Peterson: Cameron Lard shows his worth, potential in Cyclones’ first win of 2017-18

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Despite double-double, the freshman says he can do better.
Randy Peterson/The Register

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C.— Cameron Lard will remember this one  — his college debut and his double-double that went along with it — for years to come. Just being an active part of a team again after more than a season away …

It doesn’t get much better than that.

“I’ve been waiting on this for a long time,” the 6-foot-9 redshirt freshman said after Thursday’s’ 104-98 victory against Appalachian State in the opening round of the Puerto Rico Tipoff at Myrtle Beach. “I’m just happy to be playing.”

Withheld the previous three games because of a “coach’s decision” wasn’t exactly the way he wanted to spend his first real season on a collegiate team. He did something wrong. He broke an unspecified team rule. He had to be punished.

“It was painful. I was hurt that I couldn’t play,” he said outside Iowa State’s locker room at the HTC Center on the Coastal Carolina University campus. “I’m in there now.”

Oh my, was he in there.

Along with first-timer Hans Brase, Lard entered the game with 14 minutes, 54 seconds left in the first half. He proceeded block a shot. He grabbed a rebound. He made an Appalachian State player think twice before taking the ball to the hoop.

PREVIOUSLY: Iowa State needs Cameron Lard and Hans Brase to play well. Stat.

“He did great. He’s going to give us a presence around the basket,” coach Steve Prohm said. “It’s the first time he’s played a real game in probably two years.”

Besides the double-double, Lard added three blocked shots while playing 20 minutes.

“It was all right; I could have done better,” he said. “I could have played harder on the defensive end.

“Most definitely could have done better on the offensive end. I could have had more offensive rebounds. I felt I didn’t sprint hard enough.”

He’s hard on himself, but that’s OK. Like the 1-2 team on which he plays, Cameron Lard is a work in progress.

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Coach Steve Prohm says there were some rough spots, but mostly he’s pleased with win against Appalachian State.
Randy Peterson/The Register

“I’m proud of him,” said Prohm, whose team faces Tulsa at 6 p.m. Friday. “He brings energy, offensive rebounding and defensive rebounding, but eventually, he’s going to bring the ability to score the basketball around the paint.”

This victory was about confidence. This was about Nick Weiler-Babb breaking away from being in the shadows of a handful of more talented Iowa State players last season.

More importantly, this Cyclones win was about a mostly solid performance — after essentially no-shows against Missouri and Milwaukee.

“We don’t run a lot of sets. I don’t want to walk it up and run sets,” Prohm said. “I want to move the basketball and play at a great pace.”

Thursday’s pace wasn’t great all the time, but it certainly was better than it’s been. Coincidental with Weiler-Babb’s move to the point?

“We’d been a slow-paced team the past two games, so we had to switch that up,” the wing-turned-guard said. “Having the ball in my hands and determining the actions — I liked it.”

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Everyone liked it. That move this week freed up Donovan Jackson to score a career-high 26 points. It freed up true freshman Lindell Wigginton to do what he does best — slash to the basket and score. He had 17 points, also a career best.

“It gave Donovan and Lindell more freedom on the wings,” Weiler-Babb said. “They could run freely. It took a little burden off their shoulders. It helped them a lot.”

There were warts; like Appalachian State’s Ronshad Shabazz scoring 32 points, and defending the 3-point arc where the Mountaineers made 15 of 40 attempts.

But on this occasion, the Cyclones had the firepower to overcome it. They had Lard, too.

“It was on my mind all night,” Lard said of playing for the first time. “I woke up excited to be playing again. As soon as I woke up to get breakfast with the teammates, I was ready.”

“It felt good to get out there and play.”

Iowa State columnist Randy Peterson has been with the Register for parts of five decades. Randy writes opinion and analysis of Iowa State football and basketball. You can reach Randy at rpeterson@dmreg.com or on Twitter at @RandyPete.

 

 

Source: Des Moines Register

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Iowa State softball unveils 2018 spring schedule

The Iowa State softball team is looking ahead at a tough 2018 season.

The Cyclones start their season with 36 games away in the warm weather. Playing in six different tournaments. Starting with the Coastal Carolina Tournament in Conway, South Carolina. They will face Saint Francis, Coastal Carolina, Presbyterian and UNCG. The tournament goes from Feb. 9 to 11.

The following week the Cyclones head to Las Vegas, Nevada, for the Demarini Desert Classic. There they will face Boise State, Long Beach State, BYU, Nevada and San Jose State.

Next, the Cyclones head south to Gainesville, Florida, for the Aquafina Invitational from Feb. 23 to 25. The Gators are sure to be tough competitors as they ranked second overall in the USA Today/NFCA Coaches poll at the end of last season. Other teams at the tournament include Georgia Southern, Illinois State and Maryland.


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Kirkwood vs ISU Softball

Junior Nychole Antillon makes a base hit Sep. 23, the Pitch was ruled a ball by the umpire. The Cyclones defeated the Kirkwood Eagles 9-1.


The Cyclones return to Florida the following weekend for the Jacksonville Tournament. They will compete against Virginia Tech, Middle Tennessee, North Florida and Jacksonville.

Next stop, Houston, Texas, for the Houston Tournament on March 9 to 11. They will compete against Lipscomb, Northwestern, Houston and Penn State.

The team will stay in Texas that week taking a break from the tournaments to take on UT Arlington and North Texas. They face UT Arlington on March 13 and North Texas on March 14 for a two-game series. 


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Kirkwood vs ISU Softball

Member of the Iowa State Softball Team Runs to first Sep. 23. The Cyclones defeated the Kirkwood Eagles 9-1.


The Cyclones head to another tournament in Fayetteville, Arkansas, on March 16 to 18. There they will play in the Wooo Pig Classic against Tulsa, Arkansas, Omaha and Saint Francis for the second time. Tulsa ranked No. 22 in the USA Today/NFCA Coaches poll to end last season.

The softball team takes on Oklahoma State for their last series of their road games. The Cowboys will be the first Big 12 team Iowa State faces in the spring. Oklahoma State finished last season and ranked third in the Big 12 conference with a 12-6 Big 12 record.  

The Cyclones will make their first home appearance on March 29 to 31 to face Texas. The Longhorns finished the season one spot ahead of Iowa State with a 7-10 record in the Big 12 conference. But last year, when the Cyclones took on the Longhorns, Iowa State won the series two to one making it their first ever series win against the team.


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Kirkwood vs ISU Softball

Sophomore Catcher Kaylee Bosworth trows the ball back to Sophomore Pitcher Savannah Sanders Sep. 23. The Cyclones defeated the Kirkwood Eagles 9-1.


Three days after the Texas series, Iowa State will face Drake at home on Wednesday, April 4. Last year, the team lost to Drake 3-2.

The Cyclones finish the home stretch and face Oklahoma on April 6 to 8. The Sooners are back-to-back NCAA champions. This will be a tough matchup for the Cyclones as they haven’t had a win against the Sooners since the 2006 season.

Iowa State then hit the road to take on UNI in Cedar Falls, Iowa, on Wednesday, April 11. The Cyclones beat the Panthers 15-4 last season.

Iowa State then returns home to take on Western Illinois University for a two-game series on Saturday, April 14.


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Kirkwood vs ISU Softball

Sophomore Sami Williams Slides into home after junior Sydney Stites hits a triple Sep. 23. The Cyclones defeated the Kirkwood Eagles 9-1.


Iowa State then leaves the state of Iowa for the first time since March 29 to travel to Lubbock, Texas to face Texas Tech for a three-game series from April 20 to 22. Texas Tech swept the Cyclones last season with an overall score of 28-8. 

As soon as they leave they come back for a four-game home stand. First, they take on the Hawkeyes for the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series on Wednesday, April 25. The Cyclones look to take back the trophy after losing to the Hawkeyes 2-1 last season. Next, they take on the Baylor Bears for a three-game series at home from April 27 to 29. Baylor finished last season ranked second in the Big 12 Conference.

They then hit the road again, this time to Lawrence, Kansas, to take on the Jayhawks for a three-game series on May 4 to 6. Last season, the Jayhawks finished last in the Big 12 Conference. The Cyclones swept the Jayhawks in last season’s series. But, the Jayhawks swept the Cyclones the previous season.

The Cyclones end the season with the Big 12 Tournament in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, from May 11 to 12. Last season, the team struggled in the tournament leaving without a win.

Source: Iowa State Daily

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Cameron Lard racks up double-double in his first game for the Cyclones

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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — Switching Nick Weiler-Babb from a perimeter player to the point was a big reason for Iowa State’s first men’s basketball victory of the 2016-17 season, a 104-96 success against Appalachian State in the opening round of the Puerto Rico Tipoff at Myrtle Beach.

The move freed Donovan Jackson to do his thing Thursday. It lightened Lindell Wigginton’s load during his first season out of high school; it allowed him to be more of a scorer and slasher at the basket.

All that, and a big first game from Cameron Lard were reasons the 1-2 Cyclones advanced in front of about 500 of their fans at the HTC Center on the campus of Coastal Carolina University.

Jackson scored a career-best 26 points and it came on 7 of 11 shooting, including 4 of 7 from 3-point range. Weiler-Babb also had a career best, scoring 23 points, also on 7 of 11 shooting.

That’s welcome news for coach Steve Prohm’s team, which came into this game shooting just 38.8 percent.

Lard and Hans Brase played for the first time in their Iowa State careers, both joining the game at the 14-minute, 54-second point of the first half.

Lard was withheld from the first three games due to a “coach’s decision,” while Brase was still recovering from a second ACL surgery.

The former is the inside force Iowa State had been missing, and he showed with a 12-point, 11-rebound double-double in the first college game of his life. Lard’s big game included six points, four rebounds and two blocked shots in the first 8 minutes of eligibility.

Iowa State led, 47-43, at the break, despite a spectacular shooting display from Appalachian State’s Ronshad Shabazz. He scored 21 first-half points and his scoring came on 7 of 14 shooting, including 4 of 8 from 3-point range.

Jackson and Babb combined for 23 of the Cyclones’ first-half points. They did it on a combined 8 of 12 shooting that included making 5 of 8 3-point shots.

Iowa State won despite Appalachian State shooting 15 of 39 from 3-point range.

 

Source: Des Moines Register

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Big 12 picks: Iowa State should roll at Baylor, with a Florida bowl game potentially on the line

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Randy Peterson and Tommy Birch share their views on which QB they feel starts Saturday’s game at Baylor.

Iowa State continuing what could be a nationally unprecedented streak of ball security. Moving up in the bowl-game pecking order. David Montgomery zeroing in on 1,000 rushing yards. A longshot hopeful for the Big 12 Conference championship game.

If you think Matt Campbell’s guys are satisfied with already having qualified for their first bowl game since the 2012 Liberty Bowl loss against Tulsa, then think again.

Saturday’s 1:30 p.m. game at lowly-yet-improving Baylor is significant, too, and they know it.

“Once you come from losing, and you feel a certain way for so long — to be where we are now is an honor,” Montgomery said. “It’s a blessing.

“There’s so much more to come.”

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After watching the video, Noland was as good as his coach him to be.
Randy Peterson / The Register

Aside from personal glory, there’s that losing streak to consider — bouncing back from one-possession defeats against West Virginia and Oklahoma State to flip.

That’s where it starts for an Iowa State team that can win eight regular-season games for the first time since 2000. There’s an opportunity to win more Big 12 games than it loses, also for the first time since 2000.

Beat the one-win Bears in Waco, and then there’s that game at always-pesky Kansas State to play, but there’s more.

No one in FBS history has gone throughout out a season without losing a fumble. Through 10 games and 747 different fumbling opportunities — this bowl-bound team is still flawless,

Just two seasons ago, the Cyclones lost 12 fumbles, the fifth-highest total in the nation. This season, they’re the only team in the country that hasn’t lost a fumble.

So don’t subscribe to the notion that this isn’t a significant football game.

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The Big Breakdown

Iowa State passing vs. Baylor

It doesn’t really matter who plays quarterback, be it Zeb Noland, Kyle Kempt, Joel Lanning, Montgomery, Deshaunte Jones or anyone else that’s thrown an Iowa State pass. Whoever starts (Noland?) has 6-5 Allen Lazard and 6-6 Hakeem Butler as targets.

He’s got a couple very talented guys in the slot — Trever Ryen and Jones. He’s got Marchie Murdock and Matthew Eaton, both of whom have had big moments this season. Manage the game. Don’t be fancy. Don’t over-think the play call. That’s all it’ll take. ADVANTAGE: Iowa State.

Iowa State rushing vs. Baylor

There’s no reason to think the Bears will suddenly get good against the rush, this team that’s allowing a league-worst 195.3 rushing yards during each Big 12 games. David Montgomery needs 64 more yards to crack 1,000, and he could get it in the first quarter. If he can get 164 rushing yards against a mediocre Texas Tech rush defense, you’d think he’d be in for a big day on Saturday. Montgomery has consecutive 100-yard games, he’s been durable, and he’s not about to just coast into a bowl game. “He’s still learning how to be a running back,” coach Matt Campbell said. “You’re asking a guy that was a high school quarterback for three years to play running back. You see him still maturing.”  ADVANTAGE: Iowa State.

Baylor passing vs. Iowa State

This isn’t your typical Baylor passing attack. It’s averaging just shy of 294 yards a game. It’s striking fear into no one. No peeking: Who’s the Bears quarterback? Freshman Charlie Brewer set school records for completions (43) and attempts (63) during last Saturday’s 38-24 loss against Texas Tech. “This freshman has played outstanding football,” Campbell said. “You can tell why they’ve got a lot of belief in him. He’s really athletic, he’s a playmaker and he’s a guy that extends plays with his feet and can really throw the ball.” ADVANTAGE: Iowa State.

Baylor rushing vs. Iowa State

It’s a clean sweep for the Cyclones. The Bears don’t have a rusher among the Big 12’s top 10. They’re averaging less than 120 rushing yards a game, and they’re doing it on Saturday against an Iowa State defense that’s stopping the rush as well, if not better, than any Iowa State defense in recent memory. ADVANTAGE: Iowa State.

Score:Iowa State 37, Baylor 17

BIG 12 BREAKDOWN

Let’s peek ahead to Dec. 3, college football’s version of Selection Sunday.

Will a Big 12 team reach the College football playoffs? And what about the other New Year’s bowls?

With two games remaining in the regular season, it’s officially time to glance at bowl projections.

According to USA TODAY’S bowl projection, seven Big 12 teams will be eligible:

Oklahoma is in the College Football Playoffs; TCU plays in the Alamo; West Virginia is in the Liberty (Memphis); Oklahoma State is in the Camping World (Orlando); Texas is in the Texas Bowl (Houston); Iowa State is in the Cactus Bowl (Tempe); and Kansas State is in the Heart of Dallas Bowl.

The Sports Illustrated web site has:

Oklahoma in the CFP; Oklahoma State in the Fiesta; West Virginia in the Liberty; TCU in the Alamo; Iowa State in the Camping World; Texas in the Texas Bowl; Kansas State in the Cactus; and Texas Tech in the Heart of Dallas.

As for cbssports.com:

Oklahoma in the CFP; TCU in the Fiesta; Oklahoma State in the Alamo; Texas in the Liberty; Iowa State in the Camping World; and West Virginia in the Texas Bowl.

THIS JUST IN: Don’t order airplane tickets yet. A lot can and will change by this time next week.

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Our weekly Big 12 Predictions

No. 14 TCU (8-2, 5-2) at Texas Tech (5-5, 2-5)

Time, TV: 11 a.m., FS1

Vegas line: TCU by 7 ½ points

Prediction: This isn’t a run-of-the-mill game with next to nothing on the line. TCU still a solid bet to face Oklahoma in the Big 12 championship game. Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury’s seat wouldn’t be as toasty if it reaches bowl qualification; his team is one win from that, so this is important for the Red Raiders. His team finishes the regular season at Texas, by the way. Can Tech’s offense put a dent in TCU’s very good defense? That’s the question of the day surrounding this game.

Score: TCU 27, Texas Tech 21

Texas (5-5, 4-3) at No. 25 West Virginia (7-3, 5-2)

Time, TV: 11 a.m., ESPN

Vegas line: West Virginia by 3 points

Prediction: The notion that West Virginia can still reach the Big 12 title game is about as far-fetched as someone other than Iowa State’s Joel Lanning winning the Hornung Award, an honor that goes to the nation’s best, most versatile player. The Mountaineers can at least stay in contention by beating Texas on Saturday, and then finishing the regular season with a win against Oklahoma. That’s a tough assignment, and it’s probably not happening. But anything, I guess, is possible.

Score: West Virginia 33, Texas 30

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Sports writer Tommy Birch talks with Danny Lawhon about what to expect for the final games of the Cyclone football season and the start of the basketball season.
Michael Zamora/The Register

Kansas State (5-5, 3-4) at No. 13 Oklahoma State (8-2, 5-2)

Time, TV: 2:30 p.m., ESPN2

Vegas line: Oklahoma State by 20 ½

Prediction: Mason Rudolph came through when he had to last weekend against Iowa State’s good pass defense. He’ll thrive on Saturday against a Kansas State team that’s been shaky, at best, in the secondary. The Cowboys haven’t been eliminated from the Big 12 championship game conversation, so there’s that. Also reachable is a spot in a New Year’s Six bowl game. Kansas State’s bowl eligibility is far from assured, considering the Cats close the regular season against Iowa State.

Score: Oklahoma State 37, Kansas State 31

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SportsPulse: USA TODAY Sports’ George Schroeder looks at the most recent College Football Playoff rankings and which teams have the best chance to make the playoff.
USA TODAY Sports

No. 5 Oklahoma (9-1, 6-1) at Kansas (1-9, 0-7)

Time, TV: 2:30 p.m., ESPN

Vegas line: Oklahoma by 35 ½ points

Prediction: The Sooners are 5-0 after losing against Iowa State. They’re fresh from amassing 533 yards of offense against TCU’s once-solid defense — 200 rushing and 333 passing. Baker Mayfield still must impress Heisman Trophy voters. Need more? Kansas hasn’t improved from last season. Its fans, as always, are in basketball mode. There’s a reason Oklahoma is favored by five touchdowns.

Score: Oklahoma 38, Kansas 0

Source: Des Moines Register

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Matt Campbell named semifinalist of George Munger Award

Matt Campbell, head football coach of Iowa State, is one of 16 semifinalists for the George Munger Coach of the Year Award. 

The Maxwell Football Club National Selection Committee chose these semifinalists and will choose three finalists on Dec. 12 and, finally, a winner on Dec. 27. 


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ISU vs Baylor (10/1

Head coach Matt Campbell talks into his headset after a play during a game against the Baylor Bears, Oct. 1 in Jack Trice Stadium. The Cyclones would go on to lose 45-42.


Campbell is in his second year at Iowa State. In his first season, the Cyclones went 3-9 overall and 2-7 in the Big 12 Conference. This season, Iowa State has become a notable name in the Big 12. 

Currently, the Cyclones have a 6-4 record and 4-3 in the Big 12. They have notable wins at Oklahoma and against TCU when both were ranked in the top five. Iowa State is the only program in the nation this season to have two AP Top-5 wins. 

Iowa State became bowl-eligible during its homecoming weekend with a 14-7 win against then-No. 4 TCU. It’s the first time the Cyclones are going to a bowl game since 2012. 


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ISU vs Baylor (10/1

Head coach Matt Campbell warms up with the offensive line before a game against the Baylor Bears, Oct. 1 in Jack Trice Stadium. After having a seven point lead at halftime, the Cyclones would go on to give to lose off a last second field goal, 45-42.


The other semifinalists for the George Munger Coach of the Year award are:

Paul Chryst from Wisconsin

Bill Clark from UAB

Mark Dantonio from Michigan State

Scott Frost from UCF

Lane Kiffin from Florida Atlantic 

Gus Malzahn from Auburn

Jeff Monken from Army

Dan Mullen from Mississippi State

Mark Richt from Miami (Florida)

Lincoln Riley from Oklahoma

Rich Rodriguez from Arizona

Nick Saban from Alabama

Kirby Smart from Georgia 

Dabo Swinney from Clemson

Jeff Tedford from Fresno State

Source: Iowa State Daily

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Jess Schaben carries Iowa State in win over Oklahoma

Iowa State played at Norman, Oklahoma on Wednesday, facing the Oklahoma Sooners.

After Iowa State won in four sets in its first match against Oklahoma, the Cyclones swept the Sooners this time (28-26, 25-18, 25-22).

When these two teams met in Ames, the Cyclones had a rough time in the first set, losing 31-29. On Wednesday, Iowa State failed to dominate the first set again, but the Cyclones were still able to snag the first set this time.


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Volleyball Baylor

Junior Grace Lazard serves the ball Oct. 4. Baylor defeated Iowa State in three consecutive sets.


Junior hitter Jess Schaben feasted in the first set, carrying the Cyclones with nine kills. Tied at 26 late in the set, Iowa State also benefitted from Grace Lazard’s serving. Lazard sniped two aces in a row to grab the set.


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ISU vs K-State Volleyball

Junior Jess Schaben celebrates during the second set of the Kansas State Volleyball Match after ISU gets a point. Iowa State Defeated K-State in three consecutive sets.


In the second set, it became the Schaben and Alyssa Enneking show. Schaben didn’t skip a beat, tossing in six more kills. Enneking had five kills of her own in the second set.

In the third set, Schaben cooled off some, but her teammates contributed enough for the Cyclones to complete the sweep. Schaben finished the night with 18 kills and a .295 hitting percentage.

Source: Iowa State Daily

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Matt Campbell still coy on Iowa State’s starting quarterback for Baylor game

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Sports writer Tommy Birch talks with Danny Lawhon about what to expect for the final games of the Cyclone football season and the start of the basketball season.
Michael Zamora/The Register

AMES, Ia. — Iowa State football coach Matt Campbell said quarterback Kyle Kempt will be available for Saturday’s game at Baylor. 

How much or even if he will be used for the Saturday showdown at 1:30 p.m., remains to be seen as the Cyclones weigh who to use against Baylor: Kempt or redshirt freshman Zeb Noland. 

“I think right now, it looks like he’ll (Kempt) be available,” said Iowa State coach Matt Campbell. “Will he be full strength on Saturday? I think that’s the biggest question mark for us.” 

Kempt, a redshirt senior for the Cyclones, has started Iowa State’s last six games. He guided the Cyclones to four straight wins, including victories over then No.-3 Oklahoma and then-No. 4 Texas Christian. 

But Kempt came out out in the second quarter of Iowa State’s 49-42 loss to then-No. 15  Oklahoma State last Saturday. After the game, Campbell said Kempt had suffered an injury to his throwing shoulder and had been dinged up the week before at West Virginia. 

Kempt was replaced by redshirt freshman Zeb Noland, who nearly guided Iowa State to an upset over the Cowboys when he completed 17 of 28 passes for 263 yards and one interception. 

Campbell wouldn’t name a starter for Saturday when he met with reporters following Wednesday’s practice. He did say that if Kempt isn’t where he needs to be by then, Noland would be ready.

“I think we’re still in a really good spot,” Campbell said. “Kyle was able to practice today. He was able to throw the ball a lot better than he has. We’re kind of still inquisitive mode a little bit to see where Kyle’s at. but both guys have had a great week of practice and we’re certainly excited to have both available.” 

Campbell said they haven’t ruled out playing both quarterbacks. 

“That’s something that’s certainly, especially when they’re both at full strength, I think that gives us just another answer at that spot,” Campbell said. “(It’s) something we’ve definitely talked about. Zeb’s certainly earned the confidence in the coaching staff, and I think in his teammates as well, that he could certainly go in and function and do some really positive things for us.” 

Source: Des Moines Register

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Iowa State lands 3-star DB V’Lique Carter from West Palm Beach talent pool

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Randy Peterson and Tommy Birch share their views on which QB they feel starts Saturday’s game at Baylor.

Iowa State landed a 2018 defensive back from the deep talent pool of West Palm Beach, Florida.

V’Lique Carter from the Oxbridge Academy announced his commitment to the Cyclones via Twitter on Wednesday afternoon.

The 247Sports Composite gives Carter three stars and ranks him the No. 275 2018 prospect in Florida. He also held offers from Oklahoma, Purdue, UCF, Kentucky and Colorado State, among others. Carter took his official visit to Ames during the weekend of Iowa State’s 45-0 win over Kansas.

Through Oxbridge Academy’s 8-1 season so far, Carter has 49 tackles and four interceptions as a safety. He’s a shifty blur on the field with size that translates likely to cornerback in college (5-foot-10, 170 pounds). According to his 247Sports profile, he runs a 4.57 40-yard dash. He was invited to the Miami regional of The Nike Opening last spring.

According to 247Sports, Carter’s commitment brings Iowa State’s 2018 class up to 17.

Matthew Bain covers college football and basketball recruiting for the Des Moines Register. He also helps out with Iowa and Iowa State football and basketball coverage for HawkCentral and Cyclone Insider. Contact him at mbain@gannett.com and follow him on Twitter @MatthewBain_.

Source: Des Moines Register

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Iowa State football picks up three-star defensive back

This afternoon, Iowa State football had its latest commitment for the class of 2018 with V’Lique Carter, a native of West Palm Beach, Florida. 

Carter is a three-star defensive back from Oxbridge Academy, according to 247Sports Composite. He’s also ranked 133rd overall at the safety position. 

He also reportedly received offers from Oklahoma, Purdue and UCF, but chose Iowa State in the end. Carter has 49 tackles and four interceptions this season as a senior. 

Carter’s commitment brings Iowa State’s class of 2018 total to 17.

Source: Iowa State Daily

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Iowa State’s Lazard on the verge of yet another Cyclones football record

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Randy Peterson and Tommy Birch share their views on which QB they feel starts Saturday’s game at Baylor.

AMES, Ia. — As a young Iowa State football fan, Allen Lazard watched Todd Blythe break record after record and become one of the greatest wide receivers in school history.

Blythe will be watching from afar as Lazard tries to take down the mark for most receiving yards in school history when Iowa State plays at Baylor at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

“It’s coming down to a heckuva player and a heckuva young man, so I’m happy it’s him,” Blythe said.

Blythe’s name remains scattered through the record books, as Iowa State’s all-time record holder for touchdown receptions (31) and receiving yards (3,096). He’s also tied with Quenton Bundrage for the single-season touchdown receptions mark (nine).

But Lazard, a senior wide receiver from Urbandale, has slowly solidified his own greatness  and has made his mark in the record books. Earlier this season, Lazard broke Blythe’s mark for all-time receptions of 176. And he’s not done. Now, he needs only 26 receiving yards to surpass Blythe there, too (although he’s eight touchdown catches away from rubbing that eraser raw).

The touchdown mark may be too far out of reach with just three games remaining. But the receiving yards mark likely falls, it’ll be an extra special moment for Lazard, who called Blythe his favorite player growing up.

“I idolized him and looked up to him so much as a kid,” Lazard said. “To be in this position, to even be in the same conversation as Todd Blythe, I couldn’t have imagined that six, seven years ago. To be in that conversation is a huge honor.”

Like Blythe, who hailed from Indianola, Lazard remembered the now former wide receiver’s great game against Texas A&M when he caught eight passes for 214 yards and four touchdown passes in 2015. So, when Lazard committed to Iowa State, he set his sights on Blythe’s records. 

One of the biggest is now well within reach.

It’s a moment Blythe has been preparing for. Blythe, who now works as a medical sales device salesman and lives in Ankeny, has followed Lazard’s career. He watched Lazard rapidly rise through the record book. Blythe knew when Lazard decided to forgo the NFL Draft and return for his senior season, it was only a matter of time before the receptions and receiving yards marks fell.

Blythe has paid such close attention that he’s tweeted to Lazard and even traded messages with the wide receiver as he’s gotten closer and closer to his records.

“I usually just give him crap about how he’s completely erasing me from the history of Iowa State football,” Blythe said with a chuckle.

Blythe said he’s enjoyed watching Lazard who has impressed him with his style of play.

“Just the way he can take over a game—his physicality and the way he can impact a game,” Blythe said.

Lazard’s impact on Iowa State has always been big. He was one of the few bright spots when the Cyclones struggled through his first three seasons. Despite their struggles and inconsistencies over the years on offense, Lazard became one of the sure things for the Cyclones.

He’s the active leader in the NCAA for most consecutive games with a reception, having grabbed a catch in all 45 games he’s played in. And he’s gotten better and better every season since starting as a freshman.

Lazard grabbed 45 passes for 593 yards and three touchdowns as a freshman. He topped that by grabbing 56 passes for 808 yards and six touchdowns as a sophomore. Lazard’s junior year was even better when he caught 69 passes for 1,018 yards and seven touchdowns.

Now that he’s in the midst of his final season, he’s been at his best. Lazard has grabbed 53 passes for 652 yards and eight touchdowns. He’s one of the reasons why Iowa State’s offense hasn’t missed a beat using four different quarterbacks this season.

“Allen has distinguished himself as a big power guy and he normally comes down with the ball,” said Iowa State quarterback Zeb Noland.

He’s also grown off the field where he’s embraced his role as a captain and leader of not only Iowa State’s offense but the entire team. Before practices, he’ll go up to the offensive line and pump up the group. This week, he kept things loose at practice by asking coaches when he’ll be the next quarterback for the Cyclones.

“He’s a fun guy to be around,” said Iowa State offensive line/offensive coordinator Tom Manning. “He’s always been a really good teammate but I’ve seen him grow as a leader organically which is cool.”

When it’s all said and done, he’ll be in the conversation with Blythe as one of the greatest wide receivers in school history. Records were something he hoped to have when he left Iowa State. But winning was always the goal. Now that Iowa State is bowl eligible for the first time since 2012 and Lazard is knocking on the door of another record, he now has both.

“To finally have the team success is huge,” Lazard said. “That’s’ something that I’ve worked for, for the past four years. To finally the time and that work pay off is very accomplishing and very satisfying.”

While Blythe is watching him take down his records right now, Lazard hopes to be in the same position some day down the road.

“Hopefully within the next five, 10 years, someone else is passing my records,” Lazard said. 

 

Source: Des Moines Register

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