Williams Blog: Cyclones lack a closer

By Chris Williams, Publisher First of all, I’d like to thank all of the great callers that I had last night on 1460 KXNO’s Cyclone Soundoff. It was by far the best show of the season. I went from 10 to 11 without even taking a break, just receiving call after call. I hashed things out with all sorts of Fanatics on a handful of different topics. It was truly was sports talk radio is all about.

Again, thank you.

In case you missed the program, here were some of the hot topics.

No closer for the Clones Between the years 1996 and 2000, the New York Yankees won four World Series titles.


Was it Derek Jeter? How about Bernie Williams? Was Joe Torre the main reason?

I say that Mariano Rivera was their MVP. Quality closers are hard to come by. They are rare in baseball and the same is true in college basketball.

Closers? College basketball?

College basketball’s equivalent to a Major League closer is a guard who can finish off an opponent.

So while Sherron Collins is the Big 12’s version of Rivera, Iowa State is stuck with Mike McDougal. The Cyclones do not have a closer. Diante Garrett and Scott Christopherson each do some nice things on the floor. But do you really trust either one of them to make a play for you when the game is on the line?


All you have to do is look at the final seconds of regulation in Iowa State’s last two basketball games. Think back to Diante Garrett’s lousy 3-point attempt at Colorado and now, last night’s debacle of a possession against Missouri.

Brackins, Gilstrap were emotional After the game, one thing that blew me away was the emotion that I saw out of Marquis Gilstrap and Craig Brackins. Both players were extremely broken up after the loss and rightfully so. Fans can criticize Iowa State’s 12 Big 12 losses all they want. That is fair game. But those two guys, along with their teammates, left it all out on the court last night, just like they have all season long. Both men more than likely played their final games in Hilton Coliseum last night, but it is hard to convince me that they don’t care about Iowa State basketball.

Gilstrap appreciates Iowa State fans I love it when athletes are humanized for the fans. That happened with Gilstrap last night when his beautiful little daughter escorted him on Senior Night in Ames. Well, she didn’t really escort him. She isn’t big enough to walk!

Gilstrap received a standing ovation from Iowa State’s faithful and during postgame interviews, the senior was very thankful for his time here in Ames.

“That meant a lot to me, especially in my first year here,” Gilstrap said. “I don’t think that I could have come into a better situation.”

Of course, there is the chance that Gilstrap could be back in a Cyclone uniform next year, if the NCAA grants him another year of eligibility.

My opinion: Do not hold your breath.

Three recruits in the house I had the opportunity to speak with DeMarcus Phillips, Will Clyburn and John Wilkins last night. I’ll have a full recruiting notebook up here on the site later today. Here are some quick hits on all three.

Phillips – Told me that if (that is a big if) there would be a coaching change in Ames, “it would probably affect me in a big way.” Take that comment for what it is worth. Phillips has already signed with Iowa State.

Clyburn – I like Iowa State’s chances with this prospect. Phillips told me “there is a good chance that he’ll be here,” referring to his best friend and Marshalltown Community College teammate, Will Clyburn. You didn’t forget about Will did you? He’s the wing that went off for 54 points against Southeastern Iowa Community College a few weeks ago.

Wilkins – I learned that Wilkins does indeed hold a scholarship offer from Indiana. I think that this will come down to Iowa State and the Hoosiers when it is all said and done.

Again, I’ll have a complete recruiting update later on today.

Join us tonight Just a quick reminder here that we’ll be holding our first ever football recruiting party tonight at Third Base Bar and Grill in West Des Moines at seven. Get there early! Iowa State assistant coaches Bobby Elliot and Courtney Messingham will be in the house.