Posts Tagged ‘Jamie Vanderbeken’

Cyclone — and proud Canadian — Vanderbeken celebrates hockey gold

March 1, 2010

AMES — Jamie Vanderbeken hasn’t had much to feel good about these last few months.

That changed Sunday when the Belleville, Ontario, native watched Canada beat the United States, 3-2, in overtime of the men’s Olympic hockey final. Vanderbeken, who is being witheld from competition and seeking a medical redshirt for next season because of a variety of injuries, was signing the Canadian national anthem walking off the practice floor Monday morning.

“I’m so proud, especially being around all Americans who don’t know anything about hockey,” he said. “We honestly care.”

Cyclone players were lifting weights Sunday during the gold medal match, and keeping one eye on the TV. 

“When I heard it was 2-2 and they tied it up I almost cried,” Vanderbeken said.

A nation — and an ISU basketball player thousands of miles away — rejoiced when Sidney Crosby scored the game-winning goal past U.S.  goalie Ryan Miller.

A loss would have been difficult for Canadians to swallow.  

“There would be a lot of depressed people,” Vanderbeken said. “It’s our game. We invented it, we mastered it and we’ve got (gold) again… You (Americans) are getting there.”

Advertisements

Roster shuffle has ISU coaches on the hunt

February 3, 2010

 

McDermott having to plug holes in his roster

AMES — Iowa State has been in a recruiting scramble the last few weeks as its men’s basketball roster has undergone major changes. 

Spots that were filled by Lucca Staiger and L.A. Pomlee suddenly are open and one that coaches thought would be available isn’t as injured senior Jamie Vanderbeken is being shelved with the hope that he will be alllowed to play next season.

ISU coaches are piling up cell phone minutes and frequent flier miles checking out prospects they didn’t necessarily need a month ago.

“You always have your eyes on people and trying to be aware of who is available and playing well,” Coach Greg McDermott said this week. “Now that we are in this situation we’ve been more aggressive the last two weeks in getting out and getting in front to see some people.

“With Lucca leaving we’ll probably look to add someone in the guard court.”

Add in Marquis Gilstrap’s appeal to the NCAA for a extra year of eligibility beyond his one and only guaranteed season — the result of which won’t be known until after the season — and there’s all kinds of question marks looking ahead to the 2010-11 roster.

Forward Craig Brackins has another year to play, but the expectation is the junior big man won’t pass on entering the NBA Draft early like he did last April.

“My guess is that Craig is going to declare,” McDermott said. “Because of his age that’s probably what he should do.”

ISU will add at least one player in the late signing period to help fill Brackins’ place in the middle. The Cyclones have a verbal commitment from 6-10, 215-pounder Jordan Railey of Beaverton, Ore.

Two backcourt players — 6-6 Melvin Ejim from Brewster (N.H.) Academy and Marshalltown Community College 6-3 shooting guard DeMarcus Phillips — signed letters of intent back in November.

Assuming Brackins and Gilstrap don’t return and Vanderbeken is granted a medical hardship, nine of ISU’s 13 scholarships are spoken for by returning players. Recruits Railey, Ejim and Phillips make it 12, leaving one spot to fill.

Stay tuned Cyclone fans.  And good luck predicting which players will be sitting on ISU’s bench next season.

Offseasons have unfortunately been eventful in the McDermott era.

Lucca’s free….what now for the Cyclones?

January 20, 2010

AMES — Iowa State basketball coaches Greg McDermott and Jeff Rutter gave it their best shot in convincing Lucca Staiger to continue his basketball career in the United States.

But Staiger’s plane ticket was purchased and his mind made up: the junior guard is leaving ISU mid-season to begin his professional career in Germany.

“We attempted to reason with him and explain to him what we felt were the benefits of finishing the season,” McDermott said late Tuesday night. “We felt there were a lot of positives to that. Lucca, however, felt the (financial) guarantee that he would have wasn’t worth the risk.”

And so, the Cyclones (12-5, 1-1 Big 12) come into tonight’s 6:30 p.m. game at Texas Tech with just seven scholarship players scheduled to suit up.

The head coach has some thinking to do between now and tip-off. His options are these:

— Play the next four games with those seven players until freshman guard Chris Colvin comes off suspension in February

— Reinstate Colvin immediately, which McDermott said Monday before Staiger’s stunning announcement he would not do

— Pull the redshirt off one of the true freshmen guards, Antwon Oliver or Bubu Palo

“None of the three of those is ideal,” McDermott said, “but I have to decide along with input from my coaching staff what is best for our team at this point in time. Outside of the plane ride I haven’t had a lot of time to think about what to do moving forward.”

Scott Christopherson will take Staiger’s place in the starting lineup.

The sophomore guard, who averages 6.8 points a game, often has been a late-game replacement for Staiger. He is shooting 50 percent both from the field (41 of 82) and 3-point range (19 of 38).

“There’s an opportunity there for someone else and I’m certain Scott is going to grab a hold of that and run with it,” McDermott said.

Staiger led the Cyclones with 48 3-pointers and was his 9.4 points a game was third-most on the team.

It’s been an eventful 2010 for ISU so far. Colvin was suspended, center Jamie Vanderbeken is being withheld from competition because of injury, forward L.A. Pomlee was dismissed, guard Charles Boozer sustained a season-ending knee injury and Tuesday came Staiger’s shocker.

McDermott — who had to deal with a similar situation in April 2008 when Wesley Johnson abruptly decided to transfer — will really have to circle the wagons in order to have a strong finish. 

“I hope this is a rallying point for the guys “ he said. “We are going to have to count on each other.”

Another Cyclone streak snapped in Lincoln

January 17, 2010

Iowa State’s streak-busting in Lincoln continued Saturday night with a 56-53 win at Nebraska, snapping a 16-game Big 12 Conference road losing skid.

Three months earlier — just days apart — it was the Cyclone football team leaving town with its first win at Memorial Stadium since 1977 and ISU’s volleyball team winning its first overall match against the Huskers in 75 tries.

As was the case with football, it wasn’t pretty, but the Cyclones finished strong.

They got the job done defensively down the stretch, holding Nebraska down and forcing tough shots for the offensively challenged Huskers.

ISU survived this one despite shooting 39.3 percent on FGs and having Craig Brackins score just six points.

Brackins, who along with juniors Diante Garrett and Lucca Staiger got his first conference road victory, did pull down 11 rebounds and dish out three assists.

Seven different players had at least six points, led by Marquis Gilstrap’s 15 to go with 12 rebounds.

Next up is a game at Texas Tech on Wednesday. That’s another very winnable road game. Is two in a row too tall a task for this crew?

DEPTH PERCEPTION

It wasn’t long ago that depth was thought to be a strength of this team.

Not anymore.

The Cyclones are down to eight scholarship players after Saturday’s news that reserve guard Charles Boozer will miss the rest of the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament. Boozer was hurt in Wednesday’s loss to No. 1-ranked Texas.

He would have been an important player off the bench for Coach Greg McDermott over the last half of the season.  Instead, he joins Jamie Vanderbeken (ankle) on injured reserve and is the fourth player in the last 10 days to become unavailable.

Forward L.A. Pomlee was dismissed and freshman point guard Chris Colvin is on suspension until at least February.

ISU managed themselves fine agianst Nebraska, but are going to find more difficult tests in the next two months.  Right now the help off the bench consists of Scott Christopherson, LaRon Dendy and Dominique Buckley.

McDermott, from all indications, is not considering pulling the redshirt off true freshman Antwon Oliver.

NBA DOWN ON BRACKINS?

The newest issue of ESPN the Magazine includes a not-so-flattering blurb about Brackins’ pro prospects.

In hoops analyst Doug Gottlieb’s notes column, Gottlieb quotes an unnamed NBA scout on Brackins: “He’s wildly overrated.” Gottlieb says league evaluators are seeing the 6-10 big man as “a face-the-basket 3 trapped in a 4’s body without enough athleticism to create his own shot.”

Brackins was a sure first-round NBA Draft pick last June but decided to return to ISU for his junior season.

A mock draft at www.nbadraft.net has Brackins going No. 16 to Minnesota.  It also has former Cyclone Wesley Johnson, now at Syracuse, at No. 2 overall behind Kentucky’s freshman point guard John Wall.

Boozer likely out for Nebraska game

January 15, 2010

AMES — Super sub Charles Boozer is considered “doubtful” for Iowa State’s 7 p.m. Big 12 basketball game Saturday at Nebraska, according to ISU media relations contact Mike Green.  

Boozer injured his right knee late in the first half of Wednesday’s 90-83 loss to No. 1 Texas. The junior guard’s knee cap slid out of place when he came down on a drive to the basket.

It popped back in but Boozer had the knee wrapped with ice and did not return to the game.

“Everyone else is good,” Green said.

With Boozer’s absence the Cyclones’ depth takes yet another hit. Guard Chris Colvin (suspension) and center Jamie Vanderbeken (ankle) are both out indefinitely and reserve forward L.A. Pomlee was dismissed from the team last week.

Sophomore Dominique Buckley figures to see increased playing time and ISU’s starters will have to log even more minutes.

Basketball bits before Cyclones vs. Dookies

January 5, 2010

Who knows how full the United Center will be for Wednesday’s 8 p.m. Iowa State-Duke men’s basketball game. The place can hold almost 21,000.

We do know that press row will be full. ISU media relations contact Mike Green said 17 NBA scouts have requested credentials for the game, which is the first-ever meeting between the schools.

“Over half of the league is going to be there,” Green said.

Who are they going to be looking at?

Cyclone big man Craig Brackins is probably pretty high on the list, along with Duke senior Jon Scheyer and juniors Kyle Singler and Nolan Smith. ISU guard/forward Marquis Gilstrap should also garner a look, though he may end up returning to school if the NCAA grants him an extra season of eligibilty. 

AT THE MIC. Dave O’Brien (play-by-play) and Jay Bilas (color) will have the call on ESPN2. Bilas, one of the network’s lead analysts, was a four-year starter for Duke from 1983-86 and later an assistant coach under Coach Mike Krzyzewski from 1990-92.

MISSING IN ACTION. ISU big man Jamie Vanderbeken is questionable at best to play against the Blue Devils.

Vanderbeken has missed four games this season because of various injuries. The latest is a high ankle sprain sustained after slipping on a patch of ice.

The 6-11 senior has missed most of the last month and his return to the lineup is “slow going,” said Coach Greg McDermott. 

“I really feel bad for Jamie,” McDermott said.  “It’s his senior year and you hate to have anybody go through injury after injury after injury.

Before the season even started Vanderbeken was rehabbing a stress fracture in his foot he sustained during tryouts for Great’s Britain’s national team that was competing in the European Championships. Then came a sprained knee late in ISU’s Dec. 2 loss to Northern Iowa.

And now, the ankle.

“We’ve had a hard time working that out,” McDermott said. “He’s better than he’s been. He’s been able to get through most of a couple of practices, but still a long ways from being ready.”

Vanderbeken is averaging 4.6 points and 3.1 rebounds while shooting 62.5 percent from the field.  ISU’s perimeter shooting has suffered a bit, as Vanderbeken is one of the team’s best 3-point shooters.

Two games in, Cyclone men showing big promise

November 16, 2009

There’s a lot to be excited about if you’ve seen or read about the start to Iowa State’s men’s basketball team.

Coach Greg McDermott is onto something here.  He’s finally got an abundance of talent and is figuring out how best to deploy it. This group still is very much a work in progress, but you can see there is athleticism, skill and depth to build on.

Decisive wins over Idaho State (88-68) and Chicago State (72-50) — while not unexpected — showed some of what this team has to offer.

The numbers are already taking shape:

— 80 points per game

— Field goal percentage of 48.3

— 3-point field goal percentage of 51.6 (16 of 31)

— Eleven players averaging 9 minutes a game or more

All-Big 12 Conference forward Craig Brackins is averaging 12.0 points and 5.5 rebounds, well below his averages from a season ago.  He’s cool with that.

“As long as we win I don’t care,” Brackins said.

Transfer Marquis Gilstrap shrugged off a bad start Sunday night against Chicago State to finish with 11 points and 15 rebounds, six on the offensive end.

Another first-year player, LaRon Dendy, had 16 points and 7 rebounds in his Cyclone debut agianst Idaho State, then injured his knee in practice the following day and will sit out the next two weeks.

Point guard Diante Garrett has 12 assists and just two turnovers so far. Against Idaho State Garrett had seven assists, no points and no turnovers. McDermott was thrilled.

“If that’s not a sign of that progress he’s made in two years of how to run a team and how to play the point guard position… he’s really grown as a point guard,” he said.

What’s very encouraging going into Tuesday night’s game at Drake is the scoring efficiency of ISU’s reserves.

Dendy, Scott Christopherson, Charles Boozer and Jamie Vanderbeken are a combined 23 of 32 (71.9 percent)from the field. Nine of their 12 shots from 3-point distance have been good.

Cyclones tabbed for 8th in Big 12 preseason poll

October 14, 2009

Big 12 Conference coaches picked Iowa State to finish eighth in the league this season, the highest predicted finish for the Cyclones during Greg McDermott’s coaching tenure.

There are reasons — good ones, at that — to believe ISU will live up to that expectation and maybe exceed it.

Forward Craig Brackins returned for his junior season and is an All-America candidate. Big things are anticipated out of newcomers Marquis Gilstrap, Chris Colvin and LaRon Dendy.

Gilstrap was recently chosen at the league’s preseason newcomer of the year.

And then there’s experienced returnees in Diante Garrett, Lucca Staiger and Jamie Vanderbeken.

Fans are excited. They should be. Postseason basketball is a realistic goal for this team.

Media day for the ISU men is tomorrow (Thursday). There will be lots to talk about.

Kansas was the overwhelming choice to finish as league champion, with 11 of the 12 first-place vote. Texas got Jayhawks coach Bill Self’s vote. Coaches are not allowed to vote for their team.

Oklahoma, Kansas State and Texas A&M round out the top five.

The remaining order goes like this: Oklahoma State, Missouri, Iowa State, Texas Tech, Baylor, Nebraska and Colorado.

One and done, what now?

March 12, 2009

Iowa State’s men’s basketball season ended Wednesday night in Oklahoma City with a 81-67 loss to Oklahoma State at the Big 12 Tournament.

Few in Cyclone Nation were surprised or, quite frankly, disappointed.

Spring football practice begins March 24. The women’s basketball team is ranked in the top 20 and headed for another NCAA Tournament. ISU’s wrestling team qualified all 10 wrestlers for next week’s national championships. 

There are things to look forward to in Ames.

The Cyclones were playing out the string, building for a 2009-10 season that hopefully includes star forward Craig Brackins. 

The Cyclones finished 15-17 overall, Coach Greg McDermott’s third straight season missing out on postseason play, and were 4-12 in league play.

There’s work to do be done, quite obviously.

Athleticism, consistency, late-game execution — all need major upgrades. Pieces are there for McDermott, who returns everybody but seniors Alex Thompson, Sean Haluska and Bryan Petersen.

Fine people and solid players they are. Program-turning talents they are not.

Iowa State has reason to think next year will better.

Brackins has to realize he’d benefit by waiting another year to jump to the NBA, junior college transfer Marquis Gilstrap has to live up to the hype, Diante Garrett must be able to produce every game out and Chris Colvin has to be ready to play immediately.

Lucca Staiger and Jamie Vanderbeken proved they can be offensive weapons.

Marquette transfer Scott Christopherson should be a factor, judging by his work during practice while he sat out the season. 

Justin Hamilton needs to keep improving but has a nice upside.

ISU’s prospects for next year hinge on Brackins, who would be silly not to at least go through NBA workouts to see where teams are telling him he stacks up with the rest of the draft class.

He can still return if he doesn’t hire an agent.

That’s the postseason storyline we’ll all be following. In the meantime, enjoy the wrestling, Cyclone women’s hoops and spring football updates.

Iowa State’s scholarship breakdown for ’09-10, assuming there are no changes

Seniors: F Jamie Vanderbeken, G/F Marquis Gilstrap

Juniors: F Craig Brackins, G Diante Garrett, G Charles Boozer, G Lucca Staiger

Sophomores: G Justin Hamilton, G Wes Eikmeier, G Dominique Buckley, G Scott Christopherson, G Clinton Mann

Freshmen: F L.A. Pomlee, G Chris Colvin