ISU spring cleaningMorgan gets fired, McDermont gets hired

After a more than disappointing year of men’s basketball for the Iowa State Cyclones, changes were inevitable. The Cyclones started the year off strong (not counting the exhibition game loss to EA Sports) and appeared to be headed into the NCAA Tournament at the end of the year, but then something happened. A force greater than anything felt by a Cyclone before was felt. No one is quite sure what it was, it might have been a larger, more powerful cyclone, but it hit and created some miserable times for many. Game after game was lost until Iowa State seemed to be destined for the NIT, but then they lost some more and capped off the year with an embarrassing loss to Oklahoma State in the first round of the Big 12 tournament. The embarrassment of not even making the NIT combined with the lack of enthusiasm of the fans meant something had to be done. So on March 17, 2006, head coach Wayne Morgan, who became head coach in 2001 after “Eustachy-gate”, was fired along with his staff. Many questions quickly arose for the fans after the firing. Who will become our next coach? Will our players leave and look for a new place to play? Did we really lose to EA Sports? Many candidates arose for the vacant head coaching spot for Iowa State. A very interesting candidate was former Ames High student and Iowa State basketball player; Fred “The Mayor” Hoiberg. Sadly, Hoiberg was passed over like a small lobster in the tank at Red Lobster and one of the larger, more experienced lobsters in the tank was chosen, former University of Northern Iowa coach Greg McDermott. McDermott recently lost in the NCAA tournament to Seton Hall and ended a great run by the Panthers. It has been reported that he will be given a 6-year contract at $650,000 per year, plus incentives. This hiring has brought a new atmosphere to the Cyclone players and fans and will hopefully bring many good years to come. Players that planned on leaving are now second guessing themselves and might even come back to play for the new coach. Blalock and Stinson, who both considered themselves eligible for the NBA draft recently, have forgone hiring an agent which leaves the door open for a return to the team. Also, the recently dismissed Tasheed Carr has expressed interest in coming back to the Cyclones and is hoping to rebound from a horrible year for him. Rahshon Clark, who seemed skeptical of staying before the firing of Morgan, is now on board and ready to start the next season with a bang. Only time will tell whether everything will work out for the Iowa State organization, but it seems as though the team is headed in the right direction and will once again bring back the Hilton Magic that was sorely missed last season. They might even make the NCAA Tournament. And yes, Iowa State did lose to EA Sports.