Whilst the 2020 season was a year to forget for the Iowa State Basketball Cyclones, the team enter a new era ahead of the 2021 campaign and one that should immediately be better than the disaster that they had last year.
The Cyclones were nothing but shambolic whilst on the court last season under Steve Prohm, as the sixth-year coach with the team only managed to guide his team of players to a 2-22 record. Prohm has since been fired from his position, although the College Basketball team may have had no alternative after they went 0-18 in the Big 12 conference.
The unwanted records continued to tumble during the 2020 season with it being their first winless Big 12 conference season since 2014, whilst it was also the worst season to have been experienced in the last 45 years. To further add to the misery that had been suffered on the court, it was the lowest win total that Iowa State had managed to achieve since the 1920s.
Therefore, it is hardly a surprise that Prohm was dismissed as Head Coach and replaced by TJ Otzelberger, with the former Assistant Head Coach at ISU set to bring a wind of change to the College program. Whilst there might be some excitement regarding his appointment, it would be wise to remember that there is plenty of work to do with the team.
Nonetheless, whilst the sportsbook odds of +25000 have Iowa State as huge outside challengers to be the Big 12 Conference winners, there will be plenty of optimism around Otzelberger which may attract those keen to use the free bet offers Pennsylvania has available to them as a welcome bonus!
The optimism is not far-fetched, either, as the new Head Coach has already been able to have a tangible impact on the team via his reputation and personality. He is well-liked by players and fans, has a historical connection with the College Basketball program and could be the perfect leader to help turn the Cyclones around and immediately sweep aside the 2-22 record of last season.
Recruitment has been excellent
Coach Otzelberger could not have walked into a worse situation ahead of the 2021/22 Big 12 Conference season as there has already been an extremely high turnover of players that he has needed to experience. Nine players have either transferred or graduated since the last season, which has meant he has had to essentially start the program from the very beginning.
However, this may have been a blessing in disguise for the coach, as he has been able to recruit a team that he wants and can mould to play the systems and plays that he devises, thus potentially getting the new era of Cyclone basketball underway.
Moreover, his recruitment has been completed effectively, although it helps that Otzelberger prides himself on it, as he has been able to assemble a team that has plenty of raw talent. The only downside that he may face early on is that they will need time to work together, to learn the tactics and methods of their coach and perhaps even embrace each other.
Nonetheless, the coach has created a team that signals that Iowa State were embarrassed about what happened last season on the court and that they will be looking to be competitive from the very first match in the 2021/22 campaign.
What can be expected of the Cyclones in 2021/22?
As given by the size of the odds that have been made available, it would seem incredibly unlikely that a miracle will happen for Iowa State and that they go on to win the Big 12 Conference this season. However, it should not all be considered bad news.
The Cyclones already look immediately better than they did last season and Otzelberger is going to play a huge role in ensuring the College Basketball program can be considered a success this season. He has recruited well and his own presence will likely give everyone a much-needed lift.
Everyone knows that the bare minimum requirement will be to improve on last season’s poor efforts and anything more than that would have to be thought of as a bonus. Whilst the 21/22 campaign might just be about consolidating what they have now, future seasons could see Iowa State Cyclones push on and provide the other teams in the division a challenge.