The Iowa State Cyclones haven’t been to the Final Four since 1944, roughly the same time the oldest player on the Miami Hurricanes was born. That is a pretty long drought but not one that the Cyclones don’t plan to end very soon. Three years ago Iowa State hired a new coach, and the game changed. Fred Hoiberg was the hire, and before becoming a coach, NBA mediocrity was his game. Hoiberg was a loved player by fans for every team he was ever on despite never scoring more than 9.1 points per game in a single season.
But being an average to below-average NBA player doesn’t mean you can’t be a successful coach, just ask Kevin Ollie. Hoiberg has brought an exciting brand of basketball to the Iowa State program and has them on the rise. In fact, he has this program trending upward so quickly that many forget that their previous coach left to take the Creighton Bluejays job. As in, at one point in time, someone figured that the Creighton job was better than the Cyclones job. While both programs are going strong at the moment, Hoiberg has the Iowa State fanbase in a frenzy.
In just his second season Hoiberg led the Cyclones to the (Real) second round of the NCAA Tournament. This season Iowa State is 16-7 but play even better than their record indicates. All of this is showing that Hoiberg is clearly a good coach and can find the right prospects to fit into the system he has been implementing on offense.
I am not sure how many people knew that one day Fred Hoiberg would be the answer to a college basketball program’s questions. But he has, and even though nobody is noticing, Hoiberg is slowly making Iowa State in to perennial Big 12 contenders.
Joe covers the Catholic Seven for Rant Sports. For the love of Sam Cassell, follow Joe on the Twitter Machine @JosephNardone