Tuesday, December 15, 2015
After reading a couple things on the Naz injury, obviously it hurts for this year. Thomas is a good player and has shown increased confidence and better shooting so far, but there's a reason Naz passed him a couple years ago. Naz was always the one to get in people's faces and be the vocal leader on the floor and that definitely hurts. His ability and willingness to get to the rack so far this year has been undersold.
That said, assuming, and I don't think it's a definite, he gets to come back next year, he'll be the bridge between past successful Cyclone teams and the future. Thomas and maybe Monte would be the only other guys that've actually played more than a year for ISU on next year's team. While the fan base (and that ESPN douche) don't give ISU much of a chance next year, Naz won't let the team slack. Next year's team could really use an old voice on the court and sidelines.
Most great teams have carryover from year to year to year and teams like Kentucky have built in expectations. Without Naz and Monte next year, ISU would have neither. Actually, next year the classes are pretty balanced so any success should be carried into future seasons. I'm excited about the front court depth with Malou, Carter, Ernst and Young. (Ernst and Young is one of the "big 4" accounting firms, look for it on future Cyclone bingo cards)
So while the loss of Naz is a big blow to this year's team, it could possibly be just the thing needed to sustain ISU's success into the future.