The Not So Off-Season

With only four players, for sure returning from last year's team that finished 16-14, all of Cyclone Nation can expect a completely different basketball team next season. Out is Wayne Morgan's up-tempo, trapping greyhound style of play. In, is Greg McDermott's lock down, pit-bull, junk-yard defense first style. The tumultuous off-season has left Cyclone fans wondering what team they will see in November.

Guards –


Corey McIntosh is coming in with more hype than the Tender Crisp Bacon Cheddar Ranch at Burger King. Hopefully his play is just as satisfying. McIntosh's coach has built him up to be superman for the Cyclones, but it might not be all hype. He was the JUCO Player of the Year in California and led his team to a 37-0 record last year. The last JUCO guard that Iowa State signed out of California turned out to be an All-American. Does Jamaal Tinsley ring a bell?


Michael Taylor comes in with the reputation of being a versatile commodity for Greg McDermott. He's a classic utility guard that can play defense, handle the rock, and help out on the glass. He never really asserted himself on the offensive end in JUCO, but has the potential to be a double digit scorer at Iowa State.


Dodie Dunson will fill in nicely at both guard positions. He's another fill in the gap type of player. He should be a solid four year player for Iowa State.


All three of these guys have the reputation of playing defensive oriented basketball, unlike their predecessors. They won't match the offensive output of Will Blalock and Curtis Stinson, but under Greg McDermott's system, they shouldn't have to. Walk-on Brock Jacobson has a great stroke and should see some minutes.


Forwards –


Rahshon Clark will be the go to player on the roster by default. He is 50 percent of the returning scoring punch. Clark will be leaned on heavily to score the basketball and that means he has to develop an ability to score off the dribble as well as knock down the open look. With his athleticism and McDermott's tutelage, Clark could become one of the best defenders in the conference. Expect him to attack the boards as well.


Jessan Gray showed he can score the ball last year. It remains to be seen if he can stop the ball from scoring on the other end. At 6'10 he has great height, but truth be told, he tipped the scales at less than 200 pounds. He just needs some beef and confidence. They will need his size on the interior.


Cory Johnson is, in our view, the most important newcomer of the five incoming recruits. Johnson has good size (6'7 230) and skill-set necessary for this new group of Cyclones. He has bulked up quite a bit in the last year. He will play a lot of minutes at both the 3 and 4 spots. The fourth-leading scorer in Minnesota High School history, Johnson showed he has the scoring savvy, but his presence will be needed on the boards and the post defense as well. He has the potential to play 20 plus minutes next season.


Wesley Johnson is the great unknown. He is another of the several utility guys McDermott has recruited. He can play any of three different positions. Again, the theme here is versatility and defense, as he was named the Houston Golden Circle Defensive Player of the Year in High School.


Men in the Middle


Jiri Hubalek was the fourth leading scorer last season and continually improved on the offensive end of the floor. He not only needs to work on his D, he needs to provide a better "inside" presence. Hubalek hovered frequently on the perimeter. They don't need Hubalek launching 3's. 46 attempts is way too many for a team lacking a post player. If he can develop a repertoire in the post, he will be a well-rounded offensive threat.


Ross Marsden averaged a bucket a game last year, despite playing over 22 minutes per. He will need to assert himself and shoot the ball. He led the team in field goal percentage at 53 percent. Marsden could be a very solid player for this group and will have to play the same amount of minutes with better production.    


Walk-on Dustin Streff will play. He is 6'7 and weighs 250 pounds. He, at the very least, can throw his weight around and rebound.



Here are CN's projections on what the 06-07 basketball team will bring to the hardwood.


Starting Line-Up


PG – Corey McIntosh – 8.5 PPG, 4 APG  (25 minutes)

SG – Michael Taylor – 9 PPG, 4 RPG, 3 APG   (28 minutes)

SF – Rahshon Clark – 16 PPG, 6 RPG, 1.5 APG  (35 minutes)

PF – Jiri Hubalek – 13 PPG, 7 RPG   (30 minutes barring foul problems)   

C – Ross Marsden – 8.5 PPG, 5 RPG  (25 minutes)



6th man: Cory Johnson- 8 PPG  4.5 RPG (20 minutes)

7th: Dodie Dunson- 4 PPG 3 APG   (15 minutes)

8th: Jessan Gray- 7 PPG 4 RPG   (20 minutes)

9th:  Wesley Johnson- 3 PPG 2 RPG (10 minutes)

10th: Brock Jacobson- 1 PPG 1 APG  (3 minutes)

11th:  Dustin Streff- 0.7 PPG 1.7 RPG (3 minutes)

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