6 days ago another college basketball season sadly came to an end. While it was one of the most exciting tournaments in history, it was bittersweet as the Cyclones were eliminated in the 1st Round.
Now anybody that watched Iowa State’s mercurial season knew that there was a good chance that would happen. When I saw they were playing Ohio State, I was 95% that they would lose in the 1st Round. Ohio State was a completely garbage team that didn’t even belong in the tournament. Iowa State struggled all season with garbage teams.
Despite that, I still picked Iowa State to win it all in my bracket because I don’t pick against my rooting interests.
I don’t pick Iowa State to lose.
I don’t pick Duke to win the National Championship.
I don’t pick Michigan State to win the National Championship.
I don’t pick Liberty to win a single game.
When the overtime was over in Minneapolis on Monday night, the Virginia Cavaliers were the National Champions and Becky Parmelee won her first ever Roundball Oracles crown. Russell Kennerly won his first ever The Sara for last place adult.
Becky’s name has been added to the List of Immortals:
2019 – Becky Parmelee
2018 – Paul Golden
2017 – Paul Golden
2016 – Michelle Haupt
2015 – Derek Dohrman
2014 – Brandon Kahler
2013 – William McAlpine
2012 – Lowell Davis
2011 – Carrie Baier
2010 – Mark Wolfram
2009 – Mark Wolfram
2008 – Mark Wolfram
2007 – Tim Peterson
2006 – William McAlpine
2005 – William McAlpine
Paul Golden’s iron grip on the throne has been released.
On the other end of the spectrum, Russell Kennerly adds his name to past “The Sara” winners:
2019 – Russell Kennerly
2018 – Robert Henning
2017 – Shannon Bardole
2016 – Laura Priest
2015 – Derrick Gorshe
2014 – Sara Lockner
The trophies will be in their possession shortly.
Here are the final standings:
If you are wondering, JJ Baier is 7 years old and isn’t eligible for “The Sara”.
Now that is behind us, it isn’t too early to start looking at what kind of team Iowa State will have next year.
Next year could be a potential step back for the Cyclones. They lose 3 seniors, including their starting point guard in Babb and leading scorer in Shayok. They are also losing Wigginton and THT to the NBA. Talented post Lard has also left the team and intends to transfer.
Iowa State has currently signed 3 players for the upcoming class. Currently, none of the freshman they have signed are highly ranked, but they all have the potential to be solid contributors. 2 in particular will be interesting to watch.
Marcedus Leech is perhaps the most intriguing. He was formerly a 5 star guy and one of the most recruited players in the country. 2 years ago he had a gruesome leg injury similar to the one Paul George suffered. Almost every school backed off, except Iowa State. Leech rewarded the Cyclones for their loyalty. If he gets back to what he was, he will be the steal of the recruiting class.
Tre Jackson is another interesting player. He was under recruited and didn’t really get many major offers until last summer. He is a shooter and a good athlete that recently dominated the Carolinas Classic by scoring 38 points and hitting eight 3 pointers. With so many guards leaving, Jackson will have a shot at getting some playing time.
Luke Anderson is the final commit. He will be a stretch 4 or 5. Even with the loss of Lard, Iowa State is still fairly stocked in the post with Jacobson and Conditt playing big roles this season and with Solomon Young coming back from an injury that sidelined him for a year and a half. That will give Anderson time to add some bulk to his body.
Another newcomer that I anticipate starting for the Cyclones next season is Prentiss Nixon. He sat out last season after transferring from Colorado State. The 6-2 point guard averaged over 16 points a game with the Rams. I anticipate he will be the starting point guard. He might not have Babb’s overall game, but he will be more of a scoring threat from the point.
Adding proven college players in Nixon and Young back to a returning nucleus of Halliburton, Jacobson, and Conditt, the Cyclones will still be pretty decent next season. How good they can be will depend on what a couple players buried on the bench last season are able to bring. Both Zion Griffin and Terrence Lewis were highly regarded coming out of high school. Zion was slowed at the beginning of last season with an injury and never really broke into the rotation. Lewis showed flashes, but got buried on the bench after Lard and Wigginton returned from injuries and suspension. Both could take great leaps next season if they can show some consistency. The potential is there.
The other unknown variable for next season is Iowa State currently has 3 scholarships open for next season.
I expect Iowa State to add 1 more freshman. Possibly Caleb Grill from Wichita. 1 sit out transfer. 1 graduate transfer.
Another possibility would be to leave one of those scholarships open for the 2020 class. As it sits now, Iowa State will only have 2 seniors on next year’s squad in Nixon and Jacobson.
The 2020 class is loaded and Iowa State is sitting in a good spot with a few very highly regarded recruits in Xavier Foster, Dudley Blackwell, and Ben Carlson.
Either way, I can’t wait for college basketball season to start again.