Iowa State NCAAB Futures Shaken by Health Concerns

David Lawrence

Tuesday, July 22, 2014 1:15 PM UTC

Tuesday, Jul. 22, 2014 1:15 PM UTC

Great coaching can make or break a team, so will the recent health concerns of Iowa State's Coach Hoiberg be enough to doom this team's shot at a title run? While the betting odds are not in their favor, this news surely will not help the Cyclones' cause.

The head coach of the Iowa State Cyclones had to have a pacemaker replaced this past week. It’s a story that’s cracked the first page of headlines at college basketball websites and could affect the betting lines. After all, under coach Fred Hoiberg, Iowa State has resurfaced as a NCAA championship contender with odds of 25/1 to win it all in 2014-15. Only nine teams are ahead of them in that lineup.

What’s some of the history and perspective behind this event, and what does it mean for Iowa State going forward?

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So What’s The Story Behind The Story?
Fred Hoiberg is only 41-years-old, so why does he need a pacemaker? Here’s the background. A month after finishing his first season as an NBA player with the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2005, Hoiberg was informed that he had what is called an aortic root aneurysm. That’s obviously a reference to the aorta and the overall functioning of the heart. Surgery was immediately needed, and during the procedure, complications arose, enough that a pacemaker had to be inserted in order to regulate blood flow and the heart’s rhythms. This is the pacemaker that had to be replaced last week.

Would you have thought that Hoiberg had major surgery in his early 30’s? You wouldn’t have known it from the way in which the former Timberwolf player and executive (he went to Minnesota’s front office after his playing days ended) has gone about his business as Iowa State’s head coach. Calmly and effectively, Hoiberg has presided over an up-tempo offense that spreads the floor and tries to free up three-point shooters who can then attack with the dribble if the defense extends its pressure in order to take away the long ball. Hoiberg has not had any real health problems over the past several years. Now that this surgery has been taken care of, he should be set for the near future.

Last time the Hawkeyes made the news it involved legal issues.

So What Does This Mean For Iowa State?
With Hoiberg seemingly set for many more seasons at Iowa State, the Cyclones should consider themselves very fortunate. Hoiberg’s name wasn’t directly linked to a specific NBA head coach opening over the past few months, but his name definitely came up in general conversations as a possibility for a few teams. Hoiberg is immensely respected and he has that much of a reputation in basketball circles. If Iowa State can hold on to him for several more seasons, the Cyclones should be positioned to compete with Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma, and Baylor for Big 12 titles. Iowa State’s offense is so good that most defenses in the conference probably aren’t going to have sufficient answers for it. Hoiberg draws up great sets and he’s going to continue to get some of the top offensive players to come to the cornfields of Iowa out of high school because of his experience in the NBA. Players know that when they play for Hoiberg, they can make the leap to the NBA if they apply themselves and encounter success in college. 


How To Bet The News
It’s very reassuring to see Iowa State have a healthy Hoiberg lined up for the coming season. Iowa State should very definitely continue to be an NCAA tournament team under Hoiberg. That is a safe bet. The tricky part is if one should bet on the Cyclones to be a Sweet 16 team. The NCAA basketball odds aren’t great, but with Hoiberg being healthy, they’re not microscopic, either. They’re quite a bit better than that.

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