AMES, Iowa – Iowa State Men’s Head Basketball Coach T.J. Otzelberger spoke to the media Thursday regarding the dismissal of senior Caleb Grill from the team on Wednesday.
“Caleb and I have known each other probably from around six years,” said Otzelberger. “We’ve had a relationship and you develop a bond here for somebody you want, you want them to be successful. I’ve had a belief in him a long time, enough that I wanted him to be here with us at Iowa State.”
Otzelberger said this came down to what is in the best interest of the ISU Men’s Basketball Program.
“As much as I want a certain individual, like Caleb, whom I’ve known so long to be successful, with our team, we’ve got a lot in front of this, our guys have a tremendous focus, had a great practice this morning, and we have a great opportunity in front of us Saturday. I’m always going to be there for Caleb, I’m always going to support him and continue to support him, based on the relationship that goes back a number of years.”
Otzelberger said the team’s focus is now on the game Saturday at Baylor.
Thursday, Grill posted on social media that he’d been dealing with some mental health issues.
“What I can say, is regarding mental health, it’s important to me that all the young men in our program understand that mental health is a priority for us, and well-being in mental ability to be at their best, and feel good as something we treat very seriously and care about.”
Otzelberger was asked who would be asked to step up to fill Grill’s minutes, (he played approximately 30 minutes each game.) His answer to the question, “everybody.”
He said some players will be getting more minutes. His main overall goal is to recapture the defensive intensity which helped the team knock off some highly-ranked teams this year. He said if the defensive pressure is there, the offense will come.