Second Chance U

Second Chance U


It did not take Coach Fred Hoiberg long to find a way to rekindle the Iowa State basketball program. Whether or not giving players a second chance will be successful or not remains to be seen, but the outcome looks extremely promising thus far. It started with Northern Illinois transfer Darion Anderson. Anderson was eligible immediately for the 2010-2011 season and finished off his collegiate career with the Cyclones averaging 12.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.5 assists. The test subject paid off even though Iowa State finished Coach Hoiberg’s first year with a 3-13 conference record.


These are not all bad apples who are getting kicked off their original team. And even for those who were forced to relocate, it is hard to argue that any of them do not deserve to play somewhere. They just all happened to end up at the same place.

Waiting on the bench and watching the Cyclones struggle in 2010-2011 were four players who either played a big role on a major team in years past or were at least expected to do so. The big name is Royce White. The Minneapolis, Minnesota native was signed up to play for his hometown school and was expected to make an immediate impact in the Big Ten. Yet, White never saw the floor for the Golden Gophers. He certainly will for Iowa State. A couple of other Big Ten stars spent more time playing for their schools. Chris Allen went to two Final Fours with Michigan State and appeared to be a good team  player before butting heads with Spartan coach Tom Izzo one too many times. Allen will have one year of eligibility left starting with the 2011-2012 campaign. Chris Babb never got the respect he deserved during his two years at Penn State. Overshadowed by more talented guards, Babb quietly averaged 9.3 points and 3.2 rebounds and proved to be a superb all-around player. The final familiar name is Anthony Booker, formerly of Southern Illinois. The lanky big man was never a star at SIU, but he had a fine sophomore season and is certainly capable of making an impact in the Big 12.

Despite all those new, yet familiar faces, Coach Hoiberg has a couple more big names who will sit out the 2011-2012 campaign and be eligible the following season. Korie Lucious, another Spartan castaway, was a NCAA Tournament hero for Michigan State before run-ins with the law forced Coach Izzo’s hand. The speedy point guard will have one season of eligibility with his new team. Will Clyburn will just have one season left as well. The former junior college transfer spent just one season at Utah, but it was a great season. He earned second-team All-Mountain West accolades after leading the Utes with 17.1 points and 7.8 rebounds per contest.


This type of experiment has been done before, but the results are always mixed. Iowa State is getting some great players, but many of them can only play for a season. Coaches from major programs go through this type of situation every year…do you recruit the great high school player who will probably stick around for a year and leave or do you try and build team chemistry with players who will be on your team for four years? Those opposite ways of thinking are no more obvious than at North Carolina and Duke. Both have had success running their programs their own way and every coach, and fan for that matter, has an opinion on which is more important in college basketball. For Iowa State, we will all find out in a few years if a year or two of success can help turn the program into a consistent force in the Big 12.

Read the in-depth men's basketball preview for this team