What a crazy 32 hours it has been for Cyclone fans. When some of these rumors of Creighton's AD being in Des Moines, WOI leaking info, etc., this had the same kind of weird feeling as Cael's and Chizik's departure. There was too much smoke, to not be true.
At first, one might be amazed as to how quickly this went down, but I think Creighton realized how tough it would be to get the kind of coach they would want, and they wanted to get someone in place for recruiting. I haven't checked with any Creighton fans, nor do I really care what they think about the situation.
For McDermott, I can understand why he'd step away. The pressure started building up, and it was taking a toll on him and his family. Part of being a known figure in a relatively small community is things can be tricky. When things are great, you're a rock star, but when things go rough, it can be uncomfortable. That's too bad. McDermott isn't a bad person, and while I think him leaving ISU is good for ISU, I think the situation he's walking into at Creighton will be good for him. He'll have some job security, good money, and the ability to coach his kid. Plus, look at the years and the money. The guy is going to be alright.
I've been doing some looking online about what people want to see in a replacement, and I think ISU fans need to level their expectations. Neither Tim Floyd nor Larry Eustachy are coming back. Any coach currently making over $1.5 million dollars, is not coming to Iowa State. Any hot coach, who could land a big time job next year, is probably not going to come to Iowa State. Look at Oregon. Tons of money, able to hand a blank check for a coach, and they ended up with Dana Altman, after spending over a month trying to find a coach. ISU has much less resources than Oregon.
That's not to say ISU can't get a quality hire. During our football coaching search, I can say that the Paul Rhoads hire didn't really excite me. Actually, I was disappointed when comparing to Stoops and Fulmer, but those guys weren't realistic for Iowa State. We went with a guy I wasn't that familiar with, and I was kind of worried. Look how wrong I was, and how it's turned out thus far. I think we will get somebody that can get our program in the right direction, but it might not be that sexy pick people are looking for. I think ISU fans need to trust that Jamie Pollard will find the right guy, and ISU Basketball can move forward.
Going back to Rhoads, a big reason why that hire has been looking good, are the assistants. Rhoads alone, wasn't the most attractive pick at the time of the hire, but he was able to bring in a staff that is pretty quality, and the results thus far have shown. Let's wait and see what the entire basketball staff looks like, before we start making judgment calls. I think it's downright silly to try and guess what Pollard is going to do, as usually we're dead wrong.
Regardless of who comes in, I think 2010 is a throwaway year regardless. It's all about piecing together whoever wants to come, probably picking up some projects, and working to build legit recruiting classes for 2011 and 2012. There will still be a lot of open scholarships for those years. I still have the firm belief that a quality coach can put together a winning season, within 3 years, even if they have to rebuild from scratch. It's going to be all about 2011, 2012, and 2013.
I put this on my Twitter, but I'll echo it here as well: fans should disregard what any players or recruits say right now. They are young men, with mixed emotions about the situation, and don't know how to deal with this kind of news. Often times they may say something that's all emotion that has no factual basis. As these guys process this information, and learn what the staff will look like, they will be less emotional about it, and make the best decision for themselves. It's easy to panic right now, but we will have to wait and see what happens.
What we do know as of right now, is that all the current players are planning on staying. Melvin Ejim has made it known out there that if Coach Otz is on the staff, then he's coming to ISU for sure. Otherwise, he's going to wait and see. Nothing too shocking really. New coaches have to re-recruit guys. I just hope that Ejim gives that new guy a legit chance.
Things seem crazy right now, but I truly believe that this is going to work out well for Iowa State in the long run. McDermott can not coach at this level. He does not know how to deal with a player who is athletically gifted, but fundamentally flawed. He does not know how to coach a player who struggles with defense, and benefits from playing freely offensively. The way McDermott runs things, only works if everyone is on the same page all the time. And I'm not even sure if the way he does things wins games on a consistent basis in the Big 12. Look at UNI in the tournament. It was cool they beat KU, but does anyone really think they would be a force with a 16 game, Big 12 schedule?
A big part of leadership is changing your approach based on the people you are leading. A lot of people do not understand that. You have to play to the strengths of the players on your team, instead of having this ideal on how the game should be played. I honestly do not think the guy understood that. Otherwise, you wouldn't have defections at an embarrassing level on an annual basis.
Lightening does not strike four times. When I guy continues to have "bad luck", one has to look in the mirror and change their approach, or go somewhere else. In the real world, people that we often say have been unlucky over, and over, and over, are people that are making bad decisions, but aren't far enough removed to see what they are. On the flip side, if a guy continues to be lucky over, and over, and over, one has to think whether this is "luck" or if the guy knows something you don't.
Overall what a crazy day! It is days like these, where I'd long for those college days, where I could stay home, and get all of the up-to-date information. Being an "adult" and having to work, gets in the way of that a little... But it wasn't like I didn't check stuff out every chance I could get!
We will see what happens, and will post anything we hear on our Twitter (@CloneChronicles), and mine as well (@Mark_Kieffer). We also do have a Facebook Fan Page, that you can stay updated on as well. We're planning on doing some things with the fan page, with opportunities for some cool prizes, so stay tuned for that in the coming months.
What are your thoughts with how this day went? It's a lot to process, but I want to hear what you think!