January 26, 2015

Drake hopes first MVC win will lead to another

Ray Giacoletti (file photo)

Ray Giacoletti (file photo)

The Drake Bulldogs will try to make it two in a row in Missouri Valley Conference play, tonight when they host Illinois State. The Bulldogs shot a blistering 70 percent from three point range in Saturday’s victory over Indiana State to claim their first Valley win. “Knocking shots down covers up a lot of warts, and I think gave us some confidence, we were better in situations,” Drake coach Ray Giacoletti.

The Bulldogs will be out to avenge an 81-45 thumping at the hands of the Redbirds two weeks ago.

Giacoletti says they are a hard matchup with their size and ability to hit shots.

Drake is 1-5 in the Valley and 4-14 overall.


Radio Iowa Boys’ High School Basketball Poll 1/19/15

Class 4A
1. Iowa City West (11-0), LW #1 vs Bettendorf (Tue)
2. DSM Hoover (11-0), LW #2 vs Mason City (Tue)
3. Pleasant Valley (11-0), LW #4 @ Dubuque Senior (Tue)
4. Ankeny Centennial (10-1), LW #5 vs Ankeny (Fri)
5. Dowling Catholic (10-1), LW #3 vs Urbandale (Fri)
6. Waukee (9-3), LW #8 @ S.E. Polk (Fri)
7. Linn-Mar (8-3), LW #6 vs Ankeny (Tue)
8. North Scott (8-3), LW #7 vs CR Prairie (Tue)
9. Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln (12-1), LW #9 @ Sergeant Bluff-Luton (Tue)
10.Dubuque Hempstead (9-1), LW #10 vs Iowa City High (Tue)

Class 3A
1. Waverly-Shell Rock (12-0), LW #1 vs Crestwood (Tue)
2. Dallas Center-Grimes (10-2), LW #4 @ Wnterset (Tue)
3. Williamsburg (10-1), LW #5 @ South Tama (Tue)
4. Dubuque Wahlert (6-5), LW #6 vs 4A #7 Linn-Mar (Fri)
5. Spirit Lake (10-1), LW #10 @ Storm Lake (Tue)
6. Pella (9-2), LW #8 vs Adel ADM (Tue)
7. LeMars (9-2), LW #3 vs Emmetsburg (Tue)
8. Cedar Rapids Xavier (6-5), LW (X) vs Waterloo East (Fri)
9. MOC-Floyd Valley (10-2), LW #2 vs Sibley-Ocheyedan (Tue)
10.Fort Madison (1-2), LW (X) @ Burlington (Tue)

Class 2A
1. Western Christian (10-1), LW #1 vs Cherokee (Tue)
2. IKM-Manning (11-0), LW #2 vs Oakland Riverside (Tue)
3. New Hampton (12-1), LW #3 vs Oelwein (Tue)
4. Cascade (12-1), LW #4 vs Camanche (Tue)
5. Aplington-Parkersburg (13-0), LW #8 @ Waterloo Columbus (Tue)
6. Monticello (14-2), LW #5 vs North Linn (Tue)
7. Iowa City Regina (10-1), LW #6 vs Durant (Tue)
8. Treynor (9-2), LW #7 @ Tri-Center (Tue)
9. Sheldon (10-2), LW #10 vs Okoboji (Tue)
10.Forest City (11-2), LW (X) vs Garner-Hayfield (Tue)

Class 1A
1. Danville (11-0), LW #1 @ Van Buren (tonight)
2. Central Lyon (10-2), LW #2 @ West Lyon (Tue)
3. Gladbrook-Reinbeck (11-0), LW #3 vs Conrad BCLUW (Tue)
4. LeMars Gehlen (11-0), LW #4 @ Woodbury Central (tonight)
5. Colo-NESCO (12-0), LW #5 @ Garwin GMG (Tue)
6. Maple Valley/Anthon-Oto (12-1), LW #6 vs OA/BCIG (Tue)
7. Boyden-Hull (9-3), LW #7 @ Sioux Center (Tue)
8. West Hancock (11-1), LW #8 vs Algona Garrigan (Tue)
9. Earlham (10-1), LW #10 vs Saydel (tonight)
10.BellePlaine (11-0), LW (X) vs BGM (tonight)


Cyclones set for ‘College GameDay’ spotlight


Cyclone cheerleaders.

ESPN’s College GameDay show will make it’s first appearance at Hilton Coliseum on Saturday prior to the Cyclones’ contest against ninth ranked Kansas. The show will run from nine to 11 on Saturday morning.

“It’s exciting, the first time in the history of the program to get College GameDay…the thing about GameDay is it gives the country the chance to see what the atmosphere is all about,” according to Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg.

Hoiberg expects it to be a full house of fans who can show off what “Hilton Magic” is all about. The Cyclones are 2-1 in the Big 12 after Wednesday night’s 74-73 loss at Baylor.

“Our job is to make sure our players are focused on the game that night and not all the other things that go into the GameDay situation,” Hoiberg says. He says he is confident the team will be focused on going out and trying to win against the team that has won 10 straight conference championships.


Brands wants Hawkeye wrestling team to continue improving



Iowa wrestling coach Tom Brands says this is not the time for his team to be satisfied. The top ranked Hawkeyes host 11th ranked Illinois on Friday night after posting their most lopsided victory at Oklahoma State in two decades with a 30-7 win last Sunday.

“There’s a lot of room for improvement too, there was a little bit of sloppiness sometimes or things you can really tighten up to make it go even more our way. And that’s what we want,” Brands says.

Brands says the Hawkeyes need to be focused on continued improvement and keep doing what they’ve been doing as far as winning and add to that “slamming the door in situations where it is a total team effort.”

Iowa is 8-0 and Illinois is 8-1.


Drake and UNI women overcome key injuries to lead MVC

UNI mascot.

UNI mascot.

Two teams that have suffered key injuries and early season struggles meet in Cedar Falls on Friday night for the early lead in the Missouri Valley Conference women’s basketball race as UNI hosts Drake.

The Panthers lost standout forward Jen Keitel to a season ending knee injury in December and suffered through a six game skid but coach Tanya Warren’s team has opened the Valley race with four wins. “We’re playing well on both ends of the floor, I really like what we are doing offensively and we’re getting great contributions from a number of different players,” Warren says.

Warren says way the Panthers have jelled well on offense, including shooting the 3 and finding lots of ways to score while sharing the basketball.

Warren says defense will be the key against the high-scoring Bulldogs. “They push the basketball extremely well, they love the 3 ball, but they are also doing a very good job of scoring in the pain this year, so we are going to have to pick our poison, but we can’t let them get easy baskets in transition,” Warren says.

Drake lost reigning Valley player of the year Kyndal Clark to a knee injury in their opener and started 0-3 but have rebounded with a 4-0 Valley start. Much of the reason is the play of sophomore Lizzy Wendell, who leads the conference in scoring at just under 23 points per game. Drake coach Jennie Baranczyk Wendell has done a great job and so has Kaitlyn Ingle and she says they both are sophomores, so the future is bright. She says Clark’s injury caused a leadership gap which has now been filled by those two.

Baranczyk says a key for the Bulldogs will be improvement on the defensive end as she says they have to do a better job rebounding and keeping the other teams off the free throw line.

The Bulldogs are 9-6 overall and the Panthers are 8-7.


Cyclones rally, but lose 74-73 to Baylor

Fred Hoiberg

Fred Hoiberg

A valiant comeback fell short in Waco. Trailing by 15 points in the second half 11th ranked Iowa State rallied to take the lead twice before falling to 22nd ranked Baylor 74-73. Kenny Cherry’s jumper with just over six seconds remaining was the game winner.

Naz Long had 19 points to lead the Cyclones who fell behind 16-1 to start the game. “You’ve got to credit them, they were knocking down shots. I felt like we were contesting a couple, with that being said some of our rotations were a little bit late,” Long says.

ISU coach Fred Hoiberg on his team’s slow start. “We didn’t get out of the gate for whatever reason…we had to scrap our double teams pretty quick and we knew they had a size and weight advantage on the inside. We weren’t rotating and we’ve been pretty good in that department,” Hoiberg says.

Hoiberg says they did a good rallying from 15 down in the second half by fighting and clawing back.

Iowa State falls to 2-1 in the Big 12 and hosts ninth ranked Kansas on Saturday.


Ferentz confident he can bring football program back

Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz answers questions after the Taxslayer Bowl.

Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz answers questions after the Taxslayer Bowl.

Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz does not consider next season a last stand but does realize his seat is getting hotter.

Ferentz held a rare January news conference in the wake of growing discontent with the program after a 7-6 season that concluded with an embarrassing 45-28 loss to Tennessee in the Taxslayer Bowl.

“I am coaching the way I did in 1999. Talk about the hot seat, it was a little bit warm I guess in 2000,” Ferentz says. “I’ve never worried about that, pro football cured me of that. You just worry about what is in front of you and try to coach your players as well as you can, that’s what every coach needs to do, and that’s what we are all going to do this year.’

Ferentz says the coaches will evaluate all phases of the game and make changes if needed. “We are probably not going to be a spread team or a run and shoot team. I just don’t see that happening. We don’t have the access to the personnel that some of the folks do that are running the points up,” Ferentz says. “And then the other part is we still believe in playing defense. I got certain philosophical beliefs that I think are pretty much paramount to winning.”

Ferentz says he has not even contemplated retirement and is confident he can lead the program back into contention. “This is what I do so, and I love being here, I think I’ve tried to articulate that. So, from that standpoint I feel very fortunate, I;ve always felt fortunate to be here going back to 1981. This is where I like coaching, this is what I like doing. And all that being said, I know I can do a better job and that’s what we have to do here,” Ferentz says.

Ferentz says he has been spreading himself too thin in the off season. “One of the first things I have to do is do a better job as a head coach, which means spending more time in this building with our people and less time with people on the outside. We built the building, that’s good news. not that I dislike fund raising, but I need to spend more time in here and watch more film,” Ferentz says.

Ferentz named C.J. Beatherd the starting quarterback last week and expects Beatherd and Jake Rudock to return. “I’m hopeful that they will, I’ve talked to both guys and that’s their plan as of last time that we talked, but it can be a fluid process,” Ferentz says.