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Iowa men’s hoops takes winning streak into Big Ten


December 28th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — After a month of struggles, Iowa finally got rolling with three straight wins to end non-conference play. Those victories won’t mean much if the Hawkeyes don’t get off to a good start in the Big Ten — arguably the nation’s toughest league yet again. Iowa (8-5) opens league play tonight (Wednesday), at home against Purdue (10-3). The Hawkeyes and Penn State are the only two Big Ten teams with more than three losses, and Iowa wasn’t all that competitive in losses to Creighton, Clemson, Northern Iowa and Iowa State. Now the Hawkeyes face 18 straight games in a league ranked No. 1 in RPI. Iowa coach Fran McCaffery says  “It’s important that we come into the game with the right mindset, follow the game plan and play well.”  He says “We can’t have mistake-(filled) stretches, long periods of missed shots, the inability to stop (Purdue) when we need a stop when we need a stop or two or three in a row. That’s what you have to be able to do to win consistently.”

There are at least two reasons why the Hawkeyes can hope this year will be better than last year, when they won just four Big Ten games and finished in 10th place. Sophomore Devyn Marble is emerging as a potential impact player, and forward Melsahn Basabe has improved after an atrocious start. After struggling to beat teams it was supposed to defeat, the Hawkeyes have cobbled together a winning streak and the confidence that comes with success. That could all change if they can’t continue to show improvement. McCaffery said “It’s one tough game after another, and all we’re trying to do is prepare for the next opponent and play well. And then if we play well, then try to continue to get better.”

8AM Sportscast 12-27-2011

Podcasts, Sports

December 27th, 2011 by Chris Parks

w/ Jim Field


Cyclones land in Big Apple


December 26th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa State football team is in New York City to continue preparations for the December 30th Pinstripe Bowl against Rutgers. ISU coach Paul Rhoads says the final few practices before leaving Ames he concentrated on the game plan. Rhoads says with the regular season stretching into December there is less of a concern about rust than there was two years ago prior to an Insight Bowl matchup against Minnesota. Rutgers has used two quarterbacks this season, sophomore Chas(chase) Dodd and freshman Gary Nova.

Rutgers coach Greg Schiano says the Scarlet Knights need to try and find a way to effectively run the ball against a Cyclone defense that is played its best at the end of the regular season. Running the ball has been a struggle for Rutgers which averages 91 yards per game and ranks 115th nationally. Schiana says another reason the Cyclones made a late season run was the play of quarterback Jared Barnett. The Cyclones are 6-6 while Rutgers finished the regular season 8-4.

Iowa and Oklahoma continue preparations for Insight.


December 26th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops says playing the Iowa Hawkeyes in Friday’s Insight Bowl gives this game a much different feeling. Stoops played on Hayden Fry’s first Big Ten championship team back in 1981 and later served on Fry’s staff. Stoops says having been a part of the Iowa program he knows the last thing his Sooners should do is take the Hawkeyes lightly. Oklahoma is a better than two touchdown favorite. Stoops expects a hard fought game. Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz says it was no surprise to him that Stoops led the Sooners to the national title in only his second year at the helm.

This is the second straight trip to the Insight Bowl for the Hawkeyes who beat Missouri in last year’s game. Injuries hurt the Oklahoma offense late in the season but Ferentz says Sooner quarterback Landry Jones has a bright future at the next level. Oklahoma arrived on Phoenix last night. You can hear the action from the Insight Bowl live on KJAN, Friday night.

(Radio Iowa/Ric Hanson)

Book recalls history of Iowa State High School Wrestling Tournament


December 26th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

An annual event that draws thousands of spectators and athletes to Des Moines every February is the subject of a new book. “Reach for the Stars: The Iowa High School State Wrestling Tournament” includes 620 pages of stories, facts and photos from the event’s 90 year history. “Reach for the Stars,” by Dan McCool Author Dan McCool says he conducted over 160 interviews for the book and one of highlights involves the story of Jack Barron, who won a state title in 1980 as a member of the Iowa School for the Deaf.

"Reach for the Stars," by Dan McCool

“This is how smart Iowa wrestling fans are – here’s a guy, deaf, wrestling for a state championship and he wins it. Obviously, he’s not going to hear (the crowd) if they applaud, so they got the idea to stand up and stomp their feet,” McCool explained. “(Barron) could feel the vibration and he must have thought the place was coming down.” The early years of the state tournament were much different than today – primarily because of a lack of strict rules and participation limits. The first tournament in 1921 included a place winner at 95 pounds who was just 11 years old.

“I found an account of a situation where Esterville was going to wrestle Fonda. They found out a couple of the guys on the Fonda team were 20, 21 or 22 (years old),” McCool said. “They were staying in school long enough to wrestle and as soon as wrestling season was over, they dropped out.” The Iowa High School Athletic Association began sanctioning the tournament in 1926 and put stricter guidelines in place. McCool became a fan of wrestling as a youngster, growing up in Clarion, when a friend won a state championship. He later covered the sport for 30 years as a writer for the Des Moines Register. McCool said he enjoys the “individual aspect” of the sport.

“You can have a terrible shooting night and still win a basketball game because the four other guys might chip in for you. You might miss some really big blocks in football, but you have 10 other guys who might be able to patch in your hole,” McCool said. “If you have a bad night in wrestling, it’s on you and everybody sees it. You can have a great night and everybody sees you pin the guy. But, if you get pinned, everybody sees it. There’s no hiding.” The championship round of the 2012 State High School Wrestling Tournament is expected to be sold out for the 25th consecutive year. McCool plans to be at the tournament, scheduled for February 16-18, to sign and sell copies of his book. The book is also available online at Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com.

(Pat Curtis/Radio Iowa)

Sunday Sports Capsule – Top Stories


December 26th, 2011 by Ric Hanson


GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers tossed five TD passes and the Green Bay Packers routed the Chicago Bears 35-21at Lambeau Field. The 14-1 Packers, who bounced back from their only loss of the season last week at Kansas City, earned the No. 1 seed throughout the NFC playoffs.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Reigning NBA MVP Derrick Rose hit a 10-foot jumper with 4.8 seconds left and scored 22 points in leading the Chicago Bulls to an 88-87 win over the L.A. Lakers in their season opener. Kobe Bryant shook off a torn tendon in his wrist and scored 28 points but had his last-second jumper blocked by Luol Deng (LOO’-ul dehng).

DALLAS (AP) — LeBron James and the Miami Heat couldn’t keep the Dallas Mavericks from winning the most recent NBA championship. They did a nice job, however, of getting the Mavs’ title defense off to an ugly start as James had 37 points, 10 rebounds and six assists as the Heat beat the Mavericks 105-94.

DALLAS (AP) — NBA Commissioner David Stern opened his lockout-delayed season by hearing boos from Mavericks fans. Stern was in Dallas for the NBA finals Mavs-Heat rematch was booed at the start of the Mavs’ banner-raising ceremony honoring their first championship.

HONOLULU (AP) — Tu Holloway poured in 21 points to lead No. 14 Xavier to an 87-77 victory over Southern Illinois on Sunday in the seventh-place game of the Diamond Head Classic. That ends a three-game losing streak for the Musketeers, who won for the first time since Dec. 10.

Sunday Sports Scorecard


December 26th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Final     Green Bay     35     Chicago     21

Final     New York     106     Boston     104
Final     Miami     105     Dallas     94
Final     Chicago     88     L-A Lakers     87
Final     Oklahoma City     97     Orlando     89
Final     L-A Clippers     105     Golden State     86

Final     (14) Xavier     87     S. Illinois     77

Chiefs may be playing for Romeo in season finale


December 25th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Chiefs were eliminated from playoff contention on Saturday, their roller-coaster season taking one more dip when they lost to the Raiders in overtime. That doesn’t mean they don’t have something to play for in their finale. Romeo Crennel may be coaching for his job against the Broncos next Sunday. The interim coach has already said he wants the permanent job after leading the Chiefs to a victory over Green Bay last week in his first game replacing the fired Todd Haley. Kyle Orton may also be auditioning for a job. The quarterback is a free agent after this season, and general manager Scott Pioli might try to sign him to create competition for Matt Cassel, who went down with a season-ending injury to his throwing hand earlier this season.

Wildlife refuges announce Neb., Ia. deer hunts

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

December 25th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — The Boyer Chute and DeSoto National Wildlife Refuges are holding a January muzzleloader deer hunt for Iowa and Nebraska hunters. The hunt will run from Jan. 11 through Jan. 18, and will apply to antlerless deer only. Nebraska hunters need a Season Choice Area 21 permit for the hunt. Iowa hunters will need a January antlerless deer license, but they can use similar permits from Harrison or Pottawattamie counties. Boyer Chute Refuge is open to Nebraska hunters only. DeSoto has land in both the states of Iowa and Nebraska, and hunters from both states may hunt.

NFL-WEEK 17 FLEX SCHEDULE: Giants-Cowboys moved to prime time


December 25th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

NEW YORK (AP) — The NFL has moved the Dallas Cowboys’ game at the New York Giants to decide the NFC East title to prime time on New Year’s Day. The game will kick off at 8:20 p.m. (Eastern) with the teams both at 8-7. The winner goes to the playoffs and the loser goes home. Also next Sunday, Baltimore at Cincinnati, Cleveland at Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay at Atlanta have been moved to 4:15 p.m. EST. No times have been set for Carolina at New Orleans and Chicago at Minnesota. The Ravens lead the AFC North and need a victory to clinch. Pittsburgh also is 11-4, but Baltimore swept the Steelers. Cincinnati must win to clinch the last AFC wild card.

In the NBA….

UNDATED (AP) — The NBA unwraps its lockout-shortened season on Christmas Day with a handful of games on the holiday schedule. Things will get going in New York, where the Knicks await a Boston Celtics team that swept them out of last season’s playoffs in the first round. An NBA Finals rematch follows, with defending champion Dallas hosting Miami. The Lakers welcome the Chicago Bulls and league MVP Derrick Rose to town for Game 3 of the day. L.A. all-star Kobe Bryant is nursing a wrist injury but says he intends to play. Next it’ll be Orlando at Oklahoma City, followed by the L.A. Clippers at Golden State.