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Basketball

Williams Blog: Apathy…I think not, Gilstrap/Brackins notes

By Chris Williams, CycloneFanatic.com Publisher

Believe it or not, but a handful of Iowa State men’s basketball fans are already talking about next season. Yes, 2011. With that knowledge, a man’s opinion can go one of two ways as to why.

You can easily say that people don’t care about this season anymore and that they’ve written the program off. That would be bad.

Or, you can say that apathy absolutely has not set in and that fans still really care about the product on the court. That’s good.

I’ll go with option number two.

Here’s a bit of inside information for you on a Monday night, inside of my brain at least. The word “apathy” gets tossed around WAY too much on our CycloneFanatic.com men’s basketball forum and in the Central Iowa sports scene in general. That word sickens me. It is overused, unoriginal and in most cases, not even true.

Let’s ask my good friend Webster what he says the word “apathy” actually means. Here’s what he has to say.

Apathy – noun – lack of feeling or emotion, lack of interest or concern

I find it funny that the same people, who are constantly littering CycloneFanatic.com with their rage, are the same ones who toss this word "apathy" around, like loose change in a washing machine.

Apathy has set in? Really? Were you at Hilton Coliseum on Saturday? Did you see the thousands of Cyclone fans on their feet, screaming, booing, hissing, cussing…whatever?

Do you see that at Carver Hawkeye Arena? Do you see dudes (who are actually cheering for the home team) with their faces painted yelling obscenities at the officials on a consistent basis? I think not.

That is aptathy Fanatics.

What you see at Hilton isn’t even close. Are people upset about the losing? Sure. But despite a rough five years, Cyclone basketball fans are still passionate. That’s commendable.

So you, poster who overuses the word “apathy,” remember this. As long as you are angry, you are not apathetic.

So please, for the sake of my sanity, quit using this word, “apathy.” It has become very worn-out and frankly, it has lost the tiny amount of luster that it ever had.

Gilstrap and Brackins talk about their futures

Speaking of next year, the two best players on this current Cyclone team were awfully talkative about their future plans on Monday after practice. The real news came straight out Marquis Gilstrap’s mouth.

He was simply asked if he’d come back to Iowa State next season, should the NCAA grant him another year of eligibility.

“More than likely," Gilstrap said.

“If I get it back, yes. But I don’t know if I’m going to get it. I haven’t heard anything about it.”

What about the money? Will making cash be the ultimate factor? Is Gilstrap in need of an immediate paycheck?

“I’ve got a lot of support from family at home and my girlfriend works,” Gilstrap said. “I haven’t really thought about it because I don’t know what’s going to happen,” he said.

That’s good news for Cyclone fans, on the surface at least. I’ll touch more on that momentarily.

Now, what about Craig Brackins? The Des Moines Register printed a piece on Saturday night with quotes from Greg McDermott, where the coach said “it’s my gut feeling,” hinting that he thinks Brackins will move on.

On Monday, Brackins talked with reporters about his decision timeline, this time around.

“As soon as the season is over I’m going to chill out like I always do and take a break from basketball,” Brackins said.

And despite what many think, heading into this year, it was never a one and done sort of situation for Craig.

“I didn’t really want to think about it like, ‘I’m going to do this and then I’m out,’” he said. “You never know. I didn’t know what was going to happen. I still don’t.”

“Sometimes I never know what I think. I came back last year and that was a 50-50 for me. It could still be a 50-50 (this year).”

Chris’ Take

Sure, for Cyclone fans, it is great to hear Gilstrap talk about being in Ames a year from now. But take this warning seriously please. Do not get ahead of yourself. For one, we still have no clue if the NCAA will even let him come back. That itself is a colossal hurdle. Second, what if Gilstrap keeps playing at an NBA level? What if all of the sudden in March, he’s a possible late first round pick?

Again, a lot can still happen.

As for Brackins, as a fan, I wouldn’t even consider the option of him being back. If Brackins chooses to come back for his senior year, just think of it as one massive bonus and nothing else.

The good thing is, Brackins is still focused on 2010 and believe it or not, the NCAA Tournament is still on his brain.

“You never know. We still can,” Brackins said. “We played against all the top teams so far. We were right there with a lot of them. You never know what could happen.”