MONDAY MUSINGS: Football is near, a recruiting hot streak & Cyclones in the NBA

If you have had enough of the “offseason,” I have good news on your Monday morning. In just one week from today, the Big 12’s football meetings will be taking place in Dallas. That generally means two things:

1) We will have a TON of Iowa State and Big 12 football content for you here at 

2) A week from today is the unofficial start of football season. 

The way my personal calendar works, once we get past the 4th of July, the “offseason” is over. I am 100 percent locked in and focused on football.

I couldn’t be more excited about 2019 either. I try to remind our staff the following quite often: “Iowa State has been not great to bad in football for pretty much the entire lives of our readership. There has never been more interest in Cyclone football. Fans have never been more excited to consume the content you produce. If you can’t get motivated about waking up and covering this program right now, then find another job!”

That might seem harsh but damnit, I have covered some really bad teams over the last 15 years. I’ve been around you guys (the fans) during some awful times. It’s hard to describe to younger folks how nasty messages boards got back before Twitter existed. Everything just seems different these days, which is awesome. This is fun!

I am anxious to see how Iowa State is received in Dallas next week. A year ago, expectations were ratcheted up locally and despite a slow 1-3 start, Matt Campbell’s program exceeded them. This year is quite different in the sense that nationally and within the conference, there are real expectations for Iowa State football that I’m not sure have ever really existed in college football’s modern era. 

I am guessing that Iowa State will be picked to finish third in the conference behind Oklahoma and Texas. For what it’s worth, that’s where I picked the Cyclones. However, a case can be made for 2-4 teams in that spot. 

For your football planning purposes…

— The Big 12 will announce its preseason teams on Tuesday. 

— The Big 12’s preseason poll will come out on Wednesday. 

Another big recruiting weekend

I fully understand that not all fans are locked into the recruiting world but even the most casual Cyclones should be taking note of what’s been happening on the trail. 

The Cyclones earned pledges from two new 2020 prospects over Independence Day in Texas defensive back Jordyn Morgan and Cincinnati running back Miyan Williams. 

That’s right. Another running back out of Ohio. Matt Campbell LOVES running backs out of Ohio. 

In fact, the last time that Iowa State snagged a running back directly out of Cincinnati was a guy named David Montgomery (Mt. Healthy). He committed at 5-foot-10, 210-pounds. Williams, out of Winton Woods, is currently 5-foot-10, weighing in at exactly 210-pounds. 

The more you know…

For those interested in rankings, Iowa State’s class (with 15 known commitments) is currently tabbed nationally at 34th and fourth in the Big 12. 

Campbell and his staff have been on one hell of a run since camp season ended a couple of weeks ago. 

Cyclones continue to thrive in the NBA…

Big shout out to Marial Shayok, who signed a two-way contract with the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday. The 54th overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft has averaged 16.5 points and is 38.5 percent from 3-point range in Philly’s two Summer League games so far. 

“Marial is a natural-born scorer who is committed to being a tough defender,” 76ers GM Elton Brand said in a release.” “He’s a great person and talented basketball player who can stretch the floor and knock down the 3-point shot.”

Recent Cyclones to earn NBA minutes via two-way deals are Monte Morris, Deonte Burton, Georges Niang and of course Naz Mitrou-Long. 

Speaking of Naz, he’s been tearing it up in the Summer League for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Naz has been in double figures in all of Cleveland’s five Summer League games and is very much in play to grab their final two-way spot. Stay tuned, there. 

What about Matt Thomas? Heck of a deal last week, when “Matt Ice” got locked into the Raptors via a 3-year contract. Simply awesome. 

It will be interesting to see how our boys in Oklahoma City fare following this weekend’s big trade that sent Paul George to the Clippers. Abdel Nader and Deonte Burton are both still on that roster that will likely be shipping off Russell Westbrook over the next few months. 

How to watch the Cyclones in the NBA Summer League