16 Random Thoughts On The 2013-14 Basketball Season

As I worked on wrapping up the 2013-14 men’s basketball season I had a chance to reflect on what was one of the most exhilarating seasons in school history. My first season working with the men’s basketball team was quite the ride. It was filled with awards for the players and many memorable wins. I decided to jot down 16 thoughts.. Here they are, in no particular order:

16. This team performed as one all season long. It didn’t matter who was scoring, they just wanted to win. That is evidenced by a couple of different stats:

- ISU was the ONLY team in the nation with three guys ranked in the top-200 in assists. That’s right. DeAndre Kane (18th, 5.9), Monté Morris (189th, 3.7) and Georges Niang (200th, 3.6) all ranked in the top-200 for assists per game. They averaged a combined 13.2 assists per game, better than 219 TEAMS in the country.

Ranked Assists

- Five different players scored at least 25 points in a game this season: Melvin Ejim (48 vs. TCU, 25 vs. Texas, 30 vs. K-State), Naz Long (26 vs. UNC Wilmington), Dustin Hogue (34 vs. UCONN), Georges Niang (27 vs. Oklahoma, 25 vs. Kansas), DeAndre Kane (30 vs. Baylor, 26 at Oklahoma State, 27 vs. Oklahoma State).

15. The Cyclones’ two-headed monster of Melvin Ejim and DeAndre Kane was special. Not very often do you get two guys that can do so many things well. Kane was on triple-double watch in every game, falling just short on numerous occasions. Ejim’s career double-double numbers were insane (32). The duo made up the only players in the Big 12 to rank in the top-10 of the league in scoring and rebounding. Kane was in the top-10 of eight categories, while Ejim ranked among the league leaders in seven categories. Impressive.

14. The Cyclones had an uncanny ability to take care of the ball. Much of that started with Morris, who, by now you all know, broke the NCAA record for assist-to-turnover ratio (4.79). The Cyclones turned it over just 10.6 times per game, an ISU school record. The total ranked 37th nationally.

13. The best play that didn’t count? Ejim’s dunk at the end of regulation at Oklahoma State. Just think if the game would have ended on that dunk.

But then we wouldn’t have gotten this, which was pretty awesome.

12. One of the most underrated moments of the season had to be coming back from 18 points down against UNI at Wells Fargo Arena. There was just 16:46 left when the Cyclones faced their biggest deficit. ISU would slowly climb back into and actually own a three-point lead when Seth Tuttle banked in a three to force overtime.

Ejim, Hogue and Kane combined to score 18 of ISU’s 20 points in the overtime period and the Cyclones improved to 7-0.

Relive the game here.

11. One of the coolest moments for me personally came on Nov. 17 when we were getting set to host Michigan. As tipoff was nearing, Dick Vitale walked over and said “Matt, I gotta see Johnny. Where is he? My producer is going to kill me because we are supposed to be rehearsing, but I gotta see Johnny.” Nathan Terry, an associate director of marketing for the ISU Athletics Department, helped me to track him down and Johnny rode the elevator down and the two longtime friends shared a special moment.

I had no idea at that time how special it would end up being. I’m just so grateful to all the people that helped get Coach Orr back to Hilton Coliseum one last time. What a special day that was.

10. I honestly thought that my hearing was shot after the Iowa game. When Mike Gesell stepped up to the line for those two free throws, Hilton Coliseum was like nothing I have ever heard. You rocked, Cyclone Nation.

9. You know what was cool about DeAndre Kane? Well besides everything, of course. The guy could score just about whenever he wanted, but two of the biggest plays of the season came when he passed it off to Naz Long in both games against Oklahoma State. That guy wanted to win and would do anything to do so.

8. The celebration against Oklahoma State when Naz Long hit the three in the home finale was crazy.

Kudos to you all for not storming the court like you probably wanted. We still had to play overtime, though it would have been easy to forget!

7. My two favorite dunks this season:

Ejim vs. Texas

Hogue vs. Kansas

Ejim’s for degree of difficulty and Hogue’s for how hard he threw it through the basket.

6. I felt like much of the tone for the season was set with ISU’s win at BYU. It was the first time of eight that the Cyclones came from double-digits down to win. Not only did they do that, they did it on an opponent’s court that is nearly impossible to win on. In the last nine years BYU is 131-12 at home. They win 91.6 percent of the time at the Marriott Center. I’d venture to guess that in those 12 losses, not many have come after they led by double-digits.

5. This Cyclone team could score points in bunches. Only once did they not reach the 70-point plateau (at Baylor). Think about this for a second. In the Big 12 Championship game, Iowa State started 0-13 from the field and shot 32 percent from the field in the first half and still scored 74 points.

Against UCONN, the Cyclones scored 23 points in the final 5:14 of the game. Bottom line is this, with Fred Hoiberg in charge the Cyclones will rarely be out of a game, regardless of how cold they might be from the floor. That’s promising.

4. Ejim’s 48 point game against TCU was unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Actually, I’ll probably never see something like that again. What made it really cool was the fact that his teammates just kept finding him. I remember thinking to myself that it was cool that Melvin was going to get a career-high. Next thing I knew he had 30 and then 40. To score 48 points and grab 18 rebounds is just incredible. No NBA or college player had done that since Shaq. Nice company, Mel!

3. Speaking of Ejim, how cool was it to have a guy like him represent Iowa State University? Scholar-Athlete in every sense of the word.

2. It was impressive to watch as DeAndre Kane tutored Monté Morris through his first season. An interesting Morris stat that you may not have noticed, of all freshmen in the Big 12, Morris was the only one that attempted at least 50 three-pointers and shot over 40 percent on them.

1. The turnout in Kansas City. Absolutely unbelievable. I was shocked. I expected a good turnout, but nothing like that. You all were awesome all year. From game one against UNC Wilmington to game 36 against UCONN. As you filed in before the Baylor game, ESPN’s Holly Rowe walked by and commented on how incredible our fans are. I can’t disagree. Thanks for being the best fans in the country!

So what do you think, Cyclone Nation? Do you have anything you want to add to my list?

Follow Shoultz on twitter, @mjshoultz.

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McCoy Savors Masters Experience

Former Iowa State All-American golfer Nate McCoy received a chance of a lifetime last week when he caddied for his father, Mike, at the 2014 Masters.

Nate was blessed with the opportunity to walk inside the ropes at one of the most prestigious sporting events after Mike earned an invitation by winning the 2013 United States Mid-Amateur Championship.

Nate, who is in his third season as a professional golfer, knows a little bit about the game of golf, too. Nate was a First-Team All-Big 12 golfer for Iowa State, becoming the first Cyclone to play in the NCAA finals since 1980. Nate tied for 29th at the 2012 NCAA Championships at the famed Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif.

The 2012 Iowa State Male Athlete of the Year will forever cherish his Masters experience. He shared with us his unique memories at Augusta National Golf Club in this Q&A.

What was your initial impression of Augusta National?
“It was a really cool experience. We didn’t play great, but my dad and I had a really good time together. I was really surprised how hilly the course was and how much slope there is around the greens. The hills are gigantic. There are some holes where if you are in the wrong spot on the green, you may not be able to keep it on the green. Most of the greens slope toward Rae’s Creek. There are so many things you have to take into account.”

What were the galleries like?
“To see everybody around the greens and all the people in the gallery was awesome. On No. 18, in our practice round, my dad had a 250-yard approach shot up the hill where he had to slice a 3-wood around a tree. He hit it to about a foot. Just to hear the crowd roar for his shot was something I will never forget.”

What was it like when you first drove up Magnolia Lane?
“I was with my dad so I could drive into the grounds through Magnolia Lane and not where the patrons park. You first see the giant Magnolia trees on both sides, and then you see the “Founders Circle” with the Augusta logo with flowers and the clubhouse. It’s inspiring. The first day I was there I got to go up to the “Crow’s Nest.” It’s pure golf up there. It looks like the rooms from the 1930s. The only thing that looked modern in there was a TV. Everything was perfect.”

How did the other caddies treat you?
“They were great. I actually became friends with Jordan Spieth’s caddy (Michael Greller: Greller is a 1996 graduate of MOC-Floyd Valley in Orange City, Iowa and a 2000 graduate of Northwestern [Iowa] in Orange City). He knew my Dad and he was very gracious. We ended up talking a lot. He told me that compared to every other course on the PGA Tour, Augusta National was the second hardest walk because of all of the hills. It was both our first times seeing the course and we spent a lot of time talking about how cool it was. I got to talk with Steve Williams (Tiger Woods’ former caddie and current caddie for Adam Scott). You can tell on the course he really takes care of his players, but behind the scenes he was a really good guy. Also talked with “Fluff” (Mike Cowan: Tiger Woods’ former caddie and current caddy for Jim Furyk). We talked about Iowa a lot because he played golf at William Penn. He remembered playing Des Moines Golf and Country Club and Wakonda when he was living in Iowa. That was pretty cool.”

Nate McCoy was an All-American by Golfweek in 2012 for the Cyclones.

Talk about some of the experiences you had meeting the professional golfers?
“I talked with Gary Woodland and Fred Couples. Couples really stood out for me. He was really a down-to-earth guy. He was really polite with us. We played practice rounds and the first two rounds with Larry Mize (1987 Masters winner) and practice rounds with Zach Johnson (2007 Masters winner). I got to meet Justin Rose (2013 U.S. Open winner). I played against Jordan Spieth (University of Texas) in college, and we talked briefly. All of the guys were really nice.”

Did you ask Larry Mize about one of the most famous shots in Masters history when he chipped in on No. 11 to defeat Greg Norman in a playoff for the 1987 Masters?
“Mize was one of the nicest guys you will ever meet. I told him his putting stroke was one of the best I have ever seen. When he takes it back, it looks like it is going in every time. I never brought it up to him, but when we were on No. 11 together, I was certainly thinking about it. I remembered the video of the jump he made after he made it. I asked him how many Masters he’s played in and he said 31. He knows every spot of the course and the fans love him.”

All of the holes at Augusta National are daunting, but which hole stood out the most for you?
“No. 12 is really a hard par-3. The wind really does swirl there. A lot of newer courses are making par-3s at over 200 yards, but all the great par-3s are short. There are not a lot of great par-3s over 200 yards long in my opinion. That’s what shows you what a great hole it is because it is just 155 yards. That hole can play so many tricks on you. I saw a lot of guys hit it in the water during the week. It’s really difficult. You can’t go long either because you would have a chip downhill toward the water coming back.”

How has your experience helped you in your career advancement?
“One of the things I learned is that these guys are really good, but they make mistakes just like everyone else. Zach Johnson told me that driving distance is the most overrated stat on the Tour. The clubs he works on the most are his putter and wedges. All of these guys keep the game simple. They also work really hard on their game. You can see it when they are on the range. I saw a lot of confident and humble guys.”

Talk about your next move this summer professionally?
“I am going back to the Canadian Tour Q-School (May 6-9) to try and get my card back for the summer. In May, I will do the U.S. Open local qualifier. If I don’t get my Canadian Tour card, I will play in the local state professional tournaments like the Waterloo Open and Cedar Rapids Open. Hopefully I can play in Canada because it is such a good pathway to the Web.com Tour. I feel like I am making good strides and progress with my game.”

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Thornton Fine With Obscurity

Thornton, Spencer14SFB
Chances are the average Iowa State football fan has never heard of Spencer Thornton. And that’s probably a good thing according to the Cyclone coaching staff.

Despite Thornton’s anonymity, head coach Paul Rhoads would tell you he has been one of the most consistent and best performers on the team the last two seasons.

Such is the life of the long snapper on a football team. You never know he is there unless there is a mishap. And so far in his brilliant career, Thornton hasn’t given you a chance to get to know him.

Thornton, a junior from Marion, Iowa, is entering his third and final season as ISU’s deep snapper on all punts, field goals and extra points. So far in his Cyclone career he has been absolutely perfect. No snap too high, or too low. Every single time Thornton has given the punter or holder the opportunity to execute the play with the highest efficiency.

Rhoads marvels at Thornton’s accuracy and consistency.

“Long snapping is a forgotten position and a position taken for granted,” Rhoads said. “We are always keenly aware having a guy like Spencer who can operate perfect. That’s what the position needs to be. It needs to be on time. It needs to be accurate every time it happens. You’re talking about extreme amounts of yards and you’re talking about points every time that he is on the field. Without that consistency from that position, games can change. We have been outstanding when Spencer has the ball in his hands.”

Iowa State has been blessed with outstanding long snappers in recent memory. Guys like Landon Schrage, Matt Purvis and Dakota Zimmerman helped raise the bar, and Thornton is elevating it even further.

Long-snapping first piqued Thornton’s interest when he was in high school at Cedar Rapids Washington. Thornton already was a center and he felt a need to assist the varsity any way he could. He had never practiced the art of long-snapping, but he received a huge boost from his father, DeKevin, who was a punter in high school.

Through long practices in the evenings, Thornton started to get the hang of it.

“I probably started back in seventh grade,” Thornton said. “My dad first suggested I try it, so we started practicing in the front yard. My dad was a punter, so he knew where to catch the ball and we just started practicing. We got out the tape measure and measured 15 yards and I think if you look hard enough, there’s still some spray paint on the sidewalk where we measured off 15 yards. That’s where it kind of started and I took over as the long snapper for our team.”

Thornton kept improving his craft during his high school years. He spent summers attending Jamie Kohl’s camps, a former Iowa State kicker who has built a reputation as the leader in kicking, punting and snapping instruction. He always dreamed of playing Division I football and knew that long snapping would be his ticket.

“When I realized that being a 205-pound center wasn’t going to get me anywhere, I knew snapping was going to be the way to get me on a team,” Thornton said. “It’s such an art and a craft to perfect. I just worked. I attended many of Kohl’s Camps and I set my sights on long-snapping and worked hard. It wasn’t until Kohl told me, ‘Hey, Iowa State is looking for someone,’ I started thinking about Iowa State.”

Iowa State was indeed searching for a long snapper with the departure of Zimmerman. It also didn’t hurt Iowa State was a leader in the field of study Thornton wanted to pursue in aerospace engineering.

He visited Iowa State during spring practice and the first person to greet him as he arrived was Coach Rhoads. It certainly made an impression.

“To have Coach Rhoads the first person to meet me at the door, that just kind of set that tone of where I wanted to be,” Thornton said. “By the end of my spring break I told them this is where I want to go to school.”

Spencer Thornton delivers another perfect snap.

Spencer Thornton delivers another perfect snap.

Thornton was been blessed to work with one of the nation’s best punters in All-Big 12 performer Kirby Van Der Kamp his first two seasons as a long snapper. When Van Der Kamp succeeded, Thornton took pride in that. A good punter needs a good snapper.
The two formed a special bond.

“Kirby had outstanding years and I just fed off that,” Thornton said. “I worked every day to make him a better punter, and that’s something that makes you feel good. I’m really technical and it would be my goal to make sure Kirby never had to move right or left or back. If he didn’t say anything after the punt on the sideline, then that’s your compliment. That’s what you’re looking for.”

Thornton enters his senior year as one of the Cyclones’ most valuable players. He continues to take over a 100 snaps daily to make sure you never hear his name, and Thornton has no problem with that.

“It’s kind of a backwards compliment,” said Thornton. “You kind of want that recognition but at the same time the only way you’re going to get it is if you screw up.”

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A Look Back At Eight-Straight NCAA Appearances

As many of you may know, Iowa State is one of just 13 schools in the country to have made the last eight NCAA Tournaments – a pretty impressive feat. Under head coach Bill Fennelly’s leadership, the Cyclones have flourished. Fennelly took a program with just five winning seasons in 22 years and made it into a program that is a consistent contender in the world of women’s college basketball.

On the eve of Iowa State’s eighth-straight NCAA Championship appearance, I think it’s important to take a look back at the last eight appearances and the teams that got them there.


The 2007 NCAA Tournament team, captained by Lyndsey Medders, Megan Ronhovde and Abby Reinert, earned a six-seed and advanced to the second round of the Big Dance after defeating Washington in the first round in dominate fashion, 79-60. The win earned ISU a date with three-seed Georgia, who defeated the Cyclones 76-56 in the second round in Minneapolis, Minn. Medders led ISU in the tournament with 19 assists in just two games, which stands as the third-most assists in a single tournament by a Cyclone.

2007 NCAA Tournament Team

2007 NCAA Tournament Team


The Cyclones didn’t have to travel far for the 2008 NCAA Tournament, with Des Moines the selected destination for this group. Iowa State earned a seven-seed and in thrilling fashion defeated 10-seed Georgia Tech 58-55 in a back-and-forth affair. With a win, the Cyclones advanced to take on two-seed Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights would shoot 54 percent from the floor, forcing the Cyclones to play catch-up for most of the game. The strong shooting was just too much for ISU to handle, as the Cyclones fell 69-58 in the second round.

2008 NCAA Tournament Team

2008 NCAA Tournament Team


Iowa State’s third-straight NCAA Tournament began in record-breaking fashion as the Cyclones tied the NCAA record with 16 3-pointers in the first round game against ETSU. The Cyclones would cruise to the Sweet 16, downing their opponents by 32 and 14 points, respectively. Iowa State would meet Michigan State in the Sweet 16, and would claw its way to a thrilling 69-68 victory over the Spartans after finding themselves trailing 68-61 with 1:23 remaining. With the win, the Cyclones earned the program’s second Elite Eight berth in school history. ISU would eventually fall to No. 1 Seed Stanford in the Elite Eight.

2009 NCAA Tournament Team

2009 NCAA Tournament Team


Iowa State would open the 2010 NCAA Tournament in high-flying fashion with a 79-42 rout of Lehigh, pushing the Cyclones into the second round. ISU would top Green Bay, 60-56, to earn the program’s fifth Sweet 16 appearance. Iowa State would meet top-ranked UConn in the Sweet 16, and fall to the Huskies ending another memorable season.

2010 NCAA Tournament Team

2010 NCAA Tournament Team


The Cyclones entered the tournament with a 22-10 record, earning a seven- seed in the NCAA Tournament. Iowa State would travel to Durham, N.C. to face 10th-seeded Marist. The Cyclones would fall to Marist, 74-64, after the Red Foxes started out strong and ISU was never able to catch up. The loss would halt a four-game first-round winning streak (2007-10).

2011 NCAA Tournament

2011 NCAA Tournament Team


The Cyclones had a tough season, entering the tournament as the No. 10 seed with an 18-13 record. ISU faced No. 7 seed Green Bay, as the Phoenix came to Hilton Coliseum boasting a 30-1 record and a ranking of No. 7 in the nation. The Cyclones couldn’t keep up, falling 71-57.

2012 NCAA Tournament

2012 NCAA Tournament


With a 23-8 record and a second-place finish in the Big 12 Tournament, Iowa State earned a No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament and a trip to Spokane Wash. ISU defeated Gonzaga on its home court, 72-60, to advance to the NCAA second round, but dropped a heartbreaker to Georgia, 65-60. Chelsea Poppens led Iowa State with 14 points and 17 rebounds, while Anna Prins led ISU in scoring with 23 points.

2013 NCAA Tournament Team

2013 NCAA Tournament Team


The season is not yet over for this Iowa State team. With a school record 14-0 start to begin the season, the hopes were high and the Cyclones delivered with their eighth-straight NCAA appearance. We hope to see the always impressive Hilton crowd on Saturday as Iowa State takes on Florida State on Saturday at 3 p.m.

2014 NCAA Tournament Team

2014 NCAA Tournament Team

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Iowa State-Baylor Gameday Primer

Iowa State fans will continue to flock to Kansas City as the Cyclones prepare to face Baylor in search of their second Big 12 Championship title. The game will be televised by ESPN at 8 p.m.

An Iowa State win….
…give ISU its fifth conference tournament title and second Big 12 title.
…improve the Cyclones’ winning streak to four games.
…give the Cyclones a 26-7 record heading into Selection Sunday. The 26 wins would be the second most in school history behind only the 32 in 1999-2000.
…make Fred Hoiberg 6-2 in his coaching career against Baylor.

Things to watch…
-  Melvin Ejim needs just three rebounds to tie Zaid Abdul-Aziz for the second most in school history. Ejim enters the game with 1,022 caroms in his career.
-  Ejim is expected to start his 123rd game, which would match Coach Hoiberg for the second-most in school history.
-  Naz Long is averaging 10.7 points in the last three games and has hit 6-of-9 from downtown.
-  The Cyclones are 19-of-37 on 3-pointers at the Big 12 Tournament…DeAndre Kane has hit 6-of-8 attempts and is shooting 40 percent from long range this season.

Worth Noting
-  Fred Hoiberg and his staff’s use of Daniel Edozie in this tournament has been brilliant. Edozie has been used to give Niang a breather before media timeouts, thus helping keep a major part of ISU’s offense out of foul trouble as well. Edozie was great in his action yesterday, converting a huge three-point play the old-fashioned way.

Did you know?
-  Iowa State’s 91 points vs. Kansas State and 94 vs. Kansas were the most both opponents have allowed this season.
-  The Cyclones have scored at least 44 points in each of the last five halves (does not include overtimes).

Coming out strong!
-  Iowa State is 31-of-53 (58.5 percent) from the field in the second half of the last two games.

In Case You Missed It
-  Check out John Walters’ recap of the game. The crew at Cyclones.tv does a great job bringing you inside the action. Click here to view our Championship Central page.

He Said It
-  As we were walking to the postgame press conference, DeAndre Kane said that as Athletic Trainer Vic Miller rushed out to tend to Georges Niang, the sophomore looked at Miller and said “Yo, Vic. I’m going to be able to play tomorrow, right?”

Make It Trend
-  Follow us on Twitter (@CycloneMBB) and help us make #HiltonSouth trend.

Enjoy the day, Cyclone Nation!

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ISU-NBA Fun Facts

Former Cyclone Chris Babb signed a 10-day contract with the Boston Celtics last week and received his first NBA playing time on Saturday in Boston’s 102-97 loss to the Indiana Pacers.

What an accomplishment for Chris. Babb was a key part of Iowa State’s back-to-back NCAA Tournament teams in 2011-12 and 2012-13. His play might have been somewhat overshadowed by his outstanding teammates, but there is no doubt that Babb’s stingy defense and clutch shooting were instrumental to ISU’s success.

Babb is now the 20th player in program history to play in an ABA/NBA game and the 17th Cyclone to receive playing time in the NBA since the 1986-87 season.

Iowa State’s track record for placing players in the NBA is terrific. As the men’s basketball contact for ISU men’s hoops for 13 years, I would always check our opponents’ history and see how many NBA players they produced. ISU usually had more.

You can thank Babb for the inspiration for this blog on Iowa State-NBA fun facts.

Ray Wehde…ISU’s first NBA Draft pick
Ray Wehde was a two-time first-team all-conference pick for the Cyclones in the 1940s, helping ISU advance to its first and only Final Four in 1944. Wehde was inducted into ISU’s Hall of Fame in 2010. At 87 years old, Wehde returned for the ceremonies and his stories were fascinating, especially his recollection of being the first Cyclone NBA draft pick.

In 1948, Wehde, a native of Holstein, Iowa, was selected by the Boston Celtics. Do you think times have changed? Well, imagine all of the players at the Celtic tryout camp sleeping in cots underneath the Boston Garden. It happened.

“The NBA was pretty new and I didn’t know much about it or the Celtics,’’ Wehde said. “I was married and I took my wife Virginia with me to the tryout camp. Since I was married, I was the only player who didn’t have to sleep over at the Boston Garden. I just decided after some time there that pro basketball wasn’t me. I had a $5,000 contract, not guaranteed, but Walter Brown was the owner and he allowed me to break the contract and he was even good enough to give me $300 for travel for us to go back to Iowa.’’

Two NBA Draft picks: Ray Wehde (1948) and Fred Hoiberg (1995) chat at the Sukup Complex.

Two NBA Draft picks: Ray Wehde (1948) and Fred Hoiberg (1995) chat at the Sukup Complex.

Jeff Grayer, Victor Alexander, Barry Stevens…A Warrior Trio
In early March of 1993, former Cyclone legend Barry Stevens signed a 10-day contract with the Golden State Warriors. Stevens, a two-time First-Team all-Big Eight pick for Iowa State (1982-85), was drafted by the Denver Nuggets in 1985 after leading ISU to its first NCAA Tournament appearance in 41 years. Stevens, who was the last player cut in Denver’s training camp, bounced around the Continental Basketball Association (CBA) for a number of years before getting his call-up.

What made Stevens’ entrance into the NBA so special was that he joined former Cyclones Jeff Grayer and Victor Alexander as teammates with the Warriors. It marked one of the first times in NBA history where three players from the same school were on the same team at the same time.

The Warriors were kind enough to stage a photo of the historical occurrence.

Former Cyclones Barry Stevens, Victor Alexander and Jeff Grayer as Warrior teammates in 1993.

Former Cyclones Barry Stevens, Victor Alexander and Jeff Grayer as Warrior teammates in 1993.

Jeff Hornacek and The Mayor…NBA leaders
Iowa State’s all-time assist leader Jeff Hornacek enjoyed a successful 14-year NBA career which featured an All-Star appearance in 1992 and a pair of trips to the NBA Finals as the starting shooting guard for the Utah Jazz (1997 & 1998).

Hornacek is currently in his first season as head coach of the Phoenix Suns.

Current Iowa State head coach and ISU All-American Fred Hoiberg played 10 years in the NBA, helping the 2003-04 Minnesota Timberwolves advance to the Western Conference finals.

Both Hornacek and Hoiberg own the distinction as the only Cyclones to lead the NBA in a statistical category. Hornacek led the NBA in free-throw percentage in 1999-2000 by making 95.0 percent of his shots at the charity stripe. Hoiberg was the NBA’s top 3-point shooter in 2004-05, hitting 48.3 percent of his shots from beyond the arc.

The Mayor proudly displays his NBA plaque in his office.

Hoiberg Had 90 NBA Teammates
Coach Hoiberg played for three teams (Indiana Pacers, Chicago Bulls, Minnesota T-Wolves) in his 10-year NBA career. On one of our summer Cyclone Tailgate Tours, I quizzed Coach on all of his teammates in the NBA. With his usual sharp wit, he started rattling off all of the guys and regaling stories to the lucky ones on the bus.

He may have forgotten a couple names, but he got most of them. We came up with the definitive list of 90 players later that summer, and it’s an eclectic mix to say the least. The list features 19 NBA All-Stars (19 players comprising 48 appearances), five U.S. Olympians (Kevin Garnett, Hersey Hawkins, Reggie Miller, Chris Mullin, Tyson Chandler), five Sixth Man of the Year winners (Ricky Pierce, Eddie Johnson, Toni Kukoc, John Starks, Jamal Crawford), two fellow Cyclones (Dedric Willoughby and Marcus Fizer) and other not-so-famous hoopsters.

Here is the list….

Hoiberg’s NBA teammates (90 players): Jerome Allen, Chris Anstey, Greg Anthony, B.J. Armstrong, Vincent Askew, Dalibor Bagaric, Lonny Baxter, Corey Benjamin, Travis Best, Corie Blount, Etdrick Bohannon, Elton Brand, Randy Brown, Rick Brunson, Adrian Caldwell, Chris Carr, Anthony Carter, Sam Cassell, Tyson Chandler, Jamal Crawford, Austin Croshere, Eddy Curry, Erick Dampier, Kornel David, Antonio Davis, Dale Davis, Bryce Drew, Ndubi Ebi, Khalid El-Amin, Duane Ferrell, Marcus Fizer, Kevin Garnett, Anthony Goldwire, Steve Goodrich, Eddie Griffin, A.J. Guyton, Darvin Ham, Al Harrington, Trenton Hassell, Hersey Hawkins, Troy Hudson, Mark Jackson, Eddie Johnson, Ervin Johnson, Lari Ketner, Toni Kukoc, Rusty LaRue, Quincy Lewis, Mark Madsen, Matt Maloney, Donyell Marshall, Darrick Martin, Roger Mason, Derrick McKey, Keith McLeod, Ron Mercer, Brad Miller, Oliver Miller, Reggie Miller, Chris Mullin, Charles Oakley, Kevin Ollie, Michael Olowokandi, Will Perdue, Sam Perkins, Ricky Pierce, Mark Pope, Khalid Reeves, Norm Richardson, Eddie Robinson, Jalen Rose, Michael Ruffin, Dwayne Schintzius, Brent Scott, Dickey Simpkins, Rik Smits, Latrell Sprewell, John Starks, Wally Szczerbiak, Dragan Tarlac, John Thomas, Lasalle Thompson, Gary Trent, Jake Voskuhl, Mark West, Jay Williams, Reggie Williams, Dedric Willoughby, Haywoode Workman, Metta World Peace.

NBA MVP Kevin Garnett was one of 90 teammates of Fred Hoiberg's in the NBA.

NBA MVP Kevin Garnett was one of 90 teammates of Fred Hoiberg’s in the NBA.

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By The Numbers: Iowa State’s Success at Big 12 Championshps

By the Numbers

The indoor track and field season came to a close for many Iowa State student-athletes this past weekend at the Big 12 Indoor Championships. The Cyclone women finished fourth overall and the men sixth in team competition. The weekend was filled with historic performances on each the individual, team, program and even conference levels for the Cyclones, ranging in significance from personal records, to all-time top-10 performances, to Big 12 conference meet records.

Here’s a breakdown of Iowa State’s performance at Big 12’s, showing just how much success the Cyclones had at the Big 12 Championships.

1 – Edward Kemboi became the first athlete, male or female, in Big 12 history to win both the 800m and the 1,000m in the same conference meet. Kemboi is also the first Cyclone to win the men’s indoor 800m title.

1 – Cameron Ostrowski won the first men’s Big 12 indoor high jump title in program history.

1 – The women’s distance medley relay team (Maggie Gannon, Kendra White, Perez Rotich and Ejiro Okoro) became the first Cyclone DMR squad, men’s or women’s, to win the indoor title.

Maggie Gannon (1200m), Kendra White (400m), Perez Rotich (800m) and Ejiro Okoro (Mile) celebrate their DMR victory at the top of the podium.

Maggie Gannon (1200m), Kendra White (400m), Perez Rotich (800m) and Ejiro Okoro (Mile) celebrate their DMR victory at the top of the podium.

2 – Conference titles won by Ejiro Okoro (800m, DMR) and Edward Kemboi (800m, 1,000m). Okoro is the first Cyclone to win the indoor title in the 800m.

2 – Christina Hillman is the second female to win the Big 12 indoor shot put title (Lisa Griebel, ‘98, ‘99, ‘00, ‘02).

2:05.43 – Ejiro Okoro’s Big 12 Indoor Championship meet record time in the 800m.

3 – Men’s event titles, the second most won by the Cyclones in Big 12 Indoor Championship history. The total was good for the third-most event titles (3) across all teams (Oklahoma State – 5, Texas – 4).

3 – Kendra White holds the three fastest times in the 400m in program indoor history after this weekend.

3 – Number of scoring runners Iowa State packed into the women’s 5,000m, women’s 3,000m and men’s 1,000m.

4 – Women’s team finish.

4 – Women’s event titles, tying the most won by the Cyclones in Big 12 Indoor Championship history. The title was second only to Texas.

4 – All-time top-10 indoor performances by the Cyclone men.

4 – Cyclone men to set personal records.

4 – Cyclones to set multiple PR’s.

4 – Samantha Bluske is the fourth Cyclone to win the indoor 5,000m title (Sydney Pounds, Lisa Koll, Betsy Saina).

5 – Edward Kemboi is now fifth in conference history in most team points scored by an individual with 22.

5 – Number of bars cleared by Cameron Ostrowski en route to his high jump title.

Cameron Ostrowski is now second in Iowa State indoor history with a mark of 7 feet, 3.75 inches.

Cameron Ostrowski is now second in Iowa State indoor history with a mark of 7 feet, 3.75 inches.

6 – Men’s team finish.

6 – Events where the Cyclone women had two or more athletes score team points.

7 – Combined event titles from both the men’s and women’s teams, the most in Iowa State’s Big 12 indoor conference meet history. The total was second only to Texas.

9 – All-time top-10 indoor performances by the Cyclone women.

10 – Cyclone women to set personal records at the Big 12 Championships.

11 – Events in which the Cyclone women notched All-Big 12 performances.

12 – Events in which the Cyclone men notched All-Big 12 performances.

13 – Total number of events in which Iowa State notched All-Big 12 performances.

13 – All-time top-10 indoor performances notched by the Cyclones.

14 – Cyclone women to earn All-Big 12 accolades.

14 – Personal records set by Cyclone women, from 10 different individuals.

15 – Cyclone men to earn All-Big 12 accolades.

18 – Personal records set by Cyclone student-athletes at the Big 12 Championships

18 – Highest number of retweets by a single tweet from the weekend (Samantha Bluske’s 5K title).

19:28.17 – Time elapsed from when Edward Kemboi crossed the line to win the 1,000m to when he broke the tape to win the 800m.

20 – All-Big 12 honors earned by the Iowa State men.

22 – Team points Edward Kemboi accounted for.

23 – Highest number of favorites by a single tweet from the weekend (Samantha Bluske’s 5K title)

24 – All-Big 12 honors earned by the Iowa State women.

29 Cyclone student-athletes notched All-Big 12 performances at the indoor championships.

29 Cyclone student-athletes notched All-Big 12 performances at the indoor championships.

29 – Iowa State student-athletes to earn All-Big 12 recognition.

44 – All-Big 12 honors earned across both the men’s and women’s teams.

59 – Highest ‘liked’ post on Facebook from the weekend (Bluske’s 5K title).

201 – Retweets the @CycloneTrackXC twitter account received throughout the weekend.

231 – Favorites the @CycloneTrackXC twitter account received throughout the weekend.

338 – Likes the Cyclone Track and Field Facebook page received throughout the weekend.

2,291 – Page views on Cyclones.com generated from recaps.

All-Big 12 (44 honors, 29 individuals, 13 events, 7 titles)
* denotes Big 12 Champion

Women (24 honors, 14 individuals, 11 events, 4 titles)
Kenrdra White: 400m, DMR*
Ese Okoro: 600yd, 4x400m
Krista Shoeman: 600yd, 4x400m
Ejiro Okoro: 800m*, 4x400m, DMR
Maryn Lowry: 800m
Perez Rotich: 1,000m, DMR*
Maggie Gannon: Mile, DMR
Samantha Bluske: 3,000m, 5,000m*
Katy Moen: 3,000m, 5,000m
Bethanie Brown: 3,000m, 5,000m
Dana Christensen: 4x400m
Kelly McCoy: High Jump
Hannah Willms: High Jump
Christina Hillman: Shot Put*

Edward Kemboi broke the tape for two Big 12 titles in less than 20 minutes.

Edward Kemboi broke the tape for two Big 12 titles in less than 20 minutes.

Men (20 honors, 15 individuals, 12 events, 3 titles)
Jacob Hoogensen: 600yd, 4x400m
Edward Kemboi: 800m*, 1,000m*, DMR
Joe Gioielli: 1,000m
Alec Baldwin: 1,000m
Mohamed Hrezi: 3,000m, 5,000m
Ryan Sander: 60m-h
Derek Jones: DMR, 4x400m
Brandon Barnes: DMR
Brian Llamas: DMR
Trey Achterhoff: 4x400m
Kris Brander: 4x400m
Cameron Ostrowski: High Jump*
Jan Jeuschede: Shot Put
Henry Kelley: Weight Throw
Kevin Poster: Triple Jump

Cyclone PR’s
Cameron Ostrowski (HJ): 7’3.75”
Kelly McCoy (HJ): 5’8.75”
Jan Jeuschede (SP): 60’9.25”
Maggie Gannon (Mile): 4:43.73
Heidi Engelhardt (mile): 5:00.21
Henry Kelley (WT): 59’00.25”
Jacob Hoogensen (600yd): 1:11.74
Maryn Lowry (800m): 2:12.25
Christina Hillman (WT): 54-09.50
Anna Holtermann (WT): 51-11.25
Samantha Bluske (5,000m): 16:19.36, (3,000m): 9:18.61
Katy Moen (5,000m): 16:22.09, (3,000m): 9:19.17
Bethanie Brown (5,000m): 16:37.99, (3,000m): 9:19.40
Taylor McDowell (3,000m): 9:51.35
Kristen Henson (3,000m): 10:20.47

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