As we read more and more about the exploits of Ames Jr. Harrison Barnes on the Summer circuit, it is becoming apparent that it will be difficult for Iowa State to land his services. The implications of Barnes choosing another school are concerning to say the least.
First, this staff is already fighting a p.r. battle with the perception that he cannot keep players. When your star player, the player that you publicly stated was the face of your program, leaves the way Wesley did sets off alarms all over the recruiting front. And the way that it played out, Wesley's mother threatening to tell their side of the story, and Jamie Pollard taking control of the situation, already is being talked about in potential recruit's living rooms across the country.
However, not being able to sign Harrison, with all of the built in advantages that he had in the process will make it even more difficult to sign top players.
Think about it, if you are a player that has many offers, and you hear that, aside from the losing records and player retention problems, that this coach couldn't seal the deal on the highest rated recruit in the history of the state, who lived in his own town, whose mother worked for the university, and whose father played at the school, and played with his son, and scrimmaged with his team, and went to every game, and.........well the list goes on.........How is any top player going to take him seriously, ever again??? And what coach won't use that against us. As we have seen, in the world of the Big 12, you have to have athletes to play, the "coaching up" of players is not a path to true, meaningful success. Barry Collier, who had a much more impressive resume than Greg McDermott found that out the hard way at Nebraska.
It should be a HUGE concern for Jamie Pollard, and don't think for a second that he has already second guessed himself for the rushed hire of a largely unproven coach that was Greg McDermott.
That being said, the Big 12 will be down this year, with all of the player losses, so it is conceiveable that we can possibly get to .500 in the league. With a soft non-conference schedule, we have, there is a chance for post season play. I just hope, that if he can beat a Kansas type team, even though they are down, he, and more importantly his supporters, doesn't pull a McCarney after beating bad Nebraska teams and act like he beat Tommie Frazier.
We are not in a position to let this mediocrity extend to many extra years, like we did with the football program, and leave the next coach as big of a rebuild as he inherited.
I hope that I am wrong about this, but I get less and less confident as time goes on.