By Chris Williams, CycloneFanatic.com Publisher
Thursday’s 2010 NBA Draft should produce an exciting night for Cyclone basketball fans. T.J. Otzelberger was the man in charge of recruiting both Craig Brackins and Marquis Gilstrap, former Cyclones who could be selected by NBA franchises on Thursday. Here’s a Q&A with Otzelberger on the draft and how the success of these two individuals will help Iowa State’s program on the recruiting trail.
Look for plenty more NBA Draft coverage in the coming days here at CycloneFanatic.com.
CF: Explain to the fans how getting two players drafted helps you guys out on the recruiting trail?
Otzelberger: I think it shows guys number one the visibility of the Big 12 Conference and how our league is as good if not better than any other conference in the country. Those guys are being looked at, at that level and I think that also guys understand that they have the opportunity to come in here and play right away. That allowed Craig to develop. Marquis had an immediate opportunity to come in and play. It gives us a lot of credibility with younger guys. Iowa State is a place where overall, they can develop their games. Now, with Coach Hoiberg’s connections to the NBA, that will help us even more so moving forward.
CF: When Craig Brackins signed, it was obvious that he would come in and make an immediate impact. Is there a comparison that you can make with Craig and guys like Eric McKnight who will come in right away next year and be asked to contribute?
Otzelberger: We are going to have three freshman front line guys with (Calvin) Godfrey, (Eric) McKnight and (Jordan) Railey. All of them are going to get immediate playing time and experience. They’ll have a chance to develop. If you look at someone like Craig and all of the different opportunities he had out there like UCONN and Pitt and other schools that offered him and recruited him pretty hard, would he have been given the same opportunity to play and develop right away? I can’t say for sure but I know that it really helps to gain minutes on the floor.
CF: What has Craig done over the past few weeks to impress scouts? It looks like he has increased his stock according to most draft sites.