By Chris Williams, CycloneFanatic.com Publisher
I just looked at my calendar and realized that it is July 1. That is insane. Football season is right around the corner Fanatics. Excited yet? We’ve got an awfully full mailbag today, so let’s get to it.
WalkingCy writes: Any word on basketball recruits coming to town soon? (2010 recruits)
CW: Royce White was on campus yesterday. No commitment was made. It’s hard telling how long it will be until he makes a decision. Another prospect will be on campus this weekend. That’s all that I know at this point in time. That European player that everybody was jacked up about will not be a Cyclone. I do know that for a fact.
Knownothing writes: Getting close to any 2011 basketball recruit commits?
CW: Not that I know of. I was a little disappointed in Jarrod Uthoff’s mid-week announcement. I was told that he was trimming his list down, which he did, to six, according to his AAU coach Jamie Johnson. Johnson also told me through a text message that Uthoff would entertain any other offers that might come his way in July. So basically, he trimmed the fat and that is that. I do hear that Uthoff wants to play close to home though, so that’s a good thing. I also know that he is a top priority for Iowa State as he should be. He’s a bright, Iowa kid who has a ton of talent. Any program would be lucky to land this fine young man.
Brentblum writes: Having just turned 26 are you aware you are closer to 30 than the legal drinking age?
CW: Thanks for that Blummer. You always spin a postive light on everything. NOT. I feel like an old man. I’m now married. Where did the time go?
IcSyU writes: What is the roster on the CW Favorite Cyclones basketball team?
CW: I am going to assume that you want me to go by position so that’s what I’ll do. Keep in mind that I am only 26. My memory only goes back so far. These are just my favorite players too. Not the “best.”
PG: Jamaal Tinsley
SG: Fred Hoiberg
SF: Rahshon Clark
PF: Craig Brackins
C: Jared Homan
ISUser writes: Who are/were some of your favorite cyclones to interview? Who was the best at them?
CW: Craig Brackins was always great. He is a media relations dream. No matter how bad things got, Craig always said the right thing. I especially appreciate the way Craig will look you in the eyes and give an honest answer to a question. Guys like that are hard to come by. Austen Arnaud is an ace interviewee. Looking back, Austin Flynn was always a fun one in football. Reggie Stephens was awesome. Oh, I almost forgot about Dan McCarney. One of my favorite McCarney quotes of all-time was him describing then-Texas Tech coach Mike Leach.
“He’s a dandy,” McCarney said. I say the same thing about him. McCarney was phenomenal.
Wayne Morgan was a terrible interview but he always said really funny things that made my scratch my head. He’d compare Curtis Stinson to a “great white shark” or something crazy like that. He just said the most bizarre things in post game press conferences. Morgan did have one classic line that used to make my skin crawl.
“I need to look at the tape.”
Whenever his team’s lost, he rarely would answer a direct question about the game.
“I need to look at the tape,” he’d say while staring down at the table in front of him.
Just answer the question Wayne!
I didn’t work with Gene Chizik much. Rhoads reminds me of a young Dan McCarney in more ways than one.
Greg McDermott was great to work with.
Bill Fennelly is an absolute gem. In my opinion, he is probably the best I’ve ever worked with.
Yaman3 writes: C-Swift – Who is our biggest get in the 2011 football class? I know it’s a long way off but whom do you see as a guy we could grab that would be a surprise? I think Newberry or Maggitt comes to ISU because of the extraordinary amount of immediate playing time for either one.
CW: It sounds to me like you know more about this than I do Yaman. I am anything but an “expert” on that topic. I am familiar with the six prospects who have already committed to Iowa State and I like the list a lot. I’m especially pumped up about Teddy Lampkin, Darion Cotton, Jared Brackens and Kyle Boyd. All four prospects are speedy and athletic for their positions. I watched some video on Boyd the other night. He reminds me a lot of Jake Knott.
Also, did you make it to The Big Country Bash? If so shoes or no shoes?
CW: No, I didn’t. I had other plans with the wife back home. If I would have gone, I would have opted for flip-flops and a cowboy hat. I’m being serious too. Did anybody else go? If so, can I get a review?
Clonefan32 writes: I am 23 years old and I am an Iowa State and Cubs fan. In your opinion:
1) What is my life expectancy given the amount of stress and despair I will go through for the remainder of my life?
CW: It all depends on you as an individual. I would have to ask you a series of background questions in order to give you my true opinion. Those questions would include: After Iowa State loses a game, do you A) shrug if off, B) swear and drink a lot, C) keep to yourself for a few hours so you can cool down or D), physically hurt other people and the things surrounding you?
If you chose A, B, or C, you’ll be fine. That is normal. If you’re one of those nutbags who just goes crazy and threatens to riot, you need some help.
And as for being a Cubs fan, I have no sympathy for you my friend. No sympathy at all.
2) What is awaiting me in heaven to reward my persistence and loyalty?
CW: My hope is that the sports version of heaven has one of those alternate ending type of books for you to read, but watch from the sky. You know what I mean? When I was a kid, I’d read these books that would say “to go down the valley to confront the monster, turn to page 48. To avoid confronting the mythical beast, turn to page 36.”
My thinking is that maybe in your own heavenly mind, you can rewrite history to put yourself at ease. You know? Switch the Michigan State outcome around and the Clones win the national title. You can eliminate Bartman. Just dreaming here folks. In my sports heaven, Iowa State would have played in two Big 12 title games back in the early 2000’s…Adam Carper would have never blown out his knee…The Vikings would have two Super Bowl’s (that means Gary Anderson doesn’t choke and the Vikes don’t turn it over five times against the Saints last year). The Braves not getting swept in the World Series all of those times would be nice too.
GeronimusClone writes: You have a sack full of quarters and an afternoon to kill.
1) Go to an arcade and play Dance Dance Revolution until your legs give out?
2) Fill the parking meters in Des Moines and leave notes that say "Free parking courtesy of CycloneFanatic"?
3) Sit in with Matt Perrault and continuously give him a quarter while saying "here’s a quarter, buy a clue"?
4) Throw said quarters into a wishing well, each time wishing for an NCAA championship in football, basketball, volleyball, (chance at T-Swift), wrestling, gymnastics, etc.?
5) Wind that sack up and drill Herky in the pills?
CW: GC chimes in with one of the most insightful mailbag questions of all-time. Well played my friend! Okay, I want to immediately eliminate 1, 3 and 4 from the equation. While all three are intriguing, I can find better ways to spend my time.
So basically, it is up to promoting our website or causing pain to Herky’s jewels.
You guessed it. I choose 5.
MNCyGuy writes: What’s your best last minute 4th of July destination in Iowa? We had plans with friends that fell through and don’t want to be sitting home the whole weekend.
CW: God’s Country…Clarinda, Iowa of course. I know. That’s just not realistic though. I dig. It is where I’ll be though. We’ve got a big dirt race in Corning on Saturday night that I’ll be attending. I’ll also be dirt racing out in Greenwood, Neb. on Friday. Perfect weekend in my opinion. What about the Okoboji/Spirit Lake region? I’ve never been but have heard great things. I’m a Lake of the Ozarks man myself.
Jsb writes: 1. What makes TJ (Otzelberger) such a good recruiter? I know it is all about relationships, but what kind of relationship does he build with these guys—friend, big brother, or something else? Do you have any insight on how the working relationship with TJ and Fred has been?
CW: T.J. and Fred have known each other for a while. Fred used to come to Ames to scout Iowa State players, specifically one guy named Craig Brackins. Otzelberger was Hoiberg’s contact as far as Brackins is concerned. So it isn’t like they just met a few months ago. They get along great from what I’ve heard. I’m not exactly sure the “kind” of relationship that Otzelberger is able to form with recruits but it is obvious that he’s very good at what he does. I honestly believe that if Otzleberger wasn’t retained by Iowa State during the last coaching change, no matter who the new coach was, would have began his program with possibly only three scholarship players. I don’t want to get into specifics as to why but that’s what I think. The 2010 recruiting class would not have stuck with Iowa State in my opinion. Retaining Otzelberger could end up being one of the best decisions in Jamie Pollard/Hoiberg’s career.
2. I just saw that Matt Perrault had a meeting with Hoiberg and other Iowa State basketball people. Do you know what this is about? And do you think that Matt came away understanding why Iowa State fans love Fred? Or that maybe Matt came away in love with Fred too? 🙂
CW: I assume that the two parties were discussing what went down on the air last week. Matt and Ken were pretty hard on Fred for attending Craig Brackins’ draft party. Maybe they were just all getting on the same page? I have no idea. I’ve seen one person online insist that I set this meeting up, which is totally bogus. I think it is cool that these two parties sat down to communicate. Communication is key to any sort of relationship. Good for everybody involved here.
Clones21 writes: Do you get to sit up in the press box during football games? If so, how’s the view up there?
CW: Yes I do. The view is nice. It is pretty high up though. It is different watching a game up there because absolutely no cheering is allowed at all, which I appreciate. It is a very sterile environment to say the least.
Kurimski writes: Iowa State has a little tougher football schedule this year. Do you see them making another bowl game? Also, who do you think is a realistic upset for us among Nebraska, Texas, and Oklahoma?
CW: A little tougher schedule? How about giving Kurimski a helmet sticker for “understatement of the day?” But yes, I still think that Iowa State can make a bowl game this year. I am going to put so much stock into the Northern Illinois game though; it’s not even funny. Trust me Fanatics. This is a very good football team that will invade Jack Trice Stadium on Sept. 2. If the guys come out and look great in that one, I think that a bowl game is in the picture. A loss there? Get ready for a long season. We will know a lot about this team before Labor Day in my opinion.
The most realistic upset of those games is Nebraska, no doubt. It is at home. Winning at Austin or Norman? Little to no shot. Be realistic here Fanatics. When I release my own little college football preview in August, I am seriously considering having Oklahoma be my pick to win the national championship. That team is loaded. Forget about last year. It means nothing. Texas is Texas and they are always going to be Texas.
Iowa State beat Nebraska last year so the Huskers will no doubt be angry when they come to Ames. But Iowa State has a lot to play for against this team, just like every other program does in the Big 12. It should be fun.
Wesley writes: Do you think that AA will improve his passing percentage significantly after a year of tutelage and some new, healthy receivers.
CW: Absolutely. AA has so many critics and rightfully so. He is the quarterback for a high-major college football program. But hardly ever do you hear these critics mention how many head coaches, position coaches and coordinators Austen has played for during his time in Ames. Learning a new offense isn’t something you just do overnight. We’ve seen Austen make great throws before. He can do it again. And yes, Iowa State’s much deeper and more talented receivers will help this young man out a ton. I think that Austen will have a big year. He’ll have to for this team to get back to a bowl game.
Will Alexander Robinson go for 1500 yards this year?
CW: Yes, barring injury of course. He’s got a legitimate backup this season too, regardless of who that guy is. Losing Scott Haughton makes this feat a lot more difficult but with an improved Austen Arnaud, 1,500 is a very reachable number for A-Rob.
Do you think Paraguay has a chance to score in the Final Eight?
CW: What? Who? Huh?
Colbycheese writes: In which Olympic sport is Iowa State the most likely to win its next national championship?
Cycopath25 writes: What is your favorite Jimmy Johns Sandwich?
CW: I will refer this question to ISUser.
ISUser writes: Chris Williams cannot answer said question due to current contractual obligations with Planet Sub.
CW: Thank you.
Ianoconnor writes: When will the Cyclone Fanatic store be open for business?
CW: We don’t have a specific date thrown down yet but I am hoping late July.
Istater7 writes: How much of a chance does Marquis have to make the Bobcats?
CW: Honestly, probably not much of a chance. It is rare for undrafted guys to make NBA rosters. We’ll hope for the best though. Marquis is a great guy who we all should be rooting like heck for.
MeanDean writes: How has the Big XII shake-up/scare affected giving to the athletic department such as the Cyclone Club and Gridiron Club? Based on what I’ve seen on here I expect there was a serious up-tick after it was settled.
CW: That doesn’t surprise me. That two-week span should have served as a wake up call for Cyclone fans everywhere. I know that it was for me. It’s just like a lot of things in life. You don’t realize how good you have it until you almost lose it.