Thursday, February 22, 2007

Sweetness On The Court

Iowa State basketball great, Barry Stevens, died Wednesday at his home in Indiana. Along with Ron Harris and coach Johnny Orr, Stevens help ISU go from a perennial loser to a regular NCAA tournament contender. Stevens was my first favorite Cyclone player. The flashy dunks and the silky smooth stroke from deep in the corner...Stevens was a fast streaking ESPN highlight film.

Although replaced by Jeff Grayer as ISU's all time leading scorer, his impact on Cyclone basketball will never be forgotten.

From the Des Moines Register:

Stevens helped usher Iowa State's program to national prominence. He scored 2,190 points, surpassed later by only Jeff Grayer, and led the 1984-85 team to the NCAA Tournament - the program's first trip since 1944.

Stevens was honored with a moment of silence before Wednesday night's game against Colorado at Hilton Coliseum.

Former Cyclone star Fred Hoiberg, now an assistant general manager for the NBA's Minnesota Timberwolves, worked as a Cyclone ball boy during part of Stevens' heyday.

"I always wanted to be a player like him," Hoiberg said Wednesday. "It's a very sad day for anyone associated with Iowa State basketball."

Stevens was a captain in 1984-85 when Iowa State turned the corner, reaching the NCAA Tournament and finishing 21-13. He averaged 21.7 points per game as a senior after scoring at a 22.2-point clip as a junior.

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