Reaction: Gary Thompson on the Hoiberg Hire

By Chris Williams, Publisher

Want to know what to think about the Fred Hoiberg hire? There’s no better person to ask than the Godfather of Iowa State basketball, Gary Thompson. Here’s a short conversation that I had with Mr. Thompson after today’s press conference.

CF: How big of a risk do you think that this is?

GT: I think that the positives far outweigh any risks. If you listened to him talk, I don’t think that it is any riskier than any other hire that could have been made. I hope that people will give Fred time. I try to be as optimistic as I can. I told Fred that if he can have a winning team next year, he’d be Houdini. It will be tough for them to recruit anything beyond what they have got right now. He can do lot by putting a team together with chemistry and the thing will be to show progress.

CF: It is pretty easy to compare Fred to Paul Rhoads isn’t it?

GT: Oh I love it. I love that Iowa State kids get a chance. You can have one of your own. You can’t always have your own at your university. When you can get the right guy and a guy like Fred Hoiberg and Paul Rhoads right now, they want to be here! They want to be here. That is important. They aren’t looking to come and make the program successful and then move out. They are here. They love this place. It is what they are about. If I was the parent of an Iowa kid right now and he was a basketball player, I would want him to play for Fred Hoiberg because of the kind of person he is.

CF: Fred mentioned Hilton Magic a lot.

GT: It is going to be back. I am sure that tickets have been sold already. They will be in the stands and he made a plea. I was glad to hear him make that plea to the people. There are a lot of young people here in this audience right now. There are college kids and likewise. I think that is important. I thought of Cyclone Alley. I love that group but I thought they kind of sagged last year. It is natural to have a little sag when you aren’t winning. For them to come back, I hope they are rejuvenated and ready to go too.