When the Greg McDermott era begins at Iowa State on November 10th against UC-Riverside, it will signal a changing of the guard for Iowa State basketball.
The Cyclones are trying to get back to their roots after the last two regimes ended with controversy and losing.
One coach saw his legacy capped with a loss, at home, to Iowa, in the NIT. When you couple that with your mug showing up drunk in the Des Moines Register with a bunch of Missouri coeds, we'll, that's one heck of a quintuple whammy.
Since when does the NIT tell an available Iowa State basketball team, "I really like you, but we're going to go with Old Dominion instead, but we can still be friends!"
Has it really gotten this bad?
Wasn't there a time when Iowa State basketball meant cutting down nets in Kansas City and beating Kansas?
Yes, but then Baylor happened. And Hampton. And Natural Light.
Now it's on Greg McDermott to rescue the Cyclones from the bowels of the Big 12 and put an end to things like losing to Nebraska at home, and not winning the Cyclone Challenge.
McDermott will get his first chance to erase bad memories when the Cyclone faithful get a sneak peak of this year's edition of the team with and exhibition with EA Sports, a game Iowa State will win by 25+.
These Cyclones will play with energy and passion and heart. Things that where sporadic at best last year. Discipline will be an expectation, not an option.
Even though the Cyclones may not be as good talent-wise as they were last year they will make up for that and possibly more with play that shows they want to be on the floor playing for ISU.
Things like fundamentals were absent last year. This year, McDermott will make sure anyone who doesn't think discipline, fundamentals and heart have to be at the highest level for every game will find a nice home at the end of the bench where they can be as disinterested as they like.
At least for this year however, Iowa State fans will have to be patient. The Iowa State backcourt took a big hit from the loss of talents like Curtis Stinson and Will Blalock. But you had to wonder how much they wanted to be in Ames.
McDermott is already in on several big names on the recruiting scene and it will be crucial to his success to try and get off to a quick start.
The schedule provides a few challenges and some intriguing games including road dates with Minnesota and Ohio State. The Cyclones also play one of last year's NCAA Cinderella's in Bradley at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. But clearly the biggest game will be when McDermott leads the Cyclones into the UNI Dome to face his alma mater in Northern Iowa.
When all is said and done, this will be one of those rare years where the NIT is a positive for a team like Iowa State. If McDermott can get this team to a winning record and a postseason experience, it very well could jump start the team's rebuilding process.