CF Mailbag: 11-11

Chris Williams

Publisher

It’s Wednesday and that means it’s now time to dip into my CycloneFanatic.com mailbag. There’s a lot to get to today so lets get started.

Clones21 writes…Chris, i was just wondering if HB chooses ISU. When you are there will you start jumping up and down and screaming in a high-pitched voice?

CW: Absolutely not. I refuse to act like a little girl in public.

ISUFAN22 writes…What were your thoughts on the offensive game plan from Saturday's game against Oklahoma State? Do you expect to see a more aggressive approach this Saturday against Colorado?

CW: I think the word vanilla is a good way to describe the offensive attack on Saturday. The Cyclone sure didn’t get very creative did they? But we learned that Austen’s arm was fatigued, the offensive line wasn’t 100 percent. And let’s be honest, Nebraska, Texas A&M and Oklahoma State’s defenses were better than the ones Iowa State had some success against early in the year. That probably has a lot to do with it too.

Where in the world is Sedrick Johnson?

CW: Sedrick who? Four receptions for four yards so far in 2009. The problem is we know he’s really talented. As frustrating as it is for us to watch, it’s probably worse for him.

"Gun to your head"...which school does Barnes commit to Friday?

CW: I had a feeling one of these might come my way. Before I answer this, I want to add a disclaimer. THIS IS A GUESS. Okay? Does everybody get that?

Gun to my head…North Carolina. But…I feel a lot better about Iowa State’s chances than I did two months ago.

Cyfan322 writes…Who's your favorite Clone of all-time in MBB, FB?

CW: Great question. Okay…men’s basketball, I’ll say Jared Homan. Loved the way he played ball. Plus, he’s an Iowa boy. That helps. Yes..Jared Homan. I am comfortable with that answer.

Football…Adam Carper. He’ll be the best man in my wedding in May. It’s kind of hard not to put him here. Scott Stephenson, Mike Brandtner and Bret Meyer all get honorable mention. As do Jack Whitver and Luke Vander Sanden.

Weez4cy writes…Who would you pick to replace Steven Tyler in Areosmith?

CW: That’s simple. Hiawatha Rutland. Don’t tell me you haven’t heard of Loomis P…

“DPS see my car scared to put a ticket on me.”

Isucyfan writes… At the UNC-Pembroke exhibition game, the Cyclones got out and ran more than I have ever seen them in the McDermott era. Mac was imploring them to run. We also flashed some pressure defense. In the postgame comments, McDermott said that right now he is comfortable playing 11 guys.

Do you think this is a sign of things to come for this year, or was this just a team working on a phase of their game in a glorified scrimmage?

CW: This is a sign of things to come, no doubt about it. Mac means it when he talks about depth. Iowa State is one of the three deepest teams in the league in my opinion. All 11 of those young men are good enough to play. That’s one of the reasons that I am so optimistic about the season. If somebody goes down, plug another in. And about the running, with that many athletes, you might as well right?

Cardinal&gold writes…How do you expect us to attack Colorado on offense given that we have averaged 9 points a game the last 3 weeks? And what would expect our strategy to be on defense? What kind of heat is on Dan Hawkins these days?

CW: That’s a loaded question. I’ll start with Dan “it aint intramurals” Hawkins. He’s on a very hot seat, more from the fans than anybody I think. From what I hear, the community just doesn’t like the guy. How we’ll attack them? Remember the Kansas game? I think it’ll look a lot like that. For the first time last Saturday, I saw a Paul Rhoads coached team that looked flat and uninspired. I’ll be shocked if we see that again against the Buffs.

Yler4cy writes… I read somewhere that Arnaud reinjured his hand in the first half of the Okie State game. I know he played in the second half, but threw 2 interceptions. Are there any updates on whether or not if his hand did get reinjured? And if it did, will we see Tiller more this week?

CW: Austen’s hand is fine. It was fine in the second half against OSU. I learned on Monday that after he got knocked out of the game in the first half, it actually reassured him that his hand was 100 percent and ready to go because it took the hit as well as it did. He’ll be the starting quarterback and take the majority of the snaps against Colorado.

Mfelske writes… Did we have any recruits in town for the Okie State game? Do you think the football team needs a strong finish to wrap up a good recruiting class?

CW: I can’t answer your first question because I don’t know. I can touch on the second part though. I think that the class is solid already. A strong finish would be the icing on the cake in my opinion. Paul Rhoads is really doing well recruiting in most “experts” eyes. That YouTube video probably helped more than any of us know.

Knownothing writes… How is the appeal for Gilstrap’s second year coming along?

CW: I don’t know many specifics but I do know that the overall feel about this issue is more positive now than it used to be. Don’t count on anything. An extra year would still be a giant bonus but again, things seem at least a little more optimistic.

Kkise writes…How much of Iowa State's improvement from last year is due to coaching? How much is due to emotion (as in the players were not happy Chizik left the way he did and they have a chip on their shoulder/have something to prove)? Since I asked the questions, I think it's a little of both. More of it is due to coaching.

CW: I agree with it being a little of both, but I do think that the Chizik factor may be overblown just a little bit. I find it hard to believe that these guys are out there practicing; thinking about the way Gene left the program. I think that a lot of the improvement you see comes from another year of experience. That’s the physical improvement I’m talking about. Being a more disciplined team, I credit to the new staff.

Weez4cy writes… Let's say just for arguments sake HB decides to stay close to home. Everyone I have talked to believes that he's going to play 1 year and then leave for the NBA. If this were to play out what are the long-term benefits to the ISU MBB team?

CW: There are numerous long-term benefits for Iowa State if HB stays in town. The first is financial. Think about ticket sales…jersey sales…etc. Mr. Pollard and Co. are about the best promoters I’ve ever been around. Money will be made. Plus, if he stays home, Greg McDermott just landed the top recruit in America. Think about that. With Craig likely being a lottery pick, all of the sudden, the Clones need to be taken much more seriously on a national level.

CYISFLY writes… Van Halen with Sammy or Dave.

CW: I’m only 25. I don’t listen to Van Halen. I don't even know what that means. I fancy myself as more of a George Strait man. I’m going to see Deirks Bentley tomorrow night in West Des Moines. Should be sweet.

Cycloneworld writes… Your quick thoughts on the state/direction of the MBB program if the following happen:

1. ISU makes the NCAA tournament. – Would be awesome. Will finally shut up some of those Mac haters out there.

2. ISU does not make the NCAA tournament. – Will be a long offseason.

3. HB commits to ISU. – People will start talking/pleading for Craig to stay another year. That’ll be the next big story.

What are your thoughts on 10,203 people attending an ISU VB game?

CW: Pretty sweet. I interviewed Christy on Monday and despite the loss, you could tell that number meant a lot to her. Props to the ISU fans who showed up for that one.

Explain to us why "Christmas season" is now 3 months long.

CW: I’m going to be pretty blunt with this one. You ready? The answer to this question is simple and I will not elaborate on it.

Christmas season is three months long now because people are idiots.

Cycloneyoda writes… Exactly how much wood could a woodchuck chuck?

CW: The woodchuck would first have to be able to chuck wood…duh.

Hort4cy writes… If you could spend the day with any former Cyclone athlete/coach who would it be and why, and what would you want to be doing that day?

CW: Good one…Let’s go with Paul Shirley. We’d do whatever Paul does on a normal day. I choose him because I read his book last year. Good stuff…funny guy…great writer.

Wesley writes…Will we let AA run the ball a lot more this week since this is a must win? Without AA running, ARob is not as big a threat.

CW: I sure hope so. AA is a beast while running the football. I agree with you completely. They need to let him loose.

12alphmacchio writes… Since your significant other is going to vet school, my wife is allergic to pet dander and is currently taking shots for it. What is a good big dog not mixed with a friggin poodle to have around allergic people?

CW: I actually did some research on this one. I gave her a call and this is what she came up with. For the record, I agree. Having a poodle will suck the testosterone right out of you won’t it? This is what she said.

Bischons can be good‬. Maltese. Unfortunately not many "manly" dogs. Schanauzers. Labradoodles are really good though...even though they are. mixed with a poodle personality of a lab...just with curly hair ‪portuguese water dogs‬ those are bigger.

Hope that helps.

Clones_jer writes… If Chris Williams suited up at WR for the Cyclones do you think he'd have more or less than 4 yards receiving after 9 games?

CW: Less. I wouldn’t see the field.

Is a QB controversy brewing for next season?

CW: Absolutely not. Austen Arnaud will and should be the starting quarterback.

67cy writes… Do you know anything about Barry Stevens' son? I thought he wanted to play BB at ISU and was a good prospect as a high school sophomore a couple of years ago.

CW: I saw him play in a camp a few years ago. From what I remember, he wasn’t high-major D-1 material. That’s strictly off of memory though.

PGREENISU92 writes… Obviously, I realize our chances are miniscule at best; however, has Iowa State been mathematically eliminated from representing the North in the Big XII Championship Game?

CW: By my calculations, yes. Kansas State will at worst finish 4-4 in the league. That’s best-case scenario for us. They’d have the tiebreaker on ISU.

JRE1975 writes… If we can win one or two of the final games, will the interest from better HS Players result in changes (drops) with some of our current verbal commitments?

CW: I highly doubt that many guys would drop out if Iowa State loses out. Most of the commitments already know that this is a rebuilding type deal and they’ve committed based on the future of the program.

CycoCyclone writes… Do you have more faith in Kevin Jackson (Wrestling Head Coach) or Paul Rhoads?

CW: That’s tough because the sports are so different. In terms of being nationally relevant, Kevin Jackson. But that’s not fair to Paul because Kevin just took over a top five team nationally. Paul didn’t have that luxury. I think that both hires will be great in the long run.

Cmoore_23 writes… I was wondering if u had gotten a status of Benton yet..

CW: Nobody is really talking about Benton. Don’t know why. Information there is hard to come by.

Nj829 writes… Coke or Pepsi?

CW: Easiest answer of the day. Coke. No question.

McDonalds or Burger King?

CW: It feels like an Arby’s night.

Skibumspe writes… after the NU game I was discussing the win w/a couple alumni buddies down here & it immediately turned to 'wow, we could/should be 7 - 1, had we not had the hiccups against KSU & KU.'

I brought up the point that b/c of those two close losses, it helped bring the team together & realize they were truly capable of beating NU. What's your take? Do you think we could/would have beaten NU had we beaten KSU & KU?

CW: The Nebraska win was a freak deal. I’m not taking anything away from Iowa State…just keeping it real. Eight turnovers…two points. You do the math. You might have a point about the “team” aspect but I really think that they are separate incidents.

Khess83 writes… Chris, the next two opponents are interesting to me. Neither team appears to be consistent, which resembles our team this year. Just wondering which Colorado team you think will show up this week? And also which Missouri team will show up the following?

CW: These Colorado players have a serious chip on their shoulders. They’ll be very motivated to win on Saturday. Expect a close contest. As for Missouri, who knows. In my opinion, they’re one of the most underachieving teams in the conference. That program is in all sorts of turmoil right now. I think that ISU can win out.

Temperflare writes… What two or three current football players, who are not currently starters on offense or defense, do you see as making the largest impact next season?

CW: I’d go with LCB Jacques Washington and MLB A.J. Klein. Both have shown a ton of progress behind the scenes this year.

Thanks for the great questions! The mailbag will be back next Wednesday as always!

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