October 2, 2014

Cyclone basketball looks to fill loss of Ejim and Kane with depth

Hopes are high as the Iowa State basketball team prepares for the upcoming season. The Cyclones return a number of key players from last year’s team that won the Big 12 Tournament title and made it to the sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.

The Cyclones enter this season as a consensus top 20 team are expected to contend with Kansas and Texas for the league title. ISU coach Fred Hoiberg who says two key losses from last year are Melvin Ejim and point guard DeAndre Kane, he says those two are a lot to replace. “I’m confident with the group that we’ve got coming back as well as the newcomers that we’ve got coming in, as well as a couple that we had sitting out last year, that by committee that we can replace somewhat of what those guys left,” Hoiberg says.

This will be the most depth Hoiberg has had at Iowa State and says it will be important to develop chemistry. He says any team has to have sacrifice where players aren’t worried about individual stats. “I am excited about that depth, but at the same time it’s going to cut some minutes down, which again will help us to play a little faster,” Hoiberg says.

Hoiberg says there is so much depth he has no idea what the rotation will look like. He says it is fun to see how things will evolve, and he says they need to find out not only who will play, but who will play in the “crunch time.”

Hoiberg is not concerned about the high expectations for this season. “I don’t think I am going to have to motivate this group at all, they are pretty self-motivated, and when you have that you are usually a step ahead…the big thing I have talked to them about is winning on the road. We have not done a great job and I think that has prevented us from winning a Big 12 championship,” Hoiberg says.

The Cyclones open at home November 14th against Oakland of Michigan.


Upper Iowa football teams heads into homecoming at 4-0

Off to their best start in 50 years the Upper Iowa football team prepares for this week’s homecoming contest against Augustana of South Dakota. The Peacocks are 4-0 after last week’s 37-31 win at St. Cloud State and while happy with the start coach Tom Shea says he is focused on what lies ahead.

“We’ve only played 4 games and we’ve got 7 left and we’ve got the southern half of the conference, which I think in everybody’s estimation is the strongest half. So, we’ve got our hands full week in and week out for the next 7 weeks,” Shea says.

Not only are the Peacocks winning but are doing so in exciting fashion. They scored 30 fourth quarter points to rally past Minnesota-Moorhead, posted a 27 point fourth quarter in a come from behind victory over Bemidji State and last week scored with five seconds remaining to post their first win over St. Cloud State since 1949.

“Three years ago, a lot of these ballgames they would’ve got out of hand and we wouldn’t even had been in them. Now, we come back and are winning ballgames in the fourth quarter after being down, we get tied up and come back and win with 5 seconds left in the ballgame,” Shea says. “It’s been a situation where these kids worked very hard and they believe in each other and believe in themselves. We go into ballgames believing we can win, where in the past we hoped to play well.”

The combination of success and an exciting style of play are leading to larger crowds at home games and Shea expects that to continue this weekend. He says a few years ago if the parents weren’t at the game, they didn’t have any crowd. Shea says winning brings people out and their job is to keep doing that.

Shea says the schedule gets more difficult as they enter south division play in the Northern Sun Conference. It begins against an Augustana team that is off to a 3-1 start. He says its an opponent that Upper Iowa has never beaten, and that poses a big homecoming challenge. He says they are confident and looking for good things.

Hawkeye offensive coordinator: plan is to play both quarterbacks

Hawkeye offensive coordinator, Greg Davis.

Hawkeye offensive coordinator, Greg Davis.

The Iowa Hawkeyes will play two quarterbacks when they host Indiana on October 11th following a bye week. Sophomore C.J. Beathard replaced the injured Jake Rudock at halftime of the game at Pitt two weeks ago and has led the Hawks to consecutive victories.

“If we played today, Jake is about 80-percent, so we would start C.J. if we played today. We feel like we have two good quarterbacks, so we’ll look at it these next 11 days and then we’ll go from there. What you can probably expect is that we will play two,” according to Hawkeye offensive coordinator Greg Davis.

Davis says there will not be a set amount on how much they will play as he says both have earned the right to play and have played pretty well and that’s how they plan to approach it.

Davis says it will all depend upon how much Rudock’s leg injury improves with the off week. “He would have been available the other day in a limited role if C.J.’s helmet would have come off or lost his breath,” Davis says. He says the biggest problem is that Rudock can’t run right now.

Davis says both quarterbacks deserve to play and he is confident they will be able to handle the situation. “They’re are good guys, they’re good players and I think they both know the other guy is pretty good. They are not blind to the fact that the other guy does some pretty good stuff also,” Davis explains.

And the offense could use a spark. The Hawkeyes have struggled with inconsistent play, an anemic running game as well as a lack of big plays. “I’m happy that we’re 4-1, I’m disappointed that we haven’t scored more points. I think we are trying to do what our players are best suited for,” Davis says.


Cyclone coach says work continues on the running game

The Iowa State defense is preparing to face another standout quarterback when the Cyclones visit 21st ranked Oklahoma State in Big-12 play. Cowboy junior Daxx Garman is averaging 309 yards of passing and has eight touchdowns in three games.”Some guys can throw them ‘em all, some guys are better underneath. He throws a really good deep ball with a lot of touch and they throw it a lot of times in a game. It only takes 3 of those to be successful and you’ve got a lot of points on the board,” ISU coach Paul Rhoads says.

Rhoads says Garman’s ability to throw the deep ball puts pressure on a defense. He says he has good velocity on the balls he throws and had good wide receivers and runningbacks.

If the Cyclones want to hang in with the better teams in the Big 12 they will need to find more offense. If begins with a struggling ground game that ranks last in the conference. Rhoads says they all know they are not running the ball well enough and they are working to improve it.

The Cyclones are averaging only 104 yards on the ground. “You’ve got to run the ball and you’ve got to defend the run if you are going to be successful, and we are not even scratching the surface,” Rhoads says. He says their quarterback is their leading rusher, not by design, and they need to improve blocking throughout the offense.

Rhoads says Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater is a tough environment for visiting teams as it has a sideline similar to Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City and in Norman, Oklahoma, where the fans are actively involved in the game.

Rhoads would like to get senior tight end E.J. Bibbs more touches. The preseason All Big 12 selection has only 11 receptions so far this season.

Iowa State is 1-3 after a loss to Baylor. Oklahoma State is 3-1 but coach Mike Gundy says they are far from being a title contender as je says they have to play well each week no matter who they play.


Radio Iowa High School Football Poll 9/29/14

Class 4A
1. Bettendorf (5-0), LW #1 @ Iowa City West
2. Cedar Rapids Washington (5-0), LW #2 vs Ottumwa
3. Dowling Catholic (4-1), LW #3 vs #7 Sioux City East
4. WDM Valley (4-1), LW #4 @ C.B Abe Lincoln
5. Waukee (4-1), LW #5 vs Urbandale
6. Ankeny Centennial (4-1), LW #7 vs DSM Hoover
7. Sioux City East (5-0), LW #6 @ #3 Dowling
8. North Scott (4-1), LW #9 @ Clinton
9. Johnston (4-1), LW #10 @ DSM Roosevelt
10.Dubuque Hempstead (4-1), LW (X) @ Davenport North (Thur)


Class 3A
1. Cedar Rapids Xavier (4-1), LW #1 vs Western Dubuque
2. Pella (5-0), LW #2 @ #10 Carlisle
3. West Delaware (5-0), LW #3 @ Charles City
4. Carroll (5-0), LW #4 vs Boone
5. Sioux City Heelan (4-1), LW #5 @ Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley
6. Solon (4-1), LW #7 @ Central DeWitt
7. Waverly-Shell Rock (4-1), LW #8 vs 2A #1 Clear Lake
8. Humboldt (4-1), LW #10 @ Greene County
9. Newton (4-1), LW #6 @ Ballard
10.Carlisle (4-1), LW (X) vs #2 Pella


Class 2A
1. Clear Lake (5-0), LW #1 @ 3A #7 Waverly-Shell Rock
2. Spirit Lake (5-0), LW #2 vs #3 Sioux Center
3. Sioux Center (5-0), LW #3 @ #2 Spirit Lake
4. Williamsburg (5-0), LW #4 vs Mid-Prairie
5. Albia (5-0), LW #5 @ Davis County
6. New Hampton (4-1), LW #7 vs Oelwein
7. Center Point-Urbana (4-1), LW #6 @ Mount Vernon
8. North Fayette Valley (4-1), LW #8 vs Dyersville Beckman
9. Hampton-Dumont (5-0), LW #9 vs Estherville LC
10.Mediapolis (4-1), LW #10 vs Wilton


Class 1A
1. Iowa City Regina (4-1), LW #1 vs Columbus Junction
2. South Winneshiek (5-0), LW #2 vs Jesup
3. Fort Dodge St. Edmond (5-0), LW #3 @ Madrid
4. West Branch (5-0), LW #4 @ Durant
5. Ogden (5-0), LW #5 vs Woodward Academy
6. St. Ansgar (5-0), LW #6 @ A #4 Nashua-Plainfield
7. IKM-Manning (5-0), LW #7 @ OA-BCIG
8. Hinton (5-0), LW #8 @ #9 West Lyon
9. West Lyon (4-1), LW #9 vs #8 Hinton
10.Dike-New Hartford (4-1), LW (X) @ MFL MarMac


Class A
1. Maquoketa Valley (5-0), LW #1 vs North Linn
2. Logan-Magnolia (5-0), LW #2 vs Tri-Center
3. AGWSR (Ackley), (5-0), LW #3 @ Denver
4. Nashua-Plainfield (5-0), LW #4 vs 1A #6 St. Ansgar
5. Pekin (5-0), LW #5 vs Cardinal (Eldon)
6. Gladbrook-Reinbeck (4-1), LW #6 @ North Tama
7. Montezuma (5-0), LW #8 vs Colfax-Mingo
8. Bedford (5-0), LW (X) @ #10 Mt. Ayr
9. Algona Garrigan (3-2), LW #9 @ North Butler
10.Mt. Ayr (4-1), LW (X) vs #8 Bedford


1. Don Bosco (5-0), LW #1 vs #6 HLV
2. Fremont Mills (5-0), LW #2 @ Stanton
3. Janesville (5-0), LW #3 @ Tripoli
4. Exira/EHK (5-0), LW #4 @ Woodbine
5. Central Elkader (5-0), LW #5 vs #9 Turkey Valley
6. HLV (Victor) (5-0), LW #6 @ #1 Don Bosco
7. Glidden-Ralston (5-0), LW #7 vs Adair-Casey
8. Coon Rapids-Bayard (5-0), LW #8 @ Murray
9. Turkey Valley (5-0), LW #9 @ #5 Central Elkader
10.Lamoni (4-0), LW #10 vs Mormon Trail (tonight)


Iowa has bye week to mull quarterback situation

Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz will have two weeks to mull over his quarterback situation. The Hawkeyes have this week off after grinding out a 24-10 win at Purdue. It was another ugly start for the offense as quarterback C.J. Beathard opened the scoring by throwing a 39 yard interception that was returned for a touchdown and that was followed by a string of dropped passes.

But after falling behind 10-0, Iowa scored the final 24 points of the game as they improved to 4-1 on the season. they return to action in two weeks by hosting Indiana.


Cyclones handled by Baylor, prepare to take on Oklahoma State

The Iowa State Cyclones will try to regroup this week as they prepare for a trip to Oklahoma State in Big 12 play. The Cyclones were no match for sixth ranked Baylor.

The Bears jumped out to a 35-7 halftime lead then called off the dogs in the second half in a 49-28 win, a game in which they totaled more than 600 yards of offense. “Very pleased with the way our guys came out and played in the second half. quite honestly pleased with the way our guys finished up the first quarter,” ISU coach Paul Rhoads. He says they didn’t follow that play up in the second quarter.

The Cyclones drop to 1-3.