Peterson: Cyclones haven’t been mentally tough enough to win Big 12 Conference road games

MANHATTAN, Kan. — Steve Prohm took the bullet for the Iowa State basketball team he coaches after yet another miserable, Big 12 Conference road no-show.He took responsibility for a team that doesn’t have enough mental and physical toughness to win at Kansas State, where the Wildcats had lost their past two games.After Saturday’s 78-66 loss at Bramlage Coliseum, he put himself on this season's hot seat.He didn’t have to do it. He can’t throw crisp passes, play with enthusiasm, defend the dribble. Yet there he was on the podium, protecting the players he coaches by pointing at himself.“I have not done a great job, up to this point, of building this team,” he said after the Cyclones dropped to 0-7 on the road in league play. “There’s still a couple weeks left to hopefully get playing our best basketball.“I’ve done it at times, but we’re still inconsistent. That’s the No. 1 word for the season right now.”It won’t happen if Saturday repeats itself. This one was bad enough for the Cyclones that Prohm called a timeout just 78 seconds into the game.But that was nothing. His first timeout of the second half was just 61 seconds after the team meandered onto the floor after the break.Too much standing around. Too much gawking at Kansas State owning the glass (35-28), after the Wildcats came into the game as the worst rebounding team in the Big 12.“We’re actually a decent rebounding team,” Prohm said afterward. “And they dominated us on the glass.“That’s just 'box your man out and go get the ball.' Have some toughness about you.”Donovan Jackson called the team “soft” after Iowa State lost against Tennessee at Hilton Coliseum a while back. That soft team was even softer Saturday.And folks, the players must not only accept responsibility for their lackadaisical play, but also it’s up to them to do something about Continue Reading

Iowa State’s Big 12 Conference road woes continue at Kansas State

MANHATTAN, Kan. — Iowa State was so lackluster against Kansas State on Saturday afternoon that coach Steve Prohm was forced to call timeouts within the first 75 seconds of each half.For the Cyclones, it was that kind of game: a 78-66 Wildcats victory at Bramlage Coliseum.Thus, Iowa State tried and failed again to win for the first time on the Big 12 Conference road, where the Cyclones are 0-7 — with just two opportunities remaining.The last time Iowa State didn’t win a Big 12 Conference game on the road was 2010-11, Fred Hoiberg’s first season as the coach.Iowa State's records fell to 13-13 overall and 4-10 in the Big 12 against a Kansas State team that is now 19-8 overall and 8-6 in the league.The Cyclones stood around on both offense and defense. They were lackadaisical at times — especially at the start of the second half.It was 33-all at the break, but Kansas State opened the second half on a 25-8 tear, including an 18-2 spurt at one stretch. That pretty much sealed the Iowa State verdict.   Continue Reading

Peterson: Big 12 Conference’s open transfer proposal would greatly benefit athletes

Allowing college athletes the leverage to compete at another school immediately if their head coach suddenly leaves sure sounds great.And it is great. If you’re not a proponent of student-athletes’ rights — then dig out of that Dark Ages hole in which you’re living.This proposal, originated recently by Big 12 Conference faculty representatives Tim Day at Iowa State and Jeremy Counseller at Baylor, essentially allows athletes to transfer and participate immediately if something happens to the athletes’ head coach.If said coach gets fired?Athletes are free to transfer, receive financial aid and become immediately eligible.If the coach leaves for another reason?Athletes are free to transfer, receive financial aid and become immediately eligible.(As long as the transferring athlete doesn’t follow the coach to his or her new school, of course.)“We feel like what we proposed is an unrestricted transfer policy that would be the most empowering decision for a student-athlete probably in modern times,” Iowa State athletics director Jamie Pollard told the Des Moines Register on Tuesday.The proposal — and it’s just a proposal — still allows for student-athletes transferring. But unless the coach is gone, the athlete must still sit out an academic year before becoming eligible. The proposal was first reported by Dennis Dodd of“Let’s empower the student-athlete more than the student-athlete has ever been empowered before,” Pollard said.No more wondering why a coach is free to break contracts, yet the athletes they recruit are restricted.No more situations where a head coach can freely leave a school, and yet an athlete can’t.No more schools having the power to block players from transferring to other universities or specific conferences.The Big 12’s proposal is for all sports. It’s for scholarship athletes. It even pertains to Continue Reading

Iowa State’s Carleton wins Big 12 Conference honor after historic week

Iowa State’s Bridget Carleton helped the Cyclones win at No. 22 Oklahoma State last week with a 39-point performance that was one of the best scoring outputs in school history and in college basketball this season.So, it was little surprise when the Iowa State junior was named the Big 12 Conference's player of the week Monday in recognition of that effort.It’s the 10th Big 12 weekly honor of some kind for Carleton, who earned freshman of the week honors five times during the 2015-16 season and player of the week honors twice during the 2016-17 campaign to go along with the three she’s now won this season.This one wasn’t a surprise. Carleton had a huge role in the Cyclones upsetting Oklahoma State 78-69 on Jan. 24. During the win, Carleton scored a career-high 39 points on 16-for-22 shooting from the field. She also grabbed nine rebounds. The 39 points was the third-highest scoring output in school history and fifth-best by a Power Five player in the NCAA this season. PREVIOUSLY: What drives Iowa State's Bridget Carleton  Carleton who also scored 19 points, grabbed five rebounds and handed out two assists in a loss at Texas. Carleton finished the week averaging 29 points, seven rebounds, 1.5 assists and a block while shooting 60.5 percent (23-for-38) from the field and 58.3 percent (7-for-12) from 3-point range.  Continue Reading

Iowa State’s Cameron Lard named Big 12 Conference’s co-newcomer of the week

Iowa State’s Cameron Lard is quickly making a name for himself in the Big 12 Conference.Lard, who tallied perhaps his best game in a Cyclones uniform Saturday, was named the Big 12’s co-newcomer of the week Monday. He shared the honor with Kansas' Malik Newman. The redshirt freshman averaged 17 points, seven rebounds and three blocks in two games for Iowa State last week. Lard helped Iowa State to a 70-52 upset of No. 8 Texas Tech this past Saturday by scoring 18 points, grabbing six rebounds and blocking three shots.Lard was 9-for-11 from the field against the Red Raiders and drew the praise of Texas Tech coach Chris Beard.“Cam, he’s special,” Beard said after the game. PREVIOUSLY:  Lard scratching the surface of his potential  Peterson: Lard is Iowa State's Most Improved Player Lard is proving that point. He’s already blocked 35 shots this season, the third-best freshman total in school history. Lard is also averaging 12 points and seven rebounds.He began the season coming off the bench for Iowa State, but he was a difference-maker right away once promoted to a starting role. Lard is averaging 13.8 points, seven rebounds and 3.2 blocks in those five starts.The big man has also posted four double-doubles, the most by an Iowa State freshman since Melvin Ejim during the 2010-11 season.“I still think he’s got a higher ceiling than this,” Iowa State coach Steve Prohm said earlier this season. “I just think he’s just tapping the surface. He’s really just going off raw ability right now." Continue Reading

Cyclone men’s basketball tops Baylor for first Big 12 Conference win of the season

AMES, Ia. — Lindell Wigginton did it again, and oh by the way:Raise the roof. Iowa State’s drought is history.The Cyclones’ 75-65 victory against Baylor at Hilton Coliseum on Saturday was their first Big 12 Conference win this season, and get this:They preserved a lead with about five minutes remaining in the game.No one’s saying what happened Saturday is a springboard of future greatness, but it’s a start. Baby steps, you know.Again, Wigginton was Iowa State’s (10-6, 1-4) best player, with 30 points on a pretty salty 8 of 17 shooting performance against a Baylor zone that better Iowa State teams than this one haven’t solved.After losing late-game leads the previous three contests, Iowa State this time held its 62-58 advantage with 5:19 left. They did it because everyone played well at the same time.They did it because point guard Nick Weiler-Babb was the calming influence he must be. Wigginton wasn't the only freshman to have a big game. How about Cameron Lard's 11-point, 9-rebound game that included five blocked shots?  Continue Reading

Iowa State’s Matt Campbell named Big 12 Conference coach of the year

What a week it's been for Matt Campbell.The Iowa State football coach was rewarded with a new contract on Monday, celebrated his 38th birthday on Wednesday and received some more good news on Thursday.  Campbell was named the Big 12 Conference's coach of the year as selected by the league’s coaches.The second-year coach shocked the college football landscape with an impressive season full of monumental moments.Campbell guided the Cyclones to a 7-5 overall record and a 5-4 mark in Big 12 play. The Cyclones, who were picked to finish ninth in the Big 12 preseason coaches' poll, tied for fourth. Iowa State also tied the school record for conference wins in a season (five) and won four road games, tying for fourth-most in school history.Campbell wasn’t the only one recognized by the league Thursday. A total of 20 Iowa State players were awarded postseason honors.Wide receiver Allen Lazard, safety Kamari Cotton-Moya and running back David Montgomery picked up first-team all-Big 12 recognition. Linebacker/quarterback Joel Lanning, defensive end J.D. Waggoner, offensive lineman Jake Campos, cornerback Brian Peavy and tight end Chase Allen were named to the second team.Lazard earned first-team all-Big 12 honors for the second consecutive season. He's the first Iowa State offensive player to be a two-time first-team pick since Ennis Haywood.  Iowa State tallied arguably the biggest win in school history when the Cyclones won at then-No. 3 Oklahoma in October. The Cyclones became bowl-eligible for the first time since 2012 later in the month by beating then-No. 4 Texas Christian. The achievements earned the Cyclones a ranking in The Associated Press' top 25 for the first time since 2005. Iowa State even made its first appearance in the College Football Playoff rankings. It all happened thanks to Campbell, who took over a program that won just eight total games from 2013-15. The Cyclones went 3-9 in Campbell’s Continue Reading

Northern Iowa wrestling wins first Big 12 Conference dual

Northern Iowa wrestling got its first Big 12 Conference dual win in epic fashion Sunday.Thanks to a tech fall from Josh Alber (141 pounds), the Panthers came back to beat North Dakota State, 21-19, securing the program's first conference victory since joining the league. Northern Iowa trailed, 19-18, heading into the final match.Max Thomsen gave UNI an early advantage, winning again to move to 6-0 on the season. But NDSU fought back to take matches 157 and 165 pounds. After some more back-and-forth, the Panthers led at the intermission, 12-10.For Northern Iowa, Taylor Lujan (174), Drew Foster (184), Jay Schwarm (125) and Jack Wagner (133) also picked up wins. Continue Reading

Big 12 Conference nixes expansion plans

GRAPEVINE, Texas – CSU isn’t going to the Big 12 Conference.Neither are any of the other 10 “finalists” for expansion the conference looked at adding over the past three months.The Big 12 Conference’s board of directors, made up of the presidents and chancellors of its 10 member schools, decided against adding any new members during more than eight hours of meetings, University of Oklahoma President David Boren said at a news conference Monday evening.No votes on individual candidates were taken, Boren said.The decision ended a three month “sweepstakes,” as conference Commissioner Bob Bowlsby called it, during which Colorado State University and more than 20 other schools sought membership in the Big 12. Bowlsby said he was authorized by the board of directors during their summer meetings in July to explore expansion by identifying and interviewing candidates.CSU and many other schools in the Group of 5 conferences — American Athletic, Mid-American, Mountain West, Sun Belt and Conference USA — jumped at the opportunity to move up to a Power 5 league. Big 12 schools received about $31.2 million apiece in conference revenue last year from the College Football Playoff, bowl payouts, NCAA basketball tournament shares and sponsorships.The Big 12’s television contracts with ESPN and Fox Sports run through the 2024-25 academic year, and Bowlsby dodged a question about whether or not the networks would sweeten the pot under the existing deal in exchange for a decision not to expand. He said those networks are in negotiations with the Big 12 now for rights to a conference championship game in football, beginning in 2017, that will significantly increase the payouts for each member school.Mountain West schools received an average payout of $3.5 million in conference revenues for the 2015-16 academic year, commissioner Craig Thompson said. CSU’s payout was about $3.38 million, the athletic Continue Reading

Texas Longhorns spurn Pac-10, save Big 12 conference with decision to stay in league

When Texas was being romanced by Pac-10 carpetbaggers with the promise of future primetime programming and the chance to become a true national university whose influence would spread across the Continental divide all the way to the Pacific Ocean, it could have easily opened up a Pandora’s box. The Big 12 had already lost one-sixth of its conference after Colorado left for the Pac-10 and Nebraska left for the Big Ten and there was speculation that Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech would follow the Longhorns' lead. But what looked like Custer's last stand has turned into a giant game of Texas hold 'em poker, where the Longhorns hold most of the cards and can dictate much of the future by either folding and moving the stockyards or doubling down to keep the Big 12 alive and able to reap the lucrative windfall the Pac-10 promised. The Longhorns met the nine other returning Big 12 members Monday and decided to stay put after evaluating the merits of a plan devised by Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe to sustain the league. OU, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and Texas A& M all followed suit. To Beebe's credit, he never gave up in his guest to take care of the enitre Big 12, throwing a life preserver to Baylor, Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State and Missouri, which were all left out of initial expansion talks and would have been left scrambling for new homes in non-BCS conferences if the league imploded. Beebe's best case scenario projects a new ESPN TV deal that would guarantee the 10 remaining members, who are currently pulling in an average of $11.3 million from the Big 12, between $14 and $17 million, which theoretically would be equal to the money the SEC is paying out to its schools and would preserve their BCS membership and make sure they are not the new kids on the block in the Pac-10. The schools would also be able to explore their own TV networks. That would particularly please Texas, which is capable of starting up its own network with hopes Continue Reading