By Chris Williams, CycloneFanatic.com PublisherFollow Chris on Twitter @ChrisMWilliams
Happy Thursday Cyclone Nation.
I haven’t written a "roundup" for a couple of months but now that football and basketball aren’t directly crossing over, I’ll try to drop these on our front page from time to time.
Here’s a quick reminder about tonight’s CycloneFanatic.com Call-In Show from Kippy’s Place in Elkhart on Des Moines’ sports station 1460 KXNO. Tron Smith, Austen Arnaud and I will be on the air from 7 to 8 tonight talking about the Pinstripe Bowl and hoops.
We will have a couple of guests on hand. Iowa State assistant basketball coach Matt Abdelmassih will be on to preview tomorrow night’s game against Iowa at 7:15. After that, Billy Fennelly from the women’s basketball coaching staff will be on to talk about last night’s 62-54 win over Iowa.
ENTERTAINING GAME: I took my wife and my in-laws to last night’s Iowa State women’s basketball win over Iowa. We had a fantastic time. That was as entertaining of a game as I’ve been to in a while.
This year’s Iowa State women’s basketball team intrigues me. They don’t sling the 3-point shot as well as many Bill Fennelly teams that we’ve seen in the past, but this group of Cyclones has a degree of grit to them that entertains the heck out of me.
I wouldn’t want to meet this group of gals in a dark alley. They are tough.
Key stat from last night: The Cyclones forced 22 Iowa turnovers. Twenty-two!
Iowa State’s defense was suffocating in the win and if they keep that up, the Cyclones will be right where they always are when March rolls around. That’s playing in the NCAA Tournament.
BIG CHANGES TO THE BIG 4: According to Rick Brown of the Des Moines Register, the future of Big 4 basketball in the state of Iowa is up in the air.
Brown reports that it doesn’t appear likely that Iowa State and Iowa will continue playing home and home games with Northern Iowa and Drake. A Big 4 event at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines could be on the horizon.
My take? I like things the way that they are. I understand that the landscape is changing with both high-major universities having to play more conference games now and in the future, but I always look forward to Iowa State’s road trips to Northern Iowa and Drake. Compelling non-conference games are hard to come by anymore.
The Des Moines event would be cool though. I’m not against it. It’s better than the schools not playing each other at all. I understand Iowa State and Iowa’s positions with this issue. I just wish that it wouldn’t have come to this in the first place.
MORE ON KLEIN: I was surprised yesterday when I read that Iowa State junior linebacker A.J. Klein had been named as the Big 12’s Co-Defensive Player of the Year. As it turns out, so was he. For more on Klein’s honor, CLICK HERE for a Bobby LaGesse story via the Ames Tribune.
Even more on A.J.’s honor…Ken Miller and Jim Brinson of 1460 KXNO caught up with Klein on Wednesday’s show. Listen to the podcast by CLICKING HERE.
GEORGES NIANG: The future Cyclone hoopster scored 33 points in a Tilton School victory last night. Not bad.
BILAS TWEET: The following tweet from ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas should strike fear into the minds of Big 12 hoops fans.
I have not seen a better or more dynamic all-around guard in college basketball than Missouri’s Marcus Denmon. He can ball outrageous.
LOTS ‘O’ LINKS
— Paul Rhoads reflects on a past game against Rutgers in THIS LINK from The Star-Ledger.
— The AP released its All-Big 12 teams earlier today. Kelechi Osemele and Jake Knott both earned first team honors. DETAILS HERE.
— The New York Daily Newsanalyzes Yankee Stadium as a home to football games.
— Jamie Pollard and Paul Rhoads on MLB.com? That’s right.
— More from The Star-Ledger…Rutgers won’t look past the Cyclones.
— Change. It is a coming. That’s according to SI.com college football writer Andy Staples. THIS LINK is worth your time regarding the future of college football.