Posts Tagged ‘Texas’

Colvin returning; McDermott will be watching

March 10, 2010

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Chris Colvin said once again Tuesday he plans on wearing the Iowa State uniform next season.

“I’ll be back next year,” the freshman guard from Chicago said.

That’s good news for Cyclone fans. It might not be so good for the likes of  Diante Garrett, Bubo Palo and Dominique Buckley, all of whom will be fighting for playing time at the lead guard spot.

Colvin, who is shooting at a 27.7 percent clip this season, is likely to slide over to the off guard. He said shooting will be a major part of his offseason workout program.

“That’s another thing I have to work on,” Colvin said. “I’ll probably be between a 1 and a 2 next year. I have no problem with that.”

ISU (15-16, 4-12) has seen several players transfer away from the program during McDermott’s tenure.

Will this be a year free from departures?

“I don’t think you every know that until the season is over,” Coach Greg McDermott said. “Guys evaluate in their own mind. They know better than anybody where they stand in the pecking order. Some guys are OK to stick around and fight for their position. Some don’t want to risk being the third guy and want to go play somewhere else.”

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One benefit to Iowa State’s 8:30 p.m. start Wednesday  against Texas at the Big12 Tournament is McDermott will be able to see his son, Doug, play in a state tournament quarterfinal game against Cedar Rapids Washington at 1:45 p.m.

Ames comes in at 24-0 and is trying to become the first-ever large class school in the state of Iowa to go unbeaten and win consecutive state titles.

“I’ll be able to at least watch it online and then hope I don’t get to see them Friday either,” McDermott said. “And not because they lose, because we win a few.”

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Next year’s schedule remains a work in progress.

ISU will play Creighton next season at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, face in-state schools Northern Iowa, Iowa, and Drake and also host California as part of the Big 12/Pac-10 Challenge.

“Other than that we haven’t come close to completing it,” McDermott said.

“We got to fill a few home games. We’d like to start against a good team on the road; possibly find a BCS conference school we cold start a home-and-home with on the road.”

Minnesota? Anyone else from the Big Ten?

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Northern Iowa won it second straight Missouri Valley Conference regular season and tournament championship Sunday and clinched yet another NCAA Tournament.

McDermott was able to catch some of the telecast and was happy for best friends and UNI coach Ben Jacobson and a handful of seniors he helped recruit before leaving the school in 2006.

“I want to see those people do well,” McDermott said. “I’m happy for them and I’m proud of them. I texted several of them (Sunday) night congratulating them and to say to make sure to enjoy it.”

The Panthers made three straight NCAA appearances during McDermott’s five seasons at UNI.Iow

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Cyclone QB recruit about to join the “big time”

February 2, 2010

AMES – Playing in the Big 12 Conference has been a dream of quarterback Jared Barnett’s for as long as he can remember.

“That’s big time football,” Barnett said. “The Big 12 is where playmakers want to be.”

It’s where Barnett will call home starting next season once he officially accepts Iowa State’s scholarship offer Wednesday on college football’s national signing day. The Cyclones are expecting to add about 25 players to the roster.

Barnett is not the only member of his team — or family – joining one of college football’s most competitive conferences.

Three of his Garland (Texas) High School teammates also will sign with Big 12 schools.

Barnett’s cousin, Eryon, is a freshman defensive back at Texas. And Eryon Barnett’s younger brother is being pursued by Big 12 schools for next year’s recruiting class.

They all played on the same youth football teams growing up and remain close.

“(The Big 12) is kind of in our family,” said Barnett, who also had offers from Kansas State and Houston.

The 6-1, 200-pounder was the first member of ISU Coach Paul Rhoads’ first true recruiting class, and the only quarterback. Barnett gave his commitment way back in May.

“I love the offense,” he said. “It’s the same offense we run at my high school. It’s going to be an easy transition.”

Rated by Rivals.com as the 27th-best dual threat quarterback in the nation, Barnett passed for more than 2,100 yards as a senior and had 20 touchdowns to just six interceptions.

He also ran for almost 400 yards and six more scores.

Barnett almost surely will redshirt and be in the same position current Cyclone quarterback Jerome Tiller was in this past year.

Tiller, a redshirt freshman, was given the chance to win the starting job but lost out to veteran Austen Arnaud. Like Arnaud, he’ll be an experienced junior when Barnett realistically can compete for the spot.

“Let the best man win,” Barnett said. “That’s a very exciting position to fight for.”

He watched the Cyclones go 7-6 last season mainly behind the running of tailback Alexander Robinson. Offensive coordinator Tom Herman’s spread offense was more run heavy than most thought it would be.

“With a guy like Alexander Robinson it’s hard to not hand it off to him,” Barnett said. “I’m sure we’ll pick up the passing more as everybody gets more comfortable in the offense.”

Barnett’s University of Texas-bound teammates have teased him about the difference in talent between the Big 12’s South and North divisions.

“They are saying the North is weak,” Barnett said. “We’ll have to show ‘em.”

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Iowa State’s expected list of signees Wednesday

Jared Barnett, QB, 6-1, 190, Garland H.S., Garland, Texas

Adrian Bennett, DB, 6-2, 205, Klein Forest H.S., Houston, Texas

*Jon Caspers, OL, 6-5, 295, ND State College of Science, Wahpeton, N.D.

Shaban Dika, OL, 6-5, 295, Warren H.S., San Antonio, Texas

Tom Farnioik, OL, 6-3, 260, Washington H.S., Sioux Falls, S.D.

Jacob Gannon, OL, 6-6, 255, West H.S., Iowa City

Albert Gary, WR, 5-9, 195, Butler County CC, El Dorado, Kan.

Jeremiah George, LB, 5-10, 191, Clearwater H.S., Clearwater, Fla.

Durrell Givens, DB, 6-0, 195, Chaffey CC, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.

Bob Graham, OL, 6-5, 280, Jenks H.S., Jenks, Okla.

Duran Hollis, RB, 6-1, 180, Polytechnic H.S., Fort Worth, Texas

*Ricky Howard, TE, 6-5, 255, Chaffey CC, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.

Cqulin Hubert, LB, 6-1, 217, Eisenhower H.S., Houston, Texas

Brandon Jense, DT, 6-5, 260, Ankeny H.S., Ankeny

Shontrelle Johnson, RB, 5-10, 180, Deland H.S., Deland, Fla.

Nick Kron, DE, 6-2, 245, Valley H.S., West Des Moines

Ben Loth, OL, 6-5, 275, Crespi H.S., Encino, Calif.

Floyd Mattison, LB,  6-0, 190, Morton Ranch H.S., Katy, Texas

T.J. McCullough, ATH, 6-2, 180, North Marion H.S., Citra, Fla.

Clifford Morgan, DB, 6-2, 195, Frostproof H.S., Frostproof, Fla.

*Rony Nelson, DE, 6-2, 250, Yuba CC, Marysville, Calif.

Pierce Richardson, TE, 6-4, 230, Crespi H.S., Encino, Calif.

Matt Thomas, DB, 5-10, 175, Lancaster H.S., Lancaster, Texas

Kirby Van Der Kamp, K, 6-4, 180, Valley H.S., West Des Moines

Jarvis West, WR, 5-7, 165, Gibbs H.S., St. Petersburg, Fla.

*Anthony Young, DB, 5-9, 180, Palomar CC, Ontario, Calif.

Chris Young, WR, 5-11, 185, Trinity Valley CC, Athens, Texas

*already have signed letters of intent and are enrolled at ISU

Cyclone wbb making reservations at the Hilton

January 29, 2010

AMES — Bill Fennelly is breathing a little easier these days.

Barring an utter collapse or the swine flu infecting a half-dozen players, Iowa State (16-3, 4-2 Big 12) has to feel awfully good about its chances of playing at Hilton Coliseum in late March and putting fannies in the seats.

Hilton is one of 16 sites for first- and second-round NCAA Tournament games.

The Cyclones’ 63-56 victory over No. 11 Oklahoma (14-5, 4-2) on Wednesday only enhances their postseason resume that also includes a win at No. 19 Texas.

After an 0-2 start in the league, ISU has ripped off four straight victories and is finally seeing the balance the coach had hoped would be there by this point in the season.

That was evident agianst the Sooners.

Reserves combined for 14 points and 15 rebounds. Freshman Jessica Schroll ripped down 11 big rebounds and scored four points. Amanda Zimmerman added six points and Whitney Williams scored three and had a key assist to Kelsey Bolte late in the game.

“It’s the best our bench has played in a long time,” Fennelly said. “It was outstanding.”

Schroll responded well to being benched and berated after drawing a technical foul against Texas. Fennelly chewed her out, sat her at the end of the bench and did not play her the rest of the game.

The 5-11 guard got herself out of the doghouse and logged a career-high 32 minutes against OU.

“She came out and played with the energy and effort that this team needed,” Fennelly said. “That showed a lot of maturity on her part and I’m very proud of her for doing that. Most young people would not have acted that way considering what she’s gone through the last three days.

“She has obviously been raised right and coached right by other people.”

Lacey has played at an all-Big 12 level all season. Bolte is finally coming around in league games and asserting herself offensively.

The newcomers are fitting in and proving they can perform in crunch time. 

“I hope what is says is that our players are understanding and embracing the process,” Fennelly said. “Defensively we’ve been good most of the year. Now we are getting just enough scoring at just the right time. We are taking care of the ball and we have a great point guard.”

ISU plays at Kansas State Sunday.

Men’s hoops news and notes

January 26, 2010

AMES — Marquis Gilstrap is scheduled to rejoin the team Tuesday night in Oklahoma following his uncle’s funeral back home in Georgia.

Gilstrap left Ames Monday morning. He’ll participate in Wednesday morning’s shootaround at the Lloyd Noble Center prior to Iowa State’s 8 p.m. game against Oklahoma.

Hopefully the Cyclones’ leading scorer (18 ppg) and rebounder (12.3)  in Big 12 Conference play won’t show much rust and a lack of preparedness for the scouting report. Gilstrap was withheld from Sunday’s practice because of a sore knee.

“These couple days might be good for him to get a little bit of rest,” said Coach Greg McDermott. “He’s got an understanding of what we are doing. He’ll be fine.”

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A victory tonight over the Sooners  would be reason for celebration in more ways than one.

No Iowa State team has won in Norman since Valentine’s Day 1996, a 70-58 victory. The Cyclone men have lost six straight at OU and 16 consecutive regular-season games in the state of Oklahoma counting in games at Oklahoma State.

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With just eight scholarship guys, ISU players are having to settle into roles they are not entirely familiar with.

Sophomore Dominique Buckley is one of three point guards on the active roster. Buckley is having to play the off guard spot with Lucca Staiger and Charles Boozer unavailable.

It’s been an adjustment, to say the least.

“That’s not something he’s practiced at any time over the last year-and-a-half because we’ve had enough depth. He’s going to have to play there the rest of the season.”

Scott Christopherson will start his third game since Staiger’s shocking decision to leave the team.

Like Gilstrap, Christopherson also missed practice Sunday because of an illness. He’s carrying a heavy load for McDermott on both ends of the floor.

“We are asking a lot of Scott,” he said. “He’s got to guard (Kansas’) Sherron Collins, but I expect him to score. He’ll guard (Oklahoma’s) Willie Warren, and I need him to score some points. It would be nice if there was enough offense around him that we wouldn’t have to rely on him heavily.”

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ISU has now seen them both up close. Which team is better, Kansas or Texas?

“They are both really talented and both very deep,” McDermott said.

The Big 12 heavyweights meet up Feb. 8 in an ESPN Big Monday game. The No. 2-ranked Jayhawks (19-1) beat up on Missouri last night, winning 84-65 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Texas (17-2) fell to No. 6 in the Associated Press poll after losses last week to Kansas State and Connecticut.

“It’s going to be a heck of a game,” McDermott said. “They are both athletic, they both can score on the inside, they both have solid point guard play. Both are very deserving of a top-10 ranking.”

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.

Deja Vu for Hoiberg at Hilton

January 14, 2010

AMES — Wednesday night’s game between Iowa State and Texas stirred up some fond memories for Fred Hoiberg.

The Cyclone legend was at Hilton Coliseum scouting for the Minnesota Timberwolves and had a courtside seat for his former team’s battle with the top-ranked Longhorns.

ISU (11-5) played its guts out and a raucous crowd did its part, but ultimately Texas (16-0) was too talented, too deep and too motivated to keep its perfect record intact in a 90-83 victory.

Hoiberg knows how the guys in the home locker room were feeling.  

“We played against a couple of No. 1 teams. The atmosphere in here was as good as it gets,” Hoiberg said. “I think we lost to Kansas one year by seven when Raef LaFrentz came in here as a freshman. We should have beat them.”

Hoiberg retired from basketball in 2006 and now is the T’Wolves’ Vice President of Basketball Operations. He was representing one of 13 NBA teams inside Hilton Coliseum Wednesday night.

He surely came away impressed by sharp-shooting guard Avery Bradley, forward Damion James and what seemed like a never-ending string of future NBA players that came off Texas’ bench.

ISU star forward Craig Brackins had his moments, too, as did Marquis Gilstrap with 20 points and 13 rebounds.

Not that Hoiberg could give us his thoughts — or say who he was watching most closely.

“I can’t talk about the guys. It’s against NBA rules,” Hoiberg said.

The Mayor will be back on Jan. 23 for the Cyclones’ game with Kansas, which also has a number of pro prospects. The home crowd figures to be just as ampedfor that one, as always is the case when the Jayhawks come to town.

“I love coming back to Ames. It’s my favorite place to watch a game,” Hoiberg said. “The fans here are just amazing. The crowd always give these guys a chance.”

The Cyclones have underachieved this season with what is Coach Greg McDermott’s most talented collection of players in his four years at the school.

An NCAA Tournament run isn’t out of the realm, but realistically it’s not looking too good at this point.

Some fans are down on McDermott. Hoiberg isn’t.

“Greg is an excellent coach,” he said. “It’s a tough conference to compete in with all the history of some of the programs, but I definitely think he’s got the program on the right track.”

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The Cyclones showed some spunk against Texas that has been lacking of late. They led at the half and had the college basketball world on upset alert.

“I’m proud of the way our team competed,” McDermott said. “A sense of urgency was there.”

Teams of ISU past have rolled over and died following a 10-0 run like the one Texas had to start the second half. McDermott’s bunch refused to do that, in the face of Brackins, Gilstrap and key reserve Charles Boozer all missing time in the second half due to injury.

The Cyclones continued competing until the final seconds. 

“We didn’t quit after that and got ourselves back in it, but they made big play after big play,” McDermott said.

Maybe opening the Big 12 Conference season with the league’s best team will prove to be a good thing. Next up is a trip Saturday to Lincoln, Neb., for a game with the Huskers.

Wanted: Breakout Big 12 season by frustrated Brackins

January 13, 2010

AMES — The prevailing thought coming into the season was that it would be a good thing for Iowa State if star forward Craig Brackins’ stats were not as gaudy as they were a year ago.

Well, they aren’t so far — Brackins is averaging 16.9 points and 8.1 rebounds compared with 20.2 and 9.5 from ’08-09 — but it’s not made a difference in the won-lost column.

The Cyclones are 11-4 heading into tonight’s 7 p.m. Big 12 Conference opener at Hilton Coliseum against No. 1-ranked Texas.

Last year at this time? Same record.

Defensive pressure on the 6-10 junior has been turned way up this year. Brackins is being double- and sometimes triple-teamed when the ball is passed to him in the post.

Coach Greg McDermott is working with Brackins on how to handle the increased attention opponents are paying in order to prevent him from scoring. It’s clearly frustrated Brackins, who hopefully is not regretting his decision to pass up the NBA.

Brackins’ assist total (40) nearly matches his season-long totals as a freshman (41) and sophomore (43).

But it’s clear that to make the postseason run most everybody thought they would, the Cyclones need him to score and score in bunches.

“Craig is seeing a double team almost every time that he touches the basketball,” McDermott said. “The problem with that is that even when you don’t get a double team, you are thinking that it is coming so you are a little bit tentative when you catch the basketball. Obviously that is affecting him a little bit mentally right now. It is something that we have to get him through.”

Brackins had 19 20-point games last season and three where he scored 30 or more.

Where he really turned it on was during the Big 12 season. Brackins scored a league-best 348 points, which was the 10th-most in a single season in conference history.

Brackins has had just four 20-plus point games this year and none over 30.

Opponents have held him down of late. Since going off for 28 points Dec. 11 in a win over Iowa, Brackins has averaged 14.2 points over ISU’s last five games.

Maybe the conference season is just what he needs to get him going.

“I just have to play my game, man,” Brackins said this week. “Just don’t let things get to me, feed off my teammates and have trust in my teammates.”

Top-ranked Texas coming to Hiton

January 11, 2010

AMES — When Texas comes to town Wednesday it will become the first No. 1 ranked team to play at Hilton Coliseum in 13 seasons.

The Longhorns (15-0) moved up a spot Monday in the Associated Press Top 25 poll after previous No. 1 Kansas lost Sunday at Tennessee. KU, who is on the home schedule Jan. 23, dropped to No. 3.

Kentucky — the nation’s only other unbeaten — is ranked second.

“We knew we were going to play either No. 1 or No. 2 at one point. Now it is sooner rather than later,” ISU forward Craig Brackins said Monday after practice.

A No. 1-ranked team last visited Hilton Coliseum back on Feb. 9, 1997, when top-ranked Kanasas beat sixth-ranked ISU, 69-62, on a day when Dedric Willoughby set a school record with nine 3-pointers.

The last time ISU played a No. 1-ranked team? …It was Feb. 18, 2002, a lopsided 102-66 loss at Kansas’ Allen Fieldhouse.

The last time ISU defeated a No. 1-ranked team? …It has happened, though only once in 15 tries. The Cyclones stunned top-ranked and their star Wilt Chamberlain back on Jan. 14, 1957, ISU’s Don Medsker hit a shot at the buzzer for a 39-37 victory at the Armory in Ames. 

A win Wednesday would mark Coach Greg McDermott’s first victory over a ranked team in 16 tries.

ISU’s students are back in town. The place should be rocking, hoping to see the first-ever win over a No. 1 team in five tries at Hilton Coliseum.

“There will be a lot of excitment. Being able to play that (good) of a team is a lot of fun,” said forward Justin Hamilton, who is expected to be in the starting lineup again after concussion-like symptoms forced him to sit out Saturday’s win over North Dakota State.

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.