Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Coaches Pick Drake To Finish In Tie for 3rd

Drale's  football team has been  picked to finish tied for third in the 2013 preseason Pioneer Football League coaches’ poll released by the league Tuesday.

Drake, the back-to-back league champion, garnered 33 total points and one first-place vote to finish tied for third with Jacksonville. San Diego was tabbed as the preseason favorite with 21 points and five first-place votes, followed closely by Butler with 22 points and four first-place votes.

Dayton, the lone PFL team to defeat the Bulldogs a season ago, was fifth, followed by Marist, Morehead State, Campbell, Davidson and Valparaiso. League newcomers and first-year programs Mercer and Stetson were picked 11th and 12th, respectively. The league will announce its preseason All-PFL teams Wednesday.

The Bulldogs begin their season on Aug. 29 against Grand View at 6 p.m. at Drake Stadium. The team begins its PFL title defense and attempt at a third-straight conference title on Sept. 28 at Mercer. The Bulldogs are also scheduled to face Jacksonville, Davidson, Butler, Valparaiso, Morehead State, Dayton and San Diego as part of a challenging eight-game PFL schedule.

2013 Preseason PFL Coaches’ Poll
1. San Diego (5)        21
2. Butler (4)           22
3. Jacksonville (2)     33
3. Drake (1)            33
5. Dayton               47
6. Marist               65
7. Morehead State       67
8. Campbell             83
9. Davidson             90
10. Valparaiso          100
11. Mercer              112
12. Stetson             119

If It Were Me, I'd Cancel the Subscription and Read the Paper At the Library

If you get the print edition of the Des Moines Register, it will soon cost you more. In some cases, subscriptions are going up more than 40 percent. The newspaper started notifying its 80,000 daily print subscribers of the subscription hike in letters Monday. A full subscription to print and digital editions will increase from $23 to $33 a month starting in September. Digital subscribers who do not get the print edition will not be affected, according to vice president of marketing Kurt Allen. Allen told KCCI that the increase is a "Corporate intiative, across all Gannett properties." Allen said the increases are simply the "cost of doing business." Newspapers nationwide have seen print subscriptions drop in recent years as consumers switch to web-based free news services. [KCCI via Twitter].

Monday, July 29, 2013

Drake Historian Paul Morrison Is a Young 96

, , enjoys 96th birthday with spumoni @ favorite restaurant [Via Twitter].

Iowa's Opening Foe In Bahamas Tournament Is Xavier

Iowa's basketball team opens the 2013 Battle 4 Atlantis holiday tournament against Xavier on Thanksgiving, Nov. 28.  The game will be televised in primetime beginning at 6 p.m. on the NBC Sports Network. 

The Hawkeyes’ second-round game will be against either UTEP or Tennessee, pending the outcome of first round games.

Along with Iowa, the eight-team field features Kansas, Tennessee, Villanova, USC, Wake Forest, UTEP, and Xavier.  The tournament will be held Nov. 28-30, at the Atlantis Royal Towers Resort on Paradise Island in the Bahamas.  Four of the eight teams saw postseason action last season; Kansas advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16, Villanova fell to North Carolina in the NCAA second round; Iowa was the NIT runners-up, while Tennessee lost in the NIT first round.

The Hawkeyes and Muskateers have met twice previously, most recently at the 2010 Paradise Jam in the Virgin Islands where Xavier beat Iowa, 86-73.  The Hawkeyes beat the Muskateers in the first meeting, 33-28, in 1938 in Cincinnati, Ohio.

The impressive tournament field boasts a combined 191 NCAA tournament appearances, 25 Final Four appearances and five National Championships. Harvard won the inaugural tournament title in 2011 and Duke in 2012.

The games are played in the Imperial Arena, a grand ballroom that seats 3,900 fans, which is turned into a basketball venue, similar to last year's Cancun Challenge. The half-million dollar temporary stadium boasts state-of-the-art regulation facilities at the epicenter of the world's largest open-air marine habitat complete with lavish guest accommodations, restaurants, bars, spa, lounges, waterslides and the largest casino in the Bahamas. The event drew more than 4,000 fans to the 2012 championship game.

Battle 4 Atlantis 2013 ticket and travel packages can be booked by calling 1-800-Atlantis or

The remainder of Iowa’s schedule will be released later this summe

Thursday, Nov. 28
Kansas vs. Wake Forest - 2:30 p.m. (CT) - AXS-TV
Villanova vs. USC - 12 p.m. (CT) - AXS-TV
Iowa vs. Xavier - 6 p.m. (CT) - NBCSN
Tennessee vs. UTEP - 8:30 p.m. (CT) - NBCSN

[This story was written for Ron Maly by Matt Weitzel of Iowa's sports information staff].

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Billy Taylor Joins Hawkeye Basketball Coaching Staff

Iowa basketball coach Fran McCaffery said Billy Taylor will join his staff as director of basketball operations.

Taylor will work closely with the basketball staff, helping coordinate travel and carry out the day-to-day activities of the UI basketball program.  Taylor replaces longtime staff member Jerry Strom, who retired after last season.

"We are extremely excited to have Billy Taylor join the Hawkeye family,” said McCaffery. ™ve known Billy since he was a teenager, having recruited and coached him, as well as being on the same coaching staff at Notre Dame and UNC-Greensboro.  Billy is someone with tremendous character and will be a great asset to our program.”

Taylor joins the Hawkeye staff after 15 years of collegiate coaching experience.  He served the last 11 years as a head coach, most recently the last six seasons at Ball State (2007-13).  During his tenure, the Cardinals finished either first or second in the Mid-American Conference West Division three times and advanced to the MAC tournament semifinals twice. Taylor coached nine all-conference selections and also mentored a MAC all-Freshman team member five straight seasons.

Prior to Ball State, Taylor spent five seasons as head coach at Lehigh (2002-07), where he was a two-time Patriot League Coach of the Year honoree.  In his first season, Taylor was named Patriot League Coach of the Year after guiding the Mountain Hawks to the second-largest turnaround in the nation, improving on the previous year's record by 11 wins.

In 2003-04, Taylor led Lehigh to its first-ever Patriot League regular season and tournament championships, as well as a trip to the NCAA tournament. For his efforts, Taylor earned the league's Coach of the Year honor for the second time in as many seasons, becoming the first coach since Gonzaga's Mark Few to win conference coach of the year honors in each of his first two seasons as a head coach.

In 2005-06, Lehigh posted the third-most wins in school history with its 19-12 overall mark and a school-record 11 Patriot League wins. 

Before taking over at Lehigh, Taylor was the top assistant for three seasons at UNC-Greensboro under McCaffrey from 1999-02. The Spartans won the Southern Conference Championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament with a 19-11 record in 2000-01, before posting a 20-10 mark and an NIT appearance in 2001-02.

Taylor served as an assistant coach at Notre Dame during the 1998-99 campaign alongside McCaffery and under head coach John MacLeod.  He coordinated opponent scouting reports, game preparations, preseason and postseason skill development sessions.

Taylor, who was recruited to Notre Dame by Digger Phelps, was a four-year letterwinner for the Irish. He started 79-of-112 games during his career and was the team captain as a senior. He scored 577 points and grabbed 300 rebounds, before graduating with a degree in accounting and computer applications in 1995. He also earned his CPA in 1998.

[This story was written for Ron Maly by Matt Weitzel of Iowa's sports information staff].

Thursday, July 25, 2013

My neighbor Al, the health nut, rang the doorbell late this afternoon. "You got a cup of Italian Dark Roast?" Al asked. "Sure," I said. "Kind of late in the day for you to be drinking strong coffee, isn't it?" "Well, I've had an interesting day,"Al said. "I spent part of the afternoon at my doctor's office, trying to get a prescription for blood pressure medicine." "Al, I didn't know you had high blood pressure," I said. "You've always bragged to me about how good your blood pressure is." "Yeah, I know," Al said. "But I was reading on the Internet that hlood pressure pills may slow Alzheimer's Disease in people. I'm not getting any younger, of course, and I sure as hell don't want to get Alzheimer's. So I figure if I take blood pressure pills maybe I won't get it. It can't be just any old blood pressure pill, though. It's gotta be an ACE Inhibitor." "So did the doctor give you a prescription?" I asked. "Not yet," Al said. "He said he hasn't heard about the medical study that said blood pressure pills slow the progression of Alzheimer's. "'So check with me next week,'" he said. I gave Al his cup of Italian Dark Roast. "Now let's get to the important stuff," I told him. "I just heard that the Cubs managed to unload Alfonso Soriano on the Yankees. The only trouble is the Cubs have to pay Soriano the rest of his salary this season and next season." "Good," Al said. "I never did like Soriano as a Cub."

Friday, July 19, 2013

Hawkeyes' Gesell Breaks Bone In His Left Hand

Hawkeye  basketball player Mike Gesell is expected to miss 4-6 weeks after suffering a broken bone in his left, non-shooting hand Thursday night during a summer league basketball game.

The South Sioux City, Neb., native guard started 30-of-34 games as a freshman, ranking third on the team in scoring (8.7 ppg), steals (40), and assists (89).  Gesell (6-foot-2, 185 pounds) missed four games and was limited in other contests late in the season with a stress reaction in his right foot.  Despite missing time, Gesell became the only Hawkeye freshman to post 295+ points, 85+ rebounds and 85+ assists in a season.

Iowa, who posted a 25-13 record a year ago and return 11 lettermen, is scheduled to travel overseas and play six exhibition games in mid-August. Gesell’s status for those games will be determined at a later date after further evaluation.

[This story was written for Ron Maly by Matt Weitzell of Iowa's sports information office].

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Iowa's 9-Game Big Ten Football Schedules for 2016 and 2017

The Big Ten office announced the conference football schedules for the 2016 and 2017 seasons today. The schedules consist of nine league games each season, with Iowa playing five road games in 2016 and five conference home games in 2017.

Iowa’s Big Ten schedule in 2016 includes homes game against Northwestern, Wisconsin, Michigan and Nebraska.  Iowa opens Big Ten play Oct. 1, hosting Northwestern.  Iowa plays at Minnesota, Purdue, Rutgers, Penn State, and Illinois.  The non-conference slate in 2016 includes three straight home games against Miami (Ohio), Iowa State, and North Dakota State.  The first football game between Iowa and Rutgers will take place Oct. 29.

In 2017, Iowa is slated for non-conference games with Iowa State in Ames and North Texas in Iowa City.  An additional nonconference contest is yet to be added.  Big Ten home opponents include Illinois, Penn State, Minnesota, Ohio State, and Purdue.  The Hawkeyes will travel to Michigan State for the Big Ten opener on Sept. 30 and also visit Northwestern, Wisconsin and Nebraska.  

The Heroes Game, matching Iowa and Nebraska, is scheduled for the Friday after Thanksgiving in both 2016 and 2017.

Iowa will play the other six members of the West Division in each of the two seasons.  Non-division games in 2016 include Rutgers, Penn State and Michigan.  The Hawkeyes plan non-division foes Michigan State, Penn State and Ohio State the following season.

Beginning in 2014, the Big Ten football division alignments will feature Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State, and Rutgers in the East Division, and Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Purdue, and Wisconsin in the West Division.

The Big Ten will hold the 2013 football media dayss and 42nd annual Kickoff Luncheon on Wednesday and Thursday, July 24 and 25, at the Hilton Chicago, featuring all 12 head coaches and some of the nation’s top returning players. The 118th season of Big Ten football kicks off Thursday, Aug. 29, and culminates with the third a league championship game Saturday, Dec. 7. The winner of the title game will earn the Big Ten championship and a chance to play in either the Rose Bowl Game or Bowl Championship Series national championship game.

Iowa’s schedules for 2016 and 2017:

Sept. 3        Miami (Ohio)
Sept. 10      Iowa State
Sept. 17      North Dakota State
Sept. 24      Open
Oct. 1         Northwestern*
Oct. 8         at Minnesota*
Oct. 15       at Purdue*
Oct. 22       Wisconsin*
Oct. 29       at Rutgers
Nov. 5        at Penn State
Nov. 12      Michigan
Nov. 19      at Illinois*
Nov. 25      Nebraska*

Sept. 2        Open
Sept. 9        at Iowa State
Sept. 16      North Texas
Sept. 23      Open
Sept. 30      at Michigan State
Oct. 7         Illinois*
Oct. 14       Penn State
Oct. 21       at Northwestern*
Oct. 28       Minnesota*
Nov. 4        Ohio State
Nov. 11      at Wisconsin*
Nov. 18      Purdue*
Nov. 24      at Nebraska*

* - Divisional game

[This story was written for Ron Maly by Steve Roe, Iowa's sports information director].