Iowa State... Feeding Off Of Kansas Basketball

  • Iowa State is feeding off of Kansas basketball.

    That is the only explanation possible for how they are starting to make a lot of 5-star recruits final list.

    I know a sports clown or two has Iowa State picked as a Top 5 team in preseason polls. No one takes that serious, least of all recruits. There is nothing going on in Ames that indicates the Cyclones will be a Final Four team this year, let alone even an Elite Eight finisher.

    Iowa State is feeding off of Kansas basketball.

    I don’t want to sound like some typical pompous sports fan. Iowa State has a solid program and the Mayor deserves all the credit in the world for building up their program. But it is hard to fathom how they could make a 5-star recruit’s final list without the help of Kansas.

    A big chunk of the elite recruits have Kansas on their final list, even if they really aren’t considering Kansas. It’s an “elite thing” that helps bring elite attention to players. From the elite recruits that Iowa State has on their list, inevitably the same recruits have Kansas on their list or Kansas is recruiting them, too. The idea is, if a top recruit is considering Iowa State, he has a higher priority on Bill Self’s list because Kansas would score a double-whammy with his signing. Like Cheick Diallo. Kansas scored a top recruit that filled a very big hole. We also prevented Iowa State from filling a very big hole on their roster. Cheick needed no extra incentive from Bill Self… he is THE premiere post presence available this year and he is filling a very big hole!

    Every sports talk guy in America has been dying to find another team in the Big 12 that can beat Kansas. The crazy conference title streak owned by Kansas is taking valuable air time away from the teams they like to promote. Iowa State has now beaten Kansas what… 4 of the last 6 times they played? That is enough of an incentive to drop Texas, Oklahoma and Baylor into the shadows and just focus on Iowa State. So now, in one breath, Iowa State is mentioned along with Kansas.

    We all know that Bill Self can give recruits a big bounce upwards when he recruits them. The basketball world gives Bill Self credit for being able to spot talent. After all, where did Joel Embiid go to college?

    What is some of the language used at Iowa State to recruit top tier talent? Might their language include the word “Kansas” many times? “You’ll get to beat Kansas several times a year!” “Bill Self will be hunting you down as a recruit when you put us on your list!” “In this particular poll, we are already ranked ahead of Kansas!” “Be a part of the historic team that knocks off Kansas from their conference streak (making sure not to mention “historic” conference streak)!”

    What is missing from the sales pitch in Ames is the word “legend”… a word needed in any conversation about Kansas basketball. What players need to realize is they have two chances in life to become legends in this sport; one at the college level and one at the pro level. It means something at Kansas to have your stat line compared to many of the basketball greats of all times. Who will you be compared to at Iowa State?

    I apologize for having to raise a topic where my answer requires me to raise my nose in the air… I don’t like having to mention status very often, but in this case it is befitting to clarify where teams fit and where they don’t!

  • @drgnslayr No need to apologize. I love this post. I am right there with you. As far as ISU going to a Final 4 or even an Elite 8 I’ll believe it when I see it.

    For some reason I am not sold that they are going to be as good this coming season as they were last year. Call me crazy but I see Oklahoma and Texas both as scarier teams than ISU next season. Hield is probably the best player in the Big 12. UT has almost everyone back and a very good coach (who I hate more than anyone not named Cal) and I expect both OU and UT to be extremely tough.

    With all of that KU wins another Big 12 title and Bill Self makes it back to the Final 4 with the perfect mix of talent and veterans.

  • @joeloveshawks @drgnslayr You would think that all those prognosticators that thought they were somebody would have learned their lesson after getting on the Rick Barnes ship and loudly proclaiming that UT would beat us last year. Shaka said just this week that Prince Ibeh is going to be his big this year - not Cam Ridley. UT has a lot of changes coming and not sure I would see them as scary.

  • What Bill Self knows that other Big 12 coaches don’t know… is that we have to take the Texas Techs just as serious as Texas, because a loss is a loss. Just ask Iowa State about that lesson…

  • Every team just want to be ku that all

  • I will have to disagree with some of the members on this issue.

    There is no question that ISU is a program in the rise and Hoiberg is quickly becoming one of the better coaches in College Basketball. Yes, ISU is ranked high and it might not make the Final Four, but how many time is the last 10 years KU has been ranked in the top 5-10 and did not make it even to the Elite 8? Just because “WE” don’t believe ISU will make it that far does not mean they are not deserving of being ranked high. They do have the bulk of their team coming back and have the least questions of any conference team. Obviously KU has a much higher ceiling but we also have some questions…remember last season when we thought Alexander would be the answer to a lot of our problems? How well did that turn out? Like they say, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

    Keep in mind that ISU beat KU 2 out of 3 last season…yes, some might say we gave the game away but the same can be said about just about any close game…remember the '08 Memphis game? Many if not most would say that Memphis gave the game away by missing so many free throws, but who remembers that? No one except Memphis fans. In the last 2 years KU is 3-3 against ISU. There is no question they have improved and you can ignore that improvement at your own risk; I can guarantee you that Coach Self will not underestimate ISU.

    I am at all not saying that ISU will win the conference, OU and UT should also be strong but UT has big questions, starting with the coach, and I have learned that in the same way you don’t underestimate your opponents, namely ISU, you do it even less so with Coach Self…Vegas says never bet against the streak.

    I am not saying let’s anoint ISU as the next powerhouse program, but let’s not dismiss it so cavalierly either.

  • I see some parallels between ISU and Wisconsin. ISU has at least been competitive for decades, but UW wasn’t until Michael Finley came to town in 1993 and the team danced a year later for the first time in 4 decades. A fluke FF in 2000 and then a short moribund period and then Bo arrived. For his first decade not many knew about UW. They didn’t have that vibe of being a team that really had a chance other than to win consistently and get to the 3rd round of the tourney every so often.

    But soon the recruits began to recognize that you can win a lot of games in front of a passionate fan base. And the level of recruits increased substantially to the way they are now. If Fred stays in Ames I believe the same thing will happen.

  • Banned


    Oh I don’t know? You ask any KU fan and I would bet most if not all would say KU got a little luck against Memphis in that championship game. I’m not sure anybody is trying to take away anything from Iowa St. at least not the persons that post on KUBuckets. It seems most on here are stand up people and give credit where credit is do. They are indeed very knowledge fans and people. I know I’ve learned a lot.

    The thing people see about Iowa St. and say I don’t know about that. Are as followed

    1. Iowa St. maybe shooting for the moon in recruits. Yet until they land one it’s all pointless and fodder. Ever notice must of these recruits pretty much have the same list of schools with a few exceptions? Saying Hey look this top recruit has Iowa St. on his list means nothing. When Iowa St. finds it’s self on the final lists of many top recruits. Then a discussion can be had.

    2. Iowa St. has the same problem that so many other Big 12 schools have. It’s called a KU thing. Sure Iowa St. has had some recent success against KU, but what has it gotten them? Nothing. To many Big 12 teams focus on beating KU and forget there are 8 other teams to play. This is why KU wins the conference every year. KU looks to win the war, while everybody else just looks to win the battle against KU. Iowa St. and it’s fans want so bad to be and beat KU that it has become a little weird. When Iowa St. can bring that passion and desire to playing everybody in the conference then and only then can we have that discussion about Iowa St.

    The Mayor and the Iowa St. are a fine team and program, but they are no where near being an elite program.

  • @DoubleDD Agreed. I know that KU hasn’t been very successful in the NCAA since we went to the title in 2012 (3 whole years ago!) but look at ISU. Their post season history is awful. Again, I will believe ISU is a great program when I see it and to me winning the Big 12 tournament and winning 2 of 3 games against KU (1 of those at home which they should win) is not that big of a deal. Maybe if they ever go past the Sweet 16 I will start to think of them as a premier school.

  • After the EJ game, I can not stand ISU!! Knock on wood, how many arrests did their players have this past year? Don’t forget naz long had 2 hip surgeries in the off season, might slow him down at the beginning. The media love the hoilbergs, holly and Fran slobber all over them, mushy too! In the con. tourney the past 2 years, we were w/out Embiid, Perry and Cliff this year, and almost beat them. I like Fred, I think his valve replacement was pretty hard on him, thought he didn’t look well at the con. tourney. They will be good, better, not sure.

  • @DoubleDD

    Please note that I did not mention the term Elite in reference to ISU; you have to be at or near the top a lot longer to be in that category. My comments were specifically related to the upcoming season and the team ISU will field and there is no question in my mind that they will be good, real good. Now, will they be good enough to dethrone KU? I don’t know but I don’t think so and to a large extent it will depend on how well Diallo and Bragg progress and jell with the rest of the team, more so than on how well ISU does…I am cautiously optimistic. With Baylor, OU and Texas also being loaded, the Big 12 will once again be the toughest conference; I believe it is the only conference with 5 teams ranked i the top 20-25 in most pre-season rankings.

  • @joeloveshawks

    “I will believe ISU is a great program when I see it and to me winning the Big 12 tournament and winning 2 of 3 games against KU (1 of those at home which they should win) is not that big of a deal. Maybe if they ever go past the Sweet 16 I will start to think of them as a premier school.”

    Essentially, the two games they beat us last year were ISU home games. I had a friend at the game in Sprint, and he said the ISU crowd was bigger. I know the power and light district looked predominantly ISU. No question that they posed a great challenge for us.

    ISU is going to be very good this year. Top 5 good? I have my doubts.

    The Mayor is a great competitor, so he should be going after the elite talent, too. I’m just not ready to say they ought to be running head-to-head with Kansas… anymore than I think WSU should either.

    BTW: WSU ought to be pretty good this year, too. We’ll have to wait and see, but I think they might be better than ISU.

  • I think recruits are attracted to ISU because of Hoiberg. If you are a high level recruit, why not play in an NBA style system? Hoiberg is one of only a few coaches in the country that truly run NBA style systems. He understands matchups and has the respect of a lot of NBA people.

    ISU has its disadvantages, but as long as Hoiberg is there, I think they will be a factor in major recruiting battles.

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