Ron Baker

Ron Baker, No. 12 Wichita State take CBE Classic title over BYU


Defense wins championships … and I guess that applies to early-season tournaments as well.

Wichita State held BYU to 30 percent from the field, which includes forcing Tyler Haws into 3-for-15 shooting, en route to a 75-62 CBE Hall of Fame Classic championship win on Tuesday night at the Sprint Center Kansas City, Mo.

The game was close for the majority of the game, but the style of play started to lean more towards the Shockers’ physical style of play in the second half. Wichita State held the high-scoring BYU offense, averaging 93.2 points per game entering the game, without a field goal for the final eight minutes. The Shockers opened up a 68-62 lead when BYU’s Nate Austin was hit with a Flagrant 2 after an elbow hit Ron Baker in the head. Wichita State hit 7-of-8 free throws to end the game to pull away with a 13-point win.

Ron Baker scored a career-high 23 points to lead all scorers. Haws ended with 17 points, but most of that damage came from the line where he sunk 11-of-11 attempts. Matt Carlino gave BYU an early 13-point lead in the first half, connecting on 3-of-4 shooting, scoring 11 points in the first seven minutes. That hot shooting sparked the Cougars’ 19-6 start.

Carlino scored 18 of his team-high 21 points in the first half and hit 1-of-6 attempts from deep after his quick start.

Wichita State has defeated every team by at least 13 points in each of its first seven games. The first two weeks of December offer two more challenges, with games against Saint Louis and Tennessee.

PHOTO: Baylor shows off new uniforms

Scott Drew
Associated Press
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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
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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?”