Q&A: Hoiberg talks Royce White

By Chris Williams, Publisher

Iowa State head basketball coach Fred Hoiberg spoke with members of the media via a teleconference earlier today about the addition of Royce White to his roster. Here’s the complete transcript of what went down, courtesy of

How do you respond when people say you are taking a risk in signing Royce White?

FH: We have done a ton of research on this situation. Royce came to our campus for a few days. He met with me. He met with our coaching staff. He met with several members of our administrative staff. Everybody was on board with giving Royce another chance. This wasn’t just my decision. He is a very engaging kid and a very smart kid. He fully admits to making a mistake. From everybody we talked to, to Dr. Tom Hill in the administrative staff to David Harris in the athletic director’s department to our academic coordinators to everybody involved, they all thought that he was genuine about it and that he deserved another chance. We are excited to have him on board.

Was there anything specific in your talks with him that made you think that he deserves another chance?

FH: The big thing is how he has taken full accountability for everything that has happened to him over this past year. We have talked to his high school coaches who managed the situation with him and they talked to us about how important it is to have the right support system around Royce. We feel that we have that. We feel like we have a very good coaching staff. Jeff Grayer is a guy who will play a big part in this. Jeff came from a situation in Flint, Mich. where he went to Iowa State and the best thing about it was the fans and how loyal everybody is to Iowa State and how much of a family atmosphere it was. I think that Royce felt that when he was down on his visit. It is something that we have done a lot of research on guys. This wasn’t just a one day thing. We put a lot of time and effort into this and a lot of thought. We felt it was best for us and for Royce to come to this decision.

What do you think that Royce will bring to the table for you guys, maybe as early as next year?

FH: He is a heck of a talent. The thing that I like best about Royce is that he is a very unselfish player. You can totally set your offense differently with Royce on the basketball floor. You can use him as a facilitator. You can put him on the elbow to attack and make plays. He is a very willing passer. He played with our guys. We can’t watch them right now but in talking to our guys who played, we talked about how well he read defenses and how well he got in and made the right play at the right times. He is a world-class talent. There is no doubt about that. He is going to help us. Hopefully we’ll have him on the floor next year.

How likely is it that you’ll have him next year?

FH: I am very hopeful. We are compiling all of the information right now that we need to get to the NCAA. They will make their decision. Whatever happens though, we are going to put a support system around Royce and will hopefully have him as a Cyclone for a long time.

You just said “world-class talent.” Does that translate to one and done or two and done?

FH: That is hard to say. A lot will go into that with how he performs on the basketball floor. I think he certainly has that type of ability where he will have that decision to make. We will see how that all plays out. He has got that ability to one day be a high-level NBA player. There is no doubt about it.