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Archive for September, 2009

Jake’s wait

Monday, September 28th, 2009
College basketball practices start around the country in a little over two weeks, but the wait continues for former Hawkeye Jake Kelly. The NCAA has yet to rule on whether it will grant Kelly a hardship waiver that would allow him to compete at Indiana State this season. Indiana State officials were hopeful to have the matter cleared up by now but twice the NCAA has requested additional information from the Missouri Valley Conference school about a situation it considers precedent setting. Kelly left Iowa following an honorable mention all-Big Ten season last year, one of four players to leave the Hawkeye program in late March. He cited his mother's death in June, 2008, and a desire to move to closer to his father's Terre Haute, Ind., home as reasons for leaving. That reasoning remains at the center of Kelly's request to the NCAA to allow him to forego the standard that forces transfers to sit out one year after transferring from institution to another. Joel McMullen, an assistant athletic director for compliance at Indiana State, told the Terre Haute Tribune-Star that the NCAA is proceding with caution as it reviews the Kelly case. "The facts in this case are unique. With the timing of things, it is a precedent setter. They want all the points clear before they make a precedent-setting ruling,'' McMullen told the publication. One of the things the NCAA is weighing is if too much time had passed between the time of the death of Kelly's mother and his decision to transfer. If the NCAA does not rule in Kelly's favor, he has a redshirt year available that would allow him to retain two years of eligibility for the Sycamores. Kelly averaged 11.6 points and 3.1 assists last season for the Hawkeyes.

Filling in the blanks

Friday, September 11th, 2009
Thursday's announcement of Iowa's nonconference basketball schedule fills in the blanks around previously announced games at home against Virginia Tech and Drake and at Iowa State and Northern Iowa as well as the CBE Classic match-up games with Texas and either Pittsburgh or Wichita State. The remainder of Iowa's pre-Big Ten schedule will be played at home against the usual assortment of hyphens and directions that typically fill nonconference schedules. There are some quality opponents among the early-season appetizers at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Here's a breakdown with the start of practices just over a month away: Texas-San Antonio (Nov. 15) -- Visited Iowa a year ago as well and the Hawkeyes escaped with a 73-67 win over the Southland Conference program coached by former Oklahoma State standout Brooks Thompson. The Roadrunners return three starters from a 19-13 team, including Devin Gibson, a cat-quick guard who ranked third nationally last season with an average of 3 steals per game. Gibson also averaged 17.5 points. UTSA also returns forward Josh Bonney and big man Omar Johnson, who joined Gibson in earning all-conference honors in 2008-09. Duquesne (Nov. 17) -- Like UTSA, this game is an opening-round contest in the CBE Classic. Duquesne is a veteran team, returning four starters from a 21-13 club that lost in double overtime at Virginia Tech in the opening round of the NIT last season. Bowling Green (Nov. 20) -- Shared the regular-season title in the Mid-American Conference last seaason. Coach Louis Orr's team will feature a solid inside attack led by 6-9 center Otis Polk and returns one starting guard. Lost to Creighton in the opening round of the NIT last season. Bowling Green is no stranger to Big Ten competition, losing at Minnesota 68-61 and Ohio State 61-57 last year. North Carolina Central (Nov. 28) -- Finished 4-27 last season. Returns three of its top players, forward Nick Chasten as well as guards Vincent Davis and Jamar Briscoe. Prairie View A&M (Dec. 5) -- Finished third in the SWAC last season and reached the conference tourney semifinals while putting together a 17-16 overall record. The team will have six first-year players on its roster this season, including freshman guard Courtney Bell, who prepped at Chicago Lincoln Park. South Carolina State (Dec. 21) -- Before playing its earliest Big Ten opener since 1952 on Dec. 29 against Purdue, the Hawkeyes host South Carolina State. Jason Flager, who averaged 12.8 points and 6.2 rebounds last season, leads a team that finished 16-12 a year ago. Tennessee State (Jan. 12) -- Iowa steps out of conference play to face a program that is no stranger to Big Ten competition. The Tigers stunned Illinois 60-58 the last time in played in a Big Ten gym, winning in Champaign on Dec. 30, 2007. Tennessee State and its first-year coach, former Auburn assistant John Cooper, will have played at Northwestern, Iowa State, Vanderbilt and Alabama before they arrive in Iowa City in the midst of the Big Ten season.

Homegrown help

Friday, September 4th, 2009
The newest member of the Iowa women's basketball staff is homegrown. Former Hawkeye Abby Emmert has been named as the new director of basketball operations for the Iowa women's hoops program. A co-captain in 2007-08 and a letterwinner from 2005-08, the Winterset, Iowa, native joins coach Lisa Bluder's staff from a position with United Way of East Central Iowa. In announcing the replacement for Chuck Evans, Iowa coach Lisa Bluder welcomed Emmert's return to the program. "We are thrilled to have Abby rejoin our Iowa women's basketball family, this time in a different role,'' Bluder said in a statement. "Abby's experience as a co-captain for the 2008 Big Ten championship team will be a great benefit as our new director of basketball operations. Her understanding of our program and our philosophy will make this an easy adjustment, and her loyalty as a Hawkeye is immense.'' Emmert graduated from Iowa in 2008 with a degree in communications studies.