Fred Hoiberg

Fred Hoiberg, contract buyouts, and a shot at the NBA?

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When dealing with head coaching contracts these days, the key number to look for isn’t the number of years that he signs for.

It’s the buyout.

Rare is the case when a coach actually lives out the entirety of his contract. Usually, he leaves for a better job or ends up getting fired, which is why that buyout number becomes so important. How expensive will it be to make a change?

Fred Hoiberg is a perfect example. He signed a 10-year, $20 million contract extension with Iowa State in March, but it wasn’t until this week that we found out the numbers surrounding his contract. Hoiberg has a $2 million buyout if he leaves Ames, IA, for another school, which is a number big enough that it should keep Hoiberg a Cyclone for a long, long time. That’s a lot of money for a school — or a coach — to pony up.

But Hoiberg’s buyout if he leaves for an NBA job is just $500,000, which is significant for two reasons: A) Many people believe that Hoiberg’s next destination is going to be the NBA, and B) That kind of money is pocket change for an NBA franchise. From’s Myron Medcalf:

During our conversation in Ames a few months ago, he mentioned that he initially thought he’d begin his career in the NBA.

And I honestly believe that’s his next step. The buyout might deter college teams, but the NBA — he was an executive with the Minnesota Timberwolves after he retired in 2006 due to a heart condition — could be his final destination.

I think Hoiberg is one of the top young head coaches in America. He’s led the Cyclones to consecutive NCAA tournament appearances. And he’s enhanced the program’s recruiting pool.

But he’s an NBA coach or executive.

Bottom-line: Hoiberg isn’t leaving Iowa State for another college. That $2 million buyout could be $2, and I don’t think it would matter. He’s was born and raised in Ames. He was a Cyclone fan growing up and played his college ball there. His family is in the area. There’s a reason he’s called ‘The Mayor’.

If Duke or North Carolina came calling, that may be a different story.

But two trips to the NCAA tournament at Iowa State isn’t going to get you a job with one of the bluebloods.

For a guy that’s played in the NBA and has spent time as an executive in the NBA, that may be enough to get him some consideration for a job at that level.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

POSTERIZED: Wyoming’s Josh Adams takes flight

Josh Adams
Associated Press
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Not only is Wyoming senior guard Josh Adams the lone returning starter from a team that won the Mountain West tournament last season, but he’s also one of college basketball’s best dunkers. And if anyone may have forgotten about his jumping ability, Adams put it on display Saturday during the Cowboys’ win over Montana State.

After splitting two Montana State players at the top of the key Adams attacked the basket, dunking with two hands over a late-arriving help-side defender. If you’re going to rotate over, have to do it quicker than that.

Video credit: Wyoming Athletics

Defensive progress will determine No. 4 Iowa State’s ceiling

Monte Morris
Associated Press
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Even with the coaching change from Fred Hoiberg to Steve Prohm, No. 4 Iowa State remains one of the nation’s best offensive teams. Given their skills on that end of the floor many teams find it tough to go score for score with the Cyclones, and that’s what happened to Illinois in Iowa State’s 84-73 win in the Emerald Coast Classic title game.

Georges Niang scored 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds, with Monté Morris adding 20, nine rebounds and six assists and Abdel Nader 18 points as the Cyclones moved to 5-0 on the season. The three-pointers weren’t falling in the second half, as Iowa State shot 0-f0r-12, but they shot 19-for-24 inside of the arc to pull away from a team that lost big man Mike Thorne Jr. late in the first half to a left knee injury.

Illinois’ loss of size in the paint opened things up offensively for Iowa State, and the Cyclones took advantage. But where this group grabbed control of the game was on the defensive end of the floor, and that will be the key for a team with Big 12 and national title aspirations.

Nader took on the responsibility of defending Illinois’ Malcolm Hill (20 points) in the second half and did a solid job of keeping the junior wing in check, with that serving as the spark to a 12-2 run that put the game away. There’s no denying that the Cyclones can put points on the board; most of the talent from last season is back and the productivity on that end of the floor hasn’t changed as a result. Niang’s one of the nation’s best forwards, and both Morris (who now ranks among the country’s best point guards) and Nader have taken significant strides in their respective games.

Iowa State will add Deonte Burton in December, giving them another option to call upon. Front court depth is a bit of a concern, as Iowa State can ill afford to lose a Niang or Jameel McKay, but there’s enough on the roster to compensate for that and force mismatches in other areas.

But the biggest question for this group is how effective they can become at stringing together stops. Illinois certainly had its moments in both halves Saturday night, but Iowa State also showed during the game’s decisive stretch that they can step up defensively. The key now is to do so consistently, and if that occurs the Cyclones can be a threat both within the Big 12 and nationally.