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Football

WILLIAMS: On Kyle Kempt, social media and Big 12 basketball

First of all, I’d like to thank Matt Campbell for his time this weekend. If you haven’t heard it yet, the podcast that we published on Saturday with Coach is one of the best pieces we have ever put out here at Cyclone Fanatic. I have interviewed Campbell dozens of times since he became Iowa State’s head coach and never has he been this candid, insightful and downright fun! It was fantastic so please, check if out if you haven’t.

On the Kempt vs. Noland debate…

It’s looking more and more likely like Kyle Kempt will receive a sixth year of eligibility and possibly be Iowa State’s quarterback again next season. But there is a kicker here that some fans are not recognizing…

HE HAS TO BEAT OUT ZEB NOLAND.

Likewise, Noland will have an opportunity to win the job as well.

There is a portion of Iowa State’s fan base that sees this as a Kempt vs. Noland “debate” where in reality, it is simply a competition, which generally leads to success.

If Campbell’s “raising of the standard” has taught Iowa State fans anything, it should be that he is one of the most competitive human beings that any of us have ever been around. You think that he is going to just hand one of these guys the job? Zero chance.

Kempt – assuming he gets the sixth year – and Noland will duke it out during the spring and also in fall camp. I would absolutely tab Kempt the clubhouse leader at this point but that means absolutely nothing in the middle of January.

I’ll leave it at this: Without Kempt, the quarterback room would greatly be lacking a leader next season. Noland, a sophomore, would be the man with two freshmen behind him. Noland, the son of a coach, is an electric personality and could very well rise to the occasion, but it isn’t a sure thing.

Kempt lacks athletic ability and probably has the weakest arm of all Big 12 quarterbacks, but makes up for it with leadership and knowledge of the game. If Iowa State gets this break from the NCAA, it will solidify what would otherwise be an unproven position heading into 2018. It’s also the most important position in all of sports.

On social media pitfalls…

The Iowa State women’s basketball program was in the middle of an ugly story last week thanks to some awful use of Twitter by a staffer.

On Friday evening, former Director of Player Development Adam Urness, resigned from his position after this ugly incident.

I thought that WHO-TV 13 and 1460 KXnO’s Keith Murphy gave an important monologue on social media and its potential pitfalls on SoundOff Sunday night.

I have never met Urness so will not commentate on his character myself. I do know others though who have always been very impressed with him. It sounds like this was an out of character move for a good guy who made an awful mistake.

It is a good lesson for all of us – not just sports figures – when it comes to social media.

Be careful.

Murph nailed it when he said, “private messages do not always stay private.”

On Big 12 basketball…

A couple of quick hits today…

1 – The Big 12 had five games on Saturday. Three of them were decided by one point. Another one, Oklahoma’s five-point win over TCU, went to overtime. Then the Clones beat Baylor by 10.

2 – Iowa State has 14 games left in the regular season. Ten of them are vs. top 25 teams. Seven of them (half) are against top 10 teams.

Just looking ahead the rest of the way, the Clones, who after narrowly losing at Kansas and beating Baylor on Saturday, are trending in a better direction than they were a week ago at this time.

With the league as balanced as we have ever seen, is this a good or a bad year to be “rebuilding?”

I can make an argument for both.

Good: The guys are gaining awesome experience now that is only going to help them next season and beyond.

Bad: While many fans understand the current situation and can see a bright future for this program, others do not. Morale could drop, which often trickles to the team. The Cyclones could lose some confidence if the rest of the season doesn’t go the way we all want it to.

I’m honestly not sure.

What I am sure of is that I’m certainly not throwing in the towel on this season. With the way Lindell Wigginton is playing right now, that would be a foolish thing to do.