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Basketball

MONDAY MUSINGS: Silly season in full force

These are fluid times.  

When I sat down to write Monday Musings seven days ago, I ventured that Matt Abdelmassih would be leaving Iowa State for a similar position at St. John’s. That, my friends, was the worst kept secret at Iowa State since Sam Richardson’s alleged moped accident before the Iowa game two years ago.

The Abdelmassih move went down and quickly,T.J. Otzelberger surprisingly reassumed his position on Fred Hoiberg’s coaching staff.

Darien Williams is now gone and my educated guess is that he will end up in New York with Abdelmassih.

What’s the deal with that?

First of all, I totally understand how and why from afar, this whole situation looks fishy. Abdelmassih bolted and now, a player that he recruited (and signed) to Iowa State is going to follow him? Not cool.  

But I’ve made some calls and done some digging on this. It sounds like Hoiberg truly was okay with how this went down, which doesn’t surprise me. I know Matt Abdelmassih well. Matt is fiercely loyal to Fred and there is no way this would happen without the Mayor’s blessing. In a million years, I can’t imagine a scenario where Matt would work behind Iowa State’s back and do that to Fred. I just can’t.

Still, I’d like to get a quote or two on this from Hoiberg at some point in time on the matter.

What will Iowa State do?

As fans, ever since the UAB debacle, there hasn’t been much good news to come your way. Here is some fresh perspective to start your week. 

You got Otzelberger back. That’s huge. Not only it Otz a proven recruiter at this level, he is a proven recruiter at Iowa State, which is invaluable. He’s brought in high school kids and transfers alike and brings more to the day-to-day game plan product than Abdelmassih did.

You’re returning six of your eight top scorers from last year’s team that damn near won the Big 12. When the “way too early” previews for next season start surfacing over the next few days and Iowa State is a unanimous top 15 team, you’ll feel better about life. I promise.  

But what about depth?

Relax. It’s April 6. College basketball’s “free agency” period is about to begin on April 9 at noon, when the live period begins. 

Prediction: The next 10 days will be very active on the recruiting trail for the Cyclones. 

I think that top 100-point guard (2015) Nick Noskowiak will end up in Ames. 

The transfer market, as always, is ripe with talent. 

Chris Babb’s brother, Nick, recently announced that he was leaving Arkansas. That’s kind of an obvious guy for Hoiberg to at least take a look at, no? He didn’t set the world on fire at Arkansas last year but Babb is a hard worker, has a Big 12 body at 6-foot-5, 200 and could be a real contributor after a development year on Hoiberg’s bench.

There will be other names too. 

Don’t be shocked to see Iowa State scour the JUCO market as well.  

Players are out there and due to recent success, Iowa State is in a much better situation to jump in the game late than back in the day. 

Like a soap opera, you Fanatics hang on every roster movement that goes down and have deep, emotional reactions to each one. Outside of Iowa State though, the perception is still very real that this is an up and coming program poised to do big things in 2015-16.

My advice: Don’t go jumping off of that cliff just yet. There is still a lot of roster movement yet to come.

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