Monday, November 14, 2005

Drake Basketball Coach Tom Davis Hits Paydirt, Signs 6-1 Guard Who Led State of Oklahoma With a 35-Point Average Last Season As High School Junior

Josh Young, a 6-foot 1-inch guard from Lawton, Okla., who led the state of Oklahoma in scoring as a high school junior last year, has signed a national letter of intent with Drake.

Young averaged 35 points, 8.2 assists, 7.7 rebounds and 5.9 steals last year while leading Lawton Christian Secondary School to the Oklahoma Christian School Athletic Association state title year.

Young scored 25 points in his team's state championship victory over Windsor Hills last season.

Young is already averaging 33.8 points this season while guiding Lawton Christian to a 4-0 start, including a season-high 43 points against Sterling High School.

He becomes the second high school player to sign a national letter of intent to join the Drake basketball program during the fall signing period. Keith Worner, a 6-6 forward from Denver [Ia.] High School, signed a national letter of intent last Thursday.

During the 2004-05 season, Young scored 40 or more points in six games, 50 or more points on three occasions including a school-record 64 points against Alex High School. He is a three-time Oklahoma Christian School Athletic Association all-state selection. And was named the most valuable player in the 2005 Sooner Christian Conference tournament.

Young plans to major in business at Drake. He is a member of Epsilon Chi and is listed in Who's Who Among American Students, while belong to the Lawton Christian School Leadership Group.

"From the first time we saw Josh Young, we felt he was the right choice," said Drake coach Tom Davis. "Our staff saw him play numerous times last summer and were convinced he would be a great fit for Drake, both athletically and academically, so we're pleased to have him joining us."

He has scored 2,320 career points entering his senior campaign for a career scoring average of 25.9 points.

"Drake presented Josh the greatest opportunity of all the schools that were recruiting him, academically and athletically," said Lawton Christian coach Rick Young. "It was a tough decision but after all the fall recruiting dust had settled, Drake proved to be the perfect fit."

"Coach Davis, his staff and the university did a wonderful job in recruiting him. They will give Josh the greatest opportunity to be successful as a man, student and a basketball player."

Said Young: "I chose Drake because I felt that it was great fit for me academically. I really like the coaches, players and people that I met during my visit. Finally, the city of Des Moines is a nice place and I felt very comfortable there."

Like incoming Drake recruit Keith Worner, Young owns a 4.0 grade-point average.

"In all of my years of recruiting, I can't remember two young men better prepared for college in the same recruiting class as you'll see with Josh [Young] and Keith Worner," added Davis.


It's silly at this point in the season for any sportswriter to be cranking out stories that say this team or that team is going to this pissant bowl game or that pissant bowl game.

Believe me, I've been down that road.

Plenty of times.

The scenario at every bowl game will change many times before the decisions are made on the matchups.

At this stage, to say Iowa is going to this bowl or Iowa State is going to that bowl is ridiculous.

It's pure guesswork and, in some cases, wishful thinking.

Don't believe it.

Like Hayden Fry used to say, "It all makes good newspaper copy, but it means nothing."


I used to talk about the people who engineered Jack Trice Stadium on the Iowa State campus in Ames.

Especially when the wind blew so hard that the stadium's foundation was in jeopardy.

Which was most of the time.

"How can it be," I'd ask, "that Iowa State can have a forestry department, but no one planted any trees around the stadium? What kind of thinking was that?"

I thought the trees would help control the wind, which always is a factor during football games at the stadium.

But, obviously, trees wouldn't have made any difference Saturday night when the Cyclones played Colorado in their final home game of the season.

The wind was so awful that it likely would have ripped down the trees, too.

As it was, the wind raised all kinds of hell before and during a game the Cyclones won, 30-16.

There was much more involved, of course, than a football game. Wind was the least of it. Tornadoes tore through parts of Iowa and caused massive damage Saturday night.

"I'm glad you dodged the tornadoes," Big 12 Conference spokesman Bo Carter said to Iowa State coach Dan McCarney this morning on the league's coaches' teleconference.

The start of the game was delayed 40 minutes.

"The wind was blowing non-stop relentlessly throughout the game," McCarney said.

McCarney was asked how much the wind is a factor in pregame planning.

"At 10 o'clock Saturday morning, we knew there could be a delay [in the start of the game] because of the weather," he said. "We didn't know tornadoes would be involved. But everybody did a good job of keeping things secure.

"Colorado won the coin toss and took the ball. So that meant we had the wind in the first and third quarters. We were fortunate to get off to a 13-0 start."


Iowa State tailback Stevie Hicks, who has been battling what is believed to be a lower leg injury all season, had to be helped off the field late in Saturday night's game.

"He'll be ready for [the Nov. 26 game] at Kansas," McCarney said.

Hicks was injured in the first week of two-a-day practices in August, and has been bothered by the ailment most of the season.


An e-mail from Steve Deace at KXNO:

"At some point in time, all of you on this email list have been instrumental in the success we've had on radio over the years, maybe some of you without even knowing it. Your support, accountability, and feedback has been a big blessing to me, even when I didn't like what I was hearing [or especially then!]. That's why I wanted to share with all of you the latest ratings for our show in afternoon in drive in Des Moines:"

Persons 25-49: tied for third with Star, behind KGGO and The Bus
Persons 25-54: third, behind KGGO and The Bus
Men 18-49: third, behind KGGO and LAZR
Men 25-49: second, behind KGGO
Men 25-54: second, behind KGGO
Men 35-64: second, behind KGGO

"Folks, those are great numbers for a 5,000-watt AM sports station in a non pro-sports city. We even beat WHO in every one of those demos. To be blunt, we shouldn't be getting these kinds of ratings. Thank you for being there for me over the years."