CEDAR RAPIDS - Earlier this season, a reporter asked Iowa City West boys' tennis coach Mitch Gross about the #x201c;triple crown#x201d; of prep tennis.
At the time, Gross dismissed the thought of winning a state championship in singles, dou ... »
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AMES — Jeff Beverly remembers it clearly.
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi was in Hilton Coliseum in November 2013 in a non-conference matchup. It was Beverly’s second college game, and he went off for 14 points with three 3-pointers and eight rebounds.
Almost four years later, the memory of that night hasn’t been clouded by the passage of time. Beverly, who is joining the Iowa State men’s basketball team as a graduate transfer, hopes to have many more outings in Hilton Coliseum like that first one.
“I went into the arena and it was 10,000 people,” Beverly said. “It was my freshman year of college, it was a great environment. Georges Niang, he was a phenomenal player at Iowa State. I think I can do some things he did in Iowa.
“I like the atmosphere. The fans, the people of Iowa, they all support the program so much. I just love the atmosphere at Iowa State, the arena, it’s just phenomenal, it’s top of the line.”
Beverly has been a college journeyman — he’s on track to attend four schools in five years — but has gained experiences with each one. He left Corpus Christi following his freshman year, attended McLennan Community College and has spent the last two years at the University of Texas, San Antonio.
The 6-foot-6, 250-pound Beverly spent his whole life playing basketball. But when he got to UTSA, the League City, Texas, native wanted to try something different. Upon arriving at his new school, Beverly joined the football team and gave the Roadrunners a prototypical-looking tight end.
“I tried it out, I went hard every day in football and it just made me realize that basketball is what I love, basketball is my passion,” Beverly said. “Football did make me more hungry to be a better basketball player.”
After his two-month stint with the football team, Beverly joined the UTSA basketball team as a walk-on in December 2015 and redshirted that year.
Last season, Beverly started all 33 games and averaged 15.8 points and 5.9 rebounds. He’s a little undersized as a forward, but can be a mismatch that is in the same vein as Deonte Burton. Burton’s athleticism is on a different level, but Beverly sees an opportunity to be productive in the front court based on how Iowa State used Burton in his 1.5 seasons with the Cyclones.
“I feel like I’m just hard-nosed defensively,” Beverly said. “I’m going to talk, be a communicator out there for my teammates, I can guard 2-5. I want to defend. I want that stop, I want that loose ball, I want to dive on the floor and do whatever it takes.”
Grit and strength also manifested for Beverly offensively. According to KenPom.com, Beverly took 35 percent of his team’s shots and was used on 33 percent of the possessions — ninth and 18th in the nation as an individual, respectively.
His knack for getting to the line was also a big part of his game. Beverly drew 6.5 fouls per 40 minutes — 47th nationally — and shot 75.3 percent from the free throw line (128-of-170).
At Iowa State, Beverly likely won’t be asked to carry the load offensively. He hopes he can make the most strides in his efficiency and lean on the other playmakers around him.
“I don’t want to be promised minutes, I’m willing to earn my minutes at Iowa State,” Beverly said. “I just want to be in a great atmosphere for a great coach and a great program.”
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