Jeff Grayer Q&A

Cyclone Nation caught up recently with new men's basketball undergraduate assistant Jeff Grayer for a question and answer session. Grayer, Iowa State's all-time leading scorer, is returning to his alma mater after a stint as a coach in the CBA.

CN: What does it feel like being back at Iowa State University and Hilton Coliseum?

Grayer: I'm truly excited about the opportunity of coming back and being a part of the coaching staff, and getting the chance to complete something I started in 1984. I'm very thrilled about the staff we have assembled here. I want to thank Bruce Van De Velde, as well as the President and Coach (Wayne) Morgan for giving me the opportunity.

CN: What role can ISU's all-time leading scorer play in recruiting?

Grayer: We hope that can encourage some guys to come to Iowa State. We're hoping they will look at the accomplishments I've had here and lean towards making the decision to come here.

CN: How will you balance your role as undergraduate assistant with your studies?

Grayer: We have discussed it a little bit and I'm having a meeting with Coach Morgan and Donald Reed, the academic advisor. We're going to see how we balance the entire process out.

CN: With your position, what are the limits of what you can and can't do?

Grayer: I'm not for sure yet and that's something we're going to discuss. They're going to explain those things to me.

CN: How closely have you been able to follow the Cyclones since leaving?

Grayer: I've had a chance to see some of the exciting times, like when we won the Big 12 Championship and got to the Elite Eight. I was actually in Auburn Hills at the Palace when they played Michigan State. So I was behind them cheering Iowa State on. Then I was able to follow some of the latest incidents.

CN: You sure like to use the term ‘we' when referencing Iowa State.

Grayer: It has always been a part of me. From day one, when I decided to come to Iowa State, this was home to me. Back in 1984, that was a long time ago. I saw ‘we' because this is home, this is family.

CN: What does Johnny Orr think of you returning to the program?

Grayer: That's my man. He is truly excited about the opportunity of coming back. I've had the chance to talk to him. Coach Orr is elated about the opportunity. He's said from time to time he's going to journey back to see how I walk up and down the sidelines and also see what I do with the players, as far as individual workouts.

CN: How long have you thought about returning to Ames, or has it always been about coaching elsewhere?

Grayer: It's always been in my mind to be attached to basketball in some kind of way. I started off coaching in the CBA with the Great Lake Storm. From there I always had the desire to come back to Iowa State, even back in the days when Coach Orr decided to leave. I came back at that time and talked to Gene Smith to discuss what the criteria was for a person seeking coaching opportunities. When this opportunity presented itself, I came back again and had a chat with Bruce.

CN: How is coaching in the CBA different than what you'll be dealing with in college?

Grayer: It's actually similar in a lot of different ways. One, the recruiting process itself is somewhat the same because you do have to go out and get players every day. It's not just every year, it's every day. We had players coming and going. You have to really be up on the players that are out there and available. You have to be sharp with the type of players. You need to have in your mind that at any given time your star player could be called up to the NBA or overseas.

CN: Coaching pro players to college players – is that going to be a good change for you?

Grayer: I think it's going to be a good one for me and won't be tough at all. A lot of times when you're coaching a lot of the professional players, they're looking at advancing up to the next level right away. So they feel their skills are honed in on already and aren't thinking about the fundamental aspects of the game. This takes me all the way back to high school or college, when a lot of the fundamental parts of the game come into play. I'm excited about that challenge.

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