Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Haskin: ISU Still Loaded with Returning Talent

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Haskin: ISU Still Loaded with Returning Talent

Article excerpt

Oh did Fred Hoiberg have it rolling at Iowa State.

Four NCAA appearances in five seasons ... back-to-back Big 12 Tournament titles ... a budding rivalry that was attempting to cut into the league ownership belonging to Kansas.

Then there was the system. Imaginative, innovative, stylish ... contributing to a free-wheeling offense with numerous options leaning on NBA tendencies.

It was fun watching Iowa State. Basketball the way we like it. No slogging and slugging through defensive standoffs that go long into shot clocks, long on fouls and long on rebounds.

Now, Hoiberg is officially the coach of the Chicago Bulls. Good for him. Apparently it was the promotion he was looking to fulfill. Hopefully it proves good on his heart, assuming professional players cause less stress than instructing rawer talent on the college level.

Rather than explore traditional recruiting pipelines, Hoiberg was creative attracting talent to Ames, becoming the coach transfers sought first and foremost.

Why, two players who were raised in Topeka before moving to the Dallas area and playing high school ball there - Chris and Nick Babb - transferred into the system. Chris came in from Penn State and is now with the Boston Celtics; Nick just transferred to ISU from Arkansas.

The cabinet was something the Mayor fully stocked before leaving office.

Among big men, Georges Niang is versatile and Jameel McKay is electric. Monte Morris is efficient handling the basketball. Naz Long is a player who can score in bunches. Two transfers, Hallice Cooke (Oregon State) and Deonte Burton (Marquette) will help Iowa State next season.

But who will coach them? What will happen with the Cyclones long- term?

Valid questions. Iowa State prospered following the enjoyable tenure of Johnny Orr, a coach whose likeness was bronzed and placed in front of a Hilton Coliseum pub named in his honor. …

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