Greg McDermott: Yeah we should definitely have more depth but it's the experience in itself that will be so important next season. It really helps in the off-season and our older guys are really helping the transition with the younger guys this summer.
CSR: In a recent interview that we did with Craig Brackins he stated that he really has a lot of trust for you as a head coach and that in coming back he felt he owed your staff and the fans a shot at a very successful season next year. How refreshing is it to hear comments like this from Craig?
GM: I'm just proud of Craig and how he handled a tough decision. It was my job to provide Craig with as much information as possible and it was up to Craig to make the best decision for himself. He feels he has some things to work on and what he's doing is positioning himself not just to get drafted high but to have a very long career in the NBA.
CSR: It seemed like last year that the team lacked players who could create off the dribble. Do you feel that with players like Chris Colvin and Marquis Gilstrap coming in and with returning players like Diante Garrett and Dominique Buckley gaining a year of maturity that this will be an area of major improvement next year?
GM: Without question we were too one dimensional last year. If we didn't get something early in the possession we usually ran into some trouble. Our strength was shooting three-pointers and we just weren't very comfortable going to the basket which made us very easy to guard. We have added a lot of versatility and should be a lot stonger in this area next season.
CSR: How is the health of Scott Christopherson and what kind of impact should he have next season?
GM: He's a real versatile player who can shoot the ball really well but also a guy that can get to the basket or end up on the foul line. He brings a toughness and his leadership skills are outstanding. His knee has healed very well and has really held up. He's having a great summer and I would be dissappointed if he is not competing for major minutes next season.
CSR: Jordan Dykstra, who committed to Iowa State before his freshman season, recently re-opened his recruitment and last year Wes Staten committed to Iowa State as a freshman. Is the new reality of having to recruit younger kids over the past few years a major frustration for you or just part of of the job?
GM: I don't like that the direction of recruiting is going this way but it's just part of this business today. If you don't recruit kids at that age then you are recruiting from behind. Often times these kids have six or seven offers by the time that they are juniors and by then it's often too late to get in the door with them. It's frustrating because it's tougher to be as precise and accurate in breaking down their their ability at such a young age. It's not an exact science and I think this has been a factor in why there has been so many tranfers in college basketball. It's just really a sign of the times.
CSR: What will the new practice facility do for this program?
GM: It will be the first time at Iowa State that we can use our practie facility as a recruiting tool. State Gym has been a great home for us but it doesn't have the amenities that the new building will have. I think it has already helped us with kids like Chris Colvin and it's just going to be a great place to train and improve your game. I think it's also going to make the day-to-day life of the student-athletes better and it will give us as a coaching staff an opportunity to have more casual contact with the players on their way to the weight room or to the courts.
CSR: True or false. The 2009-10 Iowa State Cyclones will make the NCAA tournament if everyone remains healthy throughout the season?
GM: I hope so and it is definitely our goal. We have kept key components from last year's team and with the new guys we have definitely gotten more athletic. The bad news is that we play in a great league that should be very strong but our first goal is to win the conference championship and then to go to the NCAA Tournament. We'd also like to make some noise when we get there.
CSR: How important is it that Lucca Staiger should be fully healthy for next year?
GM: It's going to be great for Lucca because last year he went through a surgery that had to happen and it really hurt his development. Not being able to practice led to him missing out on all the defensive repetitions and it really hurt his timing. It just really hampered his development but now he's recovered and he's in real good care with the German National Team. I think his experience with them will really help him improve as a player.
CSR: What was it like to watch your son and the rest of his Ames High School teammates win a state championship?
GM: It was the neatest experience that I have ever had in athletics. To have your own son on that stage with a great coaching staff and teammates that all got along and to have it culminate in a state championship was just amazing.