By Chris Williams, CycloneFanatic.com Publisher
Happy Thursday fanatics! What’s cracking today? A big weekend is on the horizon. Some monster football recruits will be in town on official visits. On top of that, it is Iowa week for the men’s and women’s basketball teams.
Let’s start this football recruiting packed mailbag with an insightful basketball question from Khaal53.
Khaal53 writes: Say ISU goes 11-4 in the non-con with losses to Iowa and Virginia and 5-11 in conference play with the wins over Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Texas A&M/K-State, Colorado, and Nebraska (all at home)…is the season a "success"?
Would it hinge on getting a win in the B12 tournament for the first time since 2005? Or making the NIT? Keep in mind an 0-5 start to conference play is somewhat likely (@Nebraska, Kansas, Baylor, @OK State, @Missouri).
CW: If Iowa State gets those conference wins than there really shouldn’t even be a question here. Yes, I’ll consider it a success.
Maybe the wins and losses aren’t that important here though. In early November, I wrote that fans should enter this season without any expectations at all. Really, all I wanted to see was a competitive basketball team that would carry momentum into 2011. Despite the two losses last week, Iowa State has still exceeded my expectations so far. The season as a whole hinges on momentum for me. Will the team still be in tact for 2011 (aka can the program avoid attrition)? Is there an overall good feeling around the program? In March, will Fred Hoiberg still be a buzz topic like he is right now?
While this team will certainly struggle in the half court all season long, they also have the shooting ability to pull off an upset or two. The good thing is that each and every time you go to Hilton this winter, there will be at the very least a chance that you’ll see an upset. I’m excited for the future. When you consider that I picked this team to go 3-13 in league play in early November, that is actually saying a lot.
CloneFan4 writes: How many more scholarships will be given for the 2011 recruiting class? Where do you see the last schollies going? What is your impression of the class?
CW: By my count, Iowa State only has six scholarships left to give out for the 2011 recruiting class. I imagine that you’ll see at least half of those go to JUCO prospects. Defensive line is still a major concern. I wouldn’t be shocked if a JUCO QB is on the radar, possibly a receiver too. A JUCO offensive lineman is on campus as I write this. CLICK HERE for that info. A JUCO defensive end will be in town this weekend, along with an explosive high school running back. CLICK HERE for that scoop.
The core of the class is done. From my seat, it now appears that the staff will attempt to hit few home runs before Signing Day.
Isufan writes: With it being decided that Lemke will start his ISU career at tight end, do you think that means the staff is expecting one or two of the current linebacker recruits to switch to defensive end or should we expect to get commitments from more potential defensive ends?
CW: I take what position a young man will begin his career at with a grain of salt. The staff let Devin Lemke make that decision. If it isn’t working next fall, they’ll likely move him somewhere else, just like they would any other player. To directly answer your question, no, I don’t think that the linebackers will move, at least not yet. I still think that we’ll see a couple of JUCO defensive linemen added to this class before February.
Clones 21 writes: How do you feel about the football staff bringing in a JUCO QB?
CW: I hope that it happens. That’s not a shot at Jerome Tiller, James Capello or Jared Barnett either. The fact that none of those three guys is a proven winner really scares me though. That’s not to say that none of the three will ever win at Iowa State. Unless you sit in on every practice, you’ve never seen anything from Capello or Barnett to be able have a strong opinion. Based off of what I have seen, I struggle to believe that Tiller is the answer. I really hope that he proves me wrong.
Bringing in a JUCO quarterback would up the ante for everybody involved. Even if the JUCO QB doesn’t eventually win the job, it would make everybody else work that much harder this spring/fall. Competition is a good thing, especially at the most important position on the field. I hope that this happens.
Knownothing writes: Does Fred Hoiberg have kids that play basketball?
CW: Fred has children but I believe that they are all very young.
What is the deal with our football defensive line recruiting? It seems like it’s not a priority even though we get mashed on the defensive line.
CW: Ask yourself this question knownothing. Do you really think that Iowa State’s football coaches don’t realize that the defensive line has been an issue recently? Of course they’re still recruiting defensive linemen. As I mentioned above, this could be a big weekend on that front. Stay tuned.
Naughtius writes: Any truth to the rumor that the infamous Wikileaks "Insurance" file is a video of Commissioner Beebe and DeLoss Dodds eating spaghetti, Lady and the Tramp-style?
CW: I’ve heard these rumors but have not confirmed them with any of my sources. Very funny stuff Naughtius. I would write “lol” because I did laugh out loud by reading this, but I really try to keep from writing “lol,” in attempt to not look like seventh grade girl.
Speaking of DeLoss Dodds, every time that I hear the man’s name I think of the hell that was this spring’s realignment fiasco. For anyone who is still interested in that topic and what is currently going on, I highly recommend CLICKING HERE and reading this blog. It is long but very informative.
SC Cy writes: Are the Cyclones going to crack out the beautiful yellow jerseys this season?
CW: I hope so. When was the last time that they wore those? I am thinking that it was when Virginia came to town back in the Morgan years. Am I wrong? If so, I’m sure that somebody will correct me.
Have a great, safe weekend everybody. Don’t forget to listen to this week’s CycloneFanatic.com Podcast by CLICKING HERE.