Monday Musings: Collin Bevins’ departure, CCL nuggets

Losing any football player in mid-June is never a good thing. Especially when that player is a promising redshirt freshman. Especially at Iowa State when that player plays a critical position like defensive tackle where even with him; your depth chart previously looked thin at best.

Last week’s news that redshirt freshman defensive tackle Collin Bevins had withdrawn from school at Iowa State was a stinger.

I’ll make the argument that his departure will hurt Iowa State more in two years than this fall.

That’s because even if Bevins was listed as a starter on Paul Rhoads’ pre-spring depth chart, I never actually bought in that he would be the guy lining up at defensive tackle vs. Northern Iowa on Aug. 31. My assumption had always been that Iowa Western Community College transfer Rodney Coe would be (Coe wasn’t on campus this spring and was left off of the depth chart for that reason).

Now we all know how defensive tackle (and the entire defensive line for that matter) works at Iowa State. Only two start the game but usually, Rhoads (and the Burnham’s of course) likes to play at least four, five or even six of them throughout any given game.

Bevins’ departure absolutely impacts next year’s Iowa State defense from a depth standpoint, no doubt. But this is a kid who defensive tackles coach Shane Burnham was extremely high on from the day he signed with the Cyclones, mainly for two reasons.

Bevins had two characteristics that you just can’t coach. As a freshman at 6-foot-5, 277, he had size. And Bevins, a former state wrestling champion, also had that “tough guy” mindset that is so critical playing in the middle of the defensive line in the Big 12.

Was Collin Bevins a future All-Big 12 defensive lineman?

It is way too early to make an educated guess to answer that question. To be that good, work ethic has as much to do with it than anything. But Bevins did possess those God-given characteristics that would have given him a legitimate shot to be that type of player down the road.

It’s a shame that after sitting out a season going through the always-tough redshirt year, Bevins will never see the field in an Iowa State uniform.

What now?

As mentioned above, this news all but guarantees that Rodney Coe will play in the middle in 2013 doesn’t it? 

The way I see things now, you can go ahead and ink Brandon Jensen in as a starter in the middle. We already knew that though. Rhoads’ other options are: Walter Woods, redshirt freshman Pierre Aka, walk-on Austin Krick.

There isn’t much depth there folks, hence the reason why Coe pretty much has to play inside.

What about letting David Irving play inside a little bit? I guess that is a possibility too if need be.

Stay tuned.

Week one at the YMCA CCL…

Some quick hits on what I saw during week one of the YMCA Capital City League…

Guys who looked better than I thought they would…

Monte Morris – The highly touted freshman point guard out of Michigan appears to have that “it” factor. I can’t guarantee you that he will be a Lottery pick someday, but Morris looks like a guy who will always at the very least be solid. In an odd way, he reminds me of Diante Garrett. Their games are different but when it comes to demeanor and leadership, I sense some similarities.

Morris is as competitive as they come. Last Wednesday night, I interviewed him. His team had just lost a tough game. He was visibly angered. Most guys are quick to shrug off a CCL loss. Morris did not.

“I hate losing,” he told me before the camera started rolling.

That is a good thing to come out of the mouth of a point guard.

Sherron Dorsey-Walker – His record-breaking 67-point performance actually didn’t impress me that much. He chucked 45 shots to get to that number.

But I do like how Dorsey-Walker seems to be owning the court when he is on it this summer. He is obviously a lot more confident than he was last summer. The redshirt year allowed him to add some much-needed weight and his shooting stroke looks good too.

Naz Long – I’m not sure that he will ever be a starter at Iowa State but Long’s motor, work ethic and love of playing team basketball will make him a quality, sixth, seventh or eighth man over the next three seasons.

Long told me that he is especially working on his defense this summer, which is also encouraging. He seems to realize that the team has plenty of guys who can score. Naz is trying to find his niche, which could come on the defensive end of the floor.

Dustin Hogue – I went into the summer not knowing much at all about Hogue. I’ve been impressed so far though. He is a guy who will never put up gaudy stats but on this team, he doesn’t really need to. Hoiberg needs Hogue to be a guy who will defend, rebound and do the little things well. Hogue might be the most under-rated player on Iowa State’s roster heading into 2013-14.

Sitting steady…

Matt Thomas – He is who I thought he would be.

Like Morris, it is pretty evident that Thomas is going to be a good one.

One thing that has been obvious to me is the fact that Thomas seems to be very uncomfortable playing in the CCL. By nature, he isn’t a chucker. Thomas just might be too unselfish for this league. He’s trying to get everybody involved, which will probably hurt his CCL team in the long run.

That is why he probably won’t put up stupid numbers this summer. It simply isn’t in his blood to launch 40 shots a game. 

Bubu Palo – I am actually expecting to see a spike in Bubu’s production during his senior year. Now I don’t think that he will all of the sudden turn into Korie Lucious but I do think he’ll be more of a threat offensively than we’ve seen in the past.

Palo is arguably the best player in the CCL every year. He’s currently averaging a triple-double at 39.5 points, 11.5 rebounds and 12.0 assists per game.

Still unsure about…

K.J. Bluford – Well, he likes to shoot. A lot. Bluford finally got into a bit of a groove on Friday night when he went 6-for-12 from downtown. Here’s my way too early prediction as to how K.J. Bluford’s career will go at Iowa State.

He will be a guy who Hoiberg plays early in games. If he hits a three or two early, he could be an 18-20 point guy on any given night. If he starts off 0-for-3, he probably won’t play much the rest of the game. 

Bluford, who converted on 40 percent of his 3-point attempts in JUCO ball, appears to be a bit of a one-trick pony at this point in his career but that one trick can be a nasty weapon when he is “on.”

This is a guy who I want to see more of over the next few weeks.

Daniel Edozie – The size is there but I’ve yet to see how Edozie will really contribute next season at Iowa State. I just don’t sense a killer instinct there, yet. But hey, this is summer league ball we’re talking about here.

Edozie is currently averaging 11.7 rebounds per game. I’d like to see that number be at around 15 considering whom he is playing against. 

Percy Gibson – The pressure is on here for Percy. With Richard Amardi not in the fold anymore, Iowa State desperately needs another big to step up for the 2013-14 campaign. Gibson, who struggled during his sophomore year, has to be that man. He has to be. There aren’t any other options.

If he doesn’t step up, just imagine the Kansas’ of the world attacking Iowa State’s superb starting frontcourt combo of Melvin Ejim/Georges Niang.

Get one of those guys into foul trouble and Iowa State is a different team. 

It isn’t what I’d call a “sexy” topic, but Percy Gibson’s development is a big storyline heading into next season.