Williams Blog: Hoops musings, football recruiting nuggets

By Chris Williams, Publisher

One super cut. One giant whiff. It may be harsh, but that’s the best description I can come up with after Iowa State’s 96-87 overtime loss to Oklahoma State on Wednesday night.

Since then, the game has been dissected 6,000 times. CLICK HERE to read my thoughts on the meltdown that occurred during the last five minutes in Stillwater. Here are a few other quick hits on hoops, football recruiting and more.

– The most frustrating thing about the Oklahoma State loss was that it was a major swing game on this schedule. Win it and the Clone are 2-2 in league play with a tough road trip to Mizzou, followed by home contests against the Big 12’s two worst teams. I don’t care what the expectations were at the beginning of the season. The Cyclones blew a golden opportunity to begin the conference season with a 4-3 record.

Melvin Ejim appears to have hit a freshman wall. This doesn’t surprise or discourage me either. Ejim has been playing out of position all season long. The difference in playing out of position against Kennesaw State compared to Kansas/pretty much any other Big 12 team is overwhelming though. That is why Ejim has struggled. He was 1-for-6 on Wednesday, scored six points, grabbed six boards and committed four fouls. The good news is that Ejim is a smart kid. His prep school grades neared a 4.0. His stout 6-foot-6, 215-pound frame will allow him to last and grow (as a player) throughout the remainder of the Big 12 season. Yes he has seemed like a fish out of water at times during league play, but Ejim’s physical tools along with his mental powers will allow him to get through this tough stretch. I truly believe that.

– We’ll learn a lot about this basketball team on Saturday at Missouri. After a that gut wrenching loss to the Cowboys, the team was stranded in Tulsa on Wednesday night due to a bad ice storm. Instead of coming back to Ames, the Cyclones will stay Thursday and Friday nights in Columbia. Depending on how you look at it, this could be a good or bad thing. The bad is the rest factor. How fresh will the Cyclones’ legs be on Saturday night after never returning back to Ames? That’s the pessimist in me talking. The optimist says that this travel issue is exactly what Iowa State needed. What better way to get over a tough loss than to bond with your teammates for 72-plus hours?

Football recruiting nuggets

– Remember the name Keithen English? At one point this fall, Iowa State was in hot pursuit of the Texas defensive tackle prospect. English recently committed to Houston and this does not surprise me. From the view I have, it appears that Iowa State cooled on him over the last month. Just my opinion. Take it for what it is worth.

– I’m hearing that Iowa State will not have any official visitors on campus this weekend.

– I’m no expert when it comes to breaking down YouTube highlight videos of high school kids, but I do know one thing when it comes to football recruiting. This is the time of year when shadiness really shows in the college game. This is when marquee programs that haven’t filled out their scholarships like to poach prospects from schools like Iowa State at the last minute. Keep an eye on this leading up to Feb. 2.