MONDAY MUSINGS: Stuff I’m hearing…

It has been months since I’ve posted a “Monday Musings” column here at That’s because during the bulk of basketball season, my Monday morning routine has consisted of podcasting with Rob Gray and Jared Stansbury. 

How about a change up today?

While the 2014-15 Iowa State athletics season is technically over, this is actually one of the busiest times of the year when it comes to behind the scenes mumbo jumbo. That’s what this lump of musings is dedicated to. 

What am I hearing these days? Here are a few tidbits for you guys to chew on.

Coaching staff shake-up?

On Saturday morning, I blogged that Cyclone fans should keep an eye on the coaching situation at St. Johns because of how it could potentially impact Iowa State’s staff.

On Sunday, St. Johns offered former NBA (and St. John) great Chris Mullin an opportunity to replace Steve Lavin, who was let go last week. 

The reason I blogged this is because Iowa State assistant Matt Abdelmassih, who has a close relationship with Mullin, is the perfect candidate to land a job on that bench. Abdelmassih attended and was a manager at St. Johns during his college days.

I believe Abelmassih will have an opportunity to make a move. Should he jump at the chance is still a question.

For what it’s worth, the New York Daily News thinks the same thing. 

And before you ask, yes, Abdelmassih leaving for St. Johns would absolutely hinder Iowa State’s chances in landing five-star big man Cheick Diallo. This is another reason why it would make sense for Mullin try attempt to lure Abdelmassih to his staff. 

Having said all of this, leaving Fred Hoiberg and Iowa State would without question be a difficult thing for Abdelmassih to do.

Next year’s non-conference basketball schedule 

I wrote this in last week’s mailbag but thought I would put it in Musings too because it kind of got buried…

Here’s what I know about next year’s schedule. Keep in mind that it is March and this is still a work in progress. A lot of scheduling chatter goes down during the Final Four week every season.

The Cyclones will play Colorado on Nov. 13 at 7 p.m. in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Then, there is the Emerald Coast Classic over Thanksgiving weekend. Iowa State will play Virginia Tech in its opener and then the winner of Illinois and UAB (yes, that UAB). 

There’s Iowa (in Ames) and UNI in the Big Four Classic (Des Moines). Iowa State will be on the road for the next two years in the Big 12/SEC Challenge (I think there’s a chance that the Cyclones could be sent to Rupp Arena next year for what it’s worth.).

That’s all I know for now. Stay tuned.

Two football nuggets…

*** You can take what I’m about to write as a positive, or a negative. To me, it’s a negative but I also realize it is March 29. 

I’ve heard time and time again over the last two weeks that Iowa State’s defense has been surprisingly good so far during spring ball. The defensive line is – I’m told – looking like the best so far in the Rhoads era. 

I actually believe that too. Dale Pierson and Trent Taylor should be pretty solid on the ends. In the middle though, apparently Demond Tucker has been everything that Iowa State hoped he would be so far. 

I’m also hearing that Jordan Harris has been better than expected at middle linebacker too. 

That’s all great, but what does this say about the offense?

I want to hear that the offense is torching the defense because that’s how the Cyclones will have to win games next season – by outscoring people – regardless of how much improved the defense is. 

It’s early, which admittedly makes a lot of this irrelevant. 

*** Stay tuned for a Joel Lanning progress report that I’ve been working on for later this week. The sophomore quarterback out of Ankeny intrigues me. I’m hearing that tool wise, he’s the best Iowa State has. Upstairs though, it’s still hard to imagine him beating out Sam Richardson next spring.