With the week off in bball, I posted my blog about our current and incoming freshmen...I'm pumped to see what we have! Juice blogs Â» The Cyclones Future Bright for ISU Basketball by Jerry Hales :: December 13th, 2007 :: 11:07 am Weâ€™ve been off for a week and there arenâ€™t any games coming up soon enough for me to make a prediction (sorry Robert and Mattman), so I thought Iâ€™d talk about the future of ISU basketball with this entry. While weâ€™ve struggled some this season, I prefer to think of our struggles as growing pains for the future. We have some great young players in the program, and some outstanding ones on the way. Here is a preview of things to comeâ€¦ Freshmen Craig Brackins- I shouldnâ€™t have to say much about this half man half beast freshman. He was the second highest rated recruit to ever sign with ISU behind only Marcus Fizer, and we all know how that one turned out! He has shown many flashes of brilliance this season, and also has a huge upside as he fills out his body and refines his game under Coach McDermottâ€™s guidance. Diante Garrett- Everybody knew that Garrett was lightning quick and had great handles coming in, but in the last game against Iowa, he showed some defensive prowess as well. He picked up a steal on 3 straight possessions to turn the tide in the second half. With continued defensive improvement and some work on his outside shot and finishing in the lane, Garrett could be a horse in a year or two. Lucca Staiger- Unfortunately this is one that we canâ€™t really say for sure how good he will be since he is still in limbo with the NCAA situation. From talking to ISU assistants, they are extremely high on Staiger. It sounds as if he would be an instant boost in shooting, ball handling, and passing for this team, which are three areas of major need right now. His size and deceiving quickness should make him a quality defender as well. Now if we could just get him on the court! Charles Boozer- Boozer has shown us some flashes in spot time this season. The younger brother of NBA star Carlos, he obviously has a different style of game. Charles is a good shooter and has some quickness as well. He is still working to find his role on the team, but as he improves defensively he should see his minutes increase as well. He seems like a hard worker, and I saw him in the gym every time I was there this summer, so hopefully we will see him continue to get better and better each season. Clayton Vette- This is one name that is uncertain for the Cyclones. He has a good build for a Big 12 freshman, and showed some glimpses of ability to be a good post for us down the road early this season. However, he hasnâ€™t played for several games and the rumors are swirling that he might not be with the team much longer. It would be a shame if he left, because I think that he could have a future with his build and scrappiness. If heâ€™s unhappy though, I wish him well in another place. Incoming Freshmen Dominique Buckley- This incoming point guard from Michigan is looking like a tremendous pick up for Coach McDermott. He got in on him early and was able to get a commitment before the big boys came calling. Now Buckley is rated by some as the #2 prospect in Michigan and has really developed his scoring to go with his solid defensive and ball handling game. He will be a breath of fresh air as a true point guard next season and should hopefully allow Garrett the opportunity to slide over to the off guard position. Wes Eikmeier- Eikmeier is another guy that we got in on early and were able to sign under the radar. He has been lighting up the competition in Nebraska and is already eating up every drill that our staff has given him. At 6′3 he has some good size for a guard, amazing shooting range, and is an absolute gym rat. Though he was signed before he had a chance to blow up the recruiting scene, many believe he will be the best of the bunch we have coming in. Clinton Mann- Mann is a player that I am unsure which position he will play. He is 6′7″ and is strong and athletic. From everything I have seen and heard, he will be more of a post than a wing. He is from the Kansas City area and every box score that I have seen has had him ripping up some good competition. Comparisons have been made to UNI post player Eric Coleman, but we will have to wait and see what the future holds for Mann. Justin Hamilton- This is the player who was a bit of an unknown early on in the game for the class of 2008. A 6′11″ center, Hamilton didnâ€™t start playing basketball until recently, and was actually a JV player last season for his team in Utah. He blew up on the AAU circuit and started to get notice from some good programs. Luckily, ISU was the first BCS school to actually offer and picked him up. Many are calling him one of the top big men in the western U.S. now, and he has been dominating at the varsity level so far this season. Well, just reviewing our young players and prospects has me excited for the future of ISU bball. With some of the younger prospects that we are in on and that have committed for future classes, the future looks extremely bright in my opinion. Once some of these freshmen have a year of McDermottâ€™s system under their belt it will be fun to watch. I hope you stick around for the ride!