By Chris Williams, CycloneFanatic.com Publisher
Fred Hoiberg snagged quite the coup when Jake “Darion” Anderson agreed to play his final year of eligibility at Iowa State. Anderson, a 6-foot-2, 203-pound point guard and former MAC Freshman of the Year, averaged 13.3 points per game during his three seasons at Northern Illinois.
He’ll have one final year to play in Ames next season. How will Anderson’s senior campaign go? That will be a mystery for a while but one thing is for sure. Jake Anderson is pumped up to wear the cardinal and gold.
Here’s a recent text Q&A that CycloneFanatic.com had with Anderson a week ago.
Now that everything has kind of sunk in, are you still excited to be a Cyclone?
JA: Man, I’m more than excited. I am more than excited. But it is a great opportunity for me to play at a higher level of division one basketball.
You have been a very successful player in the MAC for a few years. In your mind, what is going to be your biggest challenge in moving up to the Big 12?
JA: I’d say that the biggest challenge will be adapting to the whole situation quickly. I only get one year to play. I have to do it in such a short amount of time. I think that I’ll be able to adapt quickly. That will be the whole thing for me.
You will get a fresh start in Ames. You get a new coach. A new arena. New fans…Will that help you become a better player on the court?
JA: I think that it will but I still have to play the games to find out that. I am just happy to be going into a situation where I am going to have fun and I think win some games. I want to give something to the whole university at Iowa State to cheer about. I want to carry on the tradition that the Cyclones have had in the past.
I noticed that you mentioned having fun. Do you think that Fred Hoiberg is going to be one of those “player’s coaches” that you hear about?
JA: I think that he will, just for the simple fact that he played in the NBA. That will bring excitement to the team. So many of us have the dream of playing at a high level of basketball. For the simple fact that he played not only at Iowa State but in the NBA, he is a player’s coach in my eyes.
Fred has a track record of being a guy who can instantly improve a player’s offensive game. Does that excite you that maybe he can help get you to the next level?
JA: That right there means more than anything. The game of basketball is about offense and defense. But being able to score the ball is huge. Any player wants to be able to play for a coach like Coach Hoiberg, who has proven himself.
If you were in high school right now and you had dreams of the NBA, does a coach like Fred Hoiberg attract you?
JA: Everybody wants to play at a high level. They all want to go to the NBA. If they can’t make the NBA, they want to play a high level of ball overseas. Him playing in the NBA for several years will help his situation out a lot.
Are you in Ames yet and if not, when do you plan on getting to Ames?
JA: I will be in Ames on the 11th or 12th of June.
I know that you have that one final test to take. When is that all done?
JA: That will be done on June 5.
What do you know about your future teammates?
JA: I have met everyone except Diante. I have done a lot of research not only on the rest of the team but him as well. We have some mutual friends who have told me about his game. I think that we have all of the tools to have a good basketball team. Of course, there are some areas where we might struggle. I am a new player. We have incoming freshmen. That’s what this off time is used for. We need to all get to know one another.
It looks like you’ll have a guard-oriented basketball team next season. College basketball is a guard-dominated game. What are your thoughts on that?
JA: That excites me like nothing else. That really makes the college game much easier. That really ignites a fast break type of game. Everybody can have fun, especially in the open floor.
I read a piece about you and Craig Brackins recently. I know that you two are good friends. What exactly did Craig say to you when you discussed Iowa State?
JA: The first thing that he talked about were the fans. He told me to go out there, do my thing and play like he knows I can play. He said that the fans will be behind me 100 percent. I keep hearing that about the fans and I just want to give them something to cheer about.