Fred Hoiberg

Excessive phone calls becoming a headache for Iowa State

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Two former men’s basketball staff members are at the heart of an investigation into the men’s basketball program that could cause a headache for new head coach Fred Hoiberg.

What happened was that Hoiberg walked into an AAU tournament to watch his son play and saw former graduate assistant Keith “Lefty” Moore in the stands. Moore wasn’t allowed to be at the game, as he was essentially recruiting, and when Hoiberg reported the violation, Moore was fired.

But it also opened up an investigation into Iowa State’s recruiting practices, and that created more of a problem.

From the Ames Tribune:

The ISU investigation found Moore to have made 160 impermissible text messages and 12 impermissible phone calls to five prospects he had coached at All Iowa Attack.

Moore isn’t the only one that could be in trouble, however. The staff, in total, made 158 impermissible phone calls, although 118 of them were simply the result of improper logging of phone contacts:

Twenty-one of the remaining “culpable calls” were made by [Daniyal] Robinson after he had already “made permissible call(s) to a prospect during the legislated time period,” the report said.

Members of the current staff were found to have committed nine “true” violations — calls that occurred at an improper time, after another coach had called, or after a previous call had been made during a legislated time period.

Hoiberg had three such calls, associate head coach T.J. Otzelberger five, and former associate director of basketball operations and current assistant Matt Abdelmassih one.

[Greg] McDermott, now the head coach at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., was found to have made four “true” violation calls.

Here’s the irony: none of these violations are still violations. While there are folks fighting the rule changes, as of right now, there is no limit to the number of phone calls that a coaching staff can make to recruits.

Robinson is currently an assistant coach at Notre Dame and McDermott is now the head coach at Creighton. The Cyclones have already self-imposed some sanctions, and they are hoping that the NCAA will leave it at that.

We’ll have to wait and see what the next step is.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

Illinois’ injury woes continue as starting center needs knee surgery

George Niang,Abdel Nader,Mike Thorne, Jr.
AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser
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Illinois suffered another blow in what has already turned out to be a brutal season.

Mike Thorne is expected to miss the rest of the season after tearing his meniscus. He reportedly underwent surgery on Monday to repair the injury.

Thorne, a transfer from Charlotte, was starting at center for the Illini and doing a good job of it as well. He was averaging 13.4 points and 8.4 boards, although Illinois has started off the season 3-4.

The reason for that slow start has mainly been those injuries. Tracy Abrams is already out for the season after tearing his achilles, and the Illini training room looked like a M.A.S.H. unit. Kendrick Nunn just returned two games ago from surgery to repair a torn thumb ligament. LeRon Black is still getting back to speed after offseason knee surgery. Jaylon Tate is back after dislocating a finger. Jalen Coleman-Lands was slowed by a stress fracture.

John Groce entered this season on the hot seat, and dealing with all of these injuries certainly isn’t helping his cause.

NEW PODCAST: Recapping Feast Week

Kris Dunn
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
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We talk about a lot of stuff of the podcast today, mainly because a lot of stuff happened since we last spoke with you all.

For starters, we need to discuss the ‘realness’ of Syracuse and Xavier. Are they both truly top 15 teams, or do they just have top 15 resumes? We also dive into Chris Mack’s epic troll-job of Dayton at the Advocare Invitational final.

Other topics we touched on: Whether or not Scott is ever going to apologize to Wayne Selden, Wichita State’s tournament hopes, Texas A&M and whether we’d take Ben Simmons, Kris Dunn or Denzel Valentine today.

As always, you can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes right here. It’s the quickest way to get access on your cell phone or tablet.