Iowa falls in exhibition tour as former Hawkeye Pierre Pierce buries game-winning shot

Former Iowa guard Pierre Pierce — kicked off the team eight years ago following a second sexual assault charge — buried the game-winning, buzzer-beating jumper against his former school as Pierce and Hyeres-Toulon Basket defeated the Hawkeyes 84-82 in overtime during Iowa’s exhibition tour in France.

The 30-year old Pierce is playing professionally in France for Hyeres-Toulon Basket and led all scorers in the contest with 19 points.

After the game, Pierce took to Twitter to express his emotions in beating his former school:

“Feels pretty good hitting my first game winner today lol wish the #Hawkeyes best of luck this season and safe travels back,’’ Pierce tweeted.

Pierce was first charged with sexual assault in 2002 following an incident with another Iowa athlete. As part of a plea deal that forced him to redshirt the 2002-03 season, Pierce was able to stay with the program.

Pierce returned to play 20 games in the 2004-05 season and was immediately dismissed from the program following his second charge of sexual assault.

That second charge led to Pierce serving 11 months in prison after the native of Westmont, IL was found guilty of third degree burglary, criminal trespass, false imprisonment and assault with intent to commit sexual abuse.

According to a report from the Quad City Times, Iowa was unaware they were facing Pierce before Monday’s game and the game was set-up by an outside agency.

“The opponents on this trip were scheduled by an outside agency with the task of getting competitive games,’’ Iowa sports information director Steve Roe said to the Quad City Times. “This team would have never been scheduled by a member of the university staff.’’

Pierce has been playing in professional leagues overseas since an Iowa court allowed him to do so when he signed with Hyeres-Toulon Basket. Pierce has also played professionally in Greece, Ukraine and the Republic of Georgia before returning to France to play for Hyeres-Toulon Basket last winter.

Rutgers hoping new duo can bring a spark

of the Ohio State Buckeyes against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights during their Big Ten conference game at Rutgers Athletic Center on February 8, 2015 in Piscataway, New Jersey.
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Rutgers has struggled to achieve success on the floor the last few years and head coach Eddie Jordan is hoping that some talented newcomers can help start a turnaround. With the start of practice, local media saw some of the Scarlet Knights’ early practice and Jerry Carino of the Asbury Park Press noted that the duo of freshman point guard Corey Sanders and junior college forward Deshawn Freeman were getting a lot of burn together.

With both incoming players being four-star prospects, it’s hardly a surprise that Jordan would see what the two were capable of. According to Carino, it meant a lot of Sanders driving and forcing the defense to collapse before finding Freeman.

“It seems like coach always has us on the same team,” Freeman said to Carino. “Ever since we’ve gotten here, he’s trying to get us to play together.”

Carino also notes that since Rutgers is deeper, longer and more athletic in general this season, the team could do more with a pressing defense to help create turnovers.

While Rutgers still faces an uphill climb in the Big Ten, they at least have some exciting pieces that will be in place for a few seasons.

LSU looking into starting lineup options

FAYETTEVILLE, AR - MARCH 7:  Head Coach Johnny Jones of the LSU Tigers watches his team play during a game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Bud Walton Arena on March 7, 2015 in Fayetteville, Arkansas.  The Tigers defeated the Razorbacks 81-78.  (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
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LSU football and Leonard Fournette are off to a strong start this fall, but the beginning of October also means that college hoops is right around the corner. If you’re a Tigers basketball fan, you also have plenty to be excited about on the hardwood this season with the arrival of a loaded freshman class headlined by forward Ben Simmons.

While the versatile Simmons has solidified a spot in the starting lineup for next season, it’ll be interesting to see how head coach Johnny Jones uses the rest of his talented freshmen. In a story from Sheldon Mickles of the New Orleans Advocate, he looks into some potential LSU starting lineups.

Freshman guard Antonio Blakeney, a McDonald’s All-American with Simmons, is also expected to start, but does another talented freshman guard, Brandon Sampson get a shot to start? And what of Arizona transfer Craig Victor when he’s eligible to play in December?

Mickles believes the early favorite for starting lineup is guards Tim Quarterman, Keith Hornsby, Blakeney, Simmons and center Darcy Malone. When Victor returns, Mickles said Victor could push Simmons into the “center” position, which would be a matchup nightmare on the opposition because Simmons would be very tough for many college centers to defend.

Sampson also gets a mention from Mickles of having the potential to start down the line. Overall, a good problem to have for Jones and he’ll have to experiment to see which lineups are giving him the most. Having a productive starting five is nice, but I’m sure Jones would love to find the five players he wants to close with.