By Chris Williams, CycloneFanatic.com Publisher Happy Thursday Cyclone Fanatics. I apologize for this week’s mailbag column being a day late. Yesterday kind of got away from me with the basketball game, along with some other business items. Let’s get to it shall we?
CYdTracked writes: What are your plans for the Big 12 Tournament? Where are you staying and any hidden gem places besides Kelly’s to hit up that you would recommend?
CW: I will be staying at the Hyatt. That is the media hotel for the week. I’m not sure exactly where that is because honestly, I’ve never covered a Big 12 Tournament in Kansas City before. I know…that is a crime. I’ve got to learn sometime right? I’ve never even been to Kelly’s. I am looking forward to it as I’ve heard legendary stories that have gone down in that joint. So CYdTracked, I will defer the question right back to you. What is going down in KC in a few weeks my man?
Chuckd4735 writes: I have pretty much lost hope for the future of ISU Men’s Basketball while in McDermott’s hands. You’re job is to convince me otherwise. Can you give me some reasons why I should have hope for the future?
CW: So essentially, your entire future as and Iowa State basketball fan is now on my shoulders? No pressure right? Okay. I’ll give it my best. I still think that Greg McDermott is a good basketball coach. Is that crazy? I just think that throughout his time here in Ames, it has been a perfect storm as far as things that could have gone wrong. Now, I’m not oblivious to the fact that at the end of the day, when all the smoke is cleared, Greg McDermott is the man responsible for the success of the program. He knows that too. He’s the CEO of Cyclone men’s basketball. As far as next year goes, you’ll see a totally different Iowa State team. Instead of being frontcourt dominated, you’ll see a backcourt heavy team with DeMarcus Phillips and Chris Colvin being very important parts. We all know that Colvin is blessed with a ton of God-given talent. The jury is still out on Phillips. Diante Garrett and Scott Christopherson will be back as well. If I were a betting man, I’d say that Will Clyburn will be in the mix too. Hopefully with better guard play, Iowa State can improve upon the 3-10 league mark we’re looking at right now. I’m not guaranteeing anything. Just trying to point out the bright spots. How’d I do?
Clonefan32 writes: I found the thread a weeks ago (maybe closer to a month) about what former player you would bring back for this year’s MBB team to be very interesting. I am not sure if you weighed your thoughts on that thread, but if you didn’t, which player would you bring back for this team?
CW: Let me get this straight. I can have any player in the history of Iowa State basketball on this team? Well then…sign me up for Fred Hoiberg. I’d gladly add his 183 career 3-pointers, 15.8 ppg scoring average and most of all, his leadership. This team needs a general…a mayor if you will. They need a guy who wants to take the big shot at the end of the game. Fred Hoiberg is the perfect addition.
BCforISU writes: Living on the east coast, I rarely get to see ISU on TV. Thankfully Cyclone Fanatic and the Internet exist. Do you think the Big 12 has any plans to get a TV package similar to the Big 10 network?
CW: I think that there is a very good chance for the Big 12 to have a real network at some point in time. I have no clue as to what the timeframe would be though. Honestly, when I graduated from Iowa State in the spring of 2007, I thought that there would be one by now. I know this because at the time, working for a Big 12 Network was sort of a dream job. One of my media colleagues thinks that there will be a Big 12 Network “within three years.” Take that for what it is worth.
What the Big Ten did was genius. In 2008, the Big Ten made $242 million on television revenue in football alone. The Big 12 reportedly made $78 million. Numbers like that cannot be ignored.
Isucy1234 writes: Which team makes it further in the NCAA tournament between… Villanova or Purdue? Kansas State or Michigan State? and New Mexico or UNI?
CW: Villanova…Kansas State…New Mexico. Villanova because the Big East is so freaking good. Right or wrong, I am just a huge believer in looking at the strength of perspective conferences. That’s why I went with Kansas State too. They scare me though. If those guards are off on a given night, anybody can beat the Wildcats. Michigan State is probably a better tournament team. I’ll let my Big 12 bias take over this time. Finally, no question, go with New Mexico. A lot more “quality wins” than UNI and ultimately, the Mountain West is better than the Missouri Valley.
Dabears32 writes: Do you think Greg regrets recruiting Gilstrap and Dendy? While both are very talented, they do not seem to be the most team oriented players. I think he would have been better trying to get JUCO players who were a little more team oriented. Individual talent would drop, but I believe the team would be better.
CW: Here is the deal. You write that and while you might be correct, let’s be fair here. McDermott originally recruited less athletic players who were more team oriented and people killed him for that. Now, he’s getting the athletic, talented guys who aren’t as team oriented and he’s getting killed for that. It is a messy situation no doubt. In the end, winning is the only thing that will make people happy. That’s how sports go. In my opinion, the problem has been finding smart, athletic players who fit the system. That hasn’t happened yet. I don’t think that he regrets recruiting those two though. I don’t think that Marquis will win Big 12 Newcomer of the Year but he’ll certainly be in the conversation. That’s not bad. LaRon has had some issues this year but I don’t think there is any sort of a rift between the two. If Dendy fully applies himself, he could be a fine basketball player for Iowa State next season.
Cyphan writes: Are you concerned with the amount of JUCO and spring signees we’re after? It’s awfully hard to build a program when you’re signing so many spring kids, wouldn’t you agree? Don’t you think McD is grasping for straws at this point?
CW: It definitely isn’t the way that anybody would choose to go but at this point, it is the best option. Greg doesn’t exactly have time to rebuild this thing again. He needs to win and JUCO guys are the only answer for that. I like the plan. Bringing in JUCO’s like DeMarcus Phillips at least gives the fans hope. Who are you more intrigued to see play next season…Phillips or Jordan Railey? Exactly.
Yaman3 writes: You’re Mac. You have decided you need to look to another professional for some advice on how to change this thing around. Who are you talking to and why? They do not have to have anything to do with basketball or ISU for that matter. Any person besides me. I know that was your first choice.
CW: That is tough Yaman3. I would go with any person who Mac has looked up to over the years. Like me, if I ever have an issue in my career, I have my certain go to guys. I’m sure that coaches have those guys too. I wouldn’t want Mac to call up Bobby Knight if he doesn’t know or respect him…You know what I mean? To answer your exact question, a guy who I have always really admired is Coach K. I just like the guy. I’m not a big Duke fan but I love Coach K. He’d be my go to guy if I was a head coach.
Clonefan32 writes: My wife and I live in Iowa City and are expecting our first child in June. We are trying to decide if we want to renew our season tickets: give me your best sales pitch on why I should keep them.
CW: Just look at it this way. It is a donation to the athletic department. Even if you can’t make every single game, you’re donating. Get some cheap tickets and that way, you’ll have them for games that do you do want to attend, or you can sell your seats to friends or post them here at CycloneFanatic.com. Those Nebraska fans are nutty. You could probably sell two tickets to that game for what you paid for the pair. There is no reason to not do it. I assume that having a child can be stressful financially, but just eat hamburger instead of steak for like two months to make up for it.
Swanson10 writes: NHL teams ever going to be added to the favorite teams section? Is it pop or soda?
CW: We will be adding internationally hockey teams to our favorite teams section because let’s be honest…when the Olympics end here this weekend, nobody will care about hockey in America once again.
Cyclonepower writes: Iowa State’s Big XII Tournament First Round opponent will be?
CW: Oklahoma State. I’m going to pick the Clones to win one of their next three games, grab the 10-seed and take on the Cowboys in the first round.
Brentwood writes: Getting off the MBB team, do the Twister Sister give good ol’ coach Bill his 500th this season?
CW: Thank you Brentwood. Your positivity speaks volumes about your character. By my calculations, Bill needs eight more wins this season to reach 500. So let’s say that he wins three of the next four. That would mean that he’d need five post-season wins to reach 500. So let’s give him two in the Big 12 Tournament. That would me that Iowa State would have to go back to the Elite Eight for Bill to reach 500. That is a pretty tough task. I’m going to say that the women will lose in the Sweet 16, leaving Bill at 499. Anything can happen though. That team has proven everybody wrong all season long. Why not do it again?
St8 writes: what is meatloaf actually referring to as “that” in which he won’t do for love?
CW: That…”I won’t do that.” This could get a little raunchy and I won’t do “that” on CycloneFanatic.com. I will however link this video at the top of the page. Creepy…creepy…creepy. Great work St8. It might have been a terrible question, but you surely left your mark on this week’s Mailbag!
Have a wonderful weekend Fanatics.