Posts Tagged ‘Curtis Stinson’

Ex-Cyclones Stinson, Blalock want to see program rebound

March 17, 2010

Former Iowa State star would like to see his team back in Big Dance

AMES — As March Madness tips off Thursday around the country, there’s excitement and disappointment with former Cyclone Curtis Stinson.

Stinson captained Iowa State’s last NCAA Tournament team in 2005, when the Cyclones beat Minnesota and fell in the second round to eventual national champion North Carolina. ISU hasn’t come close to a postseason game since.

Meanwhile, his Iowa Energy teammates are going back and forth about their alma mater’s chances in the Big Dance.

“I want to be able to talk about my team, too, when NCAA time comes around and people are doing their brackets,” Stinson said during a late-season visit to Hilton Coliseum with former running mate Will Blalock, also an NBA D-Leaguer.

Despite how things ended for both of them at ISU – turning pro early after head coach Wayne Morgan was fired and Greg McDermott was hired away from Northern Iowa – they are eager for their school to rediscover Hilton Magic and get back to the Big Dance.

Their final season was ISU’s last one over .500.

“I want to see Iowa State be successful,” Stinson said. “This is my school. I’ll always be a Cyclone no matter what happens. I want to see them win. I’m cool with some of the guys on the team. I want them to be happy and experience what we did. We had some big wins and NCAA experience.”

Morgan’s exit and the mass exodus that followed, in large part, has led to the program’s troubles.

Blalock hadn’t been back to Ames for a game since he left. He didn’t feel Morgan deserved to be let go.

“That’s why I’m still kinda bitter about the situation,” Blalock said. “If he was here I’d probably be showing a lot more support than I am.

“Being a fan of my school I’m going to support them regardless. I know they’ll turn it around sooner or later. You can’t really put too much pressure on them. They are in a rebuilding process. Hopefully next year it’ll be a lot better.”

McDermott received a vote of confidence from athletic director Jamie Pollard last week and has five years left on his contract.

ISU’s team won’t have an easy time winning next season without starters Craig Brackins, Marquis Gilstrap, Lucca Staiger and Justin Hamilton. Stinson hopes ISU’s patience pays off.

“I never want to see nobody not make it,” he said. “I know how hard it is to get that next level… Every team is a building process.”


Stinson hoping luck on his side in Vegas

July 9, 2009

AMES — Curtis Stinson’s best chance to make his NBA dream come true is upon him.

The former Iowa State star leaves for Las Vegas Thursday as one of 10 players on the D-League’s select team in the NBA’s annual Summer League. Since leaving ISU in 2006 after his junior season, Stinson has played in Croatia, Greece and with a handful of NBADL teams, spending all of last season with the Iowa Energy.

The 6-3 guard averaged 16.1 points and 8.4 assists last year, numbers he hopes have put him on NBA teams’ radar.               

“I’m confident,” Stinson said. “I feel like this was the best season I’ve had since I left Iowa State. I’m making progress and going in the right direction. All I want is an opportunity, a chance.”

At 26 years old, the miles on his body are adding up.    

Stinson has done the Summer League thing before – with Golden State, New Jersey and the L.A. Clippers – but hasn’t gotten to stay with the big club.

One word describes how his game has evolved since his days inside Hilton Coliseum: maturity. The Energy reached the playoffs and had one of the NBADL’s best won-loss records.            

“When you get to this level you have to understand the game a lot better. You have to be smart,” Stinson said. “Me as a point guard, I have to be smart. If I’m not, my team won’t win. That’s what happened this year. (Energy) Coach (Nick) Nurse gave me the opportunity to run the team and put the ball in my hands.”

The knock on Stinson has long been his outside shooting.

He shot 21.5 percent (17 of 79) on 3-pointers last season and was an average shooter from deep with the Cyclones. He’s going to have to make up for it in other areas and continue trying to improve his shot.

Starting Monday – when games begin for real – is when Stinson will have to be at his best in front of scouts and general manager-types.

“I’m just going to play. That’s all I can do,” he said.  “You never know who is there watching. You have to show up at the right time.”

Stinson is living in Ames this summer, working out and spending time with his 2-year-old son, Curtis, Jr.

He spends as much time as possible with Curt Jr. during the summer. Playing in Des Moines allows the two to keep close much of the season, despite the long hours traveling, practicing and playing.

Stinson hasn’t ruled out a return overseas, but balancing career and family is difficult in his profession.

“I’ve got to put food on the table for my son and take care of him,” Stinson said. “I love playing this game. Financially it can take care of you for the rest of your life if you get in the right situation.”

“I want to be a father that is going to take care of him. It’s a good feeling. Everybody who has a child knows.  I love him to death. My son is priority No. 1. I want to be close to him and be around as much as possible.”

Stinson is one of five former Cyclones playing in NBA summer leagues in Orlando, Fla., and Las Vegas.

Jared Homan (Pacers), Will Blalock (Pacers), Jiri Hubalek (Suns) and Mike Taylor (Clippers) are the others. Stinson is hoping to open some eyes over the next two weeks.

“Teams got to see me during the season,” he said, “now they’ll get to see me play against the guys they draft and the guys who really play. It’s a good situation.”

Wouldn’t some local boys in NBA Playoffs be nice?

May 6, 2009

The Bulls-Celtics seven-game, edge-0f-my-couch series has gotten me interested in the NBA Playoffs again.

Growing up just a half-hour outside of the city, my childhoold was spent watching Jordan, Pippen and Rodman (and, of course, vital pieces to the championship puzzle B.J. Armstrong and Bobby Hansen) celebrate in Grant Park every June.  There ‘s been very little to cheer for since title No. 6 in 1998 (thank you very little Jerry Krause and your fishing buddy, Tim Floyd).

This got me thinking, which NBA team do Iowans cheer for?

If it is teams that have Hawkeyes or Cyclones playing prominent roles, there’s not a lot of reason to watch this time of year.  Only five Iowa or Iowa State players are on NBA rosters — and only four are active.

Former Iowa forwards Reggie Evans (Philadelphia 76ers) and Ryan Bowen (New Orleans Hornets) reached the playoffs and were first-round casualties.

Cheering Evans has its challenges. The 6-8, 250-pound bruiser is a role player who plays defense and rebounds… well, most of the time.

Bowen had a couple of years in Denver in the early ’00s where he was one of their top reserves. He’s been in the league eight years, with career averages of 2.6 points and 2.1 rebounds. Great guy, but you’d be tuning in to watch Bowen slap fives and stand around the huddle during timeouts.

Ricky Davis statistically has been the most successful Cy-Hawk player of the last decade.

The former Iowa one-and-doner has averaged double-figure points in seven of his 11 years in the league. He spent much of the 2008-09 season injured with the Los Angeles Clippers, his sixth team.

Here are some of his greatest hits, minus the pathetic display of selfishness in shooting at his opponent’s basket in order to grab the final rebound needed for a triple-double.

Former Iowa State guard Mike Taylor got himself booted off the team in Ames…

…but resurrected his life and career and is a up and comer with the Clippers. Taylor averaged 5.7 points in 51 games and had a strong finish to his rookie season.

That is a stark contrast to ex-Cyclone guard Jamaal Tinsley, whose Indiana Pacers want no part of him. When you get on Larry Bird’s bad side, there’s not a lot you can do.

There are a few Hawks (Justin Johnson, Kurt Looby, Sean Sonderleiter) and Clones (Curtis Stinson) in the NBA’s Developmental League. Whether or not they get called up to the big club remains to be seen.

Stinson had a fantastic year with the Iowa Energy in Des Moines, averaging 16.1 points, 8.4 assists, 7.1 rebounds and 2.2 steals a game. He isn’t a gunner — 17 of 79 (21.5 percent) on 3-pointers — but he’s never been accused of being one.

Here’s hoping a player from one of the state’s flagship programs soon provides another reason to tune into the playoffs.

We miss you Jeff Hornacek.