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    Post MBB – This year is the upgrade of last year’s model.

    MBB – This year is the upgrade of last year’s model.
    CycloneFanatic © 2007
    dbronco7sc


    The year is ‘007… which can only mean one thing. Greg McDermott’s Iowa State Cyclones are licensed to kill.

    This article details one man’s opinion comparing this year’s basketball team to last year’s team in an attempt to stimulate the minds of those who have too much free time on their hands. Yes, I realize football season comes before basketball, but I’ve always had more of a passion for college basketball over football and professional football over basketball. And, as a spring 2007 graduate of Iowa State University, and a 5’ 11” guy who can’t dunk, I have to re-live my college years through Wesley Johnson.

    For every guy who left last year… there is a new guy to fill his role. My analysis attempts to compare each player on this year’s team, to last year’s player in that same role. I hope you enjoy!


    06-07 Team Losses:___________________007-08 Team Gains:
    (PF)*Jessan Gray (6-10 / 210)__________(PF)*Craig Brackins (6-10 / 220)
    (PG) *Corey McIntosh (6-0 / 160)_______(PG) *Diante Garrett (6-4 / 170)
    (G) *Dodie Dunson (6-2 / 190)__________(SG) *Lucca Staiger (6-5 / 215)
    (C) *Ross Marsden (6-10) / 225)________(PF) **Alex Thompson (6-10 / 230)
    (G) Chris Ceaser (6-4 / 185)____________(G) *Charles Boozer (6-3 / 190)
    (F) Dustin Streff (6-7 / 245)____ __ _____(PF) *Clayton Vette (6-9 / 245)
    (G) Jeff Bergstrom (6-3 / 190)__________(G) Bryan Petersen (6-1 / 175)
    (G) Tyler Norman (6-2 / 170)__ __ ______(G) Lee Cameron (6-2 / 175)
    ____________________________________ (G) Sean Haluska (6-3 / 195)
    ____________________________________ (PG) *Marcus Brister (6-3 / 210)


    Returning Players (+ 1 year under McD’s system)
    (SF) *Rahshon Clark (6-6 / 200)
    (SF) *Wesley Johnson (6-7 / 195)
    (G) *Mike Taylor (6-2 / 165)
    (C) *Jiri Hubalek (6-11 / 225)
    (F) *Cory Johnson (6-7 / 230)
    (G) Brock Jacobson (6-2 / 190)
    (G) Mark Currie (6-4 / 210)
    (F) Mike Smith (6-8 / 220)


    Info taken from Cyclones.com
    * Denotes Scholarship Player
    ** Alex Thompson was on scholarship in 06-07 during a red shirt season due to transferring but it is unknown if he will be on scholarship during the 07-08 season.
    (thanks to PsychedClone and CrossCyed for scholarship info)


    Player by Player Analysis (+5 is big gain from last year, -5 is big loss from last year)


    Returners (All likely to get a + due to more experience and growth)

    (+1) - *Rahshon Clark now has a year of McDermott’s system under his belt and will be looking for a strong senior year. Timing on set plays should be better and hopefully will have improved ball handling over the summer. He will continue to provide leadership to the younger guys and strong defense against opposing star players. Let’s not forget that he will be providing ESPN with some highlights. If Rahshon can make that +1 improvement to a +2 there will be no worries about playing time.

    (+2) - *Wes Johnson now has a year of McD’s system AND a year of Big 12 experience AND a little more muscle. An area of improvement to work on during the summer is driving to the hoop. He will take a lot of focus from opposing defenses, though it really won’t make a difference. Wes will also continue to do everything he can to make sure his highlights are higher on ESPN’s list than Rahshon’s. Nobody will threaten Johnson’s PT this year. If his +2 rating truly happens... then I will be quite pleased! It will be tough though for one of your best players to improve a whole lot, but I think he can do it!

    (0) - *Mike Taylor will continue to be a star on the team in his senior season with a year of McD’s system. I know a 0 sounds harsh… but really… Mike did the scoring for us last year… and will continue to do so this year. This summer Mike could work on limiting turnovers, however if he slows himself down to stop TOs he’ll likely slow his scoring down as well. My 0 rating isn’t a bad thing, it’s just that he will be equally as good last year as this year. Secretly I have hope that he will prove me wrong. Mike will lead in PT with Wes again this year.

    (+1) - *Jiri Hubalek's long painful year with McD is out of the way and Jiri should not be looking lost on the court this year. Should provide a solid body down low and during the games that Mike can’t score from the arc, Wes is triple teamed, Brackins is adjusting to Big 12 Basketball… Jiri will be posting big numbers. Area of improvement for the summer: do not let the temptation of the Capitol City League’s three point line take over. Jiri will continue where he left off at the end of last year and get plenty of playing time.

    (+1) - *Cory Johnson has work ethic, but last year the freshman in Cory shined through, but his ability to match up against bigger players will only improve this year now that the confusion of the new system should be out of the way. I see a little more PT this year, but next year will be Cory’s big chance to get in the line up with Jiri and Rahshon graduating.

    (+1) - Brock Jacobson will break his shooting slump this year, but even with a year under McD’s system, it doesn’t mean things will be much easier for him. He just doesn’t have the body/athleticism to get significant playing time and he has a new guy in town to compete with by the name of Sean Haluska.

    (0) - Mark Currie has too much talent ahead of him to get PT. That’s a challenge to prove me wrong Mark.

    (0) - Mike Smith has too much talent ahead of him to get PT. That’s a challenge to you too.


    New Players (grade is compared to a player they are replacing)


    (+2) - *Craig Brackins replaces Jessan Gray. Only a +2??? Yes… and I stand by that. Jessan was a senior in the Big 12 last year and contributed roughly what I expect Craig to contribute this year. Raw talent I don’t argue that Craig is a +5… but Jessan made up for a lot of that with the experience he brought. Craig will have a lot to learn his first year… and by the time the Big 12 rolls around… I expect he will be an improvement on Gray by a +2, but before then… a 0. Next year… he can have his +4 (which is only a +2 from this year). But these two compare so well because of size and playing style. Both can throw it down, both can step outside. Gray actually had quite a nice 3 pt stroke for a PF, (37.5% from the arc)… and to be honest… as far as Brackins being a freshman replacing a senior… I think I might be pushing the +2 rating just so I don’t get so much backlash from everyone. I stand by the fact that the toughest transition to college basketball is for big men. It’s like rookies in the NFL… it takes a little time. I see Brackins getting good playing time, but I don’t see him starting at the beginning of the season. He’ll have to earn it by Big 12 season and I hope he does.

    (+1) - *Diante Garrett is replacing Corey McIntosh at point guard. Will he start right off the bat? I don’t know. Neither guy has much size, though Diante gains a large advantage on height. McIntosh makes up a little, however, from more experience coming from the Cali juco system. McIntosh also had a little more developed body in terms of muscle definition… and Diante’s body will be his biggest downfall at this point. Garrett should see a good amount of PT, but I’m going to venture a guess at less than McIntosh’s 24.1 min/game with all the guards coming in.

    (+1 or +2) - *Lucca Staiger takes the role as Dodie Dunson as the 3 point sniper. Lucca gains the height/weight advantage in the comparison though. Word from Cap City League watchers is sounding how I felt watching the then unknown Wes Johnson at the Cap City League last year. Lucca should see comparable PT to Dodie last year. Maybe a little less due to the number of guards coming in as Dodie had 22 last year. I know the excitement about Lucca is there from Cap City goers, but if my memory serves me correct... Dodie hit 11 for 14 three pointers in a Cap City game last year, so a +1 might be more appropriate than +2.

    (+1 or +2) - **Alex Thompson steps into Ross Marsden’s place this year. With Ross, you knew what you were going to get: Not much for offense, but the shots he took were efficient. Not many mistakes, but didn’t create a lot of opportunity. Thompson brings the same body to the table… but maybe a little more aggressiveness. Alex brings experience and I look forward to seeing a positive contribution from him this year. Alex will take Ross’s 10 min/game and then some I expect, possibly at the expense of Craig Brackins early in the year.

    (0) - *Charles Boozer is last year’s Chris Ceaser. Will get minimal PT, but remember Boozer is a freshman, while Ceaser was a Senior. He has the chance to earn more PT for next year should he do well and Taylor graduates. His body can still develop a bit, and it’s possible that a red shirt might look nice on Boozer as we have a lot of guards on the roster.

    (+3) - *Clayton Vette replaces Dustin Streff. Clearly upgrading from a walk on to a scholarship player named the top player in Iowa will be a large increase. This year will involve more PT than Streff, but will be a grooming period until more PT frees up when Hubalek leaves, and even more the following year when Thompson leaves. But I don’t see Vette redshirting do to the sole fact that his body is ready for the Big 12. Vette brings some strength that we haven’t seen since Homan down low and that could be useful… but the biggest downside is he has to learn the system first.

    (0) - Bryan Petersen will be taking over Bergstrom’s role as a walk on. I know I am putting a lot of pressure on the guy to show the excitement and enthusiasm that Bergstrom did, but I believe he can do it. Unfortunately, I don’t see any real playing time for Petersen.

    (0) - Lee Cameron fills Tyler Norman’s spot on the roster. Unfortunately I really don’t know much about Norman, and with the PT available for Cameron… my gut tells me I won’t get to know much about Cameron either.

    (+5) - Sean Haluska gets a plus 5 by default because he replaces nobody and somebody is at least 5 times better than nobody. I would give him a +1 or +2 if he were replacing Brock Jacobson… but he isn’t. He’s Jacobson's new competition. Should be a fun battle to watch who gets spotted in as a 3 point shooter when we need one. Sounds like Haluska is a little bit more of an athlete, but Jacobson has a year of the system which could work to his advantage. However, learning your role as a 3 point shooter in a few set plays can’t be too tough. As for Sean's PT, see Brock Jacobson 06-07. And I likely Brock Jacobson 07-08’s PT should drop a little. Being a cyclone Sean Haluska will eventually own a lot of red shirts… we’ll have to see if he gets one for basketball this year as I could see him trying to earn a scholarship for next year.

    (+5) - *Marcus Brister again gets the default +5 but will not see a large amount of PT. I think he will chip into the PT that Garrett gets from McIntosh. I don’t see Brister redshirting though due to the 6’3” 210 Big 12 ready body that Brister brings to the table. There’s some games where we’ll need him simply to match up and brings Brister’s value up a lot. As a freshman point guard... I'd probably give him a 0 comparing him to McIntosh. But they are two completely different style players so it's really tough to make any sort of comparison.


    Based on the fact that I didn’t give any negative ratings comparing this year’s team to last year’s obviously means I think this year’s talent is an improvement. Does that correlate to a better record??? Well… last year we had a pretty laid back non-conference that will only get tougher. So, with better talent we should see similar wins from non-conference, and maybe a couple more wins in conference play. So I expect a few more wins this season than last year improving our 15-16 record from 06/07 to 17 or 18 – (total games minus 17 or 18).

    I’d like to see us do better than that, but realistically, we have 6 new freshmen scholarship players on the team this year that need to learn the system. All in all… this team is on the rise and Iowa State Basketball is on the rise and we’ve got exciting times ahead of us.


    Last edited by dbronco7sc; 06-20-2007 at 07:39 AM. Reason: Brister was brought in as a true PG...

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    Re: MBB – This year is the upgrade of last year’s model.

    Haluska can't earn a scholarship unless our recruitng falls through or someone leaves. I don't see anyone pulling a John Neal.

    I also think Garrett will be more of an upgrade over CMac. Mac was extremely slight of size and it won't be hard to top his production.



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    Re: MBB – This year is the upgrade of last year’s model.

    Quote Originally Posted by dbronco7sc View Post
    [COLOR=darkslategray]So I expect a few more wins this season than last year improving our 15-16 record from 06/07 to 17 or 18 – (total games minus 17 or 18).
    all that upgrade talk and you only expect 2 more wins? I think we could pull off 5 or 6 more. IDK if you know exactly how good a recruiter/coach McD really is when he gets "his" guys.


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    Re: MBB – This year is the upgrade of last year’s model.

    Nice analysis, but i have to think Brackins will be more of an upgrade over Gray than you are expecting.



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    Re: MBB – This year is the upgrade of last year’s model.

    Quote Originally Posted by isucyclone4 View Post
    all that upgrade talk and you only expect 2 more wins? I think we could pull off 5 or 6 more. IDK if you know exactly how good a recruiter/coach McD really is when he gets "his" guys.
    Oh... I have no doubt that we're capable of pulling a 20 win season this year. And I am as excited as anyone about the team. I'm just trying to tame down my expectations a bit...

    I just think that we're getting a tougher non-conference schedule and the Big 12 as a whole will be better. Last year half the league got new coaches and were in a similar boat to us. We're not the only ones getting better. 08-09 I expect 20+ wins no doubt.

    Also, the team as a whole got better, but adding up all the +'s doesn't work because you can only start 5 guys at a time.



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    Re: MBB – This year is the upgrade of last year’s model.

    In my eyes, it all depends on the PG play of the freshmen. We pretty much know what we will be getting from the 2-5 spots with Taylor, Clark, Johnson, Jiri, Brackins and AT. Some of the other newcomers will help with depth, but if we get good PG play and always keep Mike at the 2 spot, we should be capable of good things.



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    Re: MBB – This year is the upgrade of last year’s model.

    Quote Originally Posted by tim_redd View Post
    In my eyes, it all depends on the PG play of the freshmen. We pretty much know what we will be getting from the 2-5 spots with Taylor, Clark, Johnson, Jiri, Brackins and AT. Some of the other newcomers will help with depth, but if we get good PG play and always keep Mike at the 2 spot, we should be capable of good things.
    Agreed...



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    Re: MBB – This year is the upgrade of last year’s model.

    Is Diante the only true PG on the team? If so we are actually no better off than we were last year at this time.

    MT will still be playing the point and turning the ball over every third possesion.

    Can either Boozer or Brister handle the ball well enough to set the offense?



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    Re: MBB – This year is the upgrade of last year’s model.

    Brister was brought in as a PG.


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    Re: MBB – This year is the upgrade of last year’s model.

    Quote Originally Posted by hoopsnut View Post
    Is Diante the only true PG on the team? If so we are actually no better off than we were last year at this time.

    MT will still be playing the point and turning the ball over every third possesion.

    Can either Boozer or Brister handle the ball well enough to set the offense?
    Brister is a good ball handler, IMO. Staiger is another possibility as he also has a solid handle. My guess is that MT will still see some action at PG. With a better supporting cast this season, hopefully he will stay under control a little more. I saw him play a few games when he was at Chipola. Playing with teammates like Stephon Hannah and Mario Boggan, he was not a turnover looking for a place to happen. He just needs to stay wihin himself and trust his teammates more and he will be ok.


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    Re: MBB – This year is the upgrade of last year’s model.

    Thanks for the great read.



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    Re: MBB – This year is the upgrade of last year’s model.

    Nice post, and a good thread, it is good to see that we have expectations in basketball.

    I have no idea how this season will play out, but I do know that we will work hard (some nights it won't be enough), and that Greg will squeeze every bit of production that he can out of these guys. Again it will be tough, but let's not look for reasons that we can't be successful.


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    Re: MBB – This year is the upgrade of last year’s model.

    I think the biggest boost we can get from a returning player is if Clark can get his shooting back to where it was a sophomore.
    Last year his scoring fell from 13.1 ppg as a soph to 6.4 ppg as a junior. His shooting dropped 10% in every category FG from 50% to 40%, 3-pt from 37 to 25 and FT from 77 to 66.
    Just getting his 3-pt shot back to where is was will be a big benefit. As a soph 45-121 as a junior 16-64 (including 3-21 in his last 17 games).



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    Re: MBB – This year is the upgrade of last year’s model.

    Quote Originally Posted by CyCy View Post
    I think the biggest boost we can get from a returning player is if Clark can get his shooting back to where it was a sophomore.
    Last year his scoring fell from 13.1 ppg as a soph to 6.4 ppg as a junior. His shooting dropped 10% in every category FG from 50% to 40%, 3-pt from 37 to 25 and FT from 77 to 66.
    Just getting his 3-pt shot back to where is was will be a big benefit. As a soph 45-121 as a junior 16-64 (including 3-21 in his last 17 games).
    To Rahshon's credit, this past year was a totally different system. The Morgan run and gun made Clark's stats look better because Clark is made for that type of game. Plus you had Will or Curtis on the dish during a fast break which was an incredible thing for Clark to have. I think we'll see his numbers go up again if we can get a legit PG in the game that can get him the ball on a break.

    Not sure why his FT % dropped. Can't really blame that on the system.


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