By Chris Williams, CycloneFanatic.com Publisher Captain Obvious (me in this case) has entered the room and he (me again) is going to level with you all today. The chances of Craig Brackins and Marquis Gilstrap being back in an Iowa State uniform next year are not high. I’ve seen a lot of you bag on Craig’s draft status. I still believe that he’ll be a first round pick. He’s 6-foot-10 and can shoot the three. That’s pretty much all you need to know. Feel free to light me up for that one on the wonderful forums section of our beautiful website.
In addition to that, Gilstrap still has that thing going on with the NCAA and so on.
My theory in life is to plan for the worst.
So that means that the Iowa State men’s basketball team will need some reinforcement down low for next season. One of the guys who is hoping to be a factor is 2010 Cyclone commitment, 6-foot-10, 233-pound big man Jordan Railey.
Railey, a Beaverton, Ore. native, is currently averaging 14.7 points per game along with 8.6 rebounds and 4.9 blocks. Beaverton is 9-9 and ranked 14th in the Oregon’s 6A Metro class. I recently caught up with his high school’s head coach, Eric Lathen for a scouting report.
Scouting Report “He has got unbelievable timing. Defensively, he is one of the better big men that I have ever seen. He has very soft hands and a body that he is going to grow into. He is an athletic, 6-foot-10 kid that has good feet and soft hands. As he gets bigger and stronger, he will keep getting better. He has some tremendous upside.”
Lathen has only had a little over a year to work with Railey, as he was named as Beaverton’s head coach just before Jordan’s junior year. When Lathen got to town, this is what he found.
“I saw the potential of him being a pretty big time player. You don’t get 6-foot-10 with that kind of timing and athleticism very often. It is rare. What we have tried to do is fine-tune his offensive game. Defensively, he has instincts that cannot be taught really. We worked exclusively on his feet and his production to give him a little more confidence. He still has a little ways to go there. I am sure that once he gets to Iowa State, he’ll improve even more.”
Does Railey have the body to play as a freshman in Ames? Railey has been consistently putting on weight over the past few years. That’s good news. He’s now up to 233-pounds.
“Big 12 basketball is a whole different level than high school basketball anywhere,” Lathen said. “He is going to have to work but that’s not something that he won’t do. He could be ready. Defensively, I think that he will be able to defend at that level, especially if he puts on 15 to 20 pounds. I know that the coaches at Iowa State will make sure that he does the things necessary to play in November.”
Lathen said that Railey’s ideal playing weight is anywhere from 245 to 255-pounds.
Railey needs to work on what? “One of the things that we are really working on is the transition game and running the floor,” Lathen said. “With his athleticism, we want him to be able to run the floor to get some easy buckets. He runs it pretty well but getting him to go down and establish himself early is important. I’d like to see him get four to five more attempts due to transition and running the floor.”
In doing my research on Railey, one specific fact encouraged me the most. That is the competition that he plays against on a nightly basis.
“It is a league that has the number 22 team in the nation in it,” Lathen said. “The number one and two teams in our state are in the league. It is full of division one talent. It’s no slouch league and he’s playing very well. Against the top-ranked team in the state of Washington, he ended up with 27 and 14.”
“He is very excited and happy about his decision. He is going to the Big 12. That’s one of the best if not the best conference in America. He’s very excited to play for Coach McDermott and T.J. (Otzelberger)”