You are browsing the archive for 2013 January 10.
IOWA CITY – Cross off “The Real World: Big Ten” as a series that’s winning viewers’ hearts and minds around here.
Another marquee opponent, another defeat for Iowa’s basketball team. What’s more maddening, getting blown out at Michigan or doing not quite enough and falling at home to Indiana and, Thursday night, Michigan State?
You could have been as coldly objective as you wanted before Dec. 31 in saying the Hawkeyes were up against it in their first three conference games. They faced ranked, ranked, and ranked. Pedigreed, pedigreed, and pedigreed. Tough duty for a team starting three freshmen.
But, the walk-before-you-can-fly mentality doesn’t seem to register with Fran McCaffery, who had no problem calling out his team’s toughness, or lack of it, at the offensive end in his Iowa team’s 62-59 loss to Michigan State at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
“Didn’t play with any toughness,” McCaffery said. “No, did not. And that’s disappointing. Offensively we played with no toughness whatsoever.”
McCaffery had every reason to be disappointed. This game was there for the taking, a win that might have been a game-changer for the program, a springboard into the rest of the Big Ten season.
This wasn’t a March version of just about any version of a Tom Izzo MSU squad. This was a team with growing pains of its own, a team that staggered through the first half and had leading-scorer Gary Harris trying to play through a shoulder injury.
Harris is a freshman. He showed up down the stretch, making all three of his free-throws after getting fouled shooting a 3-pointer with 1:04 left. That tied the game at 56, and Iowa never led again.
Iowa’s freshmen guards? Not so good.
Mike Gesell had a killer of a turnover that gave Brendan Dawson a free dunk with :48 left, and MSU was in front to stay.
The other frosh guard, Anthony Clemmons, missed two of four foul shots in the final 15 seconds, and wasn’t close on his desperation 3-point try for a tie at the buzzer.
It was the four turnovers both rookies had, though, that steamed their coach.
“Can’t turn the ball over 18 times,” McCaffery said. “They don’t change defenses. They don’t press. You can’t turn the ball over 18 times, because when you do it’s dunks and lay-ups. Here we are working hard to stop them and giving them lay-ups off turnovers. Can’t do it.”
The absence of junior guard Devyn Marble (sprained ankle) didn’t help, obviously. But that’s an excuse. Iowa’s kids didn’t get it done.
After the game, Clemmons talked about how it was “unreal” and “sometimes fun” playing opposite his Lansing (Mich.) Sexton High teammate and great friend, fellow freshman Denzel Valentine. McCaffery focused on the results.
“What I’m not happy with is four turnovers and how they happened,” the coach said, “and that’s what he has to address.
“He jacked up too many threes in the first half, and he had too many turnovers at critical times.
“Now, you could say well, we’ve got two freshman point guards out there. I don’t care. They’re not freshmen any more. I don’t care if you’re a freshman. I don’t care what grade you’re in. You cannot turn the ball over in those situations.
“Clemmons plays one spot. Get us to our stuff. That’s what I need you to do.”
I’d mention another of Iowa’s touted freshman, center Adam Woodbury, but there wasn’t much to say. He played 12 minutes, had two points, and looked like a player facing the rough-and-ready style of Michigan State’s big men for the first time.
“They played hard,” Izzo said about the Hawkeyes. “(McCaffery) is doing a great job with those young kids. … This is a good team. I talked to some guys in the league who have played them already. This is a good team, and they get up and down the floor.”
But it was Izzo’s prized freshman, Harris, who came through in Iowa’s gym. Even though he was having his shoulder checked out by a trainer during a first-half timeout, apart from his teammates were in Izzo’s huddle.
“He held his left arm around his ankles,” Izzo said. “That kid’s got a big heart.”
No one’s saying Iowa’s kids don’t have heart. They will start winning in this conference, maybe soon, maybe even more than they lose from now until the regular-season ends. It may start Sunday at Northwestern, with or without Marble, called “iffy” for that game by McCaffery.
But we live in the present, and the present has Iowa in an all-too-familiar spot. Tied for last-place in the Big Ten at 0-3, and with a long climb to get into NCAA tournament conversation.
In “Real World: Big Ten,” the season is long and the ride gets rough. The cavalcade of cupcakes that came through Carver in November and December is gone.
If Iowa continues to shoot 3-pointers so badly at home (7-of-50 in the last three games at Carver), and has to count on its bench to supply over half of its scoring, as it did Thursday?
In that case, getting out of the league’s lowlands won’t be a sure thing this season.
This program will eventually reach higher ground. But when you don’t seize opportunities like this one against Michigan State, the gratification will be delayed for a while.
The Hawkeye women, after a tough loss to Michigan on Sunday, rebounded in a big way and beat Wisconsin on the road to improve to 13-4 overall and 2-1 in the Big Ten.
Morgan Johnson led all scorers with 23 points (she added 11 rebounds) and Sam Logic continued her stat-sheet filling with 12 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists.
KCRG-TV9′s Scott Saville has the highlights in the video above.
IOWA CITY — Iowa coach Fran McCaffery was short and sour.
His demeanor was grim and agitated. Iowa had more chances than one could count to pull out a season-defining win against No. 22 Michigan State, yet the Hawkeyes were left to explain another loss.
This one, a 62-59 defeat to the Spartans, was more difficult for McCaffery and his players to absorb than the other two in Big Ten play. Maybe because this one was winnable, while the others were either hopeful (Indiana) or highly unlikely (Michigan).
“We did just about everything to lose the game,” Iowa sophomore Aaron White said.
Iowa (11-5, 0-3 Big Ten) led by 12 points more than halfway through the first half, even without injured leading scorer Devyn Marble. The Hawkeyes hit 10 of their first 14 shots. They controlled the boards and played defense. Then they got sloppy.
Iowa scored on only one of 15 possessions to finish the first half, and Michigan State (13-3, 2-1) chopped its deficit to four points. Worst of all, Iowa finished with 18 turnovers, including four during a 10-0 Michigan State run late in the first half.
“We had momentum, and next thing you know they’re dunking the ball,” McCaffery said. “That cannot happen. “Now you could say, ‘Well, we’ve got two freshman point guards out there.’ I don’t care. They’re not freshmen any more. I don’t care if you’re a freshman. I don’t care what grade you’re in. You cannot turn the ball over in those situations.”
Later, Iowa led 56-53 with 1:04 left in the game when Michigan State guard Gary Harris air-balled a 3-point attempt. White nudged Harris on the follow-through, and Harris went to the free-throw line shooting three.
“You can’t foul a 3‑point shooter,” McCaffery said curtly.
“I don’t think there was contact,” White said. “I don’t know what to say. They called it.
“It is what it is, but I don’t think I got him.”
Harris sank all three attempts to tie the game. On Iowa’s next possession, guard Mike Gesell’s pass to Zach McCabe was intercepted by Michigan State’s Branden Dawson, who put the Spartans in the lead with a breakaway dunk.
White was fouled on Iowa’s next series and knocked down one free throw. After MSU inbounded and retained possession following a jump ball, MSU’s Keith Appling was fouled and hit both shots.
Iowa point guard Anthony Clemmons, a Lansing, Mich., native tried to score a quick layup but was fouled with 15 seconds left. He made the first and missed the second. White kept the ball alive, and Clemmons reclaimed it. He was fouled with 12.4 seconds left with an opportunity to tie the game.
He made one, missed the other.
“Mentally I thought I was there,” Clemmons said. “Physically I thought I was there. It just came off short.”
Appling was fouled again, and knocked down both shots to boost the Spartans’ lead to three points with 8.9 seconds left. McCaffery led the sequence ride without calling a timeout and said afterward he gave no thought to it. Clemmons looked for sophomore Josh Oglesby, who was covered up. Zach McCabe, who had hit three 3-pointers earlier in the game, was open in the corner, but Clemmons threw up a 3-point shot that was wide of the rim as the buzzer sounded.
“There’s a lot of guys that had opportunities I think,” McCabe said. “Me if I was open, I don’t know, whatever.”
IOWA CITY — Iowa coach Fran McCaffery wanted toughness. He got half of what he wanted.
The Hawkeyes were everything they weren’t on defense in Thursday night’s 62-59 loss to No. 22 Michigan State at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa held MSU to 40.4 percent (23 of 57) shooting and went toe-to-toe in rebounds (MSU holding a 36-35 edge).
The offense was the half that wasn’t there.
The Hawkeyes had 18 turnovers and allowed the Spartans to transition that into a 24-10 edge in points off turnovers.
“Offensively, we played with no toughness whatsoever,” a steamed McCaffery said in the postgame. “Defensively, we did. On the glass, we did. But you have the other end of the floor, OK? Can’t turn the ball over 18 times. They don’t change defenses. They don’t press. You can’t turn the ball over 18 times, because when you do, it’s dunks and lay-ups. Here we are working hard to stop them and giving them lay-ups off turnovers. Can’t do it.”
The play that punctuated McCaffery’s point came with 48 seconds left. Iowa guard Mike Gesell picked up his dribble and had an MSU defender all over him. MSU forward Branden Dawson tipped the ball out of Gesell’s hands for a breakaway dunk that gave the Spartans a 58-56 lead they would hold.
“Toughness is going to be one of the things we need to build a foundation on,” Gesell said. “If you’re the tougher team, you’re going to win a lot of basketball games. I thought we were tough on defense, the rebounding was pretty close, but there are a few things we need to improve on.”
Shouldering the load
If the theme is toughness, then MSU guard Gary Harris deserves special mention.
For the second time this season, Harris’ left shoulder popped out of joint, limiting the freshman guard to 14 minutes in the first half. With 1:04 left in the game and after Iowa took its final lead on a three-point play by forward Melsahn Basabe, Harris was fouled by Aaron White on a 3-point attempt.
He made all three free throws to tie the game. Iowa even tried to ice him on the third attempt with a timeout. He finished with 14 points, five rebounds and three assists.
“He said he wanted to go in as he held his left arm down around his ankles,” Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said. “That kid’s got some heart.”
When Marble is healthy . . .
Iowa guard Devyn Marble missed Thursday night’s game with a sprained ankle and toe on his right foot. The Hawkeyes leading scorer (15.5 points a game) was deemed out of the lineup on Thursday morning and was replaced by senior Eric May.
May scored five points and contributed seven rebounds, but he didn’t displace Marble.
McCaffery said Marble is iffy for Sunday’s game at Northwestern (10-6, 1-2 Big Ten), but gets his spot back when he’s healthy.
“Devyn starts when he’s healthy, no question about that,” McCaffery said. “Eric will go back to the bench if Dev is okay.”
Marble had started 42 consecutive games before missing Thursday.
“Once we found out this morning he wasn’t going to go, you’ve just got to deal with it and play with the guys we’ve got,” White said. “We did that. I’m not going to blame the loss on not having Dev. We had plenty of guys.”
MSU coach Tom Izzo was frank in his comments. It wasn’t a pretty game, but he was extremely happy to get out of Carver-Hawkeye with a 62-59 victory Thursday night.
Iowa forward Melsahn Basabe led the Hawkeyes with 15 points off the bench. He was one of the few elements of Iowa’s offense that worked in the loss to the Spartans.
Senior F Eric May replaced Iowa’s leading scorer Devyn Marble in the lineup on Thursday. He scored five points and grabbed seven rebounds. He talks about what’s ahead for the Hawkeyes, who are now 0-3 in the Big Ten.
Freshman guard Mike Gesell struggled against the defensive-minded Spartans, scoring six points on 3 of 6 and coughing up four turnovers. He talks about growing up in the Big Ten.
Iowa F Zach McCabe scored in double figures for the first time since the season opener with a season-high 15.
The City Planning Commission wants the City Council to impose a moratorium on permits for new billboards until the city finalizes new rules now under consideration for the large, off-premise signs, including new-era digital billboards.
Commission member Allan Thoms on Thursday came up with idea of the moratorium on new requests, arguing at the commission’s monthly meeting that local companies will start to rush to make billboard requests knowing that the city is working on new sign rules. It would be no different, he said, than the current run of people buying up guns with the expectation of coming new federal regulations.
Vern Zakostelecky, a planner in the city’s Community Development Department, said that billboard companies already are hustling to submit applications for new billboard permits with the thought that new rules are coming.
The commission on Thursday had been asked to support a new proposal from the City Council’s Development Committee, which called on the city to require special conditional-use permits for every new billboard. The current city ordinance permits billboards in industrial zones and in the busiest of commercial zoning districts without a special conditional-use permit.
However, commission members thought the temporary moratorium made better sense than to turn every billboard request into a conditional use to be reviewed by the city’s Board of Adjustment, which Thoms said would add more subjectivity and perhaps less fairness to the process.
“Let’s look at a moratorium until we get new rules,” Thoms said.
The commission also recommended that the City Council look to the concept of overlay districts in the city that may be historic, scenic or otherwise noteworthy where special sign regulations should be put in place.
Commission member Mike Tertinger, though, expressed concern about how such special districts might be identified and what such districts said about other parts of the city.
“Does that mean every other place is ugly enough to put up a sign,” Tertinger said.
Thoms, though, said it’s probably clear that no one wants to see billboards in the arts, cultural and entertainment district on Third Street SE, but new signs in industrial areas might make sense. .
Mark Wold, general manager at Lamar Advertising in Cedar Rapids, said Thursday that his firm, which owns the majority of billboards in the city, is waiting to see what changes to the city’s billboard ordinance eventually emerge.
“I’m not making any judgment until we see what we’re looking at,” Wold said.
The city also is looking at new rules for digital billboards, which would require that digital messages on the billboards not change more often than every eight seconds. The city of Marion has a 10-second standard.
The city also is looking to make the digital signs dim at night and not face nearby residential areas, schools, churches, parks and historic buildings and districts.
Seth Gunnerson, a planner in the city’s Community Development Department, said some cities use a cap-and-trade system, which requires that an existing billboard be removed if a new one goes up elsewhere in the city. The result likely would reduce the density of existing signs when new ones are added as the city’s area grows larger. At the same time, it would make it difficult for a new sign company to enter the market because they wouldn’t have existing signs to trade for new ones
The city has estimated that it has about 80 “off-premise” billboards, which are different from on-premise signs that promote the business located on the site of the sign.
DES MOINES – Iowa voters are sending a record-tying number of women to the state Legislature next week.
The 25 women elected to the Iowa House and the 10 women who will serve in the Iowa Senate ties the record of 35 female legislators that was set in the 2009 session.
“Overall, 2012 turned out to be a very good year for women candidates,” said Dianne Bystrom, director of the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics at Iowa State University.
Nationally, a record 98 women are serving in the 103rd U.S. Congress after an election that produced a record number of female candidates, Bystrom said. In Iowa, 60 percent of the 55 female legislative candidates won election and for the first time two women will hold top legislative leadership roles simultaneously – Sen. Pam Jochum, D-Dubuque, as Iowa Senate President and Rep. Linda Upmeyer, R-Garner, as House majority leader, she added.
“When women run, they do win,” said Valerie Hennings, a scholar-in-residence at the Catt Center.
Sen. Amanda Ragan, D-Mason City, said there has been a more-concerted effort to recruit women to run for public office, especially at the local level. She added that women are good political organizers and often serve as the “backbone” of campaigns, which over time has led more to see themselves as candidates.
“I think they get a feeling that they can make a difference. Once you see that you can make a difference, you think, well, maybe there’s a larger universe that I can impact,” Ragan said. “They’ve seen the impacts on their families’ lives and want to make sure that they can be a part of that decision-making process. They know that they have things to offer and we try to do a lot more encouraging of people getting involved in actually running for office.”
In her experience as a state legislator, Ragan said she has observed that women often work effectively across party lines and make sure there is a solution at the end of the process.
“We know from research that women don’t have the same political ambition as men,” Bystrom said. “They differ in why they seek office. They see it more in terms of fixing a problem rather than a career move.”
Female candidates were aided in 2012 by the fact that it was a post-redistricting election with nearly half of the successful women running in legislative districts with an open seat, she noted.
House Democratic Leader Kevin McCarthy, D-Des Moines, whose caucus includes 19 women, said voters see female candidates as a “breath of fresh air” which causes excitement as a break from “the same old same old.” He said his 46-member caucus best reflects a cross section of Iowa with all five minority lawmakers and the most women, adding “I expect that will continue to grow” in future elections.
Iowa’s experience mirrors national trends, according to a survey by the National Conference of State Legislators, which indicated 2013 will see 1,778 women legislators serving across the country. Women hold 24.1 percent of legislative seats in the 50 states, slightly topping Iowa 23.2 percent ratio. New Hampshire has the highest number of female legislators with 140 of 424 lawmakers, while Colorado has the highest percentage with 42 women of 100 legislators.
Bystrom said it’s important to have Upmeyer and Jochum in leadership positions because they represent role models for other women that will help break down barriers. She noted that New Hampshire once was in the same category as Iowa having never elected a woman to Congress or as governor, but ended that by electing Jeanne Shaheen governor in 1996 and progressively became the first state ever to have an all-female delegation in Congress and also have a woman governor in 2012.
IOWA CITY –Anthony Clemmons’ last-second 3-point attempt sailed wide of the rim as Iowa dropped a 62-59 heartbreaker to Michigan State on Thursday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Clemmons, a freshman point guard from Lansing, had two different chances to tie the game for Iowa late. With the Hawkeyes trailing 60-57, Clemmons was fouled by Michigan State’s Travis Trice. Clemmons made the first shot, then missed the second. The ball was kept alive by Iowa’s Aaron White, and Clemmons gained control of it.
Michigan State’s Keith Appling then fouled Clemmons, who made the first free throw but missed the second to bring Iowa within one point. Appling was fouled and knocked down two free throws with 8.9 seconds left to put MSU up three points.
Iowa raced down the floor with one chance to tie. When Iowa’s Josh Oglesby was covered up, Clemmons took the last shot and missed.
Iowa (11-5) falls to 0-3 in Big Ten play. Michigan State improves to 13-3 overall, 2-1 in league play.
Zach McCabe led Iowa with 15 points. Melsahn Basabe added 14.
IOWA CITY — Despite missing leading scorer Devyn Marble, Iowa’s men’s basketball team started strong and leads No. 22 Michigan State 28-24 tonight at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Iowa hit 10 of its first 14 shots and led the Spartans 26-14 with 8:23 left in the first half. But Iowa then went cold from the field, failing to score in a drought lasting 6 minutes, 47 seconds. Michigan State chipped away, cutting Iowa’s lead to two points with 2:28 left in the half. Aaron White ended Iowa’s scoreless drought with a dunk to give the Hawkeyes the halftime advantage.
Marble is out after suffering an ankle injury earlier this week in practice. Eric May started in Marble’s place.
Zach McCabe leads Iowa (11-3, 0-2 Big Ten) with seven points, while White and Melsahn Basabe each have six. Branden Dawson leads MSU (12-3, 1-1 Big Ten) with six.
Michigan State has missed 6-of-9 shots from the free-throw line and is shooting just 37 percent from the floor. Iowa has 10 turnovers.
Work is moving ahead to take the popular Cedar River Trail under the railroad bridge just down river from the Eighth Avenue bridge in downtown Cedar Rapids.
The railroad bridge, which was damaged in the June 2008 flood, was rebuilt to a higher level and designed to allow a trail underpass, city officials note.
This week, the City Council hired HR Green Inc. to design the underpass at a cost not to exceed $56,776.
The Cedar Rapids and Iowa City Railroad has contributed $82,400 to the construction project, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved $432,241 in disaster funds for the work as well.