Category Archives: Basketball

Roundball Oracles – Year 16

Congratulations to Micky on winning this years Roundball Oracles Basketball Pool.

His name has not been etched on the list of immortals:

PAST ROUNDBALL ORACLE CHAMPIONS

2021 – Micky Augustin
2020 – Tournament Cancelled
2019 – Becky Parmelee
2018 – Paul Golden
2017 – Paul Golden
2016 – Michelle Haupt
2015 – Derek Dohrman
2014 – Brandon Kahler
2013 – William McAlpine
2012 – Lowell Davis
2011 – Carrie Baier
2010 – Mark Wolfram
2009 – Mark Wolfram
2008 – Mark Wolfram
2007 – Tim Peterson
2006 – William McAlpine
2005 – William McAlpine

And congratulation, I guess, to Rachel for “winning” this year’s “The Sara” for last place:

Past “The Sara” Winners:

2021 – Rachel Gildersleeve
2020 – Tournament Cancelled
2019 – Russell Kennerly
2018 – Robert Henning
2017 – Shannon Bardole
2016 – Laura Priest
2015 – Derrick Gorshe
2014 – Sara Lockner

Both of your trophies have been ordered.

Here are the final standings:

ROUNDBALL ORACLES – YEAR 16

1. Michael Augustin – 275 points
2. Jorge Rios – 252 points
3. Jordan Toot – 240 points
4. Corey Faust – 233 points
5. Tim Peterson – 229 points
6. Mike G – 228 points
7. Dawn Krause – 216 points
8. Joey Randazzo – 210 points
9. Elizabeth Nordeen – 204 points
10. Kio Dettman – 203 points
11. Humble Narrator – 202 points
12. Angie DeWaard – 202 points
13. Brandon Kahler – 199 points
14. Bill Wentworth – 194 points
15. Toby Sebring – 191 points
16. Carla Stensland – 188 points
17. Andree Jauhari – 187 points
18. Lowell Davis – 184 points
19. Dylan Groves – 179 points
20. Jesse Howard – 177 points
21. Derek Dohrman – 174 points
22. Joseph Duff – 170 points
23. Robert Henning – 168 points
24. Jackson Faust – 167 points
25. Sarah Karber – 151 points
26. Michelle Haupt – 143 points
27. Rachel Gildersleeve – 142 points

Hopefully in 3 or 4 years Iowa State will be good enough to make the tournament again.

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This is your reminder that there are two themes to work on this week:


WEEK 290 - SLICE OF LIFE
SLICE OF LIFE

It was apropos that the theme was LOVE the week that we had to say goodbye to Mom. I don’t know anybody that embodied the various definitions of LOVE than my Mom. It is strange that the very next theme is SLICE OF LIFE. SLICE OF LIFE is a theme that was designed to honor my Dad. For those of you that don’t know, my Dad passed away when I was 9 years old. His legacy is a large part of the reason as to why I got into photography. He had started a postcard company called Slice of Life.

Therefore, a SLICE OF LIFE image is an image that looks at your local town and capture an image that could be used as a postcard. His postcards were black and white, if you want to go the extra mile.

The second theme to work on this week:


WEEK 291 - DRINKS
DRINKS

This theme isn’t very complicated. It is merely a picture of a DRINK or DRINK(S).

Happy photo harvesting!

Jasper County Auxiliary Images

This is a reminder that at this point you have 1 hour to get your picks in for my NCAA Tournament Pool. Click on the link below to get started:

Roundball Oracles – Year 16

Good luck!

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I need to wish my Aunt Linda a happy birthday today. Happy birthday Aunt Linda!


Bennett Family Reunion

Slice of Life Volume 5

August 29, 2017

Slice of Life Volume 4

Bennett Family Reunion

I hope your birthday is as amazing as you want it to be!

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A couple months back I traveled the roads of Jasper County to harvest their town signs. Here is a collection of the non-town sign pictures I took on that trip:


Jasper County
Newton, Iowa

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County
Kellogg, Iowa

Jasper County
Oakland Acres, Iowa – A town that shoves it in the face of towns that don’t “heart” their children.

Jasper County

Jasper County
Lynnville, Iowa

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County
Sully, Iowa

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County
Monroe, Iowa

Jasper County

Jasper County
I absolutely love this church motto.

Jasper County

Jasper County

I want to visit Jasper County again this year and go to their drive-in movie theater. One of only like 3 left in the state.

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This is your reminder that this week’s THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is STREET PHOTOGRAPHY:


WEEK 288 - STREET PHOTOGRAPHY
STREET PHOTOGRAPHY

It is here. Judgement Day. The last theme that didn’t get double digit submissions. STREET PHOTOGRAPHY. 76 weeks ago. September 23, 2019.

There were only 7 submissions from 7 people:

+ Jen Ensley-Gorshe
+ Andy Sharp
+ Kim Barker
+ Humble Narrator
+ Stephanie Kim
+ Tamara Peterson
+ Jesse Howard

But what is STREET PHOTOGRAPHY? Why is it so scary and intimidating?

Sorry, Chris from 5 seconds ago. I reject your premise. STREET PHOTOGRAPHY isn’t scary or intimidating. It is awesome!

Some of the best and most famous photographers in history were STREET PHOTOGRAPHYers.

+ Dorothea Lange
+ Helen Levitt
+ Diane Arbus
+ Robert Frank
+ Fan Ho
+ Vivian Maier
+ Robert Doisneau
+ Henri Cartier-Bresson

Okay, great, you are thinking, but you still haven’t defined STREET PHOTOGRAPHY. Is it pictures of a street? No, but it is photography that often takes place on the streets.

Here is the best definition: “conducted for art or enquiry that features unmediated chance encounters and random incidents within public places.”

The 2 most important things. RANDOM and PUBLIC. STREET PHOTOGRAPHY is often mistaken for CANDID PORTRAITS. STREET PHOTOGRAPHY has to be done in a public place. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a portrait. It can be a piece of art. It can be a building. It can be a sign. It doesn’t have to be on a street. It can be at a sporting event. It can be at an art festival. A farmer’s market. The most common place would be a business district. It only has to meet those 2 criteria: public and random.

What is public? I mean that is pretty obvious. It can’t be in your house or in your friend’s house. It has to be somewhere in the public. Where other people can be.

What is random? That simply means that you didn’t go to wherever you went with the intent of taking that picture. Something about the place you went to compelled you to take that picture. You may have went there to take a picture, but not a pre-planned picture.

Some people think of STREET PHOTOGRAPHY as candid portraits. It isn’t, but it certainly can be. However, the picture can be of street art like the example. Egene Atget, was the first STREET PHOTOGRAPHYer. He took pictures of buildings.

I’ll make one last comparison. STREET PHOTOGRAPHY is to photography what jazz is to music. It is all about improvisation. This is perhaps why I love it so much.

Okay, one last thing. Most of the great STREET PHOTOGRAPHYers worked in black & white. I’m not saying your submission should be in black & white, but it is something to think about.

Also, think about this quote before thinking about your STREET PHOTOGRAPHY creation:

“The marvels of daily life are exciting; no movie director can arrange the unexpected you find in the street.”
-Robert Doisneau

Happy photo harvesting!

Postcard Recreation Project – More Churches

This is a reminder that at this point you have 24 hours to get your picks in for my NCAA Tournament Pool. Click on the link below to get started:

Roundball Oracles – Year 16

Good luck!

Note: As of this writing, Iowa State hasn’t made it official that T.J. Otzelberger is Iowa State’s head coach. I will write about that when they make it official.

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Today’s collection of old-timey postcard recreations are of churches in Boone. Featured in here is the Central Christian Church, the First Baptist Church, the Augustana Lutheran Church and the Open Bible Church. I’ve already covered some of the history of the Augustana Lutheran Church and the First Baptist Church, so I won’t rehash that, so here is some history of the Central Christian Church. A church that will always have a special place in my heart, because it was the church of my Grandma and Grandpa Paris. I’ve been to many a family function at that church, but now I don’t think I have a single family member that goes there. Here is a brief history:

For well over 100 years, Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) has served the community of Boone, Iowa and surrounding areas. Our first church building was dedicated in 1876, the same year the church was founded. A second church structure was erected and dedicated to replace the first building in 1893; that building was destroyed by fire was replaced in 1903. An education building with classrooms and office space was added to the north of the 1903 sanctuary, and was dedicated on Mary 23, 1954. The Fellowship Hall, Fireside Room and kitchen were dedicated in 1970. A modern Sanctuary, Library and Choir Room were dedicated in 1979.

Twenty-nine ministers have served the church as “settled” or permanent pastors since 1884, including one associate minister who served alongside a senior minister from 1993 to 1998. The Rev. G. H. Sutton served the longest pastorate of approximately twelve years from 1930 to 1942. The average pastorate length is four and a half years.

The Open Bible Church has a very weak history section on their website, but here it is:

Open Bible Church has a long history in Boone. The church has been affiliated with Open Bible Churches of Des Moines, Iowa, for over 70 years. It has been at its current location since 1986 and was expanded in 2008.

At least there is something I guess.

Now, I mentioned in the past that the Augustan Lutheran Church and Central Christian Churches swapped buildings in 1895. From the Augustana Lutheran website:

A new church was built in 1879 and a parsonage in 1885. Because passing trains often disturbed the services, in 1895 the property was traded, along with $3000 to the Christian Church for the property at 7th and Carroll Streets. In 1901, a new parsonage was built next to the church. In 1910, a basement was put under the church and extensive repairs were made.

This always confused me because the site of the Central Christian Church is a mere 1 block closer to the railroad tracks than the Augustana Lutheran Church. But there is two things I didn’t understand. That the building that Lutherans traded to the Central Christian Church wasn’t on the corner of 8th and Greene AND the railroad tracks weren’t in the same location as they currently are. Now it makes sense.

Look at this chunk of a map of Boone from 1896:


1896 Boone Map

You can see in that map that in 1896, the year after the trade, the Central Christian Church was on Crawford Street, between 7th and 8th. Not on the corner of 7th and Carroll. And right against the railroad tracks. Also, you will notice that back then Augustana Lutheran was called Swedish Lutheran AND the Open Bible Church had not been built yet.

We’ll also consult this map again in a couple of weeks, but for now, here are some old-timey recreations:


Central Christian Church, Boone, Iowa - Original
Central Christian Church, Boone, Iowa – Original

Central Christian Church, Boone, Iowa - Redux
Central Christian Church, Boone, Iowa – Redux

Seventh and Carroll Streets, Boone, Iowa - Original
Seventh and Carroll Streets, Boone, Iowa – Original

Seventh and Carroll Streets, Boone, Iowa - Redux
Seventh and Carroll Streets, Boone, Iowa – Redux

First Baptist Church - Boone, Iowa - 2203 - Original
First Baptist Church – Boone – Iowa – 2203 – Original

First Baptist Church - Boone - Iowa - 2203 - Redux
First Baptist Church – Boone – Iowa – 2203 – Redux

This might be the end of church related postcards. I haven’t really come across any others, but the search continues. The next time we check-in with THE POSTCARD RECREATION PROJECT will involve schools.

Lost in a Roman Wilderness of Pain

This is a reminder that at this point you have 48 hours to get your picks in for my NCAA Tournament Pool. Click on the link below to get started:

Roundball Oracles – Year 16

Good luck!

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This is the final collection of flower pictures from 2020. It is a good thing that flowers in 2021 should be coming sometime soon. There are many beginnings of flowers starting to show up in my yard. The daffodils have start to push their way through the dirt. Hopefully they will be budding and blooming in just a few short weeks.

This collection includes daisies, zinnias, dahlias, mums, and even a hollyhock and a marigold.


Digging for God - 2020

Digging for God - 2020

Digging for God - 2020

Digging for God - 2020

Nature's Amen - 2020

Solace of Ordinary Humanity - 2020

Solace of Ordinary Humanity - 2020

Solace of Ordinary Humanity - 2020

Solace of Ordinary Humanity - 2020

Solace of Ordinary Humanity - 2020

Solace of Ordinary Humanity - 2020

Solace of Ordinary Humanity - 2020

A Proud Assertion - 2020

Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2020

Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2020

Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2020

Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2020

Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2020

Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2020

Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2020

Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2020

Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2020

Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2020

Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2020

Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2020

Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2020

Hush - 2021

Hush - 2021

Hush - 2021

Hush - 2021

Hush - 2021

Hush - 2021

Hush - 2021

Hush - 2021

Hush - 2021

Hush - 2021

Hush - 2021

Hush - 2021

Hush - 2021

This just about concludes the 2020 non-portrait images that I have to share.

Roundball Oracles – Year 16

It is time once again for the greatest sporting event of year. It is that time known as March Madness. The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Once again, I will be sponsoring a pool. There is not cost to enter the pool, except for pride.

The winner gets a trophy. The dead last place person gets a trophy known as The Sara*.

By winning, you get your name etched on the list of immortals:

PAST ROUNDBALL ORACLE CHAMPIONS

2019 – Becky Parmelee
2018 – Paul Golden
2017 – Paul Golden
2016 – Michelle Haupt
2015 – Derek Dohrman
2014 – Brandon Kahler
2013 – William McAlpine
2012 – Lowell Davis
2011 – Carrie Baier
2010 – Mark Wolfram
2009 – Mark Wolfram
2008 – Mark Wolfram
2007 – Tim Peterson
2006 – William McAlpine
2005 – William McAlpine

But I said that there are 2 trophies. The 2nd trophy, The Sara, goes to the adult that finishes dead last, while trying. A person can not tank on purpose and win The Sara. The reason The Sara winner has to be an adult is that I don’t want to mock children, to their face. Probably a better rule would be that to “win” The Sara, you have to be at least a teenager. I have no problem mocking teenagers to their face. I do it pretty much every Wednesday night at Youth Group.

Past “The Sara” Winners:

2019 – Russell Kennerly
2018 – Robert Henning
2017 – Shannon Bardole
2016 – Laura Priest
2015 – Derrick Gorshe
2014 – Sara Lockner

The Sara doesn’t have the long storied history of the championship trophy, but it will get there. I have no doubts.

Last year, the tournament was cancelled. This year, we will hopefully have a tournament as the world starts to look like it will “normalize” sometime this year. Here’s hoping anyways.

If you are a basketball fan, or are just interested in having fun, click on the link below to join my pool:

Roundball Oracles – Year 16

The rules are as follows:
Round 1 = 1 point + seed
Round 2 = 2 points + seed
Round 3 = 4 points + seed
Round 4 = 8 points + seed
Round 5 = 16 points + seed
Rounds 6 = 32 points + seed

The Play-in Games (AKA the First Four) don’t matter. You can wait for those games to complete before filling out your bracket. The deadline to fill out your bracket, is tip-off of the first game on Friday. Roughly 11 AM. Yes, there are no Thursday games this year.

Under special circumstances, I will allow you to turn in a paper bracket to me. So, don’t be afraid to ask.

Yes, your child can fill out a bracket. Your dog, no.

There were 42 competitors in 2019. Now, I doubt there will be as much excitement for the tournament this year, with no Iowa State. But Drake is sorta in the Tournament, so that is exciting!

*You have to be 18 years of age to win “The Sara”.

2010-04-29

Whew! This is a big one. Just by adding these pictures to the SmugMug Gallery from the folder 2010-04-29, I was able to fix 5 “An Artist’s Notebook” posts. I believe I added pictures to 14 different photo albums.

The pictures in this folder are taken from over several days of vacation I took back in 2010. Some in Minnesota. Some at Iowa State. Lots of flowers. A few of people.

Here are a few of them:


Vacation Day 6

Vacation Day 6

Vacation Day 3 - Guinea Pig

The 5-8 Club

Still Laughing - 2010

Still Laughing - 2010

Still Laughing - 2010

Still Laughing - 2010

Still Laughing - 2010

Still Laughing - 2010

Still Laughing - 2010

Still Laughing - 2010

Still Laughing - 2010

Still Laughing - 2010

Where It Got Its Life

Where it Got Its Life

Vacation - 2010

Vacation - 2010

Vacation Day 6

Vacation - 2010

Vacation - 2010

Where It Got Its Life

Where It Got Its Life

Where It Got Its Life

Vacation Day 4 - Cotton Candy

Vacation Day 4 - Cotton Candy

Vacation Day 4 - Cotton Candy

Vacation Day 4 - Cotton Candy

Vacation Day 4 - Cotton Candy

Vacation Day 4 - Cotton Candy

Vacation Day 6

Vacation Day 6

Vacation Day 6

Vacation Day 6

By adding these pictures to the Photography 139 Gallery, I was able to restore the following historic “An Artist’s Notebook” entries to their original glory:

VACATION DAY 3 – GUINEA PIG DENIAL

VACATION DAY 4 – COTTON CANDY

VACATION DAY 5 – THE JUICY LUCY

VACATION DAY 6 – CAMPUS

PERSONAL PHOTO PROJECT OF THE WEEK NO. 21

In that collection of restored posts, is a very bad take on how well Fred Hoiberg would do at Iowa State.

Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will involve Willy.

2010-02-03, 2010-02-11, and 2010-02-13

Today’s walk down will involve 3 folders, but hardly any pictures. The pictures in the folders 2010-02-03, 2010-02-11, and 2010-02-13 are some self-portraits and pictures for THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE, then known as THE RANDOM WEEKLY PHOTO EXPERIMENT.

The picture of me with the basketball was taken to commemorate an extremely rare victory for the Computer Mine basketball team. We were a decent team the first few years, but we quickly descended to becoming the “girlfriend game”.

There is no Computer Mine team now and I doubt there is a rec league this year, but I don’t know if these old bones will continue to play any more any ways. Maybe I have one more year in me. I’m certainly rested right now.


WEEK 5 - FRAMING - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT

WEEK 6 - ADVENTURE - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT

Little Dribblers

Before

By adding these pictures to the Photography 139 Gallery, I was able to restore the following historic “An Artist’s Notebook” entries to their original glory:

RWPE #5 – FRAMING

A Phenomenal Week

RWPE #6 – ADVENTURE

Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will involve hearts. At least I think it will involve hearts. It won’t involve hearts. It will involve flowers though.

2010-01-19 & 2010-01-25

Happy 4th of July everybody! This holiday celebratory picture is a bit different.


Happy 4th of July - 2020

This historical marker commemorates the crew of a U.S. Army Air Force B-24 Bomber that were killed when their plane crashed in Boone County during a training flight during WWII.

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The pictures in the folders 2010-01-19 & 2010-01-25 are from a couple different PERSONAL PHOTO PROJECT(s). One is of a Sara through the window in my entry way. The other is a picture of some family Bibles. There is also a picture from the 3rd ever WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE. The theme was PEOPLE.


Hearts Beat High with Joy Alternate

Hearts Beat High with Joy Alternate

Hearts Beat High with Joy Alternate

Hearts Beat High with Joy Alternate

Hearts Beat High with Joy Alternate

Hearts Beat High with Joy Alternate

WEEK 3 - PEOPLE - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT

The Lovely Silhouette

By adding these pictures to the Photography 139 Gallery, I was able to restore the following historic “An Artist’s Notebook” entries to their original glory:

RWPE #3 – PEOPLE
Personal Photo Project of the Week No. 5
Personal Photo Project of the Week No. 6

Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will involve Willy and some flowers.

Pride. Integrity. Guts.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to those of you that celebrate. I don’t. I’m mostly of Scottish and Welsh stock, so I’ve been trained by the English to hate the Irish and I do. I do hate the Irish. At least I hate the Notre Dame Fighitn’ Irish. They can straight bugger off.

That being said, under normal circumstances, I would make my way to West Street Deli and have the most delicious Reuben in the world. That was before we were in a global pandemic. Also, I think West Street Deli closes during Spring Break anyways.

Another thing that would normally happen tonight would be the beginning of the NCAA Tournament. This year it was cancelled due to fears of over the coronavirus. I one hundred percent support this decision. In situations like we find ourselves in, we should very vigilant. When this is over, nobody will regret being too cautious. That being said, it still makes me a little sad. The NCAA Tournament is by far my favorite sporting event every year. There isn’t a close second. Maybe Championship Week. Followed by bowl games. Followed by about every college football Saturday.

So let me quote a Brandi Carlile song to express a little bit of how I feel about the cancellation of the NCAA Tournament.


Look to the clock on the wall
Hands hardly moving at all
I can’t stand the state that I’m in
Sometimes it feels like the wall’s closing in
Oh, Lord, what can I say?
I’m so sad since you went away
Time, time, ticking on me
Alone is the last place I wanted to be
Lord, what can I say?
Trap all my troubles away
Drown my sorrow the same way
Seems no matter how hard I try
It seems like there’s something just missing inside

However, while I drown my sorrows, it seems I should still honor last years NCAA Tournament and the winners of my annual Roundball Oracles Pool.

You may recall that there are two trophy winners. The winner and then the biggest adult loser. The winner of last year’s Roundball Oracles Pool was Becky Parmelee:


2019 Roundball Oracles Champion
Becky with her Championship Trophy

Then the winner of The Sara Trophy for last place adult was Russell Kennerly:


2019 Roundball Oracles - The Sara
Russell with the Sara.

Last year, 42 people vied to join the List of Immortals with Becky finishing on top. Here are the final standings:

Roundball Oracles – Year 15

1. Becky Parmelee – 281
2. Linda Bennett – 265
3. Michelle Haupt -242
4. Lowell Davis – 242
5. Angie DeWaard – 242
6. Dawn Krause – 239
7. Sean Clubine – 237
8. Paul Golden – 237
9. Rachel Gildersleeve – 237
10. Jason Baier – 236
11. Jesse Howard – 231
12. Michael Augustin – 230
13. Corey Faust – 225
14. Derek Dohrman – 224
15. Shannon Bardole – 224
16. Cathie Raley – 223
17. Jordan Toot – 221
18. Robert Henning – 220
19. Frank Meiners – 219
20. Brandon Kahler – 210
21. Jackson Faust – 209
22. Which Mascot Would Win a Fight – 202
23. Bill Wentworth – 202
24. Ben Baier – 201
25. Derrick Gorshe -201
26. Humble Narrator – 198
27. Elizabeth Nordeen – 196
28. Jason Stensland – 195
29. Olivia Baier – 195
30. Tim Peterson – 193
31 – William McAlpine – 192
32. Jorge Rios – 189
33. Sarah Karber – 189
34. Toby Sebring – 185
35. Joseph Lynch – 181
36. Teresa Kahler – 181
37. Will Baier – 177
38. Jon DeWaard – 173
39. Carrie Baier – 170
40. Laura Miller – 166
41. Sean Gildersleeve – 161
42. Russell Kennerly – 160
43. JJ Baier – 150

The Updated List of Immortals

2019 – Becky Parmelee
2018 – Paul Golden
2017 – Paul Golden
2016 – Michelle Haupt
2015 – Derek Dohrman
2014 – Brandon Kahler
2013 – William McAlpine
2012 – Lowell Davis
2011 – Carrie Baier
2010 – Mark Wolfram
2009 – Mark Wolfram
2008 – Mark Wolfram
2007 – Tim Peterson
2006 – William McAlpine
2005 – William McAlpine

A few final thoughts on the end of the college basketball season. This year’s Iowa State men’s team was one of the worst in school history. At least one of the worst in my lifetime. In some ways there is little in the way of hope for next season as Iowa State will (barring a miracle) will lose their best player (Tyrese Halliburton) to the NBA. They only lose 2 seniors in Jacobson and Nixon, but I’m not sure how much talent is returning. Every guy that returns has shown flashes of greatness and then has returned to the mean. Freshman like Tre Jackson had to play way too much before they were remotely ready. The bumps those guys took could pay off next season as at least Tre could take a big jump. Solo is the heart and soul of the team and he could have a big senior season. George Conditt is an NBA talent, but he struggled this season, but if there is anybody on the roster that is able to make a bigger jump than him, I don’t know who it would be. If T-Lew could learn to play just a little bit of defense he could be a big contributor. I’m sure his flex after his dunk against Okie State instead of running back on defense will be a big motivator this offseason. Zion might be the biggest question mark on the roster. His playing time diminished as the season went along, but he still has a huge upside. Bolton is in line to be the best player on next year’s roster, but he has to start playing with more discipline.

There is a great recruiting class coming in with Xavier Foster being one of the biggest recruits in school history. With his silky smooth shot, he could easily fill that stretch 4 role that Jacobson struggled to fill this season. Dudley Blackwell is also a highly regarded recruit that could also contribute immediately. Darlinstone Dubar has an incredible name and frankly that is how I evaluate most recruits. He wasn’t a highly regarded recruit when he signed with Iowa State, but then he shot up the rankings. He has good size. which is something this year’s team lacked. Jaden Walker is another mystery. He isn’t all that highly regarded, but he is built like Tyrese. His rankings are similar to Tyrese. I’m not saying he is the next Tyrese Halliburton, but even the Steve Prohm haters that came out of the woodwork this year would struggle to criticize his record with point guards.

The other big mystery is sit-out transfer Javon Johnson. He is a 6-6 small forward that averaged double digits for Troy. He has a good shot and allegedly had NBA athleticism. But it is a big jump from Troy to what has been the best basketball conference in the country for the last decade. He is a big wild card.

Finally, Iowa State will have at least one scholarship to fill. I’d like to live in the world where Tyrese comes back, but even with his injury, some mock drafts having him going as high as #4 in the draft. That gives at least one scholarship to fill. I imagine Iowa State will try to sign an immediately eligible experience point guard. Bolton can play the point, but he is clearly better as the 2. Otherwise, you are looking at Tre taking over at the point. He didn’t get a ton of time there this season, so it isn’t the best case scenario.

It is also certainly possible that somebody transfers, opening up another scholarship. If that happens, I imagine Iowa State would look at a sit-out transfer (if that is still a thing). Not sure what they would go after there, but my guess is another combo guard.

Now, the Cyclone women had a much better season. They ended their season by defeating #2 Baylor and ending their 58 game Big 12 Conference win streak. Leaving Hilton Coliseum that day was the most joy I have experienced as a Cyclone fan since leaving Jack Trice on November 16 after the Cyclones knocked off Texas with a 36 yard Connor Assalley walk-off field goal.

The women’s had an up and down season, but they were projected to be in the NCAA Tournament as a 9 or 10 seed. They could have improved that seed with a run in the Big 12 Tournament, but to get to the finals, they would have had to beat that same Baylor team in the semi-finals.

Not much was expected out of the Cyclones this year. They had just lost Bridget Carleton, arguably the best player in school history. If she isn’t the best, the only person in the conversation is Angie Welle… for now. They also lost Alexa Middleton, the best point guard Iowa State has had since Allison Lacey. Finally, they lost Meredith Burkhall. Meredith wasn’t a star, but she was a solid post that might have been primed for a big senior season if she hadn’t experience a serious illness the summer before her senior season.

Iowa State’s season could have went south as the roster constantly battled injuries. Iowa State’s second best player Kristin Scott battled a back injury that sidelined her at the beginning and the end of the season. Starting point guard Rae Johnson also missed several games with a bad back. At the end of the year her minutes were being heavily monitored. Madison Wise missed a good chunk of the season due to debilitating migraines. Maddie Frederick was starting to get good minutes when she went down with an injury and only returned for the last few games of the season.

Despite all of that, Iowa State finished 4th in the Big 12 and were playing great basketball at the end of the season. They had the grit that the men lacked. People played out of position. People stepped up. Having Ashley Joens, who will be in the conversation with Welle and Carleton to be the GOAT when her career is over, probably didn’t hurt either.

But what will next year’s team be like? I think we are at the dawn of what could be another golden era for the Cyclone women. I don’t want to say that they could contend for a conference title next year, because.. you know… Baylor, but they could give Baylor a run for their money. Especially with what Baylor loses. But what does Iowa State lose?

Iowa State graduated 4 seniors. All of them were contributors, but none of them put the kind of a dent in the program that Bridget Carleton did.

Probably the biggest loss is Adriana Camber. Down the stretch, she played almost every minute of every game. Her numbers won’t pop out at you. She averaged 6.5 points and 3.8 rebounds a game. But she wassecond on the team with 845 minutes played. She was the consummate glue player. She did whatever the team needed. Usually that meant guarding the best player on the other team. More times than not, she was able to shut them down. She also lead the Cyclones with 48 thees. All of that will be hard to replace, but that is a role that a healthy Madison Wise could slide into. She struggled from 3 this season, but her history suggests she is a better shooter than she showed this season. Camber also struggled with her shot as a junior after all.

The second biggest loss is probably Ines Nezerwa. Ines was a post and probably one of the biggest fan favorites. Ines came to Iowa State very raw and left a little raw. You could see that talent there, but sometimes that meant bad turnovers. Sometimes it meant several minute stretches where she would dominate games. Sometimes it mean she couldn’t stop fouling. But nobody will ever forget the big 3 she drilled in the final minutes against Baylor to give Iowa State the lead. With Kristin Scott having an injury plagued season she came up big for the Cyclones over and over again. Especially when the only other big on the roster was Morgan Kane, who was a very green freshman. The good news is that there are people ready (hopefully to replace Ines). For starters there is 6-5 sit out transfer Lindsey Jarosinski. Plus it is hard to put into words how much Morgan Kane grew this season. At the end she was able to play valuable minutes. I don’t know that she will ever be much of a scorer, but she doesn’t need to be. Finally, Iowa State redshirted Gabby McBride this season. Iowa State will not be so thin in the post next season. Especially if Kristin Scott stays healthy.

The third Cyclones they lose is Jade Thurmon. Jade came up big for the depleted Cyclones late in the season. She was super fast with the ball and was hard to contain off dribble penetration. However, there are plenty of players coming that are coming that can take Jade’s minutes.

The last senior Iowa State loses is Nia Washington. Nia hardly ever played, but she was definitely a team leader. She was the player that gave the last words to the team before they took the floor. As an outsider, it is hard to quantify how much her leadership could be missed.

That is the bad. The good news is that Iowa State returns their (at least) 3 best players. Ashley Joens will be a junior. Kristin Scott will be a senior. Maggie Espenmiller-McGraw will be a sophomore. They will return Rae Johnson, their point guard and sometimes best player. Hopefully Madison Wise is healthy and returns to her freshman form. They add a 6-5 transfer. I’m very intrigued to see how Maddie Frederick develops. She has shown signs. She is somebody who could potentially take that Camber role as well.

While what returns on paper is more than enough to get excited about, we should talk about what is coming in next year. They have the #7 ranked class in the country.

Lexi Donarski from Wisconsin will be only the second McDonald’s All-American (Alexa Middleton) to play for Iowa State. She is the #12 player in the country.

Emily Ryan from Kansas has never lost a high school game. She has been the Kansas Player of the Year multiple times.

Aubrey Joens in Ashley Joens’ sister. Enough said, but she is also the #58 player in the country.

Kylie Feurbach from Illinois is the #77 player in the country.

If you can’t tell, I’m a little bit excited about the women’s team next year. The fact that thee is no NCAA Tournament this year doesn’t help.

+++++++

I also wanted to share some pictures from my trip to the Iowa State Fair with Nader and Logan:


Iowa State Fair - 2019

Iowa State Fair - 2019

Iowa State Fair - 2019

Iowa State Fair - 2019

Iowa State Fair - 2019

Iowa State Fair - 2019

Iowa State Fair - 2019

Iowa State Fair - 2019

Iowa State Fair - 2019

Iowa State Fair - 2019

Iowa State Fair - 2019

Iowa State Fair - 2019

Iowa State Fair - 2019

Iowa State Fair - 2019

Iowa State Fair - 2019

Iowa State Fair - 2019

Iowa State Fair - 2019

Iowa State Fair - 2019

Iowa State Fair - 2019

I still need to crack into flower pictures I took at the Iowa State Fair on this day. I know some of you are looking forward to that!

Part Ballroom, Part Baller

Last April I went up to Minneapolis to checkout all the hoopla that surrounds the Final Four. Dae Hee and I went downtown and checked everything out. I snapped a few pictures. Here are some of my favorites:


Final Four

Final Four

Final Four

Final Four

Final Four

Final Four

Final Four

Final Four

Final Four

Final Four

Final Four

Final Four

Final Four

Final Four

Final Four

Final Four

Final Four

Final Four

Final Four

Final Four

Final Four

Final Four

Final Four

Final Four

Final Four

Final Four

Final Four

Final Four

It appears to be a down season for the Cyclones this year. I can only imagine what this team would look like if THT would’ve come back instead of going to the NBA. That being said, there is still time for the current team to get it figured out, starting tonight against Kansas. Go Cyclones!