The Iowa State men are preparing to face Minnesota Friday in the N-C-A-A tournament in just the second season after the program appeared to be in turmoil with the firing of head coach Larry Eustachy. Wayne Morgan had been an assistant under Eustachy for one year and eventually took over the Cyclone program when his boss was fired. Morgan says he just tried to let everyone know that things would be “okay.”Morgan says he was able to calm things down and then when they won some games, people started to think things would be okay. He says getting to the final four of the N-I-T last year made people believe they were on the right track. Morgan says he thought they’d eventually be back to the N-C-A-A tourney. He says he didn’t know if he thought they could do it in two years, but thought they could get back as they built the team. He says the goal now is to get to the point where they’re taking a bid to the N-C-A-A for granted and then are trying to win the tournament. I-S-U’s return to the “Big Dance” coincides with Iowa’s and U-N-I’s second straight trip. He says, “this state is a hotbed for basketball, everybody in the state loves it.” Morgan says it gives the whole state a chance to come together and root like crazy. Morgan says his coaches are busy watching film to get some more knowledge of Minnesota. He says they have a seven-foot center and guys who can get up and down the floor. Morgan says they’ll figure out what the Gophers do and try to make adjustments to how they play. I-S-U faces Minnesota at 11-30 A.M. Friday.
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