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October 11, 2012

What Fred said: Media Day, part one

The third season of the Fred Hoiberg coaching era is getting underway for Iowa State basketball. Hoiberg met with reporters Wednesday as part of ISU's annual media day at the Sukup Basketball Complex in west Ames.

Here is the first of three installments of complete Q & A text from Hoiberg's press conference, transcribed and presented in their entirety only by CycloneReport.com.

Opening comments:

Thank you all, first of all, everybody for coming out today. Hope everybody had a great summer and the fall is going well. Welcome everybody on Cyclones.tv for tuning in, thanks for watching today.

It's been a great year so far for our group. With the NCAA rule, allowing two hours on court with the players, it was very productive for us. It was a great rule change, allowed us to get some good instruction, especially with the five freshmen that are new on this roster. The fall's been phenomenal. This group is absolutely working its tail off. It's a group of guys, a lot of them tasted the success from a year ago. The high schools kids that came in that are freshman come from great programs, winning programs, and are excited about getting going.

And it's, I'm telling you, this is a group that's going to be very easy to root for, because of the type of kids that they are. They have great work ethics. It's been as good a group as I've ever been around in all the teams that I played for and certainly the third year of coaching here at Iowa State. This group absolutely gets after it, whatever it is, whether it's in the weight room, whether it's out here competing 2-on-2 situations when we had them in groups of four, since September 15th when we've had them as a whole team. These guys have a work ethic that's second to none.

How's that translate to wins and losses this year? I don't know yet. Obviously we lost a lot with losing our top three scorers with Royce, with Scotty and with Chris Allen. Collectively I think we've got a great group to replace what we lost. The five seniors that we have on this roster are guys that want to go out with a bang. It's a group that's again, really been getting after it, providing great leadership to these young guys. I really like our mix of younger players and veterans. To have the five freshmen and to have the five seniors, it's a good mix that we have right now. It's a group that's going to push each other to get the best out of each other every single time we take the court, practices and (then) when we get out on the court for games as well.

So I'll leave it there, guys. Do you have any questions?


What do you see for the roles of your two transfer seniors, Lucious and Clyburn?

I expect big years out of both Korie and Will. They've been great as far as leading these young guys. And Korie, similar to what Chris Allen brought last year, it's Final Four experience. He brings winning. You look at a shot that Korie made against Maryland a couple of years ago to put his team into the Final Four, when his role really increased after Lucas got hurt. And he's very talented. We'll play more traditional this year. You'll see us have a point guard again. You won't see us with a 6-8, 270-pound freight train going down the middle of the court. What that will allow to do I think is play a little faster. It's going to be more conventional with wing runners that can knock down shots.

We've got guys that can sprint to the rim and collapse the defense that will open up a lot of things offensively for us. Them I'm excited about our post players. I expect a big season out of Percy Gibson as a sophomore now. Anthony Booker gives us a lot of strength and muscle inside. And then Georges Niang coming in as a freshman as well is a guy that can give us some good touches in the paint, can do something with it when he gets it in there. Melvin's been putting in a lot of work this summer, had a great opportunity to compete for the Nigerian national team, where he was able to work a lot on his perimeter game. I see him playing inside out.

Will is a kid that can play different positions. I think Will can play two through four and there's times where Will will initiate our offense similar to what Royce White did for us last year and just how much success we had with that. So, to answer your question, the two transfers that are both seniors this year, I expect big things out of them.


What did you see from those two guys during their redshirt year together?

The big thing that I look for, similar to what the four guys that sat out the previous season, is just how they developed a great chemistry with each other. When you play every day on the scout team, you build a lot of trust with each other. When we go on the road, those guys are staying home and working out with each other every day. And that'll carry over.

I talked to them about, you sit out a year, it seems like it's going to be forever before you get to take the court again. In reality, that thing's here before you know it, and just talked about how quickly that will come and how much work they need to put in to prepare themselves when that day is here. And here we are. Those guys are eligible now and they're going to be the leaders of this team. They're expecting big things out of themselves, and that's the great thing about this group. I have expectations for them, but they have their own expectations for themselves and they're very high.


Do you expect to be more traditional and conventional on defense as well?

I think we'll have more versatility on the defensive end. I think we can get out and pressure a little bit more this year. We really didn't have that point guard, not only on the offensive end, but also the defensive end, and it impacts the way you're able to play. We really had to pack it in a lot of times last year. Scott and Chris were great for us, but they're not point guards. And on the defensive end, they'd never really guarded point guards before.

Really Chris Babb, at times last year, was the guy who had to shut (them) down last year. Pierre Jackson, for example, who seemed like he had 85 points in the first half against us in the home game against Baylor. So it gives us an opportunity to pick up full court a little bit more. With Melvin and Will, sometimes when we play smaller, we'll be able to trap a little bit in the back court to try to force some turnovers to get the tempo where we want it to be. So not only offensive versatility, but I think defensive as well.



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