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Football

Three thoughts on Thursday: Pinch me, Nader & WBB win at UNI

1 – It is impossible to thoroughly cover everything that Matt Campbell has done during his first four days on the job for Iowa State.

It’s like these guys from Toledo who are now running the Iowa State football program are incredibly charismatic robots or something.

The 50-plus scholarship offers. The prompt coaching decisions. The selfie sticks.

Mind. Blown.

Last night while I was calling the Iowa State women’s basketball game at UNI (more on this later), I saw this tweet from my pal Trey Scott pop across my timeline.

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Ok.

Now I feel like Matt Campbell is just messing with me. 

Pinch me, Clone Nation. Is this a dream?

The only way this can get any better is if an anti Deep Purple report comes out later today. If Campbell says that he wants to consistently bump Eminem in Jack Trice Stadium this fall, I’ll officially start up his ISU fan club right now.  

A few more Matt Campbell notes…

I’m told that tomorrow the staff plans on “plastering” the CIML. It’s difficult to do with Iowa being 12-0 and all, but I admire the inside-out approach that Campbell is taking to recruiting. So does one prominent former Cyclone, a Rhoads guy, Tom Farnkiok.

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Also, I’m hearing that rumors of mass transfers from the Iowa State football program have been greatly exaggerated. For what it’s worth, I’ve never covered a coaching search where this hasn’t been the case, especially in football.

2 – When I wrote this column about Abdel Nader before the season began, I truly believed that he would have a breakout senior season. I’d be a stone cold liar though if I told you guys I thought he would be this good.

Through six games, Nader is second on the team in scoring (15.3) and rebounding (6.2).

A little additional perspective … I’ve seen more growth with Nader off of the court than on.

Some guys just aren’t much fun to cover. Nader, quite honestly, was like that last year. He carried himself with a mad look on his face and generally acted like he didn’t want to be there.

This year, he is a different man. Abdel Nader smiles a lot. He’s more engaged on the floor, off the floor and when you watch him on the bench.

It’s a really cool story. 

Here’s a Thursday tip of the hat to Abdel Nader. 

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3 – I’ll tell you guys what: This Seanna Johnson is fantastic. 

Bill Fennelly has two core leaders on his team – Johnson and Jadda Buckley – who are so much fun to watch. They just keep getting better and so do the youthful Cyclones on the roster too. 

Positive or negative, you never want to make too big of a deal out of non-conference games in December. But after what happened to Iowa State in Mexico and the slew of injuries that Fennelly’s roster is facing (it’s unheard of how banged up they are this early in the year), last night’s win at Northern Iowa was potentially a season-saver. 

Bleeding, stopped. Now the ladies will host Southern on Sunday before a very good Iowa comes to town next Friday.