The Iowa State men’s basketball team’s trip to Hawaii this weekend won’t be its last.
Per ISU’s contract agreement with the University of Hawaii, Monday night’s opponent, the Cyclones are guaranteed a spot in the 2010 Rainbow Classic in Honolulu. Traditionally an eight-team tournament, the field may be reduced to four with the creation of another tournament U of H also is expect to host.
In any case, the Cyclones will hit the beach again in two years, and gladly so.
“That’s not the easiest tournament to get into,” Coach Greg McDermott said. ISU won the event in 2005 and has had great success in the state lately, winning 10 of its last 12, including six straight.
One hit wonder?
Signee Marquis Gilstrap has just one season of eligibility remaining. McDermott says the 6-6, 210-pound junior college forward is worth it.
“We thought he was the most talented player out there and best fit what we needed,” the coach said. “Without Wesley Johnson we needed a big wing player. (Gilstrap) is that big wing we are lacking on our team this year.”
Gilstrap is playing at Gulf Coast (Fla.) Community College this year, his first action since breaking his leg midway through the 2005-06 season at Palm Beach CC.
There is a possibility for ISU to appeal the NCAA for an additional season of eligibility, but we all know the school has not had the best luck in that department. Compliance people will give it a look once Gilstrap arrives on campus next summer.
The Cyclones have made at least 10 3-pointers in two of their three games. They didn’t hit double digits in any of their 32 games last season. Freshman Wes Eikmeier leads the team with eight — and he didn’t even play in Sunday’s win over UW-Milwaukee because of the flu.