With four transfers eligible this season for Iowa State, expectations are understandably high in Ames.
But fans might need to temper their excitement just a little bit.
Marc Hansen of the Des Moines Register penned a column over the weekend about the buzz surrounding new arrival Royce White. Apparently, Iowa State supporters are more energized than I thought.
The other day at a breakfast club meeting, I ran into a longtime Cyclone fan who said the transfer from Minnesota will turn out to be the best basketball player in school history.
While clearly talented coming out of high school, White is the same player who was expelled from his first high school, De La Salle (Ill.). The same player who had off-court issues at Minnesota, and then made a series of YouTube videos announcing that his college basketball career was over. He hasn’t played a game in about two years.
Yet some think he’s primed to be the best player in Iowa State history. Better than Jamaal Tinsley, better than Marcus Fizer, better than Jeff Hornacek, better than everyone.
White does seem more focused heading into this season, and was actually the first player to ever average a triple-double in the YMCA Capital City summer league. To his credit, he also didn’t jump on the bandwagon when Hansen informed him of the fan’s sentiment.
“It’s an objective term and probably a little extreme, considering all the great players who’ve been here, but I’d like to be on the list someday,” White told the paper. “I think it’s achievable. Not for what I do individually as much as for what we do as a team.”
There is little doubt that Iowa State will be vastly improved from last year, with Chris Allen (Michigan State), Anthony Booker (Southern Illinois) and Chris Babb (Penn State) joining White as newcomers. But this is a team that went 3-13 in the Big 12 last season.
The influx of talent is certainly enough to boost the expectations surrounding Iowa State, but it seems the Kool-Aid (to use a reference from Hansen’s column) is flowing a little too much.