CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – Coe held a nine point lead at halftime, but gave up 62 points in the second half, as Luther came away with a 90-79 win Wednesday night at Eby Fieldhouse. The loss was the first in Iowa Conference play for Coe, as they fell to 4-3 overall and 2-1 in the IIAC.
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – In a game that never saw a lead reach more than six points, Coe came away with a 58-57 victory over Luther. A missed 3-point basket by Luther gave the Kohawks their seventh-straight win over the Norse, as Coe improved to 4-2 overall and 2-1 in the IIAC.
IOWA CITY — Melsahn Basabe has produced up-and-down performances in his nine games at Iowa, but Tuesday’s effort against Northern Iowa so far resides at the peak.
Basabe, a freshman, scored a game-high 14 points in Iowa’s 51-39 win. He also grabbed seven rebounds and didn’t have a turnover. He’s come a long way since combining for seven points in the Hawkeyes’ final two games at the Paradise Jam Classic two weeks ago.
“If you saw him down in the Virgin Islands, he was confused,” Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery said. “He started to get down on himself a little bit. We just stayed positive with him, and he stayed positive with himself at that point. He’s been terrific ever since,”
Early in the second half against UNI (4-3), Basabe scored five consecutive points to lift Iowa (5-4) from a one-point lead to 31-25. After the Panthers cut Iowa’s lead to seven points with 1:49 left, Basabe put the Hawkeyes up by nine points with a layup.
Between Basabe and senior Jarryd Cole, the Hawkeyes controlled the paint, outscoring UNI 28-6. Iowa wanted to work the ball inside on the Panthers, and Basabe was active.
“The game plan was that they were a very physical team and if you came out slow, they were going to push you around,” Basabe said. “I felt like I was kind of playing soft this season. I’ve been watching game tapes trying to see where my mistakes were with the coaches. I just looked at myself and said, ‘That wasn’t me.’
“I was kind of being timid. To that I didn’t tell myself I wanted to score points, block 30 shots. I came out and said I need to play aggressive and be active and not get pushed around.”
Cole was equal to the challenge, grabbing 15 rebounds, the most since Greg Brunner’s 23 in 2006. Cole also scored 10 points and seemed to play more aggressively after a lingering foot problem robbed him of his effectiveness.
“What he did (Tuesday) I thought was he made really good decisions,” McCaffery said. “It wasn’t like he only got a bunch of rebounds. He knew when to kick it back out and when to go back up with it. Against (UNI), that’s important.”
Basabe said he stepped up his game when he saw Cole’s effort.
“He just seemed like an animal,” Basabe said. “I can’t even explain it. I was just amazed. Every rebound that was up was his. That was his attitude.
“I definitely fed off him. If he’s doing his job, I’ve got to do mine.”
Who takes over for DJK in the Insight Bowl on Dec. 28 against Missouri?
Senior Colin Sandeman will get the first shot.
The 6-foot-1, 200-pounder started two games this season, both ahead of Derrell Johnson-Koulianos, including in the season finale against Minnesota. Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said the reason Sandeman got the start was because he had a better week of practice than DJK.
Sandeman has 17 catches for 183 yards and two TDs this season. He sat out the Northwestern game after coming out of Iowa’s date at Indiana with a sprained foot, sprained ankle and turf toe, according to Iowa radio play-by-play voice Gary Dolphin. The injuries kinked Sandeman’s production to just one reception over Iowa’s final three games.
Sophomore Keenan Davis could be another candidate, but he has pretty much exclusively played the other receiver spot behind junior Marvin McNutt. Davis has 10 catches for 126 yards and a TD this season.
What do this do to DJK’s draftability?
At the very least, Johnson-Koulianos cost himself money. At the worst, he cost himself a career in the NFL.
First, his rocky relationship with Ferentz won’t help. Ferentz spent six seasons as offensive line coach with the Cleveland Browns/Baltimore Ravens organization. He’s also been courted heavily by the NFL since 2002, when Iowa went 8-0 in the Big Ten. Ferentz has a contract that pays him $3.7 million through 2020 because there is a market for his services with NFL money driving that market.
Ferentz runs an open campus with NFL scouts, opening the Hayden Fry Football Complex and video rooms to NFL scouts from across the league. Iowa even serves them lunch.
If Ferentz’s word isn’t platinum in the NFL, it’s at the very least gold.
Obviously, Johnson-Koulianos’ drug charges are giant red flags. He took a urine test upon his arrest and tested positive for marijuana and cocaine. If he is invited to the NFL Combine in February and passes the drug test there, he wouldn’t start his NFL career in the league’s substance abuse program.
But because of his history, he would be subject to more tests.
Where was DJK going to go in the April draft and where would he potentially go now?
“I thought he was a mid round guy,” Wes Bunting, the National Football Post’s director of college scouting, wrote in an e-mail this morning. “Now this is bad. Later rounds is best case, wouldn’t be shocked if he’s a free agent.”
The hard math:
There are seven rounds in the NFL draft. In 2010, Cincinnati’s Mardy Gilyard was selected by the St. Louis Rams with the first pick of the fourth round (No. 99). He signed a contract for four-years and $2.342 million with a $552,255, a signing bonus, the only guaranteed money in this deal.
With pick No. 222, the Tennessee Titans selected Marc Mariani, a wide receiver out of Montana. Mariani has shown promise as a kick returner, averaging 25.6 yards a return for the Titans this season with one TD. He has yet to catch a pass in a game. This season, Johnson-Koulianos leads the Big Ten with 29.3 yards a return and returned one for an 88-yard TD in Iowa’s season finale against Minnesota.
Mariani signed a four-year deal worth $1.849 million with a signing bonus of $59,400.
Take Gilyard the fourth rounder’s $552,255 signing bonus and subtract Mariani the seventh rounder’s $59,400 and you get $492,855.
You could make a strong argument that Johnson-Koulianos lost nearly half a million dollars Tuesday.
It was never warm or fuzzy, but it kind of worked.
Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz and wide receiver Derrell Johnson-Koulianos were never on the same page. You could argue they were barely on the same planet during the wide receiver’s five seasons as a Hawkeye.
IOWA CITY — It was never warm or fuzzy, but it kind of worked.
Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz and wide receiver Derrell Johnson-Koulianos were never on the same page. You could argue they were barely on the same planet during the wide receiver’s five seasons as a Hawkeye.
From the interview session in 2007 when “DJK” wore a hat, sunglasses and earrings to Tuesday’s drug arrests, Johnson-Koulianos and Ferentz just haven’t been that into each other.
Johnson-Koulianos, 23, faces seven charges: four counts of possession of controlled substances, two counts of unlawful possession of prescription drugs and one count of keeping a drug house. These are all misdemeanors.
This fall, Ferentz was asked what exactly the reason was for Johnson-Koulianos’ media ban.
“He likes the limelight more than I do,” Ferentz said. “He’d be a great head coach. You guys would love him. The press conferences would go four hours a day. He’d be having fun and you guys would be having fun.”
Johnson-Koulianos, a native of Campbell, Ohio, started his career at Iowa as an August recruit in 2006. He signed on with very little fanfare. Then, ESPN analyst and Ohio native Kirk Herbstreit talked him up during a Big Ten media day in Chicago five years ago.
That set the expectations for Johnson-Koulianos somewhere between super hero and superstar.
“I watched him in the Big 33 [a high school all-star game] and thought, this kid’s dynamic,’” Herbstreit said this summer. “I knew when he went to Iowa, I knew it was just a matter of he and Kirk getting on the same page and if that ever happened, huge things could happen for him. I think that’s kind of where they are right now.”
With 17-word statement from Ferentz, this relationship seemingly ended Tuesday night.
“I am highly disappointed to learn of the charges. Derrell has been suspended from all team activities,” Ferentz said.
Their relationship might most easily be distilled to this.
Ferentz has a thumb that is gnarled for some reason, maybe from his days as a linebacker at UConn. Johnson-Koulianos might have a had a manicure or two during his days in Iowa City.
It might be as simple as that, gnarled thumbnail vs. manicure.
“No words,” Johnson-Koulianos said of his relationship with Ferentz during Iowa’s media day in August, his last public interview as a Hawkeye. “It’s a visual understanding. I look at him, he looks at me, and that’s it. He doesn’t have to say anything.”
The kicker is that this worked, kind of. Johnson-Koulianos leaves Iowa as the school’s career leader in receptions (173) and receiving yards (2,616). He led Iowa in receiving his first three seasons and caught 10 TD passes this season, more than he had his first three.
As Ferentz and Johnson-Koulianos played out over five years of media bannings, non-starts and quarter or half suspensions, things were much more complicated.
“He might slip on a banana peel every now and then,” Ferentz said in 2009, explaining, sort of, why Johnson-Koulianos was held out the first half of Arkansas State. “He has worked hard. He had a good spring and a good camp.”
In the same thought . . .
“Talking about the Web sites and the fan perceptions, it sounds as though everyone has this thing about a doghouse,” Ferentz said. “I remember Earl Weaver (former Baltimore Orioles manager) and reading something about him saying he didn’t have doghouses for players.
“A guy might get on my list for a while, but I’m not big on that stuff. I’m all for helping guys improve. That’s the business we’re supposed to be in, teaching kids how to improve and do things. I think he’s going to have a good season and we really feel good about him.”
Ferentz did reveal at some point this fall that Johnson-Koulianos had a class scheduled during practice on Wednesdays. It probably rankled Ferentz that a fifth-year senior couldn’t clear his schedule for practice. With a media ban in place — which was sometimes voluntary, Ferentz said — Johnson-Koulianos’ side of that story was never heard.
“One thing I’ve always told him and have told everybody, the less said, the less you have to take back,” Ferentz said. “Maybe he’s caught on to that a little bit, but I’m sure he’s going to tell all in January.
“He’s got a good thing going. I think he’s in a groove, he’s in a mode. So, why screw that up? I didn’t ask him, but I’m guessing that’s what he’s thinking. Plus, I just said a minute ago for him and I to think that we could think alike, there’s probably not too many areas we’d agree on.”
After Iowa’s crushing loss in the season finale at Minnesota, Johnson-Koulianos made a quick Facebook reference to the “tell all” press conference briefly after he wasn’t allowed to start.
In early December, the two had an intense meeting in Ferentz’s office.
“An Internet legend, I don’t know if I’m excited about that,” Johnson-Koulianos said in 2008, “I’d rather be an on-the-field legend, but you’ve got to start somewhere I guess.”
Not long after he was bailed out of Johnson County Jail on Tuesday night, Johnson-Koulianos’ Facebook accounts were deleted.
In the Johnson County Courthouse on Wednesday morning, Johnson-Koulianos hugged four people. No one from Iowa was there. The only mention of football was from a woman who sat in from of him. She was a Wisconsin fan and said she was sorry her team beat the Hawkeyes.
One gentleman in an Iowa jacket looked back at Johnson-Koulianos and shook his head.
This relationship is over.
IOWA CITY — University of Iowa football players are subject to multiple drug tests by the university, Big Ten and NCAA each year, Iowa Associate Athletics Director Fred Mims said Wednesday.
Mims said the Big Ten and NCAA conducted drug tests in consecutive weeks this fall but doesn’t test every athlete the same day.
“It can be three, four, five times in a year,” Mims said. “If we have concerns or if something is brought to our attention, we can test even more frequently.”
Iowa senior wide receiver Derrell Johnson-Koulianos was arrested Tuesday on six drug-related charges, including possessing marijuana and cocaine. According to police reports, Johnson-Koulianos provided a urine sample to police and tested positive for both illegal drugs.
While it’s clear Johnson-Koulianos participated in drug testing at Iowa, the results of those tests are confidential, both Mims and UI athletics department spokesman Steve Roe said.
Iowa tests randomly for eight different street drugs as well as steroids and making agents. A student-athlete automatically misses competitions with a failed Iowa drug test, Mims said. Johnson-Koulianos has missed just one game at Iowa — Sept. 19, 2009 against Arizona — and that was listed as a hamstring injury.
After a first positive test, the athlete also receives an inpatient or outpatient assessment of their drug use before he or she is allowed to compete again.
“Coaches could take a harsher stance, such as a dismissal,” Mims said.
Iowa’s testing, which costs about $70,000 annually, is broader than NCAA or Big Ten testing, Mims said. University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics test athletes for eight different street drugs, multiple forms of steroids and masking agents.
The NCAA and Big Ten tests student-athletes strictly for performance-enhancing drugs. A positive NCAA or Big Ten test results in automatic ineligibility for the student-athlete for a period of time, depending on the substance.
In 2007, Iowa officials conducted drug tests on 940 student-athletes and less than 1 percent came back positive. One former coach, two certified trainers and 25 graduate students in medical fields conducted those tests. The week those numbers were reported, 27 male student-athletes were randomly tested, including 12 football players and four wrestlers.
“Iowa has one of the most aggressive testing programs in the Big Ten Conference,” University of Iowa Athletics Director Gary Barta said in a statement. “Throughout the course of a year, virtually every student-athlete is tested at least once … some more than one time.”
Barta returned from New York City on Wednesday but declined interview requests. Roe said Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz will not discuss Johnson-Koulianos’ arrest beyond his initial statement released Tuesday. Ferentz said he was “highly disappointed” in the arrest and suspended Johnson-Koulianos.
Iowa wide receiver Derrell Johnson-Koulianos waived a preliminary hearing at his initial court appearance at Johnson County District Court this morning on a variety of drug charges after investigators found cocaine, marijuana and other prescription drugs in his Iowa City home.
Johnson-Koulianos posted $8,000 bail and was released from Johnson County Jail custody Tuesday night.
He declined comment as he left the Johnson County Courthouse in Iowa City this morning following the brief hearing. He left in a car driven by his attorney, John Beasley.
Johnson-Koulianos, Iowa’s career leader in receptions and receiving yardage, was a first-team all-Big Ten pick this season. He caught 46 passes for 745 yards and 10 TDs this season.
Johnson-Koulianos, 23, and roommate Brady Cooper Johnson, 21, both of 1128 E. Washington St., were taken into custody around 1:50 p.m. Tuesday after officers executed a search warrant as part of a drug investigation, criminal complaints state.
Johnson-Koulianos, a Campbell, Ohio, native, faces seven charges: four counts of possession of controlled substances, two counts of unlawful possession of prescription drugs and one count of keeping a drug house. These are all misdemeanors.
Investigators found more than $3,000 in cash, marijuana, cocaine and prescription drugs in the house during the search, police said. The circumstances which prompted the search were not known Tuesday night.
Officers located a small amount of marijuana in Johnson-Koulianos’ bedroom. Upon arrest, Johnson-Koulianos told police he smokes marijuana and that he’d smoked it within the past 24 hours.
The search warrant allowing police to search the home of Derrell Johnson-Koulianos has been sealed for at least 90 days by the Sixth Judicial District Court of Johnson County.
The document says the investigation is still ongoing and public release of information contained in the warrant may hinder or interfere with the investigation.
Neighbors react to Johnson-Koulianos arrest
Landlord Cindy Parsons said Johnson-Koulianos has been living in the house since June 2008. She said she lives across the street and never saw any suspicious activity.
“We see them almost on a daily basis and there was no indication of a problem. We wouldn’t have tolerated that kind of activity if we knew it was going on,” said Parsons.
“A lot of the people he has over on a Saturday night after a home game are pretty loud, but other than that he’s pretty quiet,” said neighbor Stephen Smith.
Johnson-Koulianos tests positive for drugs
A urine test administered by arresting officers showed a preliminary positive for marijuana and cocaine, criminal complaints state. Johnson-Koulianos admitted to using cocaine after investigators found residue of the drug in his bedroom, complaints state.
Johnson-Koulianos told arresting officers that various prescription pain killers and muscle relaxers police found in his bedroom were also his, and that “he gets them from friends” and takes them without having a prescription.
The array of pain and anxiety medications included Dilaudid, Diazepam, Hydroxyzine Pamoate and Zolpidem Tartrate, criminal complaints state. Dilaudid is a used to relieve moderate to severe pain, while Diazepam is used to treat anxiety.
Brady Johnson was found with Xanax and Promethazine Hydrochloride, criminal complaints state.
Xanax and Promethazine Hydrochloride are both used to treat anxiety and panic disorders.
Officers also reported finding “electronic media” showing Johnson-Koulianos in possession of cocaine and marijuana, complaints state.
Brady Johnson faces charges of possession of controlled substances with intent to deliver, possession of a controlled substance – second offense, unlawful possession of a prescription drug and keeping a drug house.
Johnson is accused of selling “large amounts” of marijuana, investigators wrote in a criminal complaint. These are misdemeanors except for the possession with intent to deliver, which is a Class D felony with a maximum sentence of five years.
Coach Ferentz disappointed, suspends Johnson-Koulianos
Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz issued the following statement Tuesday night:
“I am highly disappointed to learn of the charges. Derrell has been suspended from all team activities.”
After media day in August, Ferentz banned Johnson-Koulianos from speaking to the media for undisclosed reasons. Ferentz did relent after Johnson-Koulianos set the yardage record at Michigan, but Johnson-Koulianos declined.
Johnson-Koulianos didn’t start in Iowa’s finale against Minnesota. Ferentz said that was because senior wide receiver Colin Sandeman had a better week of practice.
Johnson-Koulianos’ personal Facebook and Facebook fan pages were deleted Tuesday evening. He had around 5,000 followers.
- Morehouse: Never on the same page, barely on the same planet
- Morehouse: Day in court — DJK video, no comment
- Hlas: Wow. DJK. How discouraging. How dumb.
- Hawkeye arrests in the news, before DJK
- The Sports Desk: What happened?
Cory Sundberg’s death was an accident, but police are still trying to determine why the southwest Cedar Rapids man was outside in subzero temperatures wearing only boxer shorts.
Officers found Sundberg, 31, just before 6 a.m. Tuesday lying on the ground in the 500 block of 10th Street SW. The temperature was 7 degrees.
Linn County Medical Examiner Dr. Don Linder ruled today that Sundberg, of 440 Ninth Ave. SW, died from hypothermia due to exposure. His death has been ruled accidental.
Police Sgt. Joe Clark said officers are still trying to determine why he was found in only his boxer shorts on a frigid morning.
“(Investigators) are trying to talk to the last people that saw him and his friends to piece together the last few hours before he went outside,” Clark said.
About five hours before Sundberg’s body was found, officers were called to a report of a man without pants or shoes walking nearby, but were unable to locate anyone.
A woman at Sundberg’s home declined to comment Wednesday and attempts to reach his family members have been unsuccessful.