Iowa basketball team hopes to become "unconsciously competent" - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa basketball team hopes to become "unconsciously competent"

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Iowa City, Iowa -- Over half of Iowa's scholarship players are freshmen and sophomores, but still 2nd year Head Coach Todd Lickliter feels his team is "walking toward the walk".  After a summer of open gym sessions among the 6 returnees and 7 newcomers, Lickliter and his staff no longer have to do all the teaching.

"They have completely in my opinion committed to what we want to do," says Lickliter, "and that enables us to have examples and what that enables us to have is leaders that are actually demonstrating."

Sophomore guard Jake Kelly agrees, "It helps the new guys because we know what's expected of us, and they can watch it.  Last year we didn't have anyone to watch and know how to do it.  I think this year we'll come along a lot faster and make more progress."

The players increased comfort will hopefully lead to something called unconsciously competent, one of Todd Lickliter's favorite phrases. 

 "It means doing something perfect without thinking about it," says sophomore forward Jarryd Cole.

 "You're doing the right things, and you don't even know you're doing them," agrees freshman guard and coach's son John Lickliter.

Coach Lickliter now hopes the concept can become a reality.  "Our vision now is to become more consistent. I thought we did some real good things last year, we just weren't consistent enough." 

That's the key to turning around a team that went 13-19 last season according to sophomore guard Jeff Peterson.  "There's a whole new vibe in the locker room that's carrying over for us.  Nobody wants to go through what we went through last year.  And we know what we have to do to not go through that."

The first step toward erasing last year's season comes Friday when practice officially begins.

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