Coach Talk: Future Backcourt Looks Promising

Nate Oats has coached a lot of great point guards throughout the years at Romulus High School. However, he thinks that Dominique Buckley has a chance to be the best. Get his thoughts on Buckley's commitment to Iowa State and the future backcourt of Buckley and Diante Garrett right here in this CN interview.

CN: Talk a little bit about the type of player Dominique is and what Cyclone fans can expect to see in Ames in a couple of years.


Oats: The best thing that I like about him and what McDermott likes about him is the fact that he's a leader. Everything that you need for a point guard to be good, like communicating, leading by example, talking on the court, getting people in the right spot, understanding where everybody is supposed to be, he's great. Dominique is as good as anybody I've ever had as far as inspiring and leading the team from that point guard spot. He's really good at it.


As far as on the court and how he plays, he's not lightning quick but he's shifty. He changes speed a lot. He can get by guys but his shoulders are big enough and strong enough where he can finish well near the rim. He's really been working on his shot. He shoots it really well for a guy that's a distributor. He's great about the pick and roll which McDermott loves. I sent him a highlight video of Dominique and he couldn't believe that the kid was only a sophomore making all of the reads off of the pick and roll that he did last year. We run a lot of pick and roll just like McDermott does.


CN: Let's say that Dominique doesn't commit right now. How many more offers will he have if he's a senior?


Oats: I think a lot. There's a bunch of schools that are trying to get in. A lot of them thought that he's only a junior and he wasn't going to make a decision early. Obviously a lot of them are going to be disappointed. I think everybody is going to be wishing that they would have come in on him harder a lot earlier than they did.


CN: I know that your team is going to go head to head with Diante Garrett this season, what's your opinion on this guard tandem that the Cyclones will have in the future.


Oats: I saw Diante play this spring in some AAU stuff. I'm actually from Wisconsin originally so I have talked to some guys back there. Diante is really long and athletic. I also saw him at Iowa State's elite camp because I was there coaching. He's long and athletic and can get in the paint. Dominique isn't as long as he is, but I could really see Dominique setting up Diante by taking it to the paint drawing some guys and kicking it back out to Diante where he can knock down a shot. I would think that they'll play both of them together quite a bit. Illinois road two point guards all the way to the Final Four and Diante, Iowa State said is more of a combo-guard. Dominique is more of a true point who can run the team.


CN: Being his coach, what are your expectations for Dominique now that he's heading into his upperclassmen years?


Oats: He's got two years of a ton of varsity experience. He started a full year as a sophomore. He played a bunch as a freshman behind a Big Ten point guard who was senior when he was a freshman. He's got a ton of experience and he's still got two years to go so I'm looking at him like he's a senior now. He's kind of taking it that way and we've got a chance to be really good. He's a big part of it. I feel really confident about our team this year because we've got a lot of good players, and we've got a guy like Dominique who can lead and get guys where they need to be and be an extension of a coach on the floor.

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