Williams Blog: Frantic Friday

By Chris Williams, Publisher Just in case you’ve been hidden in a cave this afternoon, let me catch you up on what we have learned regarding the Iowa State men’s basketball program.

Craig Brackins is going to sign an agent. Marquis Gilstrap has no more eligibility. Justin Hamilton and Dominique Buckley have both decided to transfer away from Iowa State.

Everything was confirmed earlier today in a statement issued by Iowa State’s athletic department.

View the statement by CLICKING HERE.

Here’s my quick take before the Iowa State women tip against Oklahoma State in the Big 12 Tournament.

Let’s all be honest for a second. Nobody really ever believed that Brackins or Gilstrap would be back next year. This has been the case for months. The Buckley rumors were deafening. That was also expected. Come on. It’s a 4-12 team and Buckley didn’t get to play much. These type of things happen all of the time.

It is the Justin Hamilton news that hurts.

“Justin met with our staff and expressed a desire to play basketball at a school closer to home,” Iowa State head coach Greg McDermott said in a release.

Here is why this one should sting a little bit more for Iowa State fans. When Hamilton showed up in Ames, he was a total project. After a lot of hard work and some solid big man coaching, he’s turned into a very serviceable Big 12 center. In my opinion, he was Iowa State’s most improved player this year without a doubt.

Remember that Hamilton didn’t even start playing competitive basketball until he was a sophomore in high school. The project talk is now a thing of the past. Hamilton is a very legit division one basketball player. And he’s leaving Iowa State. That’s the same Cyclone program that built him up to the player that he is today.

Am I blaming Hamilton for making this choice? Heck no. I have no idea what is going on in his personal life. If he wants to be closer to home, who am I or anybody else to judge him for that?

But in the end, this one should really, really sting the Cyclone Nation.

What now? This makes the current recruitment of SE Iowa Community College big man John Wilkins that much more important. Wilkins could be an automatic starter next season if he commits to Iowa State. Who else will play in the post? Jordan Railey, a 2010 commit out of Oregon is a post, but from what I hear, he’s far from being Big 12 ready. Jamie Vanderbeken will be back but he’s not going to be doing any of the dirty work. LaRon Dendy is going to have to play some center.

Iowa State could afford to lose a Dominique Buckley.

The Hamilton news is extremely damaging for this program.

I’m sure that Iowa State will hit the JUCO road searching for some sort of replacement…but how many Big 12 post players are actually out there right now? Not many.

What are your thoughts?

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