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The Dallas Mavericks play the Chicago Bulls tonight in Chicago.
Wild horses couldn’t drag me to watch it, but that’s for one primary reason: There’s no way wild horses could drag me all the way from Cedar Rapids to Chicago. It’s just not feasible.
However, I mention the game because the head coach of the Bulls (Fred Hoiberg) and players for the Mavericks (Harrison Barnes) and the Bulls (Doug McDermott) all went to Ames High School.
That’s kind of a statistical unlikelihood, eh?
It’s not a secret that the state of Iowa hasn’t kicked in a lot of manpower to the NBA over the decades. Native Iowans in the league right now besides Barnes and McDermott are Nick Collison (Oklahoma City), Kyle Korver (Cleveland), and … that’s all, folks.
Roy Williams coached four Iowans who reached the NBA in Barnes, Collison, Kirk Hinrich and Raef LaFrentz. Tom Davis did as well with Ryan Bowen, Matt Bullard, Ricky Davis and Dean Oliver.
The last native Iowan/former Iowa Hawkeyes who played in the NBA were Bowen and Davis, in the 2009-2010 season. The last native Iowan/former Iowa State Cyclone who played in the NBA was Hoiberg, in 2004-2005.
The NBA D-League has suddenly became a haven for Iowans, with pro rookies Marcus Paige (Salt Lake City Stars), Jarrod Uthoff (Raptors 905) and Wes Washpun (Iowa Energy). All are from the Cedar Rapids-Marion-Marengo triangle.
Also, rookie Adam Woodbury (Sioux City/former Iowa Hawkeye) is with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants. Woodbury had been saddled with back problems, but has recently started to get significant minutes. Last Thursday, he had 11 points and 9 rebounds in 22 minutes.
Unless I’m missing something (and I missed Korver on first glance), Korver is the only Iowan to play in an NBA All-Star Game.
And riddle me this: Is Bob Hansen the only native Iowan to be on an NBA champion? His last game was the final game of the 1992 NBA Finals with the Chicago Bulls. Gadzooks, this season is the 25th anniversary of that title.
(The answer to my question is NO. Bullard played for the Houston Rockets’ 1994 championship team.)
Here’s a column I wrote about Hansen five years ago when it was merely the 20th anniversary.
Today’s Pomeroy College Basketball Rankings (kenpom.com) have Iowa 13th in the Big Ten despite its 3-3 league record.
Kenpom (Ken Pomeroy) has Iowa 86th in the nation. The top five are No. 9 Wisconsin, No. 18 Purdue, No. 26 Indiana, No. 33 Northwestern and No. 38 Minnesota.
In the Big 12, he has West Virginia second, Kansas seventh, Baylor eighth, Iowa State 23rd, and three other teams in the top 35.
The Big East, supposedly in ruins after the superpowers picked it apart and Louisville, Syracuse, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh and Boston College bolted to the ACC, is as top-heavy as any league other than perhaps the ACC.
Villanova is third, Creighton 14th, Butler 15th, Xavier 25th, and Marquette 36th. Creighton suffers a big blow, though, with the news guard Maurice Watson’s season is over due to a torn ACL.
I’m not a recruiting guy and never have been. But I took a stroll through the newest Rivals 250 list, and it was the 99th chapter of the world’s oldest college football story.
Alabama has 16 of the alleged top 250 recruits. Ohio State and Michigan have 13 apiece. Georgia has 13.
In the Big Ten, Penn State has six. Maryland, Michigan State, Nebraska and Wisconsin have three. Iowa and Rutgers have one. At least Iowa’s is ranked No. 30, while Rutgers’ is 178th. Iowa’s is defensive end A.J. Epenesa of Edwardsville, Ill., who recently got promoted to a 5-star recruit.
Five is the limit. If there were 6-stars, Alabama and Ohio State would have them.
There are still several players among the Top 250 who are uncommitted, including Iowa City West wide receiver Oliver Martin.
OK, is there anything else?
Oh yeah, the golf world was all about Jordan Spieth during the 2015 John Deere Classic. But someone you know was on to Justin Thomas — who has won the last two PGA Tour events — early.