CSR talks with Coach Hoiberg Part II

In part two of our exclusive interview with Iowa State head coach Fred Hoiberg, he expands on how long he hopes to be at Iowa State, on what he hopes to have happen in year one, and on whether he feels the Cyclones can win a national championship during his tenure.

Cyclone Sports Report: At your press conference you made it clear that your players will graduate. Why was this point so important for you?

Coach Hoiberg: We had a team meeting recently and I told the team that I have been lucky to have played at Iowa State, have a long NBA career, and to have been an executive for the Minnesota Timberwolves but that my greatest accomplishment in life besides my family is graduating from Iowa State. I told them that some may have options to play after college but that when you get your degree it allows you to have options to fall back on in order to be successful in life.

Cyclone Sports Report: What do you hope to accomplish in your first season at Iowa State?

Coach Hoiberg: I want to see improvement throughout the year. We will have a mix of young and old and obviously some of the young guys are going to have to play major minutes for us. Some of them have potential to be very good so getting the early playing time should be helpful for them.

Cyclone Sports Report: How do you plan on improving your players individual skills?

Coach Hoiberg: It starts now and they have to begin getting better during the summer. The key is that they need to add a new element to their game each year. We want to play up tempo so they all have to get in better shape. They have all been on board and working very hard to get better.

Cyclone Sports Report: How much did you know about your current returning players before you were hired?

Coach Hoiberg: I didn't know a lot because I only saw two Iowa State games last year. I was there for the Kansas and Texas games to scout some of their players and also to scout Craig Brackins. I really think the three main returning players all have some strong aspects about their game. With proper spacing Diante (Garrett) has the size to finish in the lane. He's also really working on his shot to make that a stronger part of his game. Scott (Christopherson) is really a great shooter who is always asking me about new drills that he can do to improve his game. Jamie (Vanderbeken) is a big that can really space the floor and he's going to be a very important player up front.

Cyclone Sports Report: What will you miss most about the NBA?

Coach Hoiberg: Definitely playing because that is what I loved doing and it was very tough to walk away. I had just had maybe the best season of my career and then to have stop playing for health reasons was very tough. However, I was also very lucky to find out early enough so that it could be treated.

Cyclone Sports Report: How important is it to you to beat Iowa, UNI, and Drake on a consistent basis?

Coach Hoiberg: I think they are important but I want to win every game. It's not always easy beating those teams as everyone saw this year when UNI beat Kansas who the top ranked team in the country.

Cyclone Sports Report: Both Iowa State men's basketball and football teams are currently being led by native Iowans. Is that important?

Coach Hoiberg: I don't know. All I know is that it's a job that I want and I'm not looking to go anywhere else. I don't want to leave Iowa State until I'm done with my coaching career. I can't speak for Paul (Rhoads) but I think he feels the same.

Cyclone Sports Report: About a decade ago Iowa State nearly made the Final Four. Do you believe Iowa State can win a national championship?

Coach Hoiberg: Yes, for sure I do and I really want us to compete at the highest level. No one expected Butler to do what they did this year but they were one lucky bounce away from becoming national champions. I want us to compete at a high level every year and I think we can.

Cyclone Sports Report: How great has it been being back home with your family?

Coach Hoiberg: It's been unbelievable and sometimes I feel like I've got to pinch myself. It's been awesome and all the Cyclone fans that I have come across have really been wonderful to me.

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