Basketball

MONDAY MUSINGS: Does ISU football or basketball have the higher ceiling in 2018?

Lots of great questions to start your work week, starting with…

ForbinsAscynt writes: Which team has the higher ceiling this year, football or basketball.

CW: It’s interesting because I believe basketball has a higher ceiling than football, but also a lower floor. In a best-case scenario, I could see Iowa State competing for a Big 12 championship in hoops. But if there are chemistry problems, they could miss the tournament altogether. Hoops is really all over the board for next year, which makes it really exciting to think about. 

With football, it just seems like there are fewer variables to take into consideration. The Big 12 will be somewhat down, in my opinion. Iowa State’s defense should be stout enough to keep the Cyclones in just about any game. Assuming continued improvement of the offensive line, the style of play that Matt Campbell wants to run offensively will do the same. In a perfect scenario, football could win 10 or so games but it’s hard for me to picture this team missing out on a bowl game. 

So yeah, I’ll go with basketball.

JP4CY writes: Last 6 football games of the year I’ll give you an O/U of 4.5 wins. What are you taking?

CW: Those six games are…

West Virginia
Texas Tech
At Kansas
Baylor
At Texas
Kansas State 

I’d take the under.

Iowa State will probably be underdogs to West Virginia and at Texas. Could be vs. Kansas State. Iowa State has lost 10 in a row to the Wildcats. I apologize for not exactly being confident when it comes to “Farmagedon.”

I see Iowa State at 4-2 during that stretch with West Virginia, Texas and Kansas State being the toss-ups. Solid number though, as I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see at 5-1 mark either. 

Cyched writes: Do you see the staff splitting snaps between Kempt and Noland to start the season? Or Kempt’s job to lose? Do you see any playing time for Re-al or Devon Moore?

CW: It is Kempt’s job to lose. He’s a sixth-year senior who helped lead the team to eight wins a year ago. 

I can’t see the staff splitting snaps between those guys to start but I would also never go on record saying there is “no chance” that Noland doesn’t win the job. Let’s say he has a crazy good summer and is flat out better than Kempt come August…Noland would be the starter. 

Regarding Re-Al Mitchell and Devon Moore, I think that Mitchell has a better chance of taking meaningful snaps in 2018 mainly because of the skillset that he brings to the table. We’re talking about one of the best pure athletes that Iowa State has ever recruited (seriously). I think they will make space for him somewhere as a true freshman.

Madguy30 writes: After interviewing Coach Campbell, how much does your wins/loss predictions fluctuate for the football season? I’m expecting 5-7 wins this season, but sometimes after listening to CMC I feel like 12 or 13 is basically the minimum. pastedGraphic.png

CW: I agree with you in the sense that after I spend an extended amount of time with Campbell, I’m ready to run through a wall. However these sessions don’t generally heighten my expectations for the immediate future of Iowa State football. They get me downright giddy about the long term expectations though. The way Campbell is building the program just seems sustainable to me. There aren’t a lot of quick fixes here. I think we will continue to see steady year-by-year improvement and hopefully in a few years…well, I’ll let your imaginations take over from here.

I’ve got Iowa State at 7-5 next season and if the offensive line takes a big step forward, I think 8-9 wins are certainly possible. 

Mj4cy writes: Do any ISU MBB players shoot over 40% from 3 next year?

CW: Lindell Wigginton, Marial Shayok and Terrence Lewis all have a shot.

Wigginton surprisingly surpassed that milestone a year ago. 

Shayok shot 44 percent from three in 2015-16 while at Virginia. Granted, that was only on 39 attempts. His shot supposedly got better during the year off though, I’m told.

Lewis shot a disappointing 29 percent from three last year but did get more confident the deeper the Clones got into the season. He was clearly thinking way too much early on, which is very common for a freshman. I have faith he will be much better in year No. 2. He’ll have better players around him too, which always helps. 

Iowa State needs to hope to have a bunch of guys in the upper 30’s. That’s going to be more important than having one sniper, which I don’t believe currently exists on this roster. 

EarthIsMan writes: What will be a more impactful loss this season: losing Tom Manning or Neill Berry? Or who will be more difficult to replace?

CW: I think because of the timing alone, this one is pretty simple to answer. Neill Berry is more difficult to replace because it was a month before the July recruiting period. 

Football staffs are so dense, especially in the way that Campbell approaches things. He was heavily involved in game planning the last two years, as were Alex Golesh and Bryan Gasser. 

Campbell specifically brought Joel Gordon on last offseason to be groomed for a spot on the offensive staff at some point.

He’s had enough time to figure this out. I just don’t see losing Manning to be a deal breaker for this team. For what it’s worth, I’m a huge Tom Manning fan so please don’t take that as a dig. He’s a future head coach.

Berry going to Texas will have a larger impact on recruiting – immediately at least – than it will with the product you see on the court. His relationship with Wigginton was overblown. While significant, Prohm also has a good one with his point guard. Berry had quietly become a real up and comer in that world. Texas got a good one. The timing was not ideal from Iowa State’s perspective. 

Doc writes: Who are you cheering for in the World Cup?

CW: I don’t want to be the anti-soccer guy and pee in your Cheerios on the morning of a big day, but I honestly doubt that I watch a single game. I’m not a big fan of the sport and with the United States not being in it, I can’t see a scenario in where I will be motivated enough to watch. I’ll flip it over to check out the atmosphere from time to time though. 

BCClone writes: Best summertime drink? Margarita, vodka/Lemonade, long islands, or what’s the best?

CW: Do this…

Take your vodka/lemonade and put a little bit of light beer (Busch Light, Bud Light, Coors Light, Michelob Ultra, any will do) in with it. I think the name of the actual drink is called “Summer Beer.” It’s fantastic. I like to throw in a pinch of Body Armor or something like that too. Go light on the vodka though. This drink doesn’t mess around. 

Chris Williams

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Chris was hired as Cyclone Fanatic’s publisher in the fall of 2009. He is Iowa State football's postgame show host on the Cyclone Radio Network and can be heard daily from 4-7 on Des Moines' top-rated sports station, 1460 KXnO. Williams, a 2007 graduate of Iowa State’s Greenlee School of Journalism, is the former publisher of the old CycloneNation.com (Scout.com). He has also written for the Des Moines Register, the Ames Tribune, CycloneReport.com and is the former sports director at KMA Radio. When Williams isn’t working, you can usually find him doing something outdoors with his wife Ashley, daughter Camryn, and Golden Retriever Dierks. He enjoys golfing, boating, country music, the Minnesota Vikings, Atlanta Braves and is passionate about any and all motor sports so finding Williams at a local dirt track is very common.

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