that would see Iowa drop to 8th place in the Big Ten with a 5-9 (9-15) record. The following year Iowa would drop to 9th in the Big Ten and Sharm Scheuerman would announce his resignation paving the way for Ralph Miller and another golden age for Iowa basketball.

Some interesting tidbits from the media guide.

The Hawks played 24 games, but only nine at Iowa City. The only non-conference games played in the Fieldhouse were against Ohio and Clemson.

Dick Schultz was an assistant coach in basketball and baseball.

Jim Freese played catcher on the baseball team.

Andy Hankins will "wear glasses in this season's games which may improve shooting."

Jerry Messick is of "Croatian descent."

Jim McAndrew, freshman, was also a baseball player. (My note: McAndrew would make the big leagues as a pitcher with the New York Mets and win a World Series ring with Amazing Mets of 1969.)

Dave Roach- Was "too tense last season and his shooting suffered."

Bill Skea-Was a "hard worker, but handicapped by lack of speed and some coordination problems." (My note: Some brutal opinions)



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