Future uncertain for Iowa's Lickliter

INDIANAPOLIS -- There was a ton of buzz about Todd Lickliter's future at Iowa well before the Hawkeyes tipped things off against Michigan in a first-round Big Ten tournament matchup.

Lickliter left Indy late Thursday afternoon not knowing whether he'd coached his final game at Iowa. Athletic director Gary Barta said in a statement that he'll evaluate the future in the coming days.

Not much has gone Lickliter's way both on and off the court since he arrived at Iowa from Butler in 2007. The team has endured a wave of transfers, embarrassing losses, declining attendance and even health issues for Lickliter earlier this year.

Iowa showed some life midway through Big Ten play, and Barta gave Lickliter a vote of confidence in January, but things went south down the stretch, as Iowa dropped six of its final seven.

Lickliter sounded a bit defeated after Thursday's game, but his personality isn't exactly sunny even in good times. He and his players had some interesting things to say, which you'll see below:

  • Lickliter: "The recruits that we’ve targeted that we feel like are going to be able to compete have got to go through some tough times. We’re not recruiting an All-Big Ten player to Iowa their freshman year. If we do, great, if we can find him. But realistically, what we’ve had to do is recruit players who can develop into that. That’s hard for players to go through: the frustration, the grind, the hard work. So we’ve had to continue to fight through some of that."

  • Lickliter: "My future is that I’m healthy, I have a great family, I love what I do, I’ve done it well, and [the future is] not in my hands."

  • Freshman guard Cully Payne: "We’ve got a great foundation and we’re excited for coach. We’re by his side the whole way. I can speak for our freshman class and our whole team that coach is our guy.”

  • Sophomore forward Aaron Fuller: "I plan to come back next year. If coach is here, great. If not, that's unfortunate and I hope the best for him. The program's not where it needs to be at, and it's not my choice whether he stays or goes."