So the guy has been head coach at Iowa State for over three years now, and nobody seems to care.
He is currently working on yet another failed recruiting class. None of the top targets want to return his phone calls, and it looks like, YET AGAIN, we will have a staff chasing its collective tails on the recruiting trails this Spring signing another batch of leftovers.
The loyalists are still there, defending Greg with all of their might. They trot out the standard list of Iowa State excuses, the state of the program when he took over (at least partly his own doing), it takes time to do things the right way, "bad luck," and all of the like, as if they were robots, and this was their task. It's stated so many times that there are people that actually believe it, which is the scary part. There are people that think that it is impossible to win immediately by doing things "the right way." The last time I heard that it was year 12 of the Dan McCarney era, as we were staring at yet another last place finish.
Well here we are, two bad years down, and, still facing a serious talent deficit within the conference, year three doesn't show a lot of promise. Losing your best player, one of the three athletes that you had on the team, players leaving is yet another recurring theme that the blindly loyal still try to excuse. Jamie Pollard was none too pleased that he had to take over the Wesley Johnson transfer situation because he had to protect his coach from the family telling their side of the story.
So you assume that this year will be yet another of what we have seen the first two years; a fundamentally poor, boring, poor rebounding team that is completely overcoached to the point that they stand around not knowing what to do, then
what happens after this season?
Obviously Pollard will have a hard time pulling the trigger on this one, because that was his first hire after he ran off a coach that went to the NIT Final Four, and the second round of the NCAA Tournament seemingly due to a personality conflict. At that time, Jamie stated that ISU was a basketball school, now nobody cares about us (one ESPN game this year speaks LOUDLY to that fact).
But if this team tanks yet again, his hand may be forced. Season ticket sales are down, because fewer and fewer people want to watch this product.
Then you look at the recruitment of the most important player in Iowa State history, Harrison Barnes. Does anyone honestly think that he is even thinking about us anymore? But, Greg's future is directly related to getting him to play for us.
The national perception of Greg is that, while knowledgeable, he is in over his head in a BCS conference, and it's starting to seep into the Iowa State fanbase as well. This is a coach that needs a pr boost amongst his own fans, he needs a bone to be able to throw to them, and this would be it.
If Barnes does go somewhere else, with all of the advantages that we had the whole time he was coming on, then this staff will never be taken seriously by any top player.
How can Greg fix this?
Simple, win games. Quit getting outcoached by people like Ben Jacobsen. Quit losing to Drake. Win a big game. Quit being stubborn, your way may work in at the D2 and mid-major level, but you are in an athletes conference now. Ask Barry Collier, whose resume was much more impressive than Greg's when he left Butler for Nebraska, tried the systemic, coach players up approach, and failed miserably.
Iowa State has basketball tradition. Since 1985, we have been a known program, on a national scale. So the time for excuses is over, it has been demonstrated that you can win here. It's not too late to turn this around, but Greg is going to have to show he is the man for the job. At this point, I am not convinced, at all, that he can do it, I hope I am wrong.