Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Big 4 Mens Basketball Players Of The Decade

The decade started out with so much promise. Iowa State made the Elite 8 where they were edged out by eventual National Champion Michigan State. Don't even get me started on that one. Larry Eustachy was the AP Coach of The Year. The Cyclones finished 32-5, rated #3 in the Coaches Poll. They were Big 12 regular season AND tournament champions. It looked like ISU was a school on the rise nationally. Then Marcus Fizer decided to go pro, Hampton pulled one of the biggest upsets in NCAA Tournament history, Eustachy decided to party like it was 1999, and it was all down-hill from there. At least for the Cyclones.

The Hawkeyes began the decade with a new coach: Steve Alford. Remember all the hoopla surrounding the former Hoosier legend? It certainly didn't diminish after his first game as the Hawkeyes Coach--they beat #1 UConn in Madison Square Garden. It was a roller coaster ride after that which included NCAA Tournament appearances in 2001 and 2005, the Pierre Pierce debacle, and an embarrassing loss to Northwestern State in the first round of the 2006 tourney which would be the straw that broke the back on the Alford era.

The UNI Panthers, remarkably, have been the state's most consistently successful men's basketball program of the 90's. After making the field of 64 just once in the 1990's, UNI advanced four times in the 2000's: 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2009.

As for Drake, who can forget their remarkable run in 2008 with one-year-wonder Coach Keno Davis? The Bulldogs finished 28-5, Davis was National Coach of The Year, and Drake made a decade of bad basketball all worthwhile during that magical 5-month span.

It certainly was an interesting decade of college basketball for the state of Iowa. Putting together an All-Decade Team for this group was no easy task, but here it goes. Let me know what you think by posting your thoughts.

1st Team:
C---Craig Brackins--ISU--2007,2008,2009: 16.1 PPG; 7.4 RPG
PF--Reggie Evans--Iowa--2001,2002 : 15.2 PPG; 11.5 RPG
SF--Marcus Fizer--ISU--2000: 22.8 PPG; 7.7 RPG
SG--Josh Young--Drake--2007,2008,2009: 13.8 PPG; 3 RPG; 1 SPG; 218 3-pointers
PG--Jamaal Tinsley--ISU--2000,2001: 12.6 PPG; 4.4 RPG; 2.5 SPG; 6.0 APG

2nd Team:
C---Grant Stout--UNI--2005,2006,2007: 11.8 PPG; 8.4 RPG; 2.1 BPG
PF--Greg Brunner--Iowa--2003,2004,2005,2006: 11.9 PPG; 7.8 RPG
SF--Luke Recker--Iowa--2001,2002: 17.6 PPG; 3.6 RPG; 2.5 APG
SG--Curtis Stinson--ISU--2004,2005,2006: 17.5 PPG; 5.5 RPG; 4.7 APG
PG--Jeff Horner--Iowa--2003,2004,2005,2006: 12.2 PPG; 4.6 RPG; 4.9 APG; 262 3's

3rd Team:
C---Jackson Vroman--ISU--2003,2004: 13.2 PPG; 9.4 RPG
PF--Eric Coleman--UNI--2005,2006,2007,2008: 11.8 PPG; 7.7 RPG
SF--Wesley Johnson--ISU--2007,2008: 12.3 PPG; 5.8 RPG
SG--Adam Haluska--Iowa--2003,2005,2006,2007: 14.4 PPG; 4.1 RPG; 252 3-pointers
PG--Ben Jacobson--UNI--2003,2004,2005,2006: 14.2 PPG; 2.5 APG; 203 3-pointers

Honorable Mention:
C--Jordan Egleseder--UNI--7'1" center averaging 11 ppg and 7.8 rpg this year
C--Jared Homan--ISU--'02-'05: averaged 12.3 ppg, 7.5 rpg and 2.1 bpg in 04/05
PF--Jonathan Cox--Drake--'06-'09: averaged 12.4 ppg and 8.4 rpg in 08/09
SF--Klayton Korver--Drake--'04-'08: averaged 9.2 ppg; 241 career 3-pointers
SF--Tyler Smith--Iowa--averaged 14.8 ppg and 4.9 rpg in 1 season at Iowa
SG--Jake Sullivan--ISU--'01-'04: averaged 14.7 ppg for career and made 270 3-pointers
PG--Will Blalock--ISU--'04-06: averaged 11.6 ppg and 4.9 apg over 3 years
PG--Dean Oliver--Iowa--'00-'01: averaged 14.2 ppg and 4.5 apg in 00/01

Others Considered-- Jiri Hubalek(ISU), Rashon Clark(ISU), David Gruber(UNI), Eric Crawford(UNI), Adam Koch(UNI), Luke McDonald (Drake), Greg Danielson(UNI), Lonnie Randolph(Drake), Ajay Calvin(Drake), Adam Emmenecker(Drake)

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