On Campus: Why Not ISU?

Recently a post from a certain Omaha school's message board was brought to my attention. It detailed the many reasons why a potential basketball recruit should be a member of their program. It was a well-reasoned post and made for a clever argument. But, that got me thinking. Why should a recruit attend Iowa State University?

After spending some time pondering the subject, it became very evident: There are very few schools that can rival what Iowa State has to offer. Here are ten reasons I would give to a potential recruit on why Iowa State is the perfect destination to play the game they love at the next level.


10. Administrative Support


The new athletic administration under Jamie Pollard has made it clear: Iowa State can and will remain a national factor in the college basketball world. They won't settle for anything else. It started with the hiring of Greg McDermott and continues with the many plans to revamp and modernize the facilities to rival that of any program in the country. The working plans include a brand new state-of-the-art practice facility, a renovated Hilton Coliseum—complete with an NBA-esque scoreboard, electronic ring, sound system and other awe-inspiring amenities, and a student academic success center that will aid in paving the path to life after basketball. The ISU administration isn't taking any shortcuts when it comes to the basketball program and will do everything in their power to keep ISU ahead of the curve.


9. NBA Ready


Only one other Big 12 school has produced more NBA talent than Iowa State in the past ten years. Iowa State has been the foundation for a career in the league for everyone from guards to big men. In fact, Iowa State has had a future NBA player on its roster for each of the last 25 years. If the NBA is your ultimate destination, being a Cyclone only helps the cause.


8. Valuable Education


Not only can Iowa State provide a path to a life in professional basketball, it can pave the way for a life after athletics. Iowa State University is heralded as one of the most prestigious public institutions in the nation. The science and engineering programs are consistently among the top ranked in the country, but the options don't end there. Iowa State has one of the most comprehensive lists of programs available to fit any of your professional needs. If you dream it, Iowa State has a program to make it come true. The academic advisors and Academic Success Center will make sure you receive any and all the help you need to provide the building blocks for a prosperous life. A degree from Iowa State is a key to success for the rest of life.  


7. All in the Family


Ames, Iowa may not have the bright lights of the big city, or the entertainment options of a bursting metropolis, but it has a quality that is almost impossible to find in a town with a school the size of Iowa State: It feels like home. Iowa State students account for almost 40 percent of the population of Ames. The city revolves around the school. This means an environment that focuses on making students feel like they are at home, even if they are thousand of miles away. The people are friendly and the food is plentiful. Ames is also one of the safest college towns in the states. But, with that said, when 40 percent of the town is college-aged kids, it isn't difficult to find places to be entertained. "Campustown" has clubs, bars, restaurants, shops, and anything else you'd find in a "big-time" city. Don't be deceived by the boring reputation. Iowa State students know how to have a good time.


6. Center of Attention


Since the area has no professional teams, Iowa State athletics are the biggest thing in town. As a member of the Cyclone basketball team, you immediately become a bit of a celebrity. The media treat the Cyclones like a professional team. Kids treat you like idols. And Cyclone fans are renowned for their respect and support of the Cyclone players. Expect to get interviewed by the dozen or so media outlets, sign an autograph every once in a while for a young Cyclone fan or to give a high-five to a pumped college co-ed on campus. But at the same time, the Cyclone community respects your college life and let's you be yourself. In the end, the Cyclone Nation is just happy to be able to watch high-caliber athletes succeed and bring pride to Iowa State.


5. Winning is a Tradition


Cyclone basketball has been to the top of the basketball world and will return. They have reached the NCAA tournament eight times in the last 14 years. And in those eight appearances, the Cyclones have reached the 2nd round six times, the Sweet 16 twice and the Elite 8 once. Iowa State has won two of the Big 12's ten regular season titles. Only Kansas has won more. Iowa State has been at least the #2 seed in the Big Dance twice since the year 2000. The only schools who can boast as much: Duke, Arizona, Kansas, Illinois, North Carolina, Michigan State, Stanford, UCONN, Maryland, Cincinnati, and Wake Forest. That's the company Iowa State has been and will continue to be with.    


4. Coach McDermott and his Staff


Greg McDermott is widely known as one of the best up and coming coaches in the country. Anywhere he has coached, victories have followed. He took a UNI team that prior to his arrival hadn't had a winning season since 1997 to three straight NCAA tournaments. That is one of the greatest turnarounds in college basketball in the last 20 years. Now McDermott is armed with an Iowa State program that has top-notch facilities, a dedicated athletic administration and relentless coaching staff. Assistant coaches T.J. Otzelberger, Jean Prioleau, Jeff Rutter and Ron Smith combine with McDermott to create an energetic staff, focused on attracting the best basketball players to mold them into a team that will win the right way. With McDermott and his team of coaches assembled, Iowa State basketball is poised to reach even greater heights.


3. Become a Legend


Iowa State has had quite a few legendary basketball players that continue to be talked about with high esteem and reverence. Mention the names Gary, Fred, Jamaal, Marcus, Grayer, or Horny and Cyclone Nation will know exactly who you are talking about. Cyclone legends aren't just ordinary basketball players. They will be remembered for years and decades to come. Fred Hoiberg even received votes to be the Mayor of Ames. Marcus Fizer and Jamaal Tinsley each were selected as consensus first team All-Americans in the recent future. If you are able to achieve their type of success, you will never be forgotten. And if Iowa State is able to win an NCAA title, the celebration and joy that will occur may never be rivaled. It would be an experience of a lifetime.


2. Big 12 TV Exposure


The Big 12 has become one of the top three basketball conferences in the country. And with that, the bright lights of the TV cameras have followed. Every single regular season game Iowa State plays in is televised. And most of them are carried nationally by the Cyclone or Big 12 Television Networks. From Maine to SoCal, Cyclone basketball can be seen. And what better way to be seen than going up against some of the best talent around the country in the Big 12. If you think you are one of the best players in the nation, you won't face any better competition in the nation than at Iowa State.


1.     Hilton Magic


Hilton Coliseum has been called one of the best environments in college basketball. At times the crowd has reached such a fever pitch, the floor starts to rumble and the basket starts to shake. Iowa State fans are some of the most knowledgeable around. If the team needs a little ‘get me up,' the Hilton faithful pick it up an extra notch. Hilton Magic creates such a home court advantage; opposing teams rarely stand a chance. In fact from 1998-2001, ISU won 39 straight home games. If the Cyclones are on a roll, there isn't a more exciting place to spend two hours.


Feel the Magic. 



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