Former Iowa State assistant basketball coach Jim Hallihan says he was shocked when he heard Greg McDermott was leaving I.S.U. for Creighton. McDermott will be introduced later this morning at a news conference in Omaha. Hallihan says he was surprised in part because McDermott had just hired Nick Nurse and Jeff Grayer as assistant coaches late last week.

Hallihan says he thought McDermott was the guy and there wasn’t anything else out there when he signed the two coaches. But he says once it happened, it made a lot of sense.

Hallihan says the Cyclone job will generate a lot of interest and it may be time to find the basketball version of Paul Rhoads. He says Rhoads is from Iowa and wants to be at Iowa State, and that’s what they need to find. He says they also need to find someone who understands the problems they will face coming in.

Hallihan believes Athletic Director  Jamie Pollard will move quickly to find a replacement, as he says there are a lot of things up in the air, as there were a lot of good players who came in, and they need a coach to retain those players. Hallihan says he selfishly is worried about the future of Jeff Grayer and wants him to stay involved. Hallihan coached Grayer when he worked for former I.S.U. coach Johnny Orr.