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Basketball

MONDAY MUSINGS: Hoops needs momentum on the trail; more commentary

Iowa State missed on another basketball recruit Sunday when 2018 point guard Jordan Lathon chose Northwestern over the Cyclones. Lathon, a three-star prospect out of Missouri, visited Iowa State a little over a week ago.

Steve Prohm’s staff proved last fall that it could recruit at a high level by snagging the likes of Lindell Wigginton and Terrance Lewis but there is zero doubt that it has been a rough go since then.

In fact, I’m not sure that this spring could have gone much worse.

A lot of it was simply bad luck.

For one, I don’t blame Prohm at all for the loss of Darius McNeill, who was recently released from his National Letter of Intent at Iowa State. McNeill eventually signed with Cal last week, which coincidentally (not) is the school that his old AAU school recently took a job with.

It’s funny how things like that work out. 🙄

I am choosing the “don’t panic” way of looking at this entire basketball recruiting situation. It is way too early to come at this with a hard stance either way on the Prohm staff’s recruiting efforts. We just don’t have enough data to make a fair judgment either way.

It also goes without saying that this upcoming July period is going to be crucial for the future of this program, that really needs some momentum on the recruiting trail right now.

ICYMI: Some basketball recruiting news regarding 2018 point guard Tyler Harris can be found here. Landing a commitment from this young man would shut up a lot of critics.

……..

The iconic Harlem Globetrotters held their annual “draft” last week where Naz Mitrou-Long went third. It is just a big joke but honestly, wouldn’t Naz be perfect for something like that?

I was tailgating at the Iowa Speedway on Saturday night with a friend who has a son who is probably around the age of 12 or so. He goes to all of the former player camps. This kid’s dad told me that by far, Naz put on the best one. Naz is just so good with kids, and he shoots some crazy shots! Add that contagious personality to the mix and Naz really would be the perfect Globetrotter.

Let’s hope he makes some good money playing ball before going that route first.

I don’t know about you guys, but I cannot wait to watch Naz and a guy named Georges Niang team up for summer ball with the Indiana Pacers beginning on July 1 in Orlando. 

Lindell Wigginton leads Canadian U-19 team with 32 points in exhibition win

………

I was pleasantly surprised and very encouraged last week when South Point released an early spread for the Iowa State/Texas game on Sept. 28.

Some pundits (not me) are picking Texas as high as second in the Big 12.

The fact that the real experts (Vegas) currently see this as a three-point game is encouraging.

Even with Iowa State’s win/loss total sitting at 4.5 (or 5.5 depending on where you look) right now, this means that Vegas sees Iowa State as a program that should be competitive with some of the best teams in the league in 2017.

That hasn’t really been the case over the last 3-4 years.

…….

I had the opportunity to sit down and interview the iconic Tom Osborne on Friday and learned so much along the way. We covered a bunch of topics in the 30 minute interview but most interesting to Iowa State fans might be what Osborne had to say about his schools break up with the Big 12.

“I certainly miss the old Big 8 and the Big 8 certainly became a different conference when the old Southwest Conference folded and we brought in the four schools from the south division there. It put Nebraska in a precarious position because it was no secret that Missouri was looking to leave. We knew that Colorado was looking to join the Pac-12 if they could. The deal breaker for us was when we heard that the south division – all six schools – had been negotiating with the Pac-12 to possibly go to the Pac-12. That kind of left us with the idea that we might be the last man standing. So when the Big Ten, which was a stable conference that had been around for 140-150 years, let us know that they would be interested we decided that would be a good move for Nebraska. We didn’t know if the Big 12 was going to survive at that point. Now they did survive and I’m glad that they did. But I have to say that there is still probably some concern over the next few years as to what is going to happen.”

Keep in mind that Osborne was Nebraska’s acting AD at the time of that school’s move to the Big Ten.

I found the above comment to be fascinating as it is somewhat different to what I had always heard went down, which was the following:

The Big 12’s Board of Directors left a meeting in Kansas City all on board to share revenue equally, sign a new TV contract and more forward in its current form.

Nebraska was on board to stay in the league and then out of nowhere, Colorado bolted to the Pac-12.

— That spooked Nebraska, which is consistent with what Osborne said, and forced the Huskers to act quickly and move to the B1G.

I was never aware that the six south schools were supposedly negotiating with the Pac-12 that early in the process – before Colorado/Nebraska had elected to leave. That is the part of Osborne’s answer that seems fuzzy to me. I’m not accusing him of lying, I just remember when Ken Starr and Baylor were ready to throw lawsuits at everybody if they were going to get left out. Seems a little bit hypocritical of Baylor to do that after the fact that they were part of the reason that the conference (as we knew it then) imploded in the first place.

It is Baylor though…

To put a bow on all of this, for the first time in a long time, I am really not concerned at all about the Big 12’s future. If anything, I agree with CBS’ Dennis Dodd, that the Big 12 could be picking apart the Pac-12 sooner rather than later.

Anybody up for a road trip to Tempe?

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