Yeah, last year sucked. Like, stunk as though someone left some Korean food in the work fridge for three weeks. It was not what people had hoped for, there is no denial in that.
But this off season has been different for Coach Prohm and his staff.
Rather than spending his free time chasing after players that “could be” or “might be” or have “potential upside,” Prohm has spent the last few months and the copious amounts of scholarships at his disposal to find guys that fit “win now.”
Now, the argument could be made that the reason Prohm is out cherry picking transfers and grad transfers alike is because the seat in Ames has recently had a couple lit logs tossed underneath it.
Surely this is something that Steve knows as well as the fan base. The temperature surrounding the current leader of the program may be rising but true to his nature Coach Prohm still seems cooler than Freddy Jackson sipping a milkshake in snow storm.
With the recent pick up and use of last scholarship being handed out to Ole Miss forward Blake Hinson, it looks like the Cyclones have their roster set heading into the 2020 campaign and what arguably is the the most important season in the Prohm era.
Season five is now under his belt as the captain of ship in Ames and through those five seasons two of them have been — Well, lackluster is too soft of a word so truthfully it would have to settle somewhere around “horribly disappointing but understandable given the circumstances.”
To be perfectly clear and transparent, I am quite on the record as very STAUNCH Prohm defender. I think from my own personal stand point that he so far has battled through the challenges tossed his way quite well.
From the comments of “he didn’t win with his own players” to “look what happens to when he gets his guys in” (big comment during season 3) “this fifth year is a disaster, how can anyone support him?” through it all he seemingly has handled it in stride and kept himself not only composed as a coach but also a leader of men.
All that said however one does have to wonder coming out of last season just what sort of trepidation is starting to exist around what will happen in year six. What can be expected coming out of a season that had so much hope for break out stars and building blocks to one that went awry so quickly?
Closing out last years campaign with such a poor performance certain led many to believe that Steve could be replaced almost instantly after the final game of the ‘19-’20 campaign. But truthfully a lot of what happened last year can’t squarely be put on just Prohm. Take one part early departures, three parts a big time injury and and a half cup of players who weren’t developing at the pace one may expect and you have a recipe for disaster.
But — Much like anything in life whether it be a nasty break-up, a full quart shot at the buzzer or that job promotion someone is striving for — There is one thing that helps, hope.
Prohm has almost completely fired all concept of developmental players, anyone with the moniker “gobs of talent” or “could be the best player in the Big 12 if he (insert improvement here)” and has instead decided to head full steam into winning now.
In any other season, the man would be fueled by nothing more than gas station coffee, a Tom Petty album and a will to hit the road and get the best talent he could, but this recruiting season has quite obviously been a little different for everyone.
Even despite all that he still has managed to land Jalen Coleman-Lands and Javan Johnson, both of whom were well sought after by a lot bigger schools than just Iowa State. Add in Hinson to this mix as a great forward/scoring wing and there are three transfers that can help lead a still youthful core.
Speaking of that core, did everyone forget that he pulled a fast one on TOE and landed the biggest prize to start the season in nabbing Xavier Foster? The 7’0 233 pound freshman has quite a bit of hype around him going into year one as a Cyclone and very well could be the front runner for multiple awards should he be as dominate as anticipated.
But that’s not all, he still returns Tre Jackson, who now with one year under his belt and a freshman year that showed a lot of promise, could be the knock down shooter that this team desperately needed a year ago. Toss in someone like Rasir Bolton who has been known to catch a hot streak and this team doesn’t look so bad.
The truth to all this isn’t probably a pretty one, this season very well could go horrible wrong for a myriad of reasons. Lack of chemistry, ego, injury, poor coaching — But it also could be the 180 Prohm needs to get back on the track of success.
When it’s all said and done it seems as though Prohm is trending in the right direction ... I think?