Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The News Keeps Getting Worse for Iowa State's Basketball Program--Standout Guards Stinson and Blalock Plan To Enter the NBA Draft

Maybe you thought the worst basketball news at Iowa State lately was that the Cyclones weren't even good enough to be picked for the National Invitation Tournament.

Guess again, Cy Guy.

The roof fell in on the Iowa State program today when standout guards Curtis Stinson [right] and Will Blalock [left] said they'll enter the upcoming National Basketball Association draft.

It won't be a done deal until the two juniors hire agents. They could still return to Iowa State for their senior season if they put off signing with a representative.

Still, it's a shocker for an Iowa State program that already is reeling after the 2005-2006 team lost seven of its last nine games and finished with a 16-14 record.

I feel it's a huge gamble for both Stinson and Blalock.

I'm not sure either guy is ready for the NBA, and maybe never will be ready.

Stinson especially has become a legend in his own mind. He's been mentioned as a possible NBA player since late in his freshman season.

Of course, Stinson himself was maybe the guy doing all the talking.

Stinson and Blalock played on a Cyclone team this season that beat Drake, Iowa and Iowa State in December to win the mythical state championship.

The final weeks of the season found backbiting among the players and questionable coaching by Wayne Morgan and his staff.

The Cyclones' subpar play made it a given that they wouldn't make it to the NCAA tournament. After they lost to Oklahoma State, 79-70, in the opening round of the Big 12 tournament, I wrote that they didn't belong in the NIT, either.

The NIT agreed. Iowa State wasn't chosen for a tournament that few people -- coaches, players and fans -- care about.

Just today, CBS came out with a story saying Iowa State is in the center of a controversial nationwide system that delivers junior college players to Division I teams.

That story follows on this web page.

Just like this story, it's not pleasant reading for Cyclone fans.

Now, go to your favorite Irish bar and order a pitcher of green beer, Cy.

Or a pitcher of any kind of beer.

You'll need it get through all of this.

I don't know if St. Patrick is an Iowa State fan, but make sure the waitress puts a glass in front of him just in case.