The time has come for us to have a very frank conversation. Over the last two weeks, I’ve written more subtle hints than I can possibly count regarding Iowa State’s chances with blue-chip hoopster Cheick Diallo. Today, again, I’ll just come out and say it: I do not think that Cheick Diallo will end up at Iowa State.
Could he still choose the good guys? Of course. Anything can happen in recruiting. When it comes to most McDonald’s All-Americans in the year 2015, the amount of behind-the-scenes moving parts to consider at this stage in the game make decisions like this incredibly unpredictable.
That’s a good thing. No, Iowa State isn’t “out.” But should you all be banking on this? If you are, you’re setting yourself up for a massive letdown. Prepare for the worst. If the best happens, then it’s one big surprise and you can party until the sun comes up.
Reason for the above note…I threw out a Twitter Tuesday Mailbag call for questions this morning. Six of the first seven responses I got were about Diallo. We’re nearing a level of obsession here and I figured I might as well get that out of the way.
Now, for the non-Diallo questions for today’s mailbag that were taken exclusively on Twitter (@ChrisMWilliams):
@Welter89 tweets: I’m in the group of fans hungry for some bb recruiting info. Outside of Diallo drama, who’s up next after Nick Babb and Nick Noskowiak?
CW: Sit tight. There is a lot of observing going on right now. My guess though is that Noskowiak ends up a Cyclone. In addition to that, gun to my head, a transfer (graduate or sit-out) and junior college big seems like the perfect combination at this point.
@GillamTweets tweets: Has it been announced yet who we play in the SEC BIG XII Challenge? Who you thinking?
CW: No, it has not been announced yet. The only thing we know about Iowa State’s pairing is that the Cyclones will for sure be on the road this season. That’s because during the first two years of the event, Iowa State played home games. If I had to make an educated guess right now, it would be LSU, Florida, Missouri or Texas A&M with an outside chance of Kentucky. That’s just a guess though. I’ll keep you guys updated with any developments over the next month or so. For some reason, I really enjoy chasing scheduling information. It’s fun for me.
@RyanCKent writes: What’s the deal with K-State? Is this just a coach on the way out?
CW: Yeah, it’s pretty much been a disastrous offseason down there in Manhattan. Bruce Weber has cleaned house. My guess is that Weber knows his time at Kansas State is numbered unless he wins now. He couldn’t win with those guys – who by the sound of things had awful attitudes – so now he’s trying to change the culture without them. I guess I don’t blame the guy. But no, I don’t see how Weber is leading that program beyond next season.
@jaredsmith24 tweets: Are you hearing about any of the football players who left or were dismissed coming back or where they are headed?
CW: It isn’t to the same degree, but this is similar to what we’ve seen the last few weeks with Bruce Weber’s basketball program. To answer your question, I have not heard about where those guys are but I can tell you with absolute certainty that theDeVondrick Nealy’s of the world will not be in an Iowa State uniform next season.
@jright07 tweets: If ISU had to change football head coach, is the likely choice Mangino or Herman? Or Neither?
CW: That’s a very premature question but I don’t know if I can confidently say that either of those men would be a top choice. Sure, Mangino won at Kansas but times have changed in this league. His record wasn’t exactly impressive vs. southern teams. And he’s 58-years old. I’d like to see Iowa State go young. Would Tom Herman even want the Iowa State job? He’s got a nice gig in Houston right now and could parlay that to a larger gig as we’ve seen multiple Houston coaches do over time. The good news here is that this is a different Iowa State these days. Facilities aren’t even on the same hemisphere as they were 10 years ago. By all means, the Big 12 appears to be solid right now. Iowa State will have plenty of options, should that time come.
@BradPAGuy tweets: Is the Big 12 or any conference going to try to seek more realignment? Does this endanger ISU again?
CW: If the Big 12 ever looks to expand, no, it won’t affect Iowa State in a negative way. If the Pac-12 or SEC wants to and attempts to poach Big 12 schools, yes, that’d be a problem. There’s the whole grand of rights issue. There’s the Longhorn Network, of course. I don’t see any realignment coming anytime soon though. Financially, it just doesn’t make any sense for the Big 12. With the available schools “out there,” there aren’t enough television eyeballs to make it worth the league’s while.
BDoyle_5 tweets: Any chance Naz Long’s little brother ends up in Ames?
CW: I’ve learned to never say “never” in recruiting but I have yet to hear his name as a possibility. My guess at this point is no.