Hoop Bits (11-25-15)

Signee Jackson Impresses Former Cyclone

Iowa State signed four players on Nov. 11, including Iowa Western guard Donovan Jackson. Jackson will certainly be looked at to contribute immediately in 2015-16 with Iowa State losing an incredible amount of production following this season.

The Milwaukee, Wisconsin, native, hasn’t slowed down a bit since signing on the dotted line to become a Cyclone. One of his most recent performances left an impression on a former Iowa State player.

Last Saturday, Jackson led Iowa Western to a win over Bryan Petersen’s Kirkwood squad. Jackson scored 29 points, hitting 10-of-16 field goals, including 4-for-6 behind the arc and all five free throws.

Petersen was impressed.

“Donovan plays at such a good pace and is under control at all times,” Petersen said. “I think his game is going to translate to the next level because he always seems under complete control. That is just something that you don’t see a lot at this level. On top of that, he’s got the ability to make shots. He knows how to score the ball at a high level both off the bounce and coming off of screens.”

Petersen has now coached against Jackson three times and has noticed his improvement.

“One thing that seems to have improved for Donovan is his decision making,” Petersen said. “Obviously being a point guard for his team, that’s important. He’s gotten stronger and I think his leadership, from what I can tell from an opposing coach’s standpoint, seems to have improved. You could tell as a freshman that he had that ability to lead, but as a sophomore he really seems to be running that team.”

This season, Jackson is averaging 18.3 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.9 assists. Most impressive is his efficiency. Jackson is shooting 54.9 percent from the field, but those aren’t just layups. He’s hit 19-of-39 threes. He’s also outstanding at the free-throw line, shooting 82.6 percent to lead Iowa Western to an 8-0 mark early in the season.

Defensively Speaking

A little tidbit from our notes package heading into the Emerald Coast Classic.

Defensive Note

In The Community

The Cyclones haven’t just been making an impact on the court, they’ve also been quite active off the court.

Team Sophia supports four-year old Cyclone super fan Sophia Helbing from Boone, Iowa. Sophia recently underwent her second major surgery to replace a valve in her heart, much like the procedure former Cyclone coach Fred Hoiberg had last spring.

Sophia is a huge fan of Cyclone men’s basketball, and we are a huge fan of her!

Coach Prohm and a number of players recently visited Mary Greeley hospital to spend time with some of their patients.

Assistant Coach T.J. Otzelberger and student-athletes Nazareth Mitrou-Long, Georges Niang and Matt Thomas visited Scavo High School, an alternative school in Des Moines, as part of the NABC’s “Stay In To Win” program.

This group consistently is giving Cyclone Nation something to be proud of!

Posted in Men's Basketball | Tagged | 1 Comment

Bridget Carleton: Starting Off Strong


Bridget Carleton’s official debut as a Cyclone couldn’t have gone much better if she scripted it herself. The freshman from Chatham, Ontario, Canada lit up Hilton Coliseum with a game-high 28-points off 10-of-17 shooting. She also grabbed 12 rebounds for a double-double.

Iowa State would go on to rout Hampton, 95-59, but the spotlight belonged to Carleton, who broke Bryanna Fernstrom’s record (25) for most points by a freshman in a career debut. Her performance led to her winning the first Big 12 Freshman of the Week award of the season, making her just the eighth different ISU freshman in the last five seasons to earn the honor.

“I think it’s just cool to get the first game [out of the way], but it’s just our starting point and I want to be so much better than this,” Carleton said. “I know that I can be better so I just want to get there.”

Carleton not only put on a show in front of the Hilton crowd, but in front of her family, who drove down from Canada for her first collegiate game. In total, she had seven close family members and friends in attendance and they couldn’t have been more proud of the 6-1 freshman. Carleton_Bridget_CU_2015-16_4

“It was awesome that they were there, I think for my first collegiate game it was really special to me and it made me feel more comfortable that I had family here watching and not just a crowd full of strangers,” Carleton said.

Head coach Bill Fennelly can easily see Carleton’s potential.

“Bridget is a worker,” Fennelly said after the season opener against Hampton. “Bridget has long-term goals. Bridget wants to play on the Canadian Olympic team. Beating Hampton tonight or whatever happens is a part of her life, but she has goals down the road that most young people don’t have. I think she’s the kind of kid that gets it. She’s very humble. Like I said, she has an amazing family and she was taught that you have to show up.”

Carleton is just one member of Iowa State’s highly touted freshman class that included two top-45 prospects and Carleton, who was the No. 1 recruit in Canada’s 2015 class. The three commitments gave ISU the 15th-ranked recruiting class in the country, making it the best class in Fennelly’s tenure.

Carleton has high hopes for not just her career at Iowa State, but her future after she is finished competing for the Cyclones. She competed on Canada’s U16, U17, U18 and U19 squads and hopes to compete in the 2020 Olympics for Canada. Though her goals seem lofty, they are very realistic.


Photo courtesy of FIBA/Canada Basketball

Carleton spent this summer as a captain for the U19 Women’s National team and she has appeared in 27 international games, averaging 12.3 points. Her goal is to become a member of the national team in 2017. To do that, she knows she has a lot of work to do.

“Canada Basketball has contacted me about things that I need to work on, and they have also been in contact with Coach Fennelly, and that is another big reason why I wanted to come here because they are willing to help me,” Carleton said. “So I’m just working hard to improve what Canada Basketball and what Iowa State wants me to improve on, which are about the same things, so it is really helpful.”

For Carleton, Iowa State’s willingness to work with Canada Basketball on her development was one of the reasons she decided to commit to the Cyclones.

Carleton’s commitment to the Cyclones came with a little bit of luck as associate head coach Jodi Steyer was contacted by a recruiting service in Canada about her. After watching game film, Steyer and Fennelly reached out to her parents and sent over information about Iowa State.

She was instantly interested after watching the Cyclones’ recruiting video.

“I watched that 20-minute video of women’s basketball and I got interested,” Carleton said. “I felt like coach Steyer was really engaged with me, she came and watched my high school game, and my high school basketball was really not that good. It was special when they came down to watch practice, and ever since then, I became really connected to the coaches, and then I came down and visited and I loved it and I wanted to commit.”

Carleton went on several other college visits, but none held up against Iowa State.

“Once I came and visited, the fans blew me away when I came here,” she said. “I have never played in front of nearly as many people, and the team was all really welcoming and exciting and I kind of fit in really well with them so that was a huge part.”

There’s no telling what the future holds for Carleton, whether it’s a spot on Canada’s women’s national team, a trip to the Olympics or even a spot or two in the ISU record books. However, one thing is certain: she is glad she chose Iowa State, and so is Cyclone Nation.

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ISU’s 1,000-Yard Club

Warren, Mike15OSU10

Mike Warren joined an exclusive club on Saturday vs. No. 5 Oklahoma State. With 15 carries for 73 yards, the nation’s best freshman rusher became the 13th player in Iowa State history to rush for 1,000 yards in a season.

A native of Lawton, Okla., Warren is the first Cyclone freshman and only the seventh rookie in Big 12 history to achieve the milestone.

Warren entered the club in his 10th game of the season and with only nine total rushes in his first two games. He has 1,070 yards and is averaging 5.8 yards per carry.

He made a vow to reward the outstanding efforts of his offensive line after going over 1,000 yards, and he delivered.

Breaking the 1,000-yard rushing barrier is an impressive feat, considering the pass-happy offensive schemes prevalent in today’s college football atmosphere.

Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoads thinks so, too.

“It’s (1,000 yards) still an outstanding benchmark to strive for,” Rhoads said. “Anytime you can have an individual gain that many yards in a season, you know you are doing something right.”

Warren will be the first to tell you that reaching 1,000 yards requires a combination of a lot of things. For one, you have to be an excellent running back. You must possess outstanding vision, speed and strength, all traits of the Cyclone rookie sensation.

“The biggest thing Mike does is that he makes a decision and he sticks to it,” said Cyclone starting left tackle Jake Campos. “As soon as he sees a gap, he will just take it. He’s got the best vision I have ever seen.”

You also have to stay healthy and have an offensive line with sound run-blocking technique. Two more positives for Warren.

“I couldn’t have done anything this year without the offensive line,” Warren said. “This is their achievement too.”

Here is a quick historical review and a few fun facts on Iowa State’s 1,000-yard rushers.

Iowa State 1,000 yard rushers

Big George

All-American George Amundson was the first Cyclone rush for over 1,000 yards in a season by recording 1,260 yards on Iowa State’s 1971 Sun Bowl team. He ranked 14th nationally in rushing that year and was a key player in helping ISU reach its first bowl game in school history.

Amundson was a junior in 1971 and appeared to have a great shot to reach 1,000 again in 1972. He didn’t, however, but that’s because the versatile Amundson, who was named Big Eight Player of the Year in 1972, moved to quarterback. He then broke ISU’s single-season passing record (1,957 yards). His replacement did reach 1,000 yards, though. Mike Strachan rushed for 1,260 yards in 1972 and became the first player in school history to go over 1,000 yards in back-to-back seasons when he registered 1,103 yards in 1973.

The W-W Express

The 1975 season was the closest the Cyclones came to having a pair of 1,000-yard rushers in the same year. Senior back Jim Wingender led the team with 1,070 yards. He was chased all season by teammate Mike Williams, who tallied 781 yards on the ground. The duo was aptly named the “W-W Express.”

Williams was a junior in 1975 and was pegged as ISU’s primary ballcarrier in 1976. However, a horrible knee injury in the preseason ended Williams’ career. This opened the door for an unknown running back named Dexter Green.

Money Green

Dexter Green, nicknamed “Money,” grabbed control of the running back position after the unfortunate injury to Williams. He rushed for 1,074 yards as a sophomore (1976) and followed that season by accumulating 1,240 yards on the ground in 1977.

Green was close to becoming the first three-time 1,000-yard rusher, but injuries kept Green out of a number of games in 1978. He fell just nine yards shy, gaining 991 yards in an All-American season.


Dwayne Crutchfield was the first junior college transfer to rush for 1,000 yards as a Cyclone, breaking the school record with 1,312 yards in 1980. The definition of a bruiser, Crutchfield didn’t elude tackles, he went through them with his imposing 6-0, 225-pound frame.

He again reached the 1,000-yard barrier as a senior in 1981 (1,189).

Blaising A Trail

In 1989, junior college transfer Blaise Bryant earned All-America honors by setting a new Cyclone single-season rushing record with 1,516 yards. He led the Big Eight Conference and ranked fourth nationally in rushing, averaging an impressive 5.1 yards per carry.

Like Green’s senior season, injuries prevented Bryant from reaching the milestone in his final year. He missed two games and received limited carries in others in a 753-yard campaign.

The Davis Brothers

Without a doubt, Troy and Darren Davis rank as one of the greatest brother combinations in the history of Iowa State football. Troy is the standard of Iowa State running backs as the only two-time consensus first-team All-American in school history. Troy led the nation in rushing in 1995 and 1996, rushing for 2,010 and 2,185 yards, respectively. He is still the only player in FBS history to record a pair of 2,000-yard seasons.

Darren also made history by becoming the only Cyclone to record three 1,000-yard seasons, breaking the barrier in 1997, 1998 and 1999. He ranked ninth nationally in rushing yardage in 1999 with 1,388 yards.

Davis, Troy 95 action3010

Troy Davis is one of the greatest running backs in NCAA history, rushing for over 2,000 yards in back-to-back seasons in 1995 and 1996.


Impressive Streak

Dan McCarney was hired as the Iowa State football coach prior to the 1995 season and it was clearly evident he set a priority on running the ball. With help from the Davis brothers, Iowa State mounted a streak of having a 1,000-yard rusher for a school-record seven-straight seasons (1995-2001).

Ennis Haywood tacked on a pair of 1,000-yard seasons in 2000 and 2001. The streak tied for the sixth-longest in NCAA history at the time.

ISU Single-Season Rushing Leaders

  1. 2,185 Troy Davis, 1996
  2. 2,010 Troy Davis, 1995
  3. 1,516 Blaise Bryant, 1989
  4. 1,388 Darren Davis, 1999
  5. 1,312 Dwayne Crutchfield, 1980
  6. 1,260 George Amundson, 1971
  7. 1,260   Mike Strachan, 1972
  8. 1,240 Dexter Green, 1977
  9. 1,237 Ennis Haywood, 2000
  10. 1,232 Joe Henderson, 1987
  11. 1,195 Alexander Robinson, 2009
  12. 1,189 Dwayne Crutchfield, 1981
  13. 1,169 Ennis Haywood, 2001
  14. 1,166 Darren Davis, 1998
  15. 1,103 Mike Strachan, 1973
  16. 1,074 Dexter Green, 1976
  17. 1,070 Mike Warren, 2015
    1,070   Jim Wingender, 1975
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Tailgate Corner: Hallo-weekend Tailgating

By: Kyle Kubiak

Regardless of the weather or opponent, you can expect to see the Jack Trice Stadium parking lots full before every home game. The lots begin to fill the night before and continue during the early hours leading up to the game. Cyclone Nation never disappoints and that starts with the spirit they show during tailgating.

Except, last Saturday’s 6 p.m. game against the Texas Longhorns brought a different look than you normally see on a game day in Ames. The unconventional look was the product of three events falling on the same day.

Football game. Homecoming. Halloween.

“Make a STATEment” was the slogan for this year’s homecoming. Those three simple words seemed to fit appropriately when surveying the attire that was on display around Jack Trice Stadium.

Everywhere you turned college students and alums were showing off their best costumes. From Paul Rhoads to Gumby and everything in between, ISU fans succeeded on making a statement through their costume choices.

It almost seemed like there was an unspoken competition for who had the best.

“You can definitely see when students put extra thought into their costumes instead of just buying a simple shirt or hat. It seems like a lot of them decided to go all out,” said John Simmons, a life long Cyclone fan and regular tailgater. “I bet it has been a long time since we had a homecoming football game that landed on Halloween. A day like today makes me wish I was a college student again.”

The excitement of homecoming mixed with the hallo-weekend brought an infectious buzz around the lots. Cyclone fans were excited to watch their Cyclones take on the Texas Longhorns under the lights.

“Homecoming always brings some of the best tailgates. More alumni make the trip to Ames and the students always seem to have a stronger showing inside the stadium,” said Tyler Rich, Iowa State alumnus of 2013. “I am lucky to work close enough to where I have been able to make it to every home game, but I know there are some of my friends coming down for their first home game since graduating as well.”

Having the perfect costume is always a back-and-forth battle. You never want to try too hard or do the same thing as everyone else. Banana suits were the most commonly seen costumes with Star Wars and Gumby suits right behind.

The planning and unique spin some students put into their costumes brought joy and more excitement to the tailgating routine. Some fans do the same thing every Saturday and Halloween brought a great opportunity to mix it up.

Season ticket holder, John Waters and his family have a routine on every home game. They arrive 6 hours before the game and immediately begin cooking pulled pork. The hallo-weekend allowed them to get out of their routine and add something different to game day for their young children.

“Since we have our three kids who are all under the age of eleven, it can sometimes be hard to get them excited for a game every other weekend. The Halloween weekend fell on a perfect time to where they can dress up and have even more fun,” Waters said.

One Cyclone fan in specific decided to turn the watch back and dress as his father. Conner Rupprecht, senior in Accounting, decided to dress in his father’s bowling polo to mix the celebrations of homecoming and Halloween together.

“I am not that big of Halloween guy, but the idea of dressing like my father of when he was in college was just too easy and funny to pass up,” Rupprecht said. “I think a lot of students are displaying their humors and that is always cool to see around Ames.”

Every college fan base believes they have the best tailgating experience and Cyclone Nation continues to rival them all. Cyclone fans are forever loyal, and they always want to make a statement with their own tailgating traditions.

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Lindsay Frank: Making an Impact

Frank, Lindsay_Saint Louis_2014-15

Redshirt senior Lindsay Frank has fought many battles over the course of her soccer career. The first of which came in high school—when she tore her ACL in the prime of her recruitment, causing many schools to overlook her. During her senior year of high school, however, she was able to place herself back on the recruitment map after earning first-team all-district honors. She had offers from all around the country, but having been originally from Carrollton, Texas, Frank always knew that she wanted to play Big 12 soccer.

“I wanted to go somewhere that had a great program, specifically in the Big 12, so that my family could watch me,” said Frank, “Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, they’re all close enough for my family to come see me play.”

Out of the Big 12 schools, one stood above the rest: Iowa State. She was drawn to the beauty of the campus as well as the academics and the culture surrounding the program. She said it definitely felt like “the right fit” and her decision was easy.

When Frank came to Ames a true freshman, she wanted to make an immediate impact on the Iowa State soccer team. Her skills and determination ultimately lead her to become a starter by seasons end, as well as earn the team’s Newcomer of the Year Award.

“I came in wanting to prove something [and] once I became a starter, I felt like I had a purpose.” She said, “I came here wanting to make a difference, and I feel like that really pushed me through.”

She made a difference, indeed, as Frank was a key member of that year’s defense that had a program-record-tying nine shutouts. This year as a redshirt senior, she has led the Cyclone defense to six shutouts, something that she believes is very important.

“Having a shut out is huge… I feel like they are a contribution to the whole team.”

Defense has always been a big focus point over Frank’s career as she was named the team’s Co-Defensive MVP in 2012. It definitely is one of her strengths, and it allows her to be a leader at that end of the field.

“I would say [defense] is one of my biggest strengths… I like the individual battle, whoever I’m going against I don’t want them to beat me.”

Frank doesn’t let opposing players beat her, and she definitely won’t let injuries beat her either. In the summer prior to her junior year, Frank tore her ACL for the second time in her life. She missed the entire season, but was granted a medical redshirt for an extra year of eligibility; after a successful rehab assignment, she came back in her redshirt junior season to play in all 18 games for the Cyclones—tallying 712 total minutes. While coming back from injury, Frank also had to cope with learning a new position.

“I’m playing in the midfield now which is a little bit of a different role. [Defense] is definitely still a priority, but now I have to think about playing a little more offensively as well.”

The transition has gone smoothly for Frank, and she really enjoys her new position. After years of focusing strictly on defense, she was able to score her first career goal against South Dakota this season.

“It was nice to finally get a goal… I’ve put in a lot of time, and it was just nice to finally see something that I contributed towards the score.”

Frank says that will always be one of her favorite memories, but her absolute favorite was when the team traveled to California to face Pepperdine. She had never been to California before that trip, and really enjoyed taking in the Golden Gate Bridge and Santa Monica beach. The trip was spent with her teammates, which she says is what she will miss most about her time here at Iowa State.

Once soccer is over, she is planning on going into physical therapy school so she can help others who are experiencing what she went through. Lindsay Frank has showed skill, determination, and heart over her career here in Ames, making her easy to root for. Catch her final home game on Friday, Oct. 30th versus Texas Tech.

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These Guys Love The NBA

Not much gets the Iowa State men’s basketball team going like a good NBA conversation. Ride the bus for any amount of time and you are sure to hear a friendly Kobe or Lebron argument. With the NBA season starting this week, we decided to find out from the players themselves which pros they like, which team they follow and which five NBA stars they’d go to battle with if they were coaching an NBA team.

NBA-Who Ya Got

Favorite current NBA player
Steph Curry received six votes from the current Iowa State players.

Simeon Carter – Kevin Durant
Jameel McKay – Anthony Davis
Abdel Nader – Steph Curry & Klay Thompson
Hallice Cooke – Kyrie Irving
Wes Greder – Steph Curry
Monté Morris – Steph Curry
Nick Weiler-Babb – Chris Babb
Nazareth Mitrou-Long – Steph Curry
Matt Thomas – Steph Curry
Jordan Ashton – Kevin Durant
Stuart Nezlek – Jimmy Butler & Klay Thompson
Deonte Burton – None
Georges Niang – Steph Curry
Brady Ernst – LaMarcus Aldridge

Favorite NBA Team
Golden State is the favorite team of Iowa State basketball players with four votes.

Simeon Carter – Golden State Warriors
Jameel McKay – Cleveland Cavs
Abdel Nader – Golden State Warriors
Hallice Cooke – San Antonio Spurs
Wes Greder – Chicago Bulls
Monté Morris – Cleveland Cavs
Nick Weiler-Babb – Dallas Mavericks
Nazareth Mitrou-Long – Toronto Raptors
Matt Thomas – Golden State Warriors
Jordan Ashton – None
Stuart Nezlek – Golden State Warriors
Deonte Burton – None
Georges Niang – Boston Celtics
Brady Ernst – Milwaukee Bucks

Kobe, MJ or LeBron?
If you are keeping track at home, it’s still Jordan’s world. Jordan secures 10 of 14 player votes. Lebron and Kobe with two votes each.

Simeon Carter – Jordan
Jameel McKay – LeBron
Abdel Nader – Jordan
Hallice Cooke – Jordan
Wes Greder – Jordan
Monté Morris – LeBron
Nick Weiler-Babb – Jordan
Nazareth Mitrou-Long – Jordan
Matt Thomas – Kobe
Jordan Ashton – Jordan
Stuart Nezlek – Jordan
Deonte Burton – Jordan
Georges Niang – Jordan
Brady Ernst – Kobe

Top NBA Memory
A lot of great memories from the players, including Nick Weiler-Babb’s favorite being when his brother and former Cyclone, Chris, played in the NBA for the first time.

Simeon Carter – When Russell Westbrook drove all the way down the court and threw down a two-handed dunk for Oklahoma City against Philadelphia.
Jameel McKay – When Tracy McGrady brought Houston back (scoring 13 points in 35 seconds against the Spurs in 2004).
Abdel Nader – 2010 NBA Finals when the Lakers beat Boston. Rondo misses and Kobe threw the ball up into the air.
Hallice Cooke – When Ray Allen hit the three in corner to tie it in game six of the 2013 NBA Finals against the Spurs.
Wes Greder – Kobe Bryant’s 81-point game against Toronto
Monté Morris – Going to see Detroit play Indiana in the 2004 playoffs.
Nick Weiler-Babb – When my brother Chris got his first minutes.
Nazareth Mitrou-Long – Steph Curry winning the title last year or Kobe winning in 2010 against the Celtics.
Matt Thomas – When the Lakers won three titles in a row with Shaq. I would watch those games and cry if they lost.
Jordan Ashton – Heat over Spurs in game six of 2013 NBA Finals.
Stuart Nezlek – Watching the Pistons win the title in 2004 because it got me a day off of school after.
Deonte Burton – None
Georges Niang – When I went to watch the Timberwolves play the Celtics. I’ll never forget the intensity that Kevin Garnett played with from warmups to the end of the game.
Brady Ernst – None

Your Starting Five
This was my favorite category because of the variation. Only Wes Greder and Jordan Ashton had the same starting five. Best answer went to Deonte Burton: “Kobe, Lebron, Wade, Curry and throw in any big and we will win.” Confident, I like that.

Simeon Carter – Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard
Jameel McKay – Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Anthony Davis
Abdel Nader – Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, LeBron James, Blake Griffin, Anthony Davis
Hallice Cooke – Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins
Wes Greder – Steph Curry, James Harden, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis
Monté Morris – Russell Westbrook, LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin
Nick Weiler-Babb – Steph Curry, Emmanuel Mudiay, LeBron James, Tim Duncan, Tyson Chandler
Nazareth Mitrou-Long – Steph Curry, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, LaMarcus Aldridge, Pau Gasol
Matt Thomas – Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, LeBron James, Anthony Davis, LaMarcus Aldridge
Jordan Ashton – Steph Curry, James Harden, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis
Stuart Nezlek – Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, LeBron James, DeMarcus Cousins
Deonte Burton – Steph Curry, Dwayne Wade, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Any big man
Georges Niang – Kyrie Irving, Paul George, LeBron James, LaMarcus Aldridge, Anthony Davis
Brady Ernst – Steph Curry, James Harden, Kevin Durant, LaMarcus Aldridge, Tim Duncan

Did you know?

With Fred Hoiberg (Chicago Bulls) and Jeff Hornacek (Phoenix Suns) acting as NBA head coaches, Iowa State is one of three schools with multiple alumni coaching in the NBA. The others are Arizona State (Lionel Hollins and Byron Scott) and Kentucky (Frank Vogel and Dwane Casey).

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Tailgate Corner: Tailgating Food At Its Finest

By Ben Breitbach:

In preparation for a 6 p.m. kickoff against TCU, Cyclone fans started showing up in force on Friday and Saturday in the Jack Trice Stadium parking lots. Fans had a lot of time to set up their tailgate and show off their favorite traditions. Every tailgate has a staple that makes them different from others but the constant between each is food. While walking around outside of Jack Trice Stadium you can hear the sizzle of the grills, the smell of chili in a crockpot, and see the homemade desserts on decorated tables. Some fans have their favorite dish they bring to every tailgate, while others choose to change it up every game. The Cyclone tailgating experience is one of the best in the nation and reflects the Cyclone spirit. The food is definitely one of the reasons why tailgating in Ames is such an exciting time.

As with any sporting event, hamburgers and hot dogs are a popular choice among Cyclone fans. However, there are other choices that keep members of Cyclone Nation energized for night games. A favorite of Iowa State alums Tom and Lori Fleck, who have been tailgating at ISU for 30 years, is pulled pork. Tailgaters do not just stop with the main entrees, they also bring assorted dishes like chips and dip, vegetables plates, and homemade cookies, among other things.

Jan Abbas is referred to as being the ‘Martha Stewart’ of tailgating at Iowa State and she is definitely a candidate for the best tailgate in Cyclone Nation. Her husband is a 1976 alum and for every home game Jan has chosen a different theme that she has decorated her tailgate around and cooked food to match. The theme last weekend, with the looming winter weather, was a celebration of Abbas’ dying zinnia flowers. She decked out the trunk of her car with various fall decorations and had her flowers as centerpieces on her tables. Not only were her decorations exceptional, but the assorted dessert table, especially her scotcheroos, lived up to the decorations.

In previous weeks she has had different themes. In order to kick off the football season, Abbas went with a breakfast themed tailgate, which included breakfast burritos. On the schedule next for Abbas is a Halloween themed tailgate for the Homecoming game against the Texas Longhorns where she is going to continue to show her Cyclone spirit through her well-planned tailgates.

The game against TCU was the first this year that most fans were reminded that the seasons are changing. As the weather starts to get colder, the food that Cyclone fans bring to games gets warmer.  With the weather in the 40’s and 50’s for most of the day many tailgaters decided to bring hot items to keep them warm before kickoff. Many traded in their hamburgers and hot dogs for a warm bowl of chili or decided to go with cheesy potatoes instead of fruit. Cali Westergard, a freshman at Iowa State who was taking in the tailgating festivities with her parents, said their tailgate was switching their food to match the changing seasons. Westergard explained that as it gets colder they plan on bringing a lot more chili and different kinds of soup. No matter how cold it gets outside it is a guarantee that Cyclone fans will continue to pack the parking lots outside of Jack Trice Stadium.

Next time you’re at Jack Trice Stadium on October 31st, take some time to walk around the parking lots and take in the smells and tastes of Cyclone tailgating. The food outside the stadium is something special and is just another reason game day at Iowa State is such a great experience.

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