First of all some quick takes on
-Nobody wants to hear it, but
Last Saturday, Wayne Morgan recorded his 50th win as an Iowa State Cyclone. That got me thinking. (Generally, a very dangerous activity for yours truly.) How has Morgan's first two and a half years compared to the more highly regarded beginning's of Tim Floyd and Larry Eustachy.
I remember when Floyd was hired
out of New Orleans, during the Midnight Madness ceremony(which were much more
memorable back then…today's have become a poor excuse for an exhibition) Floyd
was brought out on a float disguised as a boat, in which he was "fishing" for
Big 8 opponents. One-by-one he pulled out a conference logo, culminating in the
final retrieval of
Truth be told, despite the fact he
inherited an extremely talented team with Fred Hoiberg, Julius Michalik, and
Loren Meyer, Floyd's first year was pretty similar to Morgan's. Both lost their
first game in the Big 8/12 conference on the road at
The second year is where Floyd and
Eustachy make the huge leap on Morgan in the win column. Floyd revitalized his
team with transfers and newcomers. They finished 24-9, 10-6 in the Big 8
conference. But, it was the final Big 8 tournament that Floyd cemented his spot
in ISU lore. They reeled off three straight wins, including the final over
Jacques Vaughn and Raef LaFrentz and
Morgan, on the other hand, only won 19 games, but did advance to the NCAA tournament like Floyd and Eustcahy.
Through 79 games as Cyclone coaches, here is how the three stack up: Floyd 58-21 (.734), Eustachy 58-21 (.734), Morgan 50-29 (.633).
It's not as big of a spread as some may lead you to believe.
Take a closer look at the numbers, and see how Morgan's first 79 games match-up. In road games, Morgan is 7-16. In that same time-frame of two and a half years, Floyd was 12-9 and Eustachy 7-13.
Actually, Morgan has the second
longest conference win streak on the road of any of the three coaches at 3 (at
As far as records against ranked opponents: in their first 79 games, Floyd was 4-13, Eustachy 7-7, and Morgan 8-9. Their post-season records (including Big 8/12 tourney) Floyd was 7-3 in his first 2 years; Eustachy was 6-2 in his first 2; Morgan was 6-4.
So, from the numbers it is apparent that although Morgan's overall record isn't as stellar as either Floyd or Eustachy's, he isn't that far back. He also has more wins against ranked opponents. But, Morgan definitely hasn't received the praises that Floyd or Eustachy received after their first 79 games.
Certainly, there is some room to grow for Morgan's ball-clubs to reach the same championship level of Floyd (1995) and Eustachy (00-01), but the numbers aren't that far off. Hopefully, Morgan doesn't hit the same fourth year wall that both Floyd (12-18) and Eustachy (12-19) hit. Chances are by the end of next season; his four-year win total will surpass both of the previous coaches.
Not bad for a guy who was ISU's fifth choice to lead the program. All he needs to do is learn Floyd's theatrics or at least wear a turtleneck.