ISU’s next head basketball coach


Kelby Wingert/Iowa State Daily

Junior guard Naz Long cheers after a basket is made against Baylor on Feb. 25.

Ben Visser

A new coach is going to have very big shoe’s to fill now that Fred Hoiberg is moving on to fulfill his dream of coaching in the NBA, being named head coach for the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday.

A new coach is expected to be named some time middle of next week, so let’s get to know some of the candidates that could take over the top 10 team.

Steve Prohm is the current head coach at Murray State University. Prohm was a journeyed assistant at numerous schools before being named the head coach at Murray State in 2011.

When Prohm took over the Murray State team he lead them to their best year in school history in his first year. Prom’s 2011-12 squad went 31-2 including a 23-0 start to the season and a top-10 ranking. Murray State was bounced in the Round of 32 in the NCAA tournament that season.

Prohm couldn’t quite keep that momentum going in his next two seasons at the helm going 21-10 and 23-11. However, in the 2014-15 season he went 29-6 overall with an amazing 16-0 in the OVC going a very respectable 104-29 through his four years at Murray State.

Murray State has a prolific offense under Prohm. They were 11th in nation in scoring, out of 351, with 79.1 points per game as well as 25th in assists with 15.4 assists per game last season. The defense, on the other hand, left something to be desired allowing 67.6 PPG which is 202nd in the nation.

For reference the Fred Hoiberg led Cyclones were good for 14th and 11th in nation with 78.4 PPG and 16.2 APG respectively. Defensively the Cyclones allowed 68.0 PPG which was 248th nationally.

The Cyclones played against better competition in the Big 12 conference however given Prohm’s proficiency as an offensive mind the Cyclones shouldn’t expect too much of a difference in terms of offensive and defensive ability should Prohm be hired.

Prohm has signed a contract extension trough the 2020 season. Increasing Prohm’s salary from $300,000 to $500,000.

Dana Altman is another name being tossed around to replace The Mayor in Ames.

Altman is the current head coach at Oregon, starting in 2010. Taking his 2012-13 team to the Sweet 16 Altman has acquired a 123-57 record while at Oregon.

What makes Altman an interesting candidate is that he coached in the Big 12 (previously the Big 8) before. Altman coached at Kansas State from 1990-94, he is familiar with the conference and had marginal success taking only one of his teams to the NCAA tournament and accruing a 68-54 record.

After his stint at Kansas State Altman went onto coach Creighton for 16 seasons finishing with a record of 327-176 and seven NCAA tournament appearances.

Altman has been able to get his players to the NBA. Coaching players such as All-Star Kyle Korver as well as Rodney Buford and Anthony Tolliver.

Another offensive minded coach, Altman’s Oregon team in 2014-15 was 26th nationally in scoring with 75.6 PPG. On the other hand Altman’s defense was abysmal allowing 70.8 PPG which is 288th nationally.

Altman is facing a far more serious issue than his defensive struggles, however. Altman and the University of Oregon are being sued for a mishandling of a sexual assault case involving three (former) Oregon basketball players.

Altman signed a three-year contract extension in 2013.

Bryce Drew, Valparaiso. His situation will sound very familiar to Cyclone Nation (his name should too).

Drew starred as a player from 1994-98 at Valparaiso, with his dad, Homer Drew, as the head coach.

Bryce Drew was drafted in the first round to the Houston Rockets where he played two seasons. He then went to the Chicago Bulls for a season where, yes, Drew played with Hoiberg. Finishing off his NBA career, Drew signed with the Charlotte/New Orleans Hornets in 2001. Drew’s final season in the NBA was in 2004 with the Hornets.

After his playing career Drew went onto coach at his alma mater (sound familiar yet?), however unlike Hoiberg, Drew started as an assistant/associate head coach.

In 2011 Homer Drew retired and Bryce took over the reigns at Valparaiso.

Bryce took his team to two NCAA tournaments in his first four years as the head coach with a very respectable 94-42 overall record so far.

But you’re still wondering why his name sounds so familiar. His brother, Scott Drew, is the head coach at Baylor.

If Bryce talks to Scott at all I’m sure he’s well aware of the rigors Big 12 teams face. The high level of competition along with the double-round-robin schedule the conference puts its teams through, the Big 12 is among the toughest conferences to be a successful coach in.

Bryce Drew differs philosophy wise from the system Hoiberg ran. Drew’s Valparaiso team only scored 69.8 PPG which was 104th nationally. On the other side of the coin Drew had a staunch defensive system allowing 59.4 PPG good for 17th nationally.

Interestingly Drew’s team did not cause a lot of turnovers for allowing so few points. Valparaiso only had 6.0 steals per game which was 202nd nationally.

In 2013 Drew signed a 10 year contract with Valparaiso.

I’m not sure who the next ISU men’s basketball coach will be, but what I do know is that the Cyclones have plenty of options all with upsides and downsides.