Tuesday, March 30, 2010

KEVIN NOREEN 2010 MINNESOTA MR BASKETBALL


Ken Lien, Chairman, and his committee are pleased to announce that Kevin Noreen from Minnesota Transitions Charter has been named Mr. Basketball of Minnesota for 2010.

The 6-foot-10 power forward guided his team to the 2010 Class A Championship and is statistically the most dominant player in the state. He has committed to Boston College.

His all-around game has made him the state's all-time leading scorer (4,086 points), averages 38.6 points and 16.5 rebounds per game, plus 5.9 assists, 3.9 steals and 3.2 blocks.

The other Mr. Basketball Finalists were: Marshall Bjorklund from Sibley East, Trevor Gruis from Ellsworth, Dyami Starks from Duluth East and Jake Thomas from Columbia Heights.

Monday, March 29, 2010

IOWA MENS' BASKETBALL HEAD COACH FRAN MCCAFFERY PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT

An Interview With:
FRAN MCCAFFERY
GARY BARTA



GARY BARTA: Well, thank you. I'll just add to Phil's appreciation for everybody coming on such late notice. This is an exciting day, and it's a great honor and a pleasure for me to introduce the new head men's basketball coach at the University of Iowa, Fran McCaffery. So, Fran, officially, welcome. It's good to have you here. (Applause.)


Today is a conclusion of a very focused, intentional, and it seems like it's been about three months but it's been two weeks, a very focused effort to go out and find the very best coach and the very best fit for Iowa.


You know, I'm going to go over a couple of things. Ultimately obviously we want to hear from the coach, but there are several things that I want to address, and then at the very end after Coach is done, we'll certainly be opening it up for questions.


Just to reiterate the process and the way that we went about this, the way that I went about this, the first thing we did and I did was identify the qualities that I was looking for. I did that before I identified the people. And I'll just quickly go over, again, proven winner, a leader, someone who had competed for championships, someone that would continue to do so. I indicated it was likely it was going to be a head coach, current head coach at the Division I level.


I wanted somebody who was committed to student athletes, their personal lives and their education, earning a degree, and then I was looking for somebody obviously who had recruiting background, somebody who would take this group of student athletes that we absolutely believed in and would reenergize all of them, reenergize all of us and then finally have the value system that was consistent with Iowa, something that all of you and all of us and all Iowans would be comfortable with.


After we reestablished that list, then we went out, and the net was wide. We went and talked to people from all over the country, basketball people, Iowans, I had several conversations with former players, with former coaches, and we tried to identify anybody who fit those categories, anybody who fit those qualities that we had pre-identified, and we kept narrowing that down, and then ultimately we made one job offer, and that's to the gentleman sitting next to me.


Let me, again, go through a few other things that I'd like to cover before we get to Fran's comments. In the end, it was my choice and my responsibility to pick the new head coach. But there are so many people that were important to the process, all of our staff and just trying to coordinate travel schedules and all those things.


You see here today President Mason and Ken Mason are here. Sally has been an incredible supporter of athletics in general, and from the moment that we set out to do this, she wasn't involved in the early discussions. What she asked me to do is go out, take these qualities that we agreed upon, and go out and find the best coach that fit those qualities, and then if you get down to one or two or three people, she was willing to go with us and meet those people.


And she's been supportive from the beginning. She's been informed from the beginning. And then she did go with me in the end to meet with Fran face to face and just reconfirm what I was believing and what I was feeling.
So thank you, Sally, for all of your help and support.


I had a search committee, and I know some of them are here. I know Bobby Hansen is here. Bobby, we all know he knows Hawkeye athletics, he knows Hawkeye basketball. We also know, and I learned to appreciate, how much basketball he knows around the country, and so he was an invaluable resource.


Betsy Altmaier, who is not here, has been our longtime faculty athletic rep. She knows the values and what University of Iowa expects out of all of us, including athletics, and she was highly engaged. And then Ellie Herman -- I don't know if Ellie is here. Is Ellie in the room anywhere? She's on the search committee. She's the current chair of the Presidents Committee on Athletics. She was incredibly diligent. We would go through these names and she would research them. She's a big fan, but she's also somebody -- she cares about the student athletes' welfare. She understands the values we need as a campus, and so she was also looking for those qualities in the new coach.


And then finally Fred Mims. You all know Fred, a former athlete at the University of Iowa, somebody who's been with us for a long, long time. He was by my side the entire time as we went through the process. So thank you to all of the search committee.


The terms of the contract that will be put together, we don't yet have a contract. Certainly we've come to an agreement in general principle and general terms. Our goal is to get the contract done in the next few weeks, which I have no concern about. Generally the terms are a six-year deal. The guaranteed salary will start at $1.1 million. It will escalate up. I think at the end of the agreement it's about $1.35, somewhere in that zone. In addition to that, bonus structure for competitiveness on the court, bonus structure for academics, so that when it's all said and done, a very competitive salary in the Big Ten and nationally.


I'll just address it, somebody asked me was I going on the cheap. I think I was addressed that -- I had several people in emails giving me all sorts of advice as you might imagine, but here's the way I went about it. I addressed those values. Did we have a budget? Well, everybody has a budget. You have budgets personally at home. We have a budget here. But it was not a number that was established. It was a range. And that range could have gone to varying degrees. It depended on who the person was.


At the end, once I found the right coach, once I found the right person, then we put together a package that was competitive, that he was excited about, that we were excited about, and that's where we're at, and we'll finalize that in contract form here in the next couple of weeks.


To the McCaffery family, you know, when I think about these transitions, I know how easy it is for him or for me. It's crazy, but we just go into our job and away we go. I know how hard it is on their end. And so it's great to have them all here, and Coach will introduce them in a minute.


Just a couple of thoughts I had. You know, I just met Margaret yesterday. We didn't get a chance to meet prior to that. I do know she has Minnesota roots and some of her Minnesota family are here. You can see they're in black and gold, so it didn't take long for them to make that adjustment. I've heard all sorts of stories about Margaret was recruited by Vivian. She ended up going to Notre Dame. I've heard she was a much better basketball player than he was. I also know, and he'll talk about her passion for basketball, we've put seatbelts on your seat in Carver already.


But in all seriousness, I know my wife, Connie, is here, and she met with the family yesterday. Seeing the kids here, and they found out at 8:00 or 9:00 yesterday morning that they're moving, and here they are. And so just talking about what Margaret is doing to keep the family rolling and keep all this going, the one thing I'll say to all the kids and the family, you're going to love it here. I know it'll be challenging for a while, but you're going to love it here.


Last night at about 9:30, we're driving back to the hotel, and Jack, he's the little guy, Jack is sitting in the back, and they're just exhausted, and he's yelling as we're driving in the car, he's yelling, "Go Hawkeyes, Go Hawkeyes." So it's going to be great. It'll also be a challenge.


I want to thank our student-athletes. We've turned their world upside down. I met with them right away. A lot of them are still in class. Some of them are going to try and get here. Fran met with them yesterday. I visited with all the letter of intent signees right after the change. They have been amazing in just sticking together, and we've talked about the special group that they have in place, and if they stick together -- it all started yesterday when Fran met with the team, and they're the ones that are going to make this happen. And so we're excited to keep that moving.


And then just thanks again to all the Hawkeye fans. I know the passion is there. The text messages, the phone calls, the letters, the emails. One thing I know, and that's the pride and tradition of this place is so deep and so strong and people care so much, not everybody might have agreed the process I was going through. I do know one thing everybody agreed on, and that's that we all want the same outcome. We want to fill Carver again. We want to compete for Big Ten championships, and we want to do it with this guy.


Let me just now move over to the introduction of the coach and tell you a little bit about what I learned about in the process. Some of you might say, you know, I don't really know much about him. And my honest answer is I didn't know a lot about Fran when this process started. I knew of him, I knew of Siena and the things that had happened in the last several years, and I started to talk to basketball people around the country. They started to call me, and they started to tell me more about him.


They told me about him rebuilding three programs. They told me about the fact that he's taken three different teams to the NCAA Tournament, and then, of course, looking into it and seeing what Siena had done -- when he took over at Siena they had won six games. In the last three years they've been in the NCAA Tournament. They lost to Purdue this year. They beat Ohio State this year. They beat Vandy the year before. So all those things started to intrigue me. And then I looked at his graduation rate. The student athletes that come into his program, if they complete their eligibility, they all graduate, every one of them. So all those things started to intrigue me.


So as that net started to funnel down and we started to invite people in for interviews, I had my first meeting with him. In that first meeting, the first thing he said right out of the gate is, I want to be the coach at Iowa. You know, that's something you might say in an interview, but as the interview went along, I could see how serious he was about that particular thing.


And he'll tell you stories about his first experience at Carver and his second experience at Carver and his experience recruiting in Iowa and in the Midwest, all those things. And then the values, I started to talk to people about what kind of person he was and whether or not he would fit, and so those things just kept coming together and coming together, and every time we'd talk -- the second meeting with President Mason, again, just reiterating, I want to be the coach at Iowa.


And then he backed it up. He had two other opportunities in this two or three-day period, maybe more than that, that he could have gone to, and in both cases, he said, Gary, you might be hearing things through the media. You might be hearing things about other opportunities I might have. I want you to know something: I want to be the coach at Iowa. All respect to any other place that you're hearing about or might be interested in me, I want to be the next coach at Iowa.


So without further ado, the person who wanted the job, the person who's qualified for the job and the person I'm thrilled to introduce as your next head coach, Fran McCaffery. (Applause)


FRAN McCaffery: Thank you very much. This is a very proud moment for me, and Gary is right. I made it clear from minute one that I wanted to be your coach, and I want to thank President Mason and Gary for the confidence that they've shown in me to take over.


I'm leaving a place that I love, and that is not done without a lot of trepidation at some point. We had great people at Siena. We had a terrific president, a terrific athletic director, great players, and I've said many times when asked, will you entertain other offers, are you looking to move, the answer was always, no, I'm not looking to move. I'm happy where I am. And why is that? Because we found things that we thought were great for our family and what I thought was great for me professionally. And I always said if I thought about leaving, it would be a very small list.


And then when Iowa was presented as an option, as a possibility that I might be interviewed and have an opportunity to talk to Gary, I was ecstatic. I talked to my wife about it. She grew up in the Midwest, very familiar with the Big Ten, grew up going to games with her dad, Dick, who's sitting right over there, Williams Arena and they've had tickets for 35 years and they are now officially Hawkeye fans.


I wanted to be here, and I think it's a great fit for so many different reasons. This is where I want to raise my family, and obviously that's the most important thing.


But I also have to be able to evaluate what we have. I want to talk a little bit about my experience here, and Gary alluded to it. The first time I came here, I brought my team here in 1986. I was 26 years old. I was the head coach at Lehigh University, and that's the first time I met Jerry Strom.


We brought our team here, and I will never forget the atmosphere in this building. It resonated with me for a long time. Jerry and I became friends, and we came back in 2005. Let me tell you something that happened when we were here.



We were playing Iowa, George Raveling was the coach, great team, B.J. Armstrong, Brad Lohaus, Ed Horton, Roy Marble, ranked team, we were in a little bit over our heads to say the least, and that's why we came to the tournament. We wanted to try to see how good we were. We wanted to play a ranked opponent. We wanted to play in a facility like Carver Hawkeye in front of that atmosphere.


We lost the game, played very well. I had a sophomore on my team who was a terrific player, ended up 10th in Division I history in scoring when he completed his eligibility. He's probably not there now, but that's where he was then. And I will never forget what happened in that game.


Daren scored 29 points, at some point in the game, George Raveling instituted a box end one on Daren to get us shut down, and of course Iowa went on to win the game. We felt pretty good about how we played. I was proud of Daren, so much so that I took him out right before the end of the game.


And this is when I knew the sophistication level of our fan base. He got a standing ovation for his performance, and I just remember when he came off the floor, I shook his hand, and the building erupted, and I turned around and everyone was standing. And they recognized a young player who they didn't know coming into this facility, a difficult place to play and for what it was and gave him a standing ovation. It really meant a lot to me, and it really, as I said, resonated with me.


Following that experience Jerry and I talked many times about bringing my team back here. We came back in '05, and we were fortunate enough to beat Southern Miss in the first round and play Iowa in the championship game. Again, I remember the atmosphere in the arena and what it was like to play in this facility.


It's something that I think would excite any coach like myself, to one day hope to be in an environment like this and to be able to understand what it's like to be part of the Big Ten.


And I remember talking to Jerry, also, about some other things. He's somebody that's respected in the basketball community, but he's somebody who has stayed here for a very long time, and I asked him, "Why do you stay here? What is it about the city, about the state, about this institution?" And I always remember the enthusiasm with which he responded to me, about how he would not want to live anywhere else. And that is something that I really thought long and hard about as I looked at this decision.


My experience is varied when it comes to recruiting. I've coached in the East, I've coached in the South, and I've coached in the Midwest. I spent 11 years at Notre Dame. And in that period of time, I came into Iowa to recruit, and I recruited some guys that are standing over here, and I remember recruiting Jess Settles, and I'll tell you a little bit about that story, which is kind of funny, because Jess, as you know, is a tremendous person. He was a phenomenal basketball player. We watched him play at the Nike camp and he immediately moved to the top of our list, and he really liked me, and he liked Coach MacLeod, and he loved Notre Dame and really thought long and hard about coming to play for the Irish.


But the thing that I always remember is nobody in his family wanted him to come to Notre Dame. This was an uphill battle from day one.


Now, I thought we had him on his visit, and he'll remember this. We even got Julia Roberts involved. She met Jess on a visit. I said, we've got to pull out all the stops. But his entire family were Hawkeye season ticket holders, and of course followed Jess' career over the years, and I recruited Kenyon Murray hard out of Battle Creek, Michigan, and I remember what they said about the Big Ten. I have a tremendous respect for this conference, the quality of talent, the quality of coaching, and it's something that I come into with full knowledge that we need to be ready every time we take the floor.


While at Notre Dame, I met the love of my life, my wife, Margaret. I think the beauty of Margaret and our relationship is -- she was an all-American, and she fully understands what my job entails. And I think it's one thing to say that she fully understands it; it's another thing to embrace it and be an asset to my ability to get this job done.


I don't like to talk too much about her playing career. She only scored 1,000 more points than I did. I'm not proud to say that. But she was a terrific, terrific player, and it's her passion, I think, and understanding of this business, and it's something that sustains us, I think, through long seasons. I have with me, I would like to introduce them, my daughter Marit, who's right here, my son Connor, my son Patrick, and my son Jack.


I also have Marge's parents, native Minnesotans, native Midwesterners, Dick and Marit.


My two guys can play. They haven't promised anything, but I think we're in good shape. I think we'll at least get a visit out of them.


I've often asked, what is your recruiting philosophy? It's pretty simple. Recruiting is about relationships, relationships with players, coaches, parents, relatives, and I think more importantly, honesty and integrity. So if I explain my vision for a student-athlete and what we think that will be, it's important to follow through on that promise, and as long as we continue to tell the truth, we can all deal with that.


What will be my first order of business? Well, my first order of business will be to re-recruit the players that are here. I have familiarity with them. I've watched them play some, both in high school and on television. I think we have a great nucleus of young talent. And last year's team was exactly that; it was young, but it was talented. We saw some great things, and we saw some struggles. But that can only be expected with a young team.


And it's my responsibility to then reach out to those who have signed NLIs with us and to see that they honor their commitments so we can fill our roster. Then we can evaluate at that time do we have any remaining scholarships, what do we need? What do we need position-wise? So that's my philosophy there.


Style of play, and I think that's something that I want to talk about and I'm excited about. We're going to push the ball. We're going to run. We're going to press. We're going to change defenses. We're going to disrupt rhythm, and I think that's how you have to play. Some coaches, they lock into one defense, they play half-court basketball, and they run set plays. Well, we're going to run set plays. We're going to run motion. We're going to run ball screen action, and I believe in doing a variety of different things.


You will not have a better prepared basketball team take the floor in terms of tape review, scouting reports, what we show the team, what we show -- what we look at ourselves. We will be ready.


I know how hard it is to win on the road in the Big Ten, and it's important that they have something to hold onto in terms of a scouting report that makes sense, that fits our personnel, and we'll work against the personnel that we're playing against.


The one thing that I can assure you is that we will play the game the right way. A lot of coaches like to sit here in situations like this and say, We're going to play up tempo. Everybody wants to hear that. Well, we're going to play up tempo, but we're going to play the game the right way. We're going to make decisions on the break that make sense. We're going to press when it makes sense to press, and we're going to play zone when it makes sense to play zone. And that will be based on scouting and hours and hours of tape review.


I'm excited to be part of a very special group of coaches, and I'm excited to get to know them. I haven't met them yet, Kirk Ferentz, Orange Bowl champions, Coach of the Year, Lisa Bluder, Coach of the Year, NCAA Tournament team, and Tom Brands won the national championship for the third year in a row. What can you say about Tom Brands? That's an opportunity that I think every coach wants, to be able to work with coaches of that caliber, get to know them, and it's my responsibility to get this team back into the NCAA Tournament and have everyone proud of what we're doing.


I can promise you this: We're going to compete. We're going to play the game the right way. I'm going to coach with passion, but our players are going to have fun. They're going to enjoy what they do on the floor. And this place is going to be rocking again. I just can't be more thankful for this opportunity, and I'm proud to be a Hawkeye. Thank you very much. (Applause)


Q. Fran, you had a couple of opportunities your wife speculated about Seton Hall, I believe, was among them. Why Iowa over another school from the Big Six conferences?


FRAN MCCAFFERY: Well, I've done my homework, and I don't want to in any way slight Seton Hall or St. John's. I appreciate the interest that they showed in me and both fabulous opportunities. But as I went through the process and prioritized what I thought was best for my family and what I thought had the most potential and opportunity for growth and something that got me excited, it was Iowa. We just kept coming back to Iowa.
I think because I've been here, because I've been in the Midwest, and I know that I have the ability to utilize my connections not only in the Midwest but nationally to help us continue to grow as a program. I have tremendous respect for the Big Ten as I've already said. It was for me, I thought, the best fit.



Q. Coach, what about the assistants?


FRAN MCCAFFERY: What about the assistants? Obviously, Jerry will remain with us, Jerry Strom. I'm happy about that. I have some coaches on my staff presently that I would give strong consideration to that I know. They know how to work, they know how to recruit. They're talented. I've given strong consideration to having an Iowa presence on my staff, maybe a former player, for example. So that will be determined over the next few days.


Q. When you took over at Siena, the team won six games and you were picked for the last in your conference. I think you went 15 and 13 and finished fourth. Now you're in a situation where the team is tied for 10th, won ten games. What can you do similar as you try to take this program up? What did you do at Siena that you can follow here?


FRAN MCCAFFERY: Well, the first thing I did was thoroughly evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of every player and made sure that I put them in situations where they could be successful. I got them to believe in what we were doing, and I think you'll see that I have the ability to make sure each and every player understands what his role is, but more importantly accepts that role and then executes that role.


Our preparation and game plans, I think, were instrumental in helping us be a good road team. I think if you look at our record, certainly we haven't lost a home game in two years at Siena, but we've shown that we can win on the road. We've shown that we can win in the NCAA Tournament, and that's supposed to be neutral, but when we played Ohio State in Dayton, it wasn't very neutral. A whole lot of red. Maybe one half of one section in green.


So I understand what the passion is. And I think when you see us play, you'll understand what I was able to do. That team in particular for me was one of my favorite teams that I ever coached because they really battled for me, and we overcame deficits, we keep coming back, and as I said, right at the end, we will compete.


And when you compete, there's differences between -- I always say there's a difference between hustle and the ability to compete. I expect you to hustle. But competing means understanding and carrying out the game plan and understanding where you fit on the team and understanding what's necessary to win, whether we're behind or we're ahead or whether we're at home or whether we're on the road. And I can assure you we'll fully understand that.


Q. What did you take away from your meeting with the players last night and just seeing what's here already?


FRAN MCCAFFERY: They're hungry. They're ready to get back to work. They're focused. They want to improve and there's no doubt in my mind that we will.


Q. How important is that new practice facility out there for recruiting?


FRAN MCCAFFERY: Phenomenally important. Again, it's just another thing that gets me excited to know all the hard work that went into making that come to fruition and to see it. I'm so excited about what it's going to look like when it's done, but it's something we can talk about during the process as we move forward.


Q. What's a reasonable amount of time do you think to turn a program around?


FRAN MCCAFFERY: My expectation would be to show improvement immediately. I think that's what I was hired to do. You know, how much improvement, we'll have to see. We'll have to see where we get our roster in terms of improving our depth. But I think you should expect to see immediate improvement, and I'm sure that's what Gary expects to see. He didn't give me any demands. He's just given me support, and I appreciate that.


Q. You talked about getting Carver rocking again. Anything specific that you do to get students and fans back into the arena?


FRAN MCCAFFERY: We're going to have meetings tonight directly addressing that. I've been active in doing those kinds of things before, but I think we all know, to really energize the fan base, you've got to play the game the right way, and we're going to do that.


Q. Does it worry you at all that your predecessor was also highly successful at a smaller school, came here, and for whatever reason wasn't able to get it done? Was that a red flag at all?


FRAN MCCAFFERY: None whatsoever. I've done it at multiple institutions in different parts of the country. So my experience level I think is a little bit different, and I've been successful everywhere I've been and fully intending to be successful here.


Q. Did you get a sense from all the players that they were leaning towards staying here from your meeting last night?


FRAN MCCAFFERY: Well, what we're going to do, as soon as we're through here, I'm going to have individual meetings with them. I'll get a better sense at that time.


Q. When do you plan on reaching out to the four kids that aren't signed?


FRAN MCCAFFERY: I've already done that, and we'll have more phone conversations tonight, and then I'll go see them personally.


Q. You have a line of former players over here on the wall including Jess. There's been talk that they really want to get involved in this program and be instrumental in helping you turn it around. How would that help you to have former players on your side like that?


FRAN MCCAFFERY: Well, it's something that would be one of the first orders of business for me. I want them involved. I will reach out to them. I want them coming back. I want them at games. I want them calling me on the phone, Hey, I heard about a player you might be interested in. It's that kind of relationship to me that makes a program special, and that's what we're going to build here.


Q. Gary, do you think that this hire may define your tenure here at Iowa?


GARY BARTA: I think I answered that last time, but I'll answer it again. What I do every day when I come to work is I take 20-some years of experience, and I give everything I have to Iowa, and my goal is to make every team we have, every sport we have better, to create an environment for student athletes that they have such a great experience that some day they want their kids to come here, those types of things, leave with a degree.


At the end of the day, I want to be defined some day, hopefully a long time from now, Sally Mason, I want to be defined by a total breadth of what Iowa was before I got here, and then hopefully I leave and they say I made it better. I don't intend to be defined by one hire. That's the long answer to -- the answer is no, but it's because I come to work every day wanting to make the whole program better, not just one team, not just one hire, but everything involved.


Q. Coach, I see that your teams don't commit very many fouls, and you shoot a lot more free throws than the other team. There's a huge discrepancy there. Is that part of your philosophy, fouling and getting to the line so much?


FRAN MCCAFFERY: Well, it is, but it would depend on a few factors. Number one, our depth. When I first got to Siena, our depth was virtually nonexistent, so we couldn't foul. We had to stay out of foul trouble so we could get to the wire and have a chance. But I just don't believe in excessive fouling. I don't believe in putting teams in the bonus. I don't believe in putting teams in the double bonus early. If you are behind, it's almost impossible to come back if the other team is in a double bonus. You have to be able to foul.


I understand how physical the Big Ten is. We just played Purdue, and I know what that game was like. We were ready for that. I thought we competed well. We got behind, they went on a run on us. We came back, went on a run back on them. But I think I have a pretty good feel for what this league is.


My hope is that we shoot -- excuse me, make more free throws than our opponents attempt. Is that going to be possible? Maybe not, but I believe in position defense and changing defenses and limiting teams to one shot, which will keep people off the free-throw line.


Q. How important have your AAU ties been in your recruiting?


FRAN MCCAFFERY: They're important to a certain extent. They don't define me, nor should they. There are some AAU coaches who are fabulous and truly in it for their student athletes' best interests. Others are not. I think I've been pretty good at identifying those who are not and those who are.


I think in this state we certainly have had some really good ones, Mac McCausland certainly to name one, but there are different AAU people that are in it for the right reason. We'll deal with those folks. My intention is to interact directly with the student athlete, his parents or his legal guardian. And I think that is what my priority should be. And if I tell those folks the truth and then make sure that happens when they get here, we'll be successful.


Q. It seems like you're going to be changing the style of play from what the current players are used to. Do you think that will be a problem for the players that are used to more of a slowed down style, expecting them to change that?


FRAN MCCAFFERY: Not at all, and it certainly didn't come across that way at our meeting. They seemed to be excited about it. I think we can play faster because we do have players that are able to make good decisions. They can make plays off the dribble. They can make plays in transition. I have no doubt that we can play faster because we're going to play intelligently, as well.


Q. What would it take for Iowa to become a regular contender for the Big Ten title and go deep in the NCAA Tournament? How do you get from here to there?


FRAN MCCAFFERY: Well, we have to continue to recruit well. We have to coach the right way. And we have to make this building exciting again so the teams come in here and they have no chance. We all know what it's like to win on the road in the Big Ten. It's not easy.


So you need talent. You need cerebral players, and I think my best gift over the years has been wherever I've been, we've been able to evaluate talent and get them to come and play for me.


And those who play for me will tell you they love playing for me. Am I demanding? Yes. Am I reasonable? Yes. Do I communicate? Do I make sure they have fun? Absolutely. Do we have a plan? Do we have a goal? Absolutely. Do we ever lose sight of it? Absolutely not. Will we do it with integrity? Absolutely.


And when you do it that way, I think ultimately that's what student athletes want to be a part of when they're making this critical choice in their lives.


Q. How important is having an off-the-court relationship with your players?


FRAN MCCAFFERY: Extremely. And that's, again, where my family comes in. My players are at my house all the time for a variety of different reasons, whether it be we have a recruit in, whether it be we have the freshmen over, whether we have the captains over, whether we have the whole team over. In the summertime to watch the NBA draft, just over Christmas break when all the students are gone. It's important that -- I think when parents drop their children off and turn them over to you, they have to know and understand there's going to be a family atmosphere that they can feel comfortable about, and they can sleep well at night knowing that their son is in good hands, and they will know that full and well when they meet my family.


FastScripts by ASAP Sports

HOPKINS TOOK ON ST. CLOUD TECH IN THE BOYS’ STATE AAAA CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

St Cloud Tech took on Hopkins in the Minnesota state high school league championship game. Hopkins found their shot early in the game.

Hopkins did a good job of bringing the ball up the court. Hopkins was able to get out to an early lead.

Hopkins was able to make shots throughout the first half. They were able to make a run at St. Cloud Tech. Tech didn’t back down as they were able to make a run of their own late in the first half.

St Cloud Tech played both a man-to-man and a zone defense in the first half.

St Cloud Tech went on a run to end the first half. Both teams hit their shots in the first half. At the halftime break the score was Hopkins 36 and St. Cloud Tech 27.

Hopkins was able go on a run in the second half. St. Cloud Tech played man-to-man defense throughout the game.

Hopkins played both zone and man-to-man defenses throughout the game. Hopkins had the lead for most of the game.

Hopkins really put it to St Cloud Tech midway through the second half. Hopkins was able to come away with the 76-56 win.

After the game I was able to talk to Hopkins Ken Novak Jr, Riley Dearring, Dustin Peterson, Siyani Chambers, and Marvin Singleton.

ST. PAUL JOHNSON TOOK ON GRAND RAPIDS IN THE CLASS AAA BOYS’ BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

In the boys’ basketball class AAA boys’ state basketball championship game St. Paul Johnson took on Grand Rapids.

Johnson went on a run midway through the first half. Grand Rapids was able to go on a run midway through the first half.

Grand Rapids didn’t back down. They kept their cool. They didn’t back down. They were able to find their shots in the first half.

Both teams looked to get the ball out of the net and run in transition. Johnson was more successful at that than Grand Rapids in the first half. Johnson was able to convert on the transition plays.

Estan Tyler had a great first half. He was all over the court. He was able to find his shot from the beginning of the game.

At halftime the score was Johnson 23 and Grand Rapids 26.

As the second half got under underway the score went back and forth. The game was tied several times throughout the game.

For St Paul Johnson Tyler Estan really found his shot throughout the game. He was able to hit it. The pace of the game was back and forth.

Grand Rapids was able to hang on throughout the game. They didn’t back down. Eric Stark and Michael Johnson came up big for Grand Rapids. They were able to continually knock down shots for Grand Rapids.

Johnson used a full court press and really put the pressure on Grand Rapids throughout the game.

Johnson continued to go after Grand Rapids. Grand Rapids was not able to put a run together in the second half.

Johnson was able to come away with the 59-55 victory over Grand Rapids.

After the game I was able to talk to St Paul and Johnson’s Prince Williams, head coach Vern Simmons, Maxie Rosenbloom, about the championship game.

CROSBY IRONTON TOOK ON NEW LONDON SPICER IN THE CLASS AA CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

The Crosby Ironton Rangers took on the New London Spicer Wildcats in the 2010 Minnesota State High School League class AA boys’ basketball game.

New London Spicer came out strong as they were able to go on a run to start the game. As they were able to come up big and knock down shots in the first half. They got a lead early in the game.

Jayme Moten played really hard. He was able to find his shot early on and he was all over the court. He was able to hit the three point shot.

New London Spicer came out and found their shot early on in the game. They were able to keep hitting down shots in the first half.

New London Spicer had a 34-22 lead at half time.

As the second half got underway the guard play was very good. For New London Spicer Jayme Moten went up against Matthew Hdrlik. Those two players really went after it. They put pressure on each other and guarded each other tightly. New London Spicer continued to take care of the ball.

Crosby Ironton was able to go on a run midway through the second half. They really found their shots midway through the second half.

Crosby Ironton really dug in and played with a lot of emotion down the stretch.

New London Spicer’s Jayme Moten drained a three pint shot with 2:08 left in regulation.

New London Spicer was able to come away with the 62-52 victory over Crosby Ironton. With the win New London Spicer is the 2010 Minnesota State High School boys’ class AA state champion.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

SEBEKA TOOK ON MINNESOTA TRANSITIONS IN THE MINNESOTA STATE HIGH SCHOOL LEAGUE CLASS A CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

Sebeka took on Minnesota Transitions in the Minnesota State High School League Class A championship game.

As the game got underway Sebeka got off to a quick start. With 16:00 left in the first half Kevin Noreen landed hard on the floor and it took him awhile to get up.


Sebeka went on a run midway through the first half. They were able to control the tempo from the beginning of the game.

Transitions went on a run midway through the first half. Both teams battled and dove after loose balls.

At halftime the score was Sebeka 32 and MTS 30.

As the second half got started both teams continued to battle.

Kevin Noreen came back and started the second half. He fell hard at the beginning of the game.

MTS played a zone defense. They wanted to try to slow the game down. They wanted to make Sebeka shoot the ball and keep them from getting to the basket.

The game was tight. Both teams played very aggressively. MTS was able to break Sebeka’s press. Sebeka did a good job of making it difficult for MTS to score.

MTS was able to come away with the 61-52 victory over Sebeka.

The leading scorers for Sebeka were Cody Pulju with 16 points, John Clark with 13 points and Joey Cuperus with 10 points.

After the game I was able to talk to Minnesota Transitions players Rodney Owens, Kyle Norren, Kevin Norren and head coach John Sherman about winning the Class A championship game.

MINNESOTA TRANSITIONS TOOK ON RUSHFORD PETERSON IN THE CLASS A SEMIFINAL GAME OF THE MINNESOTA STATE BOYS’ BASKETBALL STATE TOURNAMENT

The Minnesota Transitions took on Rushford Peterson in the semifinal game in class A of the Minnesota State High School League.

Coming into the game both of these teams looked to score a lot of points. Both teams had a hard time finding the basket in the early goings.

Transitions came out and played a tough zone defense. Rushford Peterson also played a zone defense to begin the game.

Rushford Peterson double and tripled teamed Kyle Noreen. Noreen is a scoring threat from anywhere on the court.

Rodney Owens came out and played really tough. He was able to step up and knock down his shot from all over the court.

Minnesota Transitions defense was very good. They were able to step up and slow down Rushford.

At halftime the score was Minnesota Transitions 27 and Rushford Peterson 21.

Minnesota Transitions looked to pull away from Rushford Peterson as they were able to score quick points. Most of the points Transitions made were in transitions.

Minnesota Transitions didn’t let down on the offensive end. They were able to keep pushing the ball down the court and did a really good job of scoring in transition.

Minnesota Transitions was able to come away with the 56-49 victory over Rushford-Peterson.

The leading scorers for Rushford Peterson were Nick Thomson with 20 points and Blake Lea with 9 points. The leading scorers for Minnesota Transitions were Rodney Owens with 18 points, Kevin Noreen with 17 points and Kyle Noreen with 17 points.

CROSBY IRONTON TOOK ON PLAINVIEW-ELGIN-MILLVILLE IN THE CLASS AA SEMI FINAL BOYS STATE BASKET TOURNAMENT

Crosby Ironton took on Plainview-Elgin-Millville in the boys’ state high school class AA semi final game. The game started with a quick pace. Both teams really wanted to run.

The game was very close through out the first half. Neither team was able to go on a run. Crosby Ironton went on a run late in the first half.

Matthew Hudrlik found the basket in transition. He was able to score baskets easily in transition. He was played very scrappy. He was all over the floor. He dove on the ground after the loose balls.

At halftime the score was Crosby-Ironton 25 and Plainview-Elgin-Millville 19.

As the second half got underway Crosby-Ironton pushed the ball up the court. Mark Hoge felt his shot all night.

He was right on throughout the game. Crosby-Ironton looked to run and push the ball up the court.

Plainview-Elgin-Millville was able to hang with Crosby Ironton. Plainview-Elgin-Millville went on a run late in the second half.

Plainview-Elgin-Millville went on a run with 6:49 left in regulation the score was Plainview-Elgin-Millville 31 and Crosby Ironton 32.

Crosby Ironton went on a run late in the game. Micheal Pick hit a shot with 6.2 seconds left to tie the game at 44.

At the end of regulation the score was tied at 44.

In the overtime session both teams continued to play aggressively. Brock Tesdahl hit a 3 point shot that gave Crosby Ironton a 1 point lead.

Crosby Ironton was able to come away with the 51-48 victory over Plainview Elgin Millville

The leading scorers for Crosby Ironton were Mark Hoge with 19 points, Brock Tesdahl with 11 points and Mathew Hudrrlik with 9 points.

After the game I was able to talk to Crosby Ironton’s Brock Tesdahl, Matthew Hudrlik, Mark Hoge, and head coach David Galovich about the game.


ELLSWORTH TOOK ON SEBEKA IN THE MINNESOTA STATE HIGH SCHOOL LEAGUE CLASS A BOYS’ STATE TOURNAMENT CLASS A SEMIFINAL GAME

Ellsworth took on Sebeka at the Target Center in the semifinal game at the Target Center in downtown Minneapolis.

Both teams came out with a lot of energy. The score went back and forth to begin the game. Sebeka went on a run midway through the first half. They were able to slow down Ellsworth.

Sebeka and Ellsworth traded baskets throughout the first half. John Clark for Sebeka really found his shot in the first half. He was most affective in the center of the lane. On the defensive end Clark was really able to put pressure on his defender.

Sebeka did a good job of trapping Ellsworth on the inbounds play. Ellsworth had a difficult time of inbounding the ball.

At halftime the score was Sebeka 32 and Ellsworth 28.

The leading scorers for Ellsworth were Cassey Schilling and Trevor Guris with 10 points. Ellsworth didn’t lead in the first half.

As the second half got underway the score remained close. Ellsworth went on a run and they were able to get the lead at 33-35. That was the first lead of the day.

Ellsworth came out from halftime really charged up. They played very aggressively throughout the game.

For Sebeka John Clark played aggressively. He dove after loose balls and he was not afraid to go after it.

Sebeka went on a run midway through the second half.

Neither team was able to go on a run in the second half. The game came down to the wire.

John Clark for Sebeka did a good job of getting his teammates involved in the play. He knew where his players were on the court at all times.

The game came down to the end. Alex Brockpahler made a shot for Sebeka that won the game for Sebeka.

Sebeka came away with the 61-60 victory over Ellsworth.

Friday, March 26, 2010

KSTP CH 5 REPORTS ON STEVEN’S SPORTS REPORT

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St. CLOUD TECH TOOK ON EDEN PRAIRIE IN THE CLASS AAAA SEMI FINAL BOYS BASKETBALL CONTEST

St. Cloud Tech played Eden Prairie in the class AAAA semi final game at the Target Center. St. Cloud started the game playing tough man-to-man defense. Neither team shot the ball well to being the game.


Both teams traded baskets for a period of times in the first. Eden Prairie went on a run in the first half. They were able to control the tempo throughout the first half.


Both teams played very aggressively in the first half. Eden Prairie was able to get a lead midway through the first half.


St. Cloud Tech tried to keep up with Eden Prairie in the first half.


At halftime the score was Eden Prairie 27 and St. Cloud Tech 21.


As the second half got underway both teams were trying to figure out ways to create baskets. There was not really a pace to the game. Neither team seemed to be into it. The teams did play hard though.


Eden Prairie was able to drop shots throughout the second half. Grant Soderberg worked really hard going after loose balls. He also shot the ball well throughout the game.


St. Cloud Tech was able to go on a run and they got the score within 3 points at 43-46 with 4:30 left to go in regulation.


The score was tied at 48 with at the end of regulation.


In the overtime Eden Prairie made the first shot of the overtime period. The score went back and forth in the overtime. Kewon Johnson came up big as he was able to knock down his shot late in the overtime period.


At the end of the first over time the score was tied at 52.


In the second overtime Eden Prairie looked to get the ball inside. Scott Nystrom made a fantastic catch and a shot that made it.


St. Cloud Tech was able to come away with the 62-58 double overtime victory over Eden Prairie. The leading scores for Eden Prairie were Grant Soderberg with 16 points, and Ryan Smith with 15 points.


The leading scorers for St. Cloud Tech were Scott Nystrom with 23 points and Alex Hanks with 21 points.


After the game I was able to talk to St. Cloud Tech’s Trey Barber, Kellan Euerle, Alex Hanks, Scott Nystrom, Kewon Johnson. I was also able to talk to St. Cloud Tech head coach MikeTrewick.

HENRY SIBLEY TOOK ON HOPKINS IN THE BOYS’ STATE CLASS AAAA SEMI FINAL GAME AT THE TARGET CENTER

Henry Sibley took on Hopkins in the semi final game of the MSHSL state tournament. Both teams went hard at each other throughout the first half.

Hopkins looked to push the ball up the court from the beginning of the game. Henry Sibley didn’t let up. They applied a lot of pressure to the guards at the beginning of the game. They wanted to take Hopkins out of the game early on.

The game was very physical from the beginning of the game. Both teams dove after loose balls. Both teams seemed to be playing with a chip on their shoulders.

Henry Sibley looked to Jordan Jackson to handle the ball. He was also able to find his shot early on in the contest.

Henry Sibley got into foul trouble early on in the first half. They had 7 team fouls with 10 minutes to go in the first half.

Both teams looked to push the ball up the court and they were looking to get quick easy points in transition.

Hopkins played tough man-to-man defense. They were getting up into the Henry Sibley players’ faces and they wanted to disrupt things as much as possible.

Neither team went deep in to their bench in the first half. Both teams used most of their starters.

With 3:11 left to go in the first half Hopkins assistant coach Ken Novak Sr. received a technical foul for arguing with the official. Novak tried to make his case with the head official which was sitting at the main table.

Henry Sibley did a good of regaining the tempo. They went on a run late in the first half.

The first half was very physical and aggressive. Both teams played really hard throughout the first half.

At halftime the score was Henry Sibley 35 and Hopkins 29.

As the second half got underway both teams came out and really looked for their shots. Sibley’s defense really frustrated the Hopkins players.

Both teams played really hard throughout the contest. Neither team was going to hand the game to the other team.

The score reminded close throughout the game. Hopkins was able to gain the lead. Jimmy Ryan hit able to tie the game at 64 with 1:27 left to go in regulation on a three-point shot.

Dante Grant for Henry Sibley drained a three point shot that tied the game and that shot brought the game into overtime.

At the end of regulation the score was tied at 69.

In the overtime Hopkins stepped up their play. They were able to make baskets.

Sibley stepped up late in the overtime period and was able to make shots that they put up. Jimmy Ryan again tied the game at 76 on three point shot.

At the end of the first overtime the score was tied at 76.

As the second overtime got underway Hopkins got an early edge. Marvin Singleton was able to make free throws as the overtime period got underway.

Hopkins came away with the 90-82 victory over Henry Sibley. The leading scorers for Henry Sibley were Dante Grant with 20, Jordan Jackson with 25, Mike Rostampour and Jimmy Ryan each with 13 points.

The leading scores for Hopkins were Joe Coleman with 25 and Marvin Singleton with 22 points.

After the game I was able to talk to Hopkins players Dustin Peterson, Joe Coleman about the game. I was also able to talk to Hopkins head coach Ken Novak.


Thursday, March 25, 2010

MINNEAPOLIS DE LASALLE TOOK ON GRAND RAPIDS

The Minneapolis De LaSalle Islanders took on Grand Rapids in the boys’ basketball state class AAA semi final game. Both teams looked to get out early and push the ball up the court.

Both teams played very good defense to start the game. Both teams took a while before they found their shots. Neither team was able to make shots that they were taking.

De LaSalle is known for their defense. They really pride themselves on playing tough aggressive defense.

With 9:30 left in the first half the score was De LaSalle 10 and Grand Rapids 7.

Grand Rapids looked to Michael Johnson to score. Johnson was able to knock down shots from anywhere on the court.

The score remained close throughout the first half. Neither team was able to go on a run in the first half.

At halftime the score was De LaSalle 24 and Grand Rapids 20.

Grand Rapids came out and played a tough man-to-man defense to begin the second half.

Both teams again started off the half slowly. Both teams were not able to get their shots going at the beginning of the game or at the start of the start of the second half.

The score went back and forth through the game. Both teams went on mini runs.

Grand Rapids Kevin Rabbers found the basket in the second half. He took the ball really strong to the basket.

Neither team was able to get out and run in the open court. This game was all about the grind on the defensive end.

The game came down to the wire. The score was tied at 40 with 1.4-seconds left to go.

At the end of regulation the score was tied at 40.

Jalen Jaspers scored the first points of the overtime for De LaSalle. Grand Rapids wanted to take as much time off the clock as they could.

Each team continued to go after each other in the overtime period. Eric Stark found his shot in the overtime period. They kept on going to Stark in the overtime period.

At the end of the first over time the score was tied at 47.

The defensive pressure was on display throughout the game. Grand Rapids came away with the 57-53 victory over De LaSalle. The leading scorers for De LaSalle were Jonah Travis with 15 points and Jalen Jaspers with 14 points.

For Grand Rapids they were lead in scoring by Eric Stark with 20 points. Michael Johnson scored 14 points and Kevin Rabbers scored 9 points.

After the game I was able to talk to Grand Rapids Michael Johnson, Dan Wilder, and Eric Stark. I was also able to talk to Grand Rapids head coach Dan Elhard about the victory over De LaSalle.

ST. PAUL JOHNSON TOOK ON WINONA IN THE BOYS’ STATE CLASS AAA SEMI FINAL GAME AT THE TARGET CENTER

St. Paul Johnson took on Winona in the boys’ state class AAA semifinals at the Target Center. Winona came into the game with a 28-1 record. St. Paul Johnson came in with a 30-0 record. The last time Winona was defeated was back on December 10, 2008 when they lost to Farmington. St. Paul Johnson’s was last defeat was to Minneapolis Washburn on March 26, 2009 in the state class AAA semifinal game.

The game got out to a quick start. Winona won the tipoff and they looked to push. St. Paul Johnson also looked to push the ball up the court. Johnson started playing man-to-man defense to begin the game.

Johnson did a really good job in transition. As soon as the ball got out of the net Johnson was on the run. They were able to make baskets in transition.

Winona was right there. They were able to counter on their end. Winona was looking to get the ball into their big man Alec Brown.

St. Paul Johnson looked for Roosevelt Scott who shot the ball really well. His shot kept falling and his teammates kept feeding him the ball.

The game went back and forth throughout the first half. Both teams’ defense really stepped up and played really hard.

The pace of the game was very quick. Both teams played very well in the first half. At halftime the score was St. Paul Johnson 32 and Winona 30.

As the second half got underway Winona kept feeding the ball to their big man Alec Brown. Brown was able to find the basket.

Johnson came out and played tough aggressive defense. They wanted to try to take Alec Brown out of the game. They were able to triple team Brown when he got the ball wherever he was on the court.

Winona made shots throughout the game. They were able to hang around and they played with a lot of emotion and energy. They were able to use that as motivation as they were able to stay in the game throughout.

Winona went on a run midway through the second half. With 12:08 remaining in regulation Winona tied it at 44.

Winona had a 46-45 lead with 11:50 left in regulation.

The game was very physical. Both teams dove after loose balls. Both teams fought very hard throughout the game.

Johnson went on a run with 10 minutes left in regulation. Winona kept the pressure on Johnson down the stretch.

Johnson was able to come away with the 80-55 victory over Winona.

St. Paul Johnson was led in scoring by Estan Tyler with 13 points, Maxie Rosenbloom with 15 points and Jordan Pluff with 20 points.

Winona was led in scoring by Mark Blacklock with 20 and Alec Brown with 15 points.

After the game I was able to talk to St. Paul Johnson’s Estan Tyler, Jordan Pluff, and Maxie Rosenbloom. I also talked to head coach Vernon Simmons.



Wednesday, March 24, 2010

CROSBY IRONTON TOOK ON MINNEHAHA ACADEMY IN THE MINNESOTA STATE HIGH SCHOOL LEAUGE BOYS CLASS AA STATE QUARTER FINAL GAME

Crosby Ironton took on Minnehaha Academy in the quarterfinal game of the Minnesota state high school league boys state tournament.

Minnehaha started playing in a strong man-to-man defense. The lead went back and forth early in the contest.

Both teams started the game on runs. Crosby Ironton went on another run midway through the first half.

Mark Hoge for Crosby Ironton really found his shot early on. He was good from all over the court on the offensive end.

For Minnehaha Erick Forson came up really big in the first half. He was all over the court. He was able to step up and drain open shots.

Crosby Ironton was able to go on a run late in the first half. They didn’t get down on themselves when their shots were not falling. They knew that they were going to drop at some point as they did late in the first half.

At halftime the score was Minnehaha Academy 35 and Crosby Ironton 33.

As the second half got underway the both teams came out playing aggressively. Crosby Ironton came out on fire and they started on a run.

At one time Minnehaha had a 15-point lead in this game. Crosby Ironton had an 8-point lead with 11:40 left in the game.

Crosby Ironton was able to battle back. They were able to make shots in the second half.

They did a really good job of swinging the ball around the three-point arc. They wanted to take as much time off the clock as they could.

Crosby Ironton was able to come away with the 72-67 victory over Minnehaha Academy.

The leading scorers for Minnehaha Academy were Taylor Hanson with 18 points, Parker Hines 14 points and Erick Forson with 12 points.

The leading scorers for Crosby Ironton were Mark Hoge with 35 points, Sam Baker 12 points and Tyler Dickie with 11 points.

After the game I was able to talk to Crosby Ironton’s head coach Dave Galovich. I was also able to talk to players Mark Hoge and Matthew Hurdrlik.

PLAINVIEW-ELGIN-MILLVILLE TOOK ON JORDAN IN A CLASS AA QUARTERFINAL BOYS BASKETBALL STATE TOURNAMENT MATCH-UP

Plainville-Elgin-Millville took on Jordan in a quarterfinal matchup at the Target Center in Minneapolis.


Both teams really played up tempo to begin the game. PEM started out playing in a zone defense. They are able to come out and put pressure on Jordan in the first half.


For PEM Cole Olstad played really aggressively in the first half. They were talking on the defensive end. PEM started playing the in a full court press.


Jordan played a zone for a portion of the first half. Tanner Oaks for Jordan found his shot. He also was able to pass up good shots and was able to get his teammates involved in the action.


At halftime the score was Jordan 24 and PEM 18.


As the second half got underway PEM came out on fire and they went on 10-0 run.


PEM went into a zone defense in the second half. They were able to slow down Jordan. Chris Conrad was all over the court. He did a really good job on the defense end. He was able to frustrate his defender.


PEM went into a stall in the middle of the second half. They really wanted to take the air out of the ball. They did a good job of a stalling. Jordan stayed in the zone defense for most of the second half.


Tanner Oaks did a good job of running the offense for Jordan. Even though Jordan went cold shooting in the second half Oaks did a good job of directing traffic on the court.


Plainview-Elgin Millville was able to come away with the 45-42 victory over Jordan. The leading scorers for Jordan were Yuriy Malashenko with 16 points and Tanner Oakes with 13 points.


The leading scorers for Plainview-Elgin Millville were Cole Olstad and Chris Conrad each with 11 points. Clay Olstad had 9 points.


After the game I was able to talk to Plainview-Elgin Millville’s head coach Kirk Thompson about the game. I also talked to Cole Olstad about the game.

CHAMPLIN PARK TOOK ON SAINT CLOUD TECH IN A CLASS AAAA QUARTERFINAL STATE BOYS’ BASKETBALL CONTEST

Champlin Park took on Saint Cloud Tech in the class AAAA quarterfinal state basketball game at the Target Center.

Both teams looked to push the ball up the court to begin the game. Both teams were able to come out hot and knock down shots early in the contest.

Saint Cloud Tech went on a run, giving then a 20-12 lead over Champlin Park with 9:00 left to go in the first half.

Both teams played very hard the first half. The score went back and forth as both teams were able to go on runs through the first half.

At halftime the score was Saint Cloud Tech 36 and Champlin Park 30.

Both teams came out and played really hard from the beginning of the game. Champlin Park got hot at the beginning of the second half, as they were able to hit shots and go on a run.

Champlin Park went to a zone defense. They wanted to spread Saint Cloud Tech out. Saint Could Tech was not able to penetrate on the offensive end.

The defense was really tight in the second half. Neither team was able to find the basket. TJ Okafor really played aggressively. He really went hard after loose balls.

Champlin Park really was able to control the tempo in the second half. They were able to fly around the court.

There were many changes in momentum throughout the game. Both teams used it to their advantage.

Alex Hanks really found his shot. He was able to come up big throughout the game and step up and drop some shots. On the defensive end he was able to shut down his opponents.

The game came down to the wire. St. Cloud Tech had a 51-49 lead with 34 seconds left in regulation.

St. Cloud Tech was able to come away with the 55-51 victory over Champlin Park. The leading scorers for Champlin Park were Kyle Zimmermann with 16 points, Josh Pella 12 points and Dillon Hager with 12 points.

The leading scorers for Saint Cloud Tech were Alex Hanks with 20 points and Scott Nystrom with 17 points.

After the game I was able to talk to Saint Cloud Tech’s Alex Hanks, Scott Nystrom and head coach Mike Trewick about the quarterfinal victory.



EDEN PRAIRIE TOOK ON OWATONNA IN THE CLASS AAAA BOYS’ QUARTERFINAL GAME AT THE TARGET CENTER

The Eden Prairie Eagles took on the Owatonna Huskies in the quarterfinal game of class AAAA state basketball tournament. At the start of the game both teams came out really fired up. They both started with a lot of emotion.

Both teams settled on shooting the two point shot. Neither team shot a three point in the early goings.

Neither team was able to go on a run in the early goings. The defense was outstanding. The pace changed midway through the game. Both teams came into the game on a fast pace. They slowed the game down late in the first half.

Eden Prairie wanted to control the tempo. They kept the ball on the swing around the three point line. They looked to go on a run late. They went on a 10-0 run.

Both teams used the full court press. Both teams had a difficult times bringing the ball up the court at some point.

Eden Prairie was very physical in the low block. They were able to out battle Owatonna in the post. The Owatonna players worked very hard to get their shots up.

At halftime the score was Eden Prairie 21 and Owatonna 18.

As the second half got underway Eden Prairie was able to hit some quick shots. Both teams went diving on the floor for loose balls.

Eden Prairie went on a run midway through the half. It was a game of runs. Owatonna was not able to make a shot for a period of time in the second half.

For Eden Prairie Grant Soderberg played really well. He was able to find his shot constantly throughout the game. He also was not afraid to get his teammates involved in the game.

Owatonna had trouble making shots. They didn’t give up at all and played hard.

Eden Prairie was able to come away with the 61-46 victory over Owatonna. The leading scorers for Eden Prairie were Grant Soderberg with 15 points and Brett Ervin with 14 points. The leading scorer for Owatonna was Paul Satterlund with 10 points.

After the game I was able to talk to Eden Prairie’s Brett Ervin, Robert Gooding, head coach David Flom and Grant Soderberg about the game.


HENRY SIBLEY TOOK ON EASTVIEW IN THE CLASS AAAA QUARTERFINAL BOYS’ STATE BASKETBALL GAME

Henry Sibley took on Eastview in the second game of the class AAAA boys’ state tournament game.

The game began as a defensive battle. Both teams used several different players in the early goings. The score went back and forth in the first half. Neither team was able to go on a run.

For Henry Sibley Jake Kreuser played really well. He really played aggressively on both ends of the court.
Neither team was able to go on a run.

In a very defensive half the score at halftime was Henry Sibley 22 and Eastview 21.

As the second half got underway Henry Sibley seemed to come out with a lot of energy. They really wanted to come out and put pressure on Eastview.

Henry Sibley went on run to open the second half. Eastview didn’t back down they kept on playing solid defense.

The game was a defensive battle throughout. It seemed both teams played knowing what each other was doing. They were able to counter each other.

The score went back and forth throughout the game. Jimmy Ryan sank a three point shot with 35.3 seconds left to go in the contest.

Jake Golberg came up big. He sank a three point shot at the buzzer to give Henry Sibley the 50-47 victory over Eastview. That was Goldberg’s first three point shot of the whole season.

The leading scorers for Eastview were Frank Veldman with 17 points and Joey King with 13 points.

For Henry Sibley they were lead by Jordan Jackson with 16 points, and Jimmy Ryan and Mike Rostampour both with 9 points.

After the game I was able to talk to Henry Sibley’s head coach
Tom Dasovich, Jake Kreuser and Jake Goldberg.

2010 MINNESOTA STATE BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT GETS UNDERWAY

The 2010 Minnesota State High School League boys’ basketball tournament got underway. In the first quarterfinal game Hopkins took on Forest Lake. Hopkins came into the game with a 27-2 record overall. Forest Lake came in with a 24-5 record overall.

Hopkins came out from the beginning of the game and they looked to run. Hopkins came out on fire and they were able to go on a 9-0 run with 15:32 left in the first half.

Forest Lake came in and tried to play a matchup zone defense. They wanted to try to slow down Hopkins.

Forest Lake was not able to make a shot for a while in the first half. They didn’t get down on themselves.

Joe Coleman found his shot early on in the contest. On the defensive end he played really hard.

Hopkins was able to find their shots in the first half.

At halftime the score was Hopkins 39 and Forest Lake 18. Through the first half Joe Coleman was Hopkins’ leading scorer with 16 points. For Forest Lake, Zach Riedeman had 6 points and was their leaders through the first half.

As the second half got underway Hopkins really found and sunk their shots.

Joe Coleman really picked up his play in the second half. He really looked for his teammates throughout the game.

Hopkins was too strong for Forest Lake. Hopkins came away with the 75-51 victory.

The leading scorer for Forest Lake was Zach Reideman with 23. The leading scorers for Hopkins were Joe Coleman with 24 points, Marvin Singeleton with 15 points, and Dustin Peterson with 13 points.

After the game I was able to talk to Hopkins head coach Ken Novak and Joe Coleman.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

2010 BOYS' STATE HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT

The coaches have selected the top seeds of the two largest school classes — St. Paul Johnson in Class AAA and Hopkins in Class AAAA.

Hopkins is the only school returning to defend its 2009 Class AAAA title. If the Royals win it would be their second consecutive and sixth overall title.

Three teams are making first appearances: Mesabi East of Aurora in Class A; Jordan in Class AA; and Orono in Class AAA.

This is the 14th year of the four-class format, and the seventh with all games being played in Minneapolis. It’s also the third year that the top four teams in Class AAA and Class AAAA were seeded and their opponents determined by blind draw. The head coaches of the 16 schools logged onto a special page of the League Web site and each coach ranked the other teams 1 through 7. The highest and lowest rankings for each team were discarded, leaving five rankings for each team. From those rankings, the top four seeds were selected. In conference calls with all eight head coaches of each class, League Associate Director Kevin Merkle announced the top four seeds. A coaches association representative then conducted a blind draw of the four remaining teams to establish the opponents for the seeded teams.

The 2010 State Boys’ Basketball Tournament starts Wednesday, March 24. Semifinals will be played at Target Center on Thursday March 25 and Friday March 26. The championship games of all four classes will be played at Target Center on Saturday March 27. Third-place games will be played on Saturday at Concordia University in St. Paul.

Class A Quarterfinal Schedule

Thursday, March 25

11:00 a.m. Rushford-Peterson vs. Springfield at Williams Arena, U of M

1:00 p.m. Minnesota Transitions Charter School vs. Cass Lake-Bena at Williams Arena, U of M

3:00 p.m. Mesabi East vs. Sebeka at Williams Arena, U of M

5:00 p.m. — Ellsworth vs. Hillcrest Academy at Williams Arena, U of M

Class AA Quarterfinal Schedule — Wednesday, March 24

6:00 p.m. — Plainview-Elgin-Milllville vs. Jordan at Target Center
8:00 p.m. — Minnehaha Academy vs. Crosby-Ironton at Target Center
6:00 p.m. — Braham vs. Sibley East at Williams Arena, U of M
8:00 p.m. — Windom Area vs. New London-Spicer at Williams Arena, U of M

The Class AAA Quarterfinals Schedule — Wednesday, March 24

10:00 a.m. — Hutchinson vs. St. Paul Johnson at Williams Arena, U of M
12:00 p.m. — Orono vs. Winona at Williams Arena, U of M
2:00 p.m. — Little Falls vs. DeLaSalle at Williams Arena, U of M
4:00 p.m. — Grand Rapids vs. Benilde-St. Margaret’s at Williams Arena, U of M

The Class AAAA Quarterfinals Schedule — Wednesday, March 24

10:00 a.m. — Forest Lake vs. Hopkins at Target Center
12:00 p.m. — Eastview vs. Henry Sibley at Target Center
2:00 p.m. — Owatonna vs. Eden Prairie at Target Center
4:00 p.m. — St. Cloud Tech vs. Champlin Park at Target Center

Sunday, March 21, 2010

THE MINNESOTA TWINS AND JOE MAUER AGREE TO AN EIGHT-YEAR CONTRACT EXTENSION

By Kelly Thesier / MLB.com

The Twins have locked up their hometown star for the long term.

The club has agreed to terms with catcher Joe Mauer on an eight-year, $184 million contract, covering the 2011-2018 seasons. The deal includes a full no-trade clause.

The contract is the fourth-largest in Major League history behind only the 10-year deals for Alex Rodriguez ($275 million in 2008, $252 million in 2001) and Derek Jeter ($189 million in 2001).

The deal is the culmination of a months-long negotiation between the Twins and the superstar, who is under contract for $12.5 million this season, the final year of a four-year, $33 million pact. Mauer would have been eligible to become a free agent at the end of the upcoming season.

A press conference, which can be seen live on MLB.TV, will be held to announce the deal on Monday night at 6 p.m. CT at the Twins Conference Center at the Lee County Sports Complex.

Both Mauer and the Twins have agreed not to comment further on the deal until the press conference on Monday evening.

Mauer, 26, was named the 2009 American League MVP after batting .365 with 28 home runs and 96 RBIs. He is a three-time All-Star and a two-time Gold Glove winner in six seasons with the Twins. The catcher is also one of only 10 players in Major League history to win three or more batting titles.

A native of St. Paul, Mauer was selected as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2001 First-Year Player Draft. He has a career batting average of .327. Since making his Major League debut in 2004, Mauer ranks third among all Major League players in batting behind Ichiro Suzuki of the Mariners (.335) and Albert Pujols of the Cardinals (.334).

Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

WHITE BEAR LAKE TOOK ON LAKEVILLE NORTH IN THE CLASS AAAA GIRLS BASKETBALL STATE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

Lakeville North and White Bear Lake faced each other in the Class AAAA girls’ basketball championship game. Lakeville North came in with a record of 31 and 0. White Bear Lake was 29-2.


Both teams came out very aggressive to open up the game. The score went back and forth at the beginning of the game. The scoring was frantic.


Lakeville North was able to find their shots early on. They were not afraid to shoot the ball. Rachel Banham shot really well to begin the game and she was right on.


It was a defensive battle throughout the first half. At halftime the score was Lakeville North 36 and White Bear Lake 26.


Lakeville North’s Rachel Banham stepped up big as she really took over on scoring throughout the game. She played really aggressive.


White Bear Lake didn’t go away in the second half. They kept hanging around. They were able to go on a run. Lakeville North was able to control the run and put a stop to it. With 7:00 left regulation the score was Lakeville North 50 and White Bear Lake 44.


The game was a well hard fought game that had a really good flow throughout the whole game. Neither team backed down from each other. I really thought that Lakeville North’s Rachel Banham’s really stepped up in the first half and played well. She was the emotional leader on the court.


Lakeville North was able to come away with the 57-47 victory over White Bear Lake. The leading scores for White Bear Lake were Carly Jensen with 19 points and Alexis Foley with 23 points. For Lakeville North they were lead in scoring by Rachel Banham with 25 points and Cassie Rochel with 13 points.


After the game I was able to Lakeville North’s head coach Andy Berkvam. I was also able to talk to Cassie Rochel, Rachel Banham and Apiew Ojulu.