BTN to feature Iowa’s Gatens

January 21, 2009


‘Big Ten Tip-Off Show’ Explores Gatens’ Hawkeye Roots

There was never any doubt that Iowa freshman guard Matt Gatens would become a Hawkeye. He grew up in Iowa City as the son of a former Iowa basketball letterman and former Iowa cheerleader and the brother of two former Iowa student-athletes.  Gatens verbally committed to the Iowa program while in the ninth grade.  Now, Gatens leads the Hawkeyes in scoring and the Big Ten in three-point shooting. At 5:30 PM ET on Saturday afternoon, the Big Ten Tip-Off Show will air a feature on Gatens and his Hawkeye DNA.  The feature immediately precedes Iowa’s road game at Penn State. Tom Hamilton and Greg Kelser will have the call.

Tate out for a while

January 18, 2009

Iowa senior post Cyrus Tate will miss today’s game at Purdue after what is described as a setback in his return.

Tate suffered a sprained left ankle against Minnesota on Jan. 8. He practiced on Jan. 15, but his ankle grew more sore and swollen since that practice.

Tate, a 6-foot-8 co-captain, probably will miss Wednesday’s home game against Wisconsin and possibly Saturday’s game at Penn State.

Barta’s vote of confidence

January 16, 2009

Reporters and other media expected Iowa AD Gary Barta to talk about attendance and other issues affecting the Iowa men’s basketball program. While he addressed those issues roundly, he adamantly stood by second-year Coach Todd Lickliter, who is 11-6 this year.
“Overall I like the direction,” Barta said. “I like where we’re headed when I see the recruits that we’re bringing in. I like the way Todd goes about it. All the things that I said when we hired him, and I still feel exactly the same and I bring that up in conjunction with my concerns about attendance.”
Iowa has lost three of its last four, includinga 15-point mauling last Sunday at Michigan. But Barta remains optimistic the team is heading toward success.
“I look at the Ohio State game (a three-point road loss), I look at the BC game (a two-point loss at Boston, I look at the Minnesota game (a three-point loss), clearly in my opinion, we are a far more competitive team this year. We’re playing team basketball. The future looks bright.”

Injuries causing problems for Iowa

January 14, 2009

Injuries are starting to cause some serious problems for Iowa’s basketball team.

Point guard Jeff Peterson struggles to dribble and pass the basketball with his left hand. He has a broken bone in his left wrist and every time the ball slams into hand, it’s like a jolt of pain zaps into his arm.

Post Cyrus Tate played only eight minutes against Minnesota and didn’t play against Michigan after suffering a sprained left ankle.

Jake Kelly has suffered several injuries, from a sprained left thumb to a broken finger to a bone bruise in his leg. Anthony Tucker is still getting on the court following a bout with mononucleosis.

Iowa players are thrilled to have one week between games to get healthy and prepare for preseason Big Ten favorite Purdue on Sunday.

“I think this it’s important for us,” Peterson said. “We’ve got a few guys banged up with some pretty tough injuries so it will be important for us to rest but also reflect. We’ve still got a little bit of season left, so we’ve got to go ahead and to turn it around.”

“It’s coming at a really good time,” Kelly said. “Unfortunately we’re coming off two losses. We’re going to have to be a lot better to play Purdue. I think we can do it. We just need to rest up, get healthy and focus every day to get better.”

Iowa (11-6, 1-3 Big Ten) is coming off a 64-49 loss to Michigan on Sunday, which looks much better on paper than it did live. Iowa obviously missed Tate on both ends of the court.

“If I state a fact, I don’t want it to be an excuse,” Iowa Coach Todd Lickliter said. “But I think Cyrus helps us a little bit as far as rolling to the basket and giving us another threat down in there. 

“I’m not saying you throw Cyrus in there we’re winning this game, that’s not what I’m saying, but just offensively and efficiency, he helps out.”

Losing Tate tough for Iowa

January 12, 2009

Iowa found out Sunday that Cyrus Tate is more than just the team’s inside garbage man.

In a 64-49 loss to Michigan, Tate hobbled into the arena in a walking boot and did not play. Iowa was battered in multiple ways, both in offensive rebounds (11 for Michigan, 7 for Iowa) and turnovers (18). Iowa hit only 27.3 percent of its shots in the first half.

“If I state a fact, I don’t want it to be an excuse,” Iowa Coach Todd Lickliter said. “But I think Cyrus helps us a little bit as far as rolling to the basket and giving us another threat down in there. That helps us … can we get them to sink and go back out? I’m not saying if you throw Cyrus in there we’re winning this game, that’s not what I’m saying, but just offensively and efficiency, he helps out.”

Tate often doesn’t lead on offense, and serves primarily as the team’s designated screener. If he’s open down low, he gets the ball. Otherwise, he’s almost an offensive decoy.

Iowa guard Jeff Peterson said the team’s defense lagged, and Tate is a big part of the Hawkeyes’ efforts.

“Cy is a great player on both ends of the court, and he’s got the talent,” Peterson said. “But it is tough without him.”

Lickliter hopes Tate can return in time for Iowa’s next game, Jan. 18, at Purdue.

“I think he’ll be back within a week,” Lickliter said. “It’s sore. He may not be 100 percent in a week …”

Tate out vs. Michigan

January 11, 2009

Iowa post Cyrus Tate will not play today against Michigan, Iowa associate sports information director Steve Roe confirmed this morning.

Tate entered Crisler Arena in a walking boot over his sprained right ankle and dressed in warm-up attire. He didn’t participate in the team’s shootaround.

Two points, $25,000 for Ferentz, big bump for assistants

January 9, 2009

Iowa football finished 20th in the final USA Today/Coaches poll, meaning Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz earned a $125,000 merit bonus. Iowa finished two points ahead of No. 21 Brigham Young in the final poll. Had the positions been reversed, Ferentz would have taken home a $100,000 bonus.

Ferentz isn’t the only Iowa coach celebrating the final poll, either. Iowa’s nine full-time assistants, director of football operations, two full-time strength and conditioning coaches and quality control assistant all get a 10 percent bump in pay next year. The coaches automatically get an 8 percent boost for playing in a bowl game, but this year’s total increased by 10 percent because of the top 20 ranking (and a graduation rate higher than 55 percent).

Ferentz received a $75,000 bonus and his assistants also get a bonus equal to one month’s salary for participating in a bowl exceeding $1 million.

Tucker looks at Gophers as just another opponent

January 8, 2009

Iowa freshman guard Anthony Tucker doesn’t have any special ammunition for Minnesota when the Gophers play Iowa tonight.

Tucker, who still leads Iowa with 11.8 points a game, grew up in Minnetonka, Minn., and was offered a scholarship by former Gophers Coach Dan Monson. But Monson resigned and Tubby Smith took over the program two years ago. Smith then began recruiting Tucker, but Tucker already committed to Iowa.

“It’s not any different for me than any other game,” Tucker said. “I don’t have any special ties to it. They weren’t my favorite school growing up or anything, so it’s just another Big Ten game we have to win.”

Tucker and Minnesota sophomore Blake Hoffarber have a history. Hoffarber attended Hopkins High School in Minnetonka.

“Hoffarber went to our rival high school that was located in the same town as us and so I played against him I can’t even count how many times,” he said.

The big question is whether Tucker plays. He’s missed two of the last three games and four of the last six. He played only 1 minute against Ohio State last week.

Basketball live blog tonight from Carver

January 8, 2009

Follow our live blog from the Iowa-Minnesota men’s basketball game:

Cleveland makes coaching decision

January 7, 2009

Former New York Jets Coach Eric Mangini has agreed to coach the Cleveland Browns next year, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported today.

That means those Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz to Cleveland rumors might have to wait another three years or so. So the next time Ron Borges of the Boston Herald or Chris Mortensen of ESPN mentions the words “Cleveland” and “Ferentz” in the same breath, consider the source.


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