If there are any murmurs of concern surrounding Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg's rapid rebuilding process in Ames, Iowa, those murmurs surround the high number of cast-off transfer players Hoiberg has signed since taking the job last summer.
In lieu of a quick recruiting turnaround, Hoiberg has opened his doors to talented but occasionally troubled players like Royce White (who never played a game as a freshman at Minnesota thanks to police charges and bizarre public pronouncements), Chris Allen (who was dismissed by Tom Izzo thanks to supposed attitude issues) and Korie Lucious (likewise suspended by Izzo for "conduct detrimental to the team" earlier this year). All of these guys have Division I talent. All of them are in Ames for a reason. The risk-reward calculus here is pretty clear.
Perhaps it's comforting, then, for Cyclones fans to see their new coach laying some strict ground rules about what does and doesn't fly on his watch. That example came last night, when Hoiberg announced that promising sophomore forward Calvin Godfrey had been dismissed from the team thanks to his arrest for marijuana possession Saturday night.
This wasn't Godfrey's first run-in with discipline. Hoiberg suspended him for three games during the conference season in 2011 due to unspecified rules violations. Godfrey played well after the suspension, and the discipline seemed to have worked, but this run-in gave Hoiberg ample reason to "end his association with the team."
Godfrey or no, the larger tale of the 2011-12 Cyclones will be compelling. Again, there's talent there. But can that talent congeal? Can White avoid YouTube and make good on his ability? Can Allen be a leader with a new group of teammates? Can Hoiberg redeem a group of misfit toys? Is Iowa State college basketball's Memphis Grizzlies? We won't know the answers for nine months. One thing's for sure: Those answers will be fascinating to learn.