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Basketball

Williams Blog: Quick Saturday thoughts & links

By Chris Williams, CycloneFanatic.com Publisher

Happy Saturday Fanatics. I’m writing this today from beautiful Clarinda, Iowa, as I thought I’d stop home and see the family on my way back to Des Moines from Kansas City.

It has not been a positive week for the Cyclone Nation. Let me try that last sentence again. It has been an awful week for the Cyclone Nation.

Last Sunday, the hot topic surrounding Iowa State’s men’s basketball program was using momentum from the Kansas State win to end the season on a positive note. That obviously didn’t happen with an opening round loss to Texas, followed by all of the personnel news that came out yesterday.

Then, the women lost to Oklahoma State last night. That was just salt on the already very fresh wounds of Iowa State basketball fans. At the end of the day, the women’s loss wasn’t that big of a deal. They were without their best player and took a good OSU team to the wire. The women’s team will be fine.

Between last night and today, I’ve had dozens of conversations regarding the future of the Iowa State men’s basketball team. The more I think about and research this situation, the more two things become crystal clear in my brain.

I’m going to put on my “Captain Obvious” hat for a minute. This program cannot lose another starter. We all saw the Dominique Buckley thing coming. Nobody was counting on Marquis Gilstrap or Craig Brackins for next season. Other rumors have surfaced all over the Internet regarding a handful of Cyclones. But those are just what they are. At this point, they are nothing but rumors.

This Justin Hamilton thing absolutely came out of nowhere.

Losing Hamilton is an even bigger deal to me today than it was when I heard the news yesterday. He was the one guy on this roster who cannot be replaced. Maybe the staff will pull some big man out of nowhere to fill the void. Anything is possible, but I just can’t imagine that there are many Big 12 ready true centers floating around at this point in time. I’ll keep doing some recruiting research for you guys in the coming days. Like I wrote yesterday, John Wilkins’ recruitment is imperative at this point. I write that but then again, can you really rely that much on a spring JUCO big man in the Big 12? I guess you can, but you’re flirting with danger by doing so.

This staff has been though this before. They discovered that one guy named Wes Johnson during the spring period in 2006. They did the same with a crazy-talented, yet troubled Mike Taylor.

Are we in store for more spring gems like that to be found? It could happen but it will be much more difficult than it was in 2006. At that time, Iowa State’s program was viewed nationally as a rebuilding program with an up and coming coach.

Now, four years later, that perception is now gone.

A few links

Here are some Saturday links to hold you over. Greg McDermott recently made some comments to the Cedar Rapids Gazette, concerning Todd Lickliter’s future at Iowa.

Sean Keeler of the Des Moines Register reports that Alison Lacey’s absence was crucial in Iowa State’s 62-59 loss to Oklahoma State on Friday night.

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