DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa lawmakers honored the Iowa State University men's basketball team for what they deemed a "brilliant" season.
The state Senate and House adopted resolutions Monday to honor the team for its accomplishments and congratulate coach Fred Hoiberg for leading the Cyclones to 28 wins, a Big 12 tournament title and the program's first Sweet 16 appearance in 14 years.
Democratic Sen. Herman Quirmbach, of Ames, says the team has provided the Legislature with "tremendous pride" because of the courage and endurance they displayed throughout the season.
Hoiberg told lawmakers the bipartisan support the team has received from across the state is appreciated, and that the success they achieved wouldn't have been possible without it.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Former UNLV star Bryce Dejean-Jones says he'll play his final season at Iowa State.
Dejean-Jones, a shooting guard who led the Runnin' Rebels with 13.6 points a game last season, told The Associated Press in a phone interview on Sunday that he decided Iowa State was the right fit after visiting Ames over the weekend.
Dejean-Jones says he's on track to graduate in May, which means he should be eligible to play as a senior for Iowa State next season.
The Cyclones landed point guard DeAndre Kane last spring under similar circumstances. Kane earned first-team All-Big 12 honors and helped lead Iowa State to the Sweet 16.
Dejean-Jones says he picked the Cyclones over Arizona State.
AMES, Iowa (AP) — Grant Rohach made a strong case for himself in Iowa State's spring game Saturday in the Cyclones' seemingly annual competition for the starting quarterback job.
Rohach outshone Sam Richardson and Joel Lanning on a warm, windy day, completing 22 of 38 passes for 171 yards and two interceptions. He led three scoring drives -- two touchdowns and a field goal -- and scored one of the TDs himself from 8 yards out on a nifty read option.
With two more spring practices remaining, coach Paul Rhoads said no decision has been made on a starter.
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa's coaching staff has at times raved about its crop of redshirt freshman wide receivers.
Hawkeyes fans in central Iowa on Saturday got to see why the unit appears to have such a bright future.
Newcomer Andre Harris caught a pair of long touchdown passes at an open workout at Valley High in West Des Moines, about 120 miles from campus. Derrick Willies added another TD following broken coverage, and A.J. Jones and Derrick Mitchell Jr. certainly looked ready to compete for playing time next fall.
The Hawkeyes have plenty of depth at wide receiver. But senior Kevonte Martin-Manley is the only one who's proven he can be a consistent threat — and even he had just 388 yards last season.
AMES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa State has given coach Fred Hoiberg a $600,000 a year raise, bumping his annual salary to $2.6 million.
The Cyclones announced Hoiberg's revised contract on Friday.
Hoiberg just finished his fourth and most successful season at Iowa State. He led the Cyclones to 28 wins, a Big 12 tournament title and the program's first Sweet 16 appearance in 14 years.
Hoiberg, a former star with the Cyclones, agreed to a 10-year, $20 million contract in March of 2013. The $600,000 raise in annual compensation is the only change to that deal, which runs through 2023.
LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Buddy Lazier will return to the Indianapolis 500 this season in a car fielded by Lazier Partners Racing.
The announcement Thursday was expected after the family-organized team also entered Lazier last season, one month after forming the team.
Lazier started 32nd last May, ran only 44 laps because of a fuel pressure issues, and retired with a 31st-place finish.
The 46-year-old Lazier will drive the No. 91 Chevrolet with sponsorship from the University of Iowa Stephen A. Wynn Institute for Vision Research. The research center specializes in cures for rare, inherited retinal diseases.
Jacqueline Lazier, the drivers' 12-year-old daughter, was born with Aniridia, which is a complete or partial absence of the colored part of the iris. Jacqueline has lost vision in her right eye.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Authorities in Lexington say they used tear gas to control rowdy fans and put out 17 couch fires in the streets after Kentucky's defeat by in the NCAA championship basketball match.
A government official, Susan Straub, said at least 17 couch fires were lit overnight in the State Street area of Lexington and there were 18 injuries, most of them minor and treated at the scene. She confirmed seven arrests but had no further details early Tuesday.
She said in a statement that one of the injured was hit by a train and taken to a hospital but she had no further word on that person's condition or identity.
Shirtless youths streamed into the streets and lit fires soon after Kentucky's 60-54 loss to Connecticut on Monday night.
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Ryan Boatright was his best on college basketball's biggest stage.
Capping a difficult year that included the death of his cousin, Boatright scored 14 points and helped shut down Kentucky's guards to help Connecticut win its second national title in four years with a 60-54 victory over Kentucky on Monday night.
Boatright fought through grief after his cousin, 20-year-old Arin Williams was killed in January and fought off the doubters in the NCAA tournament, teaming with Shabazz Napier to become an unstoppable duo.
In the title game, Boatright helped UConn jump out to a 15-point lead in the first half and hit a big step-back jumper down the stretch to win a national title.
Now Boatright must take a step back and look at his future, which could include the NBA.
Some of America's Olympic athletes say they were asked to keep their cellphones in their pockets last week when they visited the White House and met with President Barack Obama.
The request came after the selfie Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz took with the president during his team's visit to the White House. The picture was later used by Samsung, the maker of the phone Ortiz used.
Slopestyle skiing bronze medalist Nick Goepper was among the Olympians visiting Obama. He said he thought about trying to sneak a selfie, but decided against it.
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Joey Logano made a last-lap pass of Jeff Gordon during extra laps after a late caution Monday in a rain-delayed race at Texas, becoming the seventh different winner in as many Sprint Cup races this season,
Logano had a 2.2-second lead on teammate Brad Keselowski and was within a half-lap of taking the white flag, which would have guaranteed no extra laps. But then came the caution for debris after Kurt Busch's car brushed the wall and one of his tires tore apart.
On the ensuing pit stop, Gordon took only two tires and exited first. Both Team Penske drivers took four tires, but Keselowski missed a chance to become the season's first two-time winner when he was penalized for speeding on pit road.
AMES, Iowa (AP) — Injuries and other issues have left Iowa State working from behind with the spring game a week away.
Iowa State offensive lineman Brock Dagel is out for the spring with a leg injury. Wide receiver Dondre Daley has been limited by a sprained ankle and defensive lineman Pierre Aka is out with a concussion.
Junior college transfer Devron Moore, a potential starter at safety, is homesick and has returned to Texas, according to coach Paul Rhoads. Freshman quarterback Trevor Hodge didn't participate in Saturday's scrimmage due to what Rhoads said was an "internal issue," but Rhoads added that Hodge remains with the team.
NEWTON, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Speedway in Newton can continue collecting tax credits from sales made at the racetrack.
Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad traveled to Newton on Wednesday to sign a bill extending the tax break for the Speedway.
The racetrack had previously received a state sales tax rebate, but it was set to expire on Jan. 1, 2016. The tax break had been contingent upon 25 percent of Iowa Speedway's ownership remaining within the state.
Under the law, that ownership requirement is removed, since the Speedway was bought by NASCAR last year. The law also extends the tax break by 10 years and maintains a rebate limit of $12.5 million.
The bill won overwhelming support in both the House and the Senate.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Wild have recalled goalie John Curry and forward Jake Dowell from the AHL.
The 30-year-old Curry is 7-9-2 with a 2.62 goals against average and .920 save percentage this season for the Iowa Wild. With Niklas Backstrom, Josh Harding and now Darcy Kuemper out injured, the Wild need a backup for Ilya Bryzgalov. They signed 43-year-old former minor leaguer Rob Laurie as the backup Monday at Los Angeles. Curry last appeared in an NHL game in 2010.
Dowell has 17 points and 56 penalty minutes in 54 games for Iowa. He has played in 156 career NHL games. Wild forwards Mikael Granlund and Nino Niederreiter were hurt against the Kings and didn't finish the game.
The moves were made Wednesday, one day before the Wild play at Chicago.
by KIX 101.1/ 1230 KFJB Sports Department,posted Mar 31 2014 10:07AM
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg and the Cyclones look ready to be nationally relevant for years to come, even after their breakout season ended in a Sweet Sixteen loss to Connecticut.
The Cyclones won 28 games and the Big 12 tournament title and reached the Sweet Sixteen for the first time in 14 years. Iowa State (28-8) also put a pair of players on the All-Big 12 first team, including Player of the Year Melvin Ejim.
The season came to an end Friday night with an 81-76 loss to Connecticut in New York in the regional semifinals of the NCAA tournament.
"We fought all the way to the buzzer, and that's something I told our guys. You walk out of Madison Square Garden with your head held high," Hoiberg said.
The Cyclones will have a lot to replace in Ejim, who finished a brilliant career with 1,643 points and 1,051 rebounds, and point guard DeAndre Kane, whose only season in Ames turned out to be one of the best in school history.
Who knows how far the Cyclones could have gone in the NCAA tournament had sophomore Georges Niang not broken his foot against North Carolina Central? But the good news for Iowa State is that Niang should be healthy in about a month or so — and a healthy Niang should be one of the best players in the Big 12 next season.
Niang averaged 16.7 points and 4.5 rebounds in 2013-14. Those numbers could easily go up next season without Ejim and Kane in the lineup.
It'll be next to impossible to replace the production of Kane, who finished with 17.1 points, 6.8 rebounds and 5.9 assists as a senior transfer. But freshman point guard Monte Morris turned out to be a find for the Cyclones, forcing his way into the starting lineup by mid-season and likely halting the revolving door the program has had at point guard under Hoiberg.
Forward Dustin Hogue will be a senior next season, and Iowa State is certainly hoping that his 34-point breakout performance against UConn is a sign of things to come.
Guard Naz Long made steady progression as a sophomore, emerging as one of the nation's top shooters in late-game situations. If Long develops more consistency, he could be a candidate for All-Big 12 honors over the next two years.
Freshman Matt Thomas struggled at times with his shot. But he also showed plenty of polish and remains a key building block for the future.
Once again, the Cyclones also have a pair of key transfers entering the mix for 2014-15.
If Jameel McKay and Abdel Nader pan out as expected, Iowa State shouldn't lack for size as it did at times this season.
Hoiberg is counting on McKay, a 6-foot-9 forward and a two-time junior college All-American, to be the shot blocker he's never had in four years in Ames. Nader, a 6-foot-6 small forward, led Northern Illinois with 13.1 points a game in 2012-13 and, like McKay, has had a year to get acclimated to Hoiberg's system.
Incoming freshman Clayton Custer, a top-100 point guard from the Kansas City area, is currently the only player in Iowa State's latest recruiting class. But the Cyclones have one scholarship left to dole out for next season if they choose to do so, and they'll likely again be in the mix for an impact senior transfer.
Iowa State made the leap this season from being a program that simply made the NCAA tournament to one that was a serious threat to reach the Final Four.
Given Hoiberg's increasing stellar track record and the wealth of talent already on the roster, that shouldn't change anytime soon.
by KIX 101.1/ 1230 KFJB Sports Department,posted Mar 28 2014 10:12AM
NEW YORK (AP) — Iowa State and UConn meet in the Sweet Sixteen with similar NBA-inspired offenses.
The third-seeded Cyclones play the seventh-seeded Huskies on Friday in the NCAA tournament East Regional at Madison Square Garden. Both are coached by alums who enjoyed long pro careers.
Iowa State's Fred Hoiberg and UConn's Kevin Ollie first met as high school basketball stars more than two decades ago when they went on the same recruiting trip to Arizona.
The two were teammates for part of a season with the Chicago Bulls in 2001-02. Six years later, when Hoiberg was an assistant general manager for the Minnesota Timberwolves, he lobbied to sign Ollie because he knew the veteran could provide needed leadership.
Those sorts of intangibles are why both lasted in the NBA so long, and why it's little surprise the friends landed in coaching.
by KIX 101.1/ 1230 KFJB Sports Department,posted Mar 28 2014 10:11AM
MESA, Ariz. (AP) — Third baseman Mike Olt and outfielder Ryan Kalish have made the Chicago Cubs' opening day roster.
Chris Coughlan will be sent to Triple-A Iowa to play outfield, and infielder Ryan Roberts has to decide whether he will report to Iowa or ask for his release,
Olt, acquired from Texas in the Matt Garza trade on July 22, struggled with his vision last year and hit .197 with 14 homers and 40 RBIs at Triple-A Round Rock and Iowa. He was hit on the head with a pitch in the Dominican Winter League.
Kalish missed much of 2012 with Boston while recovering from surgery on his left shoulder, then had right shoulder surgery in January 2013 and missed the entire season. He had cervical fusion surgery in August, then became a free agent in December when the Red Sox failed to offer a 2014 contract.
by KIX 101.1/ 1230 KFJB Sports Department,posted Mar 27 2014 10:04AM
NEW YORK (AP) — Madison Square Garden gets together again with the NCAA tournament this weekend for the first time in 53 years.
It was 1961 when three first-round games were played at the Garden, known as the "Mecca" of college basketball. Nobody knew then that it would be more than five decades before the sport's grand stage would return.
The presence of the NIT, which started at MSG, was a big reason the NCAA tournament never came back.
But in August 2008, the NCAA bought the NIT as part of a settlement of a legal fight between the two organizations, and plans started almost immediately for Madison Square Garden to be involved with both tournaments.
On Friday night, Virginia meets Michigan State and Connecticut faces Iowa State in the East Regional semifinals.
The NCAA tournament is back in the building that has hosted 71 games, including seven that decided the national championship.
by KIX 101.1/ 1230 KFJB Sports Department,posted Mar 26 2014 10:01AM
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Shoni Schimmel had 26 points, seven assists and five steals to help Louisville thump host Iowa 83-53 on Tuesday night to earn their fifth trip to the Sweet Sixteen under coach Jeff Walz.
Antonita Slaughter added 17 points on five 3s for the third-seeded Cardinals (32-4), who advanced to Sunday's regional semifinal at home.
Louisville jumped out to a 17-point halftime lead and stretched its edge to 47-23 just 90 seconds into the second half. The Cardinals shot 53 percent, forced 19 turnovers and led by as many as 38 points.
Freshman Ally Disterhoft had 15 points for Iowa (27-9), which finished just 1 of 16 from 3-point range.