Cedar Valley Banquet Notes

Iowa State coaches and administrators opened a Cyclone Club banquet swing to the Eastern side of the state with a stop in Cedar Rapids Wednesday night. ‘Voice of the Cyclones' John Walters, athletic director Bruce Van De Velde, and coaches K.J. Kindler, Linda Crum, Bill Fennelly, Wayne Morgan, and Dan McCarney all addressed the crowd. Here are some notes from the event.

John Walters:

* Spoke on the new television package announced last week that pertained to the Cedar Rapids area. Said it was nice to know a grassroots operation can make a difference. People made phone calls and wrote letters to make a difference.

Bruce Van De Velde:

* Says up to 24 games will now be televised in area to go along with football and basketball coaches shows.

* Excited about Wednesday's announcement that Mediacom would become title sponsor for made-for-television event featuring men's and women's basketball teams. Event will be televised in front of a national audience.

K.J. Kindler:

* Gymnastics team was ranked as high as fifth last season, and had three national qualifiers and two All-Americans. Janet Anson, Erin Dethloff and L.K. Powell were three nationals participants.

* Team had highest attendance in history of program last season, ranked best in the Big 12 and 15th nationally.

* Cyclones never scored lower than a score of 196 points (out of possible 200), while scoring a team-high of 198.

* Her team broke Nebraska's 11-year home winning streak, while finishing the regular season with a 10-1-1 mark.

* Said she had become a big Minnesota Timberwolves fan, and couldn't help but be excited for team with Fred Hoiberg playing so well.

Linda Crum:

* Cyclones finished eighth in the Big 12 last season...the best-ever ranking in the conference.

* ISU is now on the verge of being an NCAA contender, given the fact that six to eight teams from the league qualify year in and year out.

* Said 14 of 15 players on the team were scholar athletes, meaning their GPAs were over 3.0.

* Beat Iowa last year after finally being put back on the Hawkeyes' schedule, but now they have taken the Cyclones back off the schedule for next season.

* Said strong group returns for upcoming campaign.

Bill Fennelly:

* Reminded crowd that Cedar Rapids and surrounding area has been very good to program, producing Brenda Frese, Stacy Huber (formerly Frese), Katie Abrahamson, Anne O'Neil, and Monica Huelman. Stacy Huber and O'Neil were in attendance with their parents.

* Said this team came together as well as any one he's coached, and was by far the easiest to coach and responded well to coaching. Posting 18 wins was a great feat for this team.

* Cyclones have ranked in top 10 in attendance nationally over past seven years.

* Every player returns for next season, except for Erica Junod.

* ISU has already been picked to finish ninth next season, but has the desire to return to the postseason.

* Spoke on newest recruit Seirra Dawson, a Mississippi native, and thanked Wayne Morgan for the help in recruiting her and feel comfortable with Ames.

Wayne Morgan:

* Cyclones played 18 postseason teams last season, and recorded 13 victories.

* Said his team will be very young in 2004-05, without the likes of Jackson Vroman and Jake Sullivan. Jared Homan and Damien Staple will be only seniors.

* Pointed out that freshman recruit Aaron Agnew's Bellaire (Ohio) team played for the state title...Believes Rahshon Clark is a world-class athlete...Tasheed Carr was valedictorian of senior class...Robert Faulkner will go a long ways in shoring up front line...Anthony Davis was second-team JUCO All-American.

* Last year's ISU team ranked second in the Big 12 with a 46.6 percent field-goal percentage.

Dan McCarney:

* Just returned from Big 12 meetings in New Mexico, and was up at 7:30 Tuesday morning for a speaking engagement with bowl representatives. Said he and K-State's Bill Snyder spoke to the reps on their bowl experiences. Believes the Cyclones have a solid reputation for crowd support.

* Said that academics are real strong for ISU student-athletes. Said that the student-athlete GPA is higher than overall student body...Thirty-five Cyclone football players had over a 3.0 GPA...Freshman running back Jason Scales posted a 3.5 GPA in his first semester and made the Dean's List.

* Believes ISU is on pace to at least hit last year's season ticket numbers.

* Ten weeks from this Sunday the Cyclones report for camp...In fourteen weeks they will take on Northern Iowa.

* More than 1,200 kids will take part in summer camp.

* Barney Cotton was a great hire; Nebraska's loss was ISU's gain. At 6-foot-6 and 325 pounds, don't piss him off.

* Todd Fitch comes from a great background of coaches, but is now in the middle of treatments for testicular cancer. Fitch has already completed seven of 24 treatments, and doctors are saying he has an 80-90 percent chance of beating it.

* Todd Blythe will be one of the best ever to play at Iowa State.

* Quarterback is a two-person race and will be as much about who can lead and win than anything.

* The defense should be faster and more athletic this season; Would like to see more tackles-for-loss, sacks and big plays out of the unit.

* The three non-conference teams the Cyclones play combined for 30 wins last season.

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