No lie. Four. And I’m on my way there.
The coldest I can remember being in a long, long time was that football game two seasons ago just when I was walking across an open field to the parking lot they have there. It was colder than frozen over Hell and an icy wind just cut through you.
How cold was it? This is true: I took a bottle of Dasani with me when I left the press box for my hour-long drive back to my hotel in Des Moines. When I made it to my car about 15 minutes later, the water was beginning to freeze.
I’m not looking forward to this
Except that I really like watching Iowa State play and I think these two teams match up well and bring something out of one another that makes for good theater. And I think Iowa State might be Final Four good because they’re a nightmare draw with the way they play. Leading that attack is Melvin Ejim, one of your more underrated players and a guy who’s starting to get some NBA buzz.
There’s some history attached, too: No one has led the Big 12 in rebounding one year and scoring the next. Ejim is on his way with the rebounding title checked off last season and the scoring title in his hands at the moment.
I scribbled a little bit about him and how he and fellow mismatch misfits Georges Niang and DeAndre Kane make the inverted Iowa State offense hum.
(Hoiberg is a star already, and he’ll be a bigger one the longer he’s around … and that’s probably going to be in the NBA. He’s charismatic and fun to talk to because he can’t help but X and O it, which led to this anecdote I couldn’t wedge in or turn into a separate story, but nevertheless want to share about some of the roots of his offense:
“I love Pittsnogle. Kevin was one of my favorite players. I was working in the NBA then and I remember getting him in and working him out and I told him how much I loved his game.”
Check out what 6-foot-11 Jamie Vanderbeken did in Hoiberg’s first season at Iowa State.)
I also typed a bit about Tom Bradley — two years, $500,000 a year, if you were curious — and what he means to the Mountaineers staff. I know we don’t yet know where he’ll be coaching, but I think what he can do matters more than where he’ll do it. You know how we make a lot about starting experience and returning starters and the like. The same has to be true for coaches and, let’s face it, the WVU staff could use that.
Now, because of basketball travel and the fact I’ll be in the air Thursday morning when Scoop & Score is on the air, we’re going to tape it tomorrow morning. It’s going to be a WVU spring football preview. That’s two segments with both Geoff Coyle and Stephen Nesbitt.
I’ve got some questions. I’m sure you have some, too. Fire away and I’ll incorporate as many as I can.