Big 12 Basketball

Jamie Pollard: ‘Couldn’t Script’ Iowa State’s Basketball Start Any Better

NCAA Football: Northern Iowa at Iowa State

Jamie Pollard talked about the Iowa State Cyclones’ 6-0 start in men’s basketball and hiring T.J. Otzelberger during the Cyclone Coaches Radio Show on Monday.

Pollard’s quotes from the broadcast were compiled and posted by

Pollard had a wide-ranging conversation with the hosts on a variety of Iowa State topics, but the basketball team was fresh on their minds after learning Monday that the Cyclones were in the AP Top 25 for the first time since February of 2019, and that Gabe Kalscheur was the Big 12 Player and Newcomer of the Week.


Pollard said he didn’t hire Otzelberger in March because he was hoping for a 6-0 start, or for two straight wins over ranked teams for that matter. He also acknowledged that he heard the whispers about hiring ‘his friend’ when he made the decision in March:

“It’s a little Hollywood-ish. You couldn’t script it any better, right? Anybody that said they predicted that was going to happen, other than, maybe, TJ, but I don’t think he would, because if you listen to him, I’m not going to say he doesn’t care that they’re 6-0, but he’s got that Matt (Campbell) mentality of we’re going to worry about the daily habits, right? But, I don’t know NFTs or crypto-currency, but if I could be paid for everybody that’s texted me, emailed me or said to me, ‘Oh, it’s awesome. I knew he was going to be a good hire.’ I just kind of chuckled under my breath and remember six months ago it was, ‘Pollard hired his friend. Pollard did it on the cheap. TJ couldn’t win at UNLV.’ I guess enjoy the moment because people will, first time we lose it will be, ‘Why aren’t we doing this?’”

Pollard also made it clear why he hired Otzelberger in the first place:

“We hired TJ because of everything he’s done since he got here, which is doing it the right way, believes in this place, understands what it takes to be good here and then goes out there and is no-nonsense executing it.”

So far, so good. The Cyclones are preparing to host Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Wednesday night.

You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.

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