A news-filled day of stuff with ISU ties. Let’s recap, shall we:
— Former men’s basketball coach Tim Floyd resigns at USC, saying he did not have “full enthusiasm” for the job anymore. Apparently the $1,000 he allegedly gave O.J. Mayo and the thousands that Mayo’s handlers claim was funnelled to them during the star’s recruitment to Los Angeles had nothing to do with it. Riiiiiight.
USC was going to take a step back next year with three of its players entering the NBA Draft and a handful of recruits opting out of their letters of intent. That, combined with the Mayo mess, and Floyd was facing some hard times ahead. Looks to me like he was abandoning ship before it capsized. Floyd is 55. Will he coach again? Will a school WANT him to coach again?
— Former wrestling coach Cael Sanderson landed his top recruit after all. Ex-Cyclone recruit David Taylor decided to follow Cael to Penn State after all. Taylor, a four-time Ohio state champion and probably the nation’s best lower weighted recruit, considered his options once Sanderson left ISU for Happy Valley.
Taylor checked out Ohio State, which has a rising program with former ISU national champion Joe Heskett on the coaching staff. He quickly asked for a release from new Cyclone coach Kevin Jackson, making it clear Ames was only on his radar because of Cael.
— OK, this one is a bit contrived by ESPN’s Tim Griffin, who is counting down the Top 25 plays in Big 12 football history. Iowa Staters know this simply as “The Run”
Other items of interest this week:
— Seven Cyclone athletes — including defending 10,000-meter champion Lisa Koll — are at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Fayetteville, Ark. Look here for a blog Wednesday on Koll, who despite missing a huge chunk of the running season because of injury is the favorite to repeat.
— The women’s basketball team continues hosting campers this week. I’ll be checking that out, and chatting with incoming freshmen Anna Prins and Chelsea Poppens. What did they think of the team’s incredible Elite Eight run? How much will they play as freshmen? Is Prins the defacto starter at center?
— Picked up the preseason football mags yet at the grocery store or Borders? Few think very highly of the Clones. I wrote the previews for two of them — Athlon and Lindy’s. I don’t think it mattered who penned them… the editors were picking ISU dead last. I hope Paul Rhoads and his coaches and players prove otherwise.