The German translations were rough, so I gathered the highlights, along with my thoughts on the whole deal. Let me know what you think:
- Lucca only came to play NCAA ball because he wanted to go to the NBA. It wasn't because he loved the college game, or wanted to play in the dance. He just wanted to take the path that most make to play in the NBA. He didn't love Iowa State, but probably went here because we were the biggest school to offer him.
- Once Lucca realized that he was not an NBA prospect, Greg McDermott lost all influence, and he valued everything the German National Team Coach was telling him. The question I want to know is what did the coaching staff tell him? I mean, clearly he isn’t an NBA player. Did Lucca make his intenions known to the staff? And if so, isn’t it in the staff’s best interest to be honest with him in the offseason, and guide him to make the best choice possible? We did that with guys like Mann, C. Johnson, Eikmeier, etc. It seems like this was an issue in May. I have no idea what was said by the staff, but they somehow got Lucca to come back this year. If they somehow lead him to believe that playing here would get him to the NBA, then some of what has happened is on them as well.
- If Lucca never told the staff his expectations/goals/thoughts, then a lot of the responsibility of the actions are on Lucca. If this is the case though (Lucca not sharing his thoughts/goals), then you have to ask yourself why a player who’s clocking serious minutes, and is a part of the gameplan is not comfortable venting his thoughts with the coaching staff? This issue has been a recurring theme now with a lot of our players, and I honestly think the staff needs to hire somebody that the athletes can relate with, and also be a lightening rod for their frustrations. Because honestly, this is not a strength of this coaching staff.
- The German National Team’s Coach is not a fan of the College/American game, because it forces some of his players to play positions that are different than the National Team. Obviously the guy wants the National Team to do well (because he coaches them), so he’s looking out for his own interest – Germany doing as well as it can in International Events. Obviously when he saw his player play in a way that he thinks is not going to help his team win, he’s going to want his player to find a new situation. This was Lucca’s responsibility, but at the same time he is a young adult that can be shaped by an influential figure. I still think Lucca went about this in a selfish way, and that he was a bit shady in how all of this went down. I don’t think he’s a bad person, nor do I wish any harm on him. If you are one of those people, you need to adjust your priorities.
- Lucca decided to leave now, because he gave up on Iowa State. That’s right, he gave up on them. According to the most recent article I posted, he was down on the team, pretty much thought the season was over, and decided to look to his future. From his perspective, there was no reason to stay here, since the season is a lost cause, and there’s no NBA for him... (again, from his perspective, not mine).
- Do NOT buy that he could not have had this opportunity down the road. Christophe (whom I interviewed), pointed out that Lucca had been getting offers throughout his college career (which various German outlets have confirmed). Due to the German League Rules, teams are in a need to sign more German players for next year. Lucca would have been coveted during the summer by many clubs I am sure. He gave up on ISU, and decided to join a new one to learn the system early so he could be ready for the following year. Probably for the money too. The longer he waited, the higher the opportunity cost...
- Lastly, I think ISU could be better off. Lucca probably never cared about the team, and it’s better to have people in the program that do. With the return of Chris Colvin tonight, the depth issues are less of a concern in the short term with me, and ISU should be alright. I don’t think having Lucca gone is the difference between winning and losing games, if we have enough bodies. But I do think he’s an upgrade over pulling off a redshirt from Palo or Oliver. It looks like we’re going to have some bodies, and I think Christopherson will really thrive playing more minutes. He’s taken less attempts, but is just as capable of a shooter. We aren’t losing much in that regard with the Starting Five.