Travis Ford

2013 point guard Stevie Clark signs with Oklahoma State

1 Comment

When you have a highly-touted prospect in your backyard it’s very important to keep that player home. Oklahoma State head coach Travis Ford accomplished that mission last week, as Douglass HS (Oklahoma City) point guard Stevie Clark sent in his Letter of Intent to the school.

Clark sent in his letter before the November 21 fall signing period deadline but held off on making the decision public until Friday.

Landing Clark pushes Oklahoma State’s 2013 class to five players, an important number when considering the fact that in addition to having three seniors there could also be NBA Draft questions for both Le’Bryan Nash and Marcus Smart.

“Stevie is not only one of the best high school players to ever play in the state of Oklahoma, but he is also an excellent student,” Oklahoma State head coach Travis Ford said in a statement released by the school on Friday.

“He’s one of the top guards in the country. He gets a lot of publicity for how he can score the basketball, but he is also a great passer and a great ball handler. He’s a winner. His team has won three state championships, and are looking forward to trying to win a fourth.”

The Cowboys have two four-star guards in their 2013 class, as LaPorte, Indiana shooting guard Detrick Mostella has also signed a Letter of Intent. Mostella and Clark are joined by small forwards Jeffrey Carroll and Leyton Hammonds and Brevard College center Gary Gaskins.

Clark averaged 25 points and 11 assists per game for the Douglass Trojans last season, and his ability to make things happen with his speed will be a welcome addition to the Cowboy offense.

Oklahoma State beat out UCLA and Baylor for Clark’s services, as the comforts of home proved to be one of the reasons why Clark decided to become a Cowboy.

“I love Oklahoma,” Clark said. “I’m an Oklahoma kid. OSU is just up the street, not too far away. If I want to come home for church or watch my little brother play football, I can do that. I’m big on family. That was part of my decision.”

Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

PHOTO: Baylor shows off new uniforms

Scott Drew
Associated Press
Leave a comment

Wednesday afternoon the Baylor basketball program sent out some images of its uniform combinations for the upcoming season, and the volt color way that first made a splash in 2012 is back. Baylor’s got four different uniforms it can wear this season: home (white), away (green) and two alternate uniforms.

While there is some volt green in each of the four uniforms, its presence is relatively tame compared to the uniforms Scott Drew’s program wore back in 2012. Of course those uniforms were part of adidas’ AdiZero uniform release (Baylor is now outfitted by Nike), with two other schools (Cincinnati and Louisville) wearing colorful uniforms with shorts that had “interesting” patterns on them.

While some of the new uniform designs in college sports have received some pushback from fans and alums, this stuff is about the players and recruits programs look to land for the future. Everyone likes free stuff, and when it comes to apparel for young athletes having something that’s both free and “exclusive” is seen as a positive.

Pressure is on new coach Steve Prohm at Iowa State

Steve Prohm
Leave a comment

AMES, Iowa (AP) Five months ago, Iowa State’s Steve Prohm was the coach at mid-major Murray State. Now he’s in charge of one of the big favorites in the Big 12.

Prohm officially began his first season in charge of the Cyclones on Tuesday with the team’s annual media day.

Iowa State has all the pieces to make a run at the league title and more – provided that Prohm can handle coaching college basketball at the highest level, of course.

In the minds of Prohm’s players, the Cyclones have nothing to worry about.

“Coach (Prohm) is in here earning our trust and our respect every day,” said senior forward Georges Niang. “Even though he’s not trying to cross any of our toes, he puts his foot down when he needs to and lets us know that stuff needs to get done. I think he has a great combination of how to keep us motivated…and still be stern and be able to get the most out of us.”

Fred Hoiberg’s departure for the Chicago Bulls after five mostly successful seasons gave Prohm a shot at a national title. The roster Hoiberg left behind for Prohm is loaded.

Niang, a likely preseason first-team All-American, second-team All-Big 12 point guard Monte Morris and league defensive player of the year Jameel McKay headline one of the nation’s most talented starting units. Throw in veterans like Naz Long, Matt Thomas, Abdel Nader and transfer Deonte Burton, and Prohm might just have the best roster a new Power Five coach has inherited since Bill Guthridge took over for Dean Smith at North Carolina in 1997.

Guthridge reached the Final Four with his first team.

Prohm isn’t shying away from the notion that Iowa State is among the handful of teams with serious national title aspirations.

“Yeah, they’re realistic,” Prohm said when asked about the sky-high expectations for this year’s team. “I think we have the opportunity to have a very special season.”

The similarities between what type of styles Prohm and Hoiberg use was cited as a big reason why Iowa State hired him. Hoiberg even lobbied for Prohm to athletic director Jamie Pollard during the hiring process.

To that end, Prohm is going to let his players have a ton of input on how they play. Prohm doesn’t plan many changes, just tweaks that mostly involve techniques to improve Iowa State’s somewhat inconsistent rebounding and defense.

“I don’t need to say, `This is the way we’re doing things guys because this is the way I did it.’ That’s stupid,” Prohm said. “I need to meet these guys halfway.”

Prohm also acknowledged that he’ll be doing quite a bit of learning himself this season. But Prohm said he intends to embrace the unique opportunity he’s been afforded.

“This is a great situation to walk into. No question,” Prohm said. “Is there pressure? Yeah. But who wants a job with no pressure?”