Should Colvin play tonight?

Greg McDermott’s hand has been forced.

The Iowa State coach has preached tough love with freshman guard Chris Colvin, wanting to keep the kid’s suspension intact until February as previously decided.

A lack of able bodies and Colvin’s response to the punishment has apparently changed McDermott’s mind. Colvin will be in uniform tonight when ISU plays Texas Tech in Lubbock, Texas.

Asked Monday about Colvin, McDermott was firm in maintaining the original timeline despite his shrinking bench.

“That (suspension) takes precedence,” he said. “Winning games isn’t as important and getting him straightened out.”

Less than 24 hours later, Lucca Staiger jumped ship in order to return home to Germany and play professionally, leaving the Cyclones with just seven active scholarship players.

Colvin makes eight.

He’s been out of action since Jan. 6, when he walked out of a team meeting after a blowout loss to Duke at the United Center in Chicago.

Colvin, who has averages of 3.2 points and 2.3 assists a game, has been a good boy since.

“He’s been fabulous,” McDermott said. “It’s almost as if the weight of the world has been lifted off his shoulders. He didn’t know how to express himself when adversity struck him. Hopefully this will be a growing experience for him. It has been so far and I’d like to see it continue.” 

Teammate Craig Brackins has seen a change for the better in Colvin.

“He understands what he did and is showing that he really wants to be here,” Brackins said. “He does want to be here and we all know that.”

Apparently Staiger didn’t, and that’s unfortunate considering the time and effort put into his 2 1/2 years in Ames.

ISU spent countless man hours trying to get him eligible as a freshman. Trips to Germany during the offseason were made in order to visit Staiger. All the individual work put into his development…

All for naught.

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