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He and his predecessors often have had to sit in front of reporters at preseason media day and try to whip up enthusiasm for the team they were going to put on the court that season. McCaffery now finds himself trying -- at least a little -- to temper the enthusiasm that surrounds the Hawkeyes.
He’s not very good at it. The truth seeps through. McCaffery, like almost everyone else, thinks he has a pretty good basketball team.
“I don't think there's any doubt that we are excited that people think enough of our team to rank us in the top 25 and project us to be in the NCAA tournament,’’ McCaffery said Wednesday at the Hawkeyes’ media day. “That's exciting. It's an accomplishment for some of the guys who have been here and haven't had that before. But the reality is now we have to go out and do it.’’
McCaffery talked about not believing what all the experts are saying and having the maturity to cope with higher expectations.
“I just want to get better,’’ he added later while chatting with a few reporters. “Obviously, we’d like to win a Big Ten championship. Are we capable of doing it? Absolutely. A number of other teams feel the same way ... But it’s a reasonable goal.’’