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Basketball

MONDAY MUSINGS: Merry Christmas, Cyclone Nation 

I feel like I’ve been in this business long enough to state the following as an absolute fact: For one reason or another, a lot of coaches are flat-out liars. 

Matt Campbell does not belong in that category. 

That’s not to say that Iowa State’s current football coach will retire in Ames or anything like that. Situations change. People change. He’s never stated that he will be here 15 years from now — or even five. 

But on the day that fall camp opened prior to this season, Campbell shot down Ohio State rumors. A few times now, he’s told us that over the years, his actions have and will continue to speak louder than words. 

After a second season in a row where Iowa State significantly exceeded expectations (picked seventh the Big 12, finished third), Campbell inked a new deal on Sunday that secures his future in Iowa State until the year 2024.

Merry Christmas, Cyclone Nation. 

Aside from the obvious extension news, my largest takeaway from the new deal was noting another $1 million raised for Campbell’s assistants and support staff. 

Few people in all of sports currently have more leverage over a team or university than Campbell does over Iowa State. Think about it: This football program’s fan base is rabid and has really never experienced sustained success — ever.

Iowa State just won six conference games for the first time in school history. Recruiting is off the charts. I really feel like Iowa State is in the mere infancy stages of something big. 

They key was keeping the coach. 

Check. 

Campbell doesn’t have an acting agent. That’s rare, if not unheard of at this level. With yesterday’s action, Campbell chose to look out for his assistants above himself. 

That’s a pretty cool story — one that we are currently living out — and one that I can only hope to keep chronicling for many, many years to come. 

Iowa State adds graduate transfer quarterback 

On that same day that his contract extension was announced, Campbell quietly made an important move on the recruiting trail Sunday night with the acquisition of a graduate transfer quarterback. 

Redshirt freshman tight end Charlie Kolar’s big brother, John Kolar, announced on Twitter that he will finish out his career at Iowa State. 

The family tie is nice but let’s analyze what this means football wise for Iowa State. 

It’s important to note the recent transfers of Zeb Noland and Devon Moore — two guys who obviously didn’t like their prospects of future playing time behind Brock Purdy. 

Before the Kolar news, Iowa State’s quarterback room next season was set to consist of two sophomores (Purdy, Re-al Mitchell) and a freshman (Easton Dean). 

The motives behind this move are quite clear: Add not only some depth, but experience to the room. Kolar, who only attempted two passes during his four years in Stillwater, has still been in an offensive film room with Mike Gundy during that time. That’s really what he brings to the table — headiness and hopefully leadership. 

On Iowa State basketball…

Just a few quick hitters on the week that was in Iowa State basketball…

GOTTA LOVE HIM: Tyrese Haliburton is not only an exciting and promising young basketball player, but he’s one of the most charismatic athletes we have seen come to Ames in a long time. I’ve made the comparison before but personality wise, Haliburton reminds me of a young Naz Mitrou-Long. Always happy. Always smiling. 

Basketball wise, the more I watch him, the more I see of a hybrid between Diante Garrett (length, somewhat awkward looking shot) and Monte Morris (distributor, takes care of the basketball). 

In case you’ve been hiding in a cave, Haliburton broke the great Eric Heft’s assists in a game record last night vs. Southern and on Monday was named the Big 12’s Newcomer of the Week. 

HOW TO MAX OUT: The first week of Cameron Lard’s return to the Iowa State lineup was quite unique. During those three games, Lard averaged only 9.3 minutes per game tallying 4.3 points and 1.7 rebounds per along the way. 

I get what Steve Prohm is doing here. 

He’s gradually working Lard back into the mix and making him earn time.

But I’ll just come right out and say it: In order for Iowa State to reach its max potential as a team, Lard is a guy who needs to be playing 25-30 minutes per game come March.

I think Prohm realizes that too, which is why a slow burn at the start makes the most sense. 

Stay tuned. 

As we have learned over the last few years, when it comes to Lard, every day is a bit of a mystery.