Iowa State Cyclones: NCAA Tournament Team Preview

Iowa State Cyclones NCAAIowa State University Cyclones ( 3 Seed, East Bracket)

Record: 26-7 (11-7 Big Ten)

Coach: Fred Hoiberg

Tournament Berth:  Big 12 Automatic

Big Wins: Michigan, BYU, Iowa, Baylor, Kansas, Oklahoma State

Big Loses: Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, West Virginia

The Iowa State Cyclones are ranked no. 16 in both the Associated Press and USA Today polls.   They probably deserve a higher ranking now that they have won the Big 12 post-season tournament, beating Kansas in the semi-finals, and Baylor in the finals. Kansas will undoubtedly be in the NCAA tournament field, and most experts expect Baylor to be there too.

The Cyclones began the season strong, reeling off 13 straight wins in non-conference and the first two games of the Big 12 schedules. Then they lost four of seven games in January, including three in a row to Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas. In fact, Kansas accounted for two of those four losses in the month.  But starting February 1 the team went 11-3, capping it off with the championship in the Big 12 tournament.

Top Players

POINTS

PPG

FG%

FT%

3PT%

Melvin Ejim

18.4

.509

.776

.336

DeAndre Kane

17.0

.491

.637

.400

REBOUNDS

REB

OFF

DEF

BPG

Dustin Hogue

8.7

2.4

6.3

0.6

Melvin Ejim

8.5

2.7

5.8

0.7

ASSISTS

APG

SPG

TO

AST/TO

Dustin Kane

5.8

1.3

2.8

2.1

Monte Morris

3.8

1.3

0.7

5.5

Starting Five

F – Melvin Ejim

F – Dustin Hogue

F – Georges Niang

G – Monte Morris

G – DeAndre Kane

Who’s Hot:  In their final two games in the Big 12 tourney, the Cyclones used a deadly outside game to get them through the first half, then pounded the paint in the second half. The Cyclones are tops in the nation in assists, averaging almost 19 per game. They’re also one of the best scoring teams in the country, pouring in an average of 83.2 per game. In beating Kansas in the semi-finals, Iowa State scored 94 points—the most that has been scored on the Jayhawks this season.

Who’s Not: Defense has not been a strong point. The team is giving up 73.9 points per game, good for a ranking out of the top 250 in the NCAA. Even though they rank second in rebounds per game, their shot-blocking is not an asset. The Cyclones average only three per game, putting them near the bottom of the league.

Outlook:  The Cyclones seem to have found a winning combination during the post-season Big 12 tourney.  They ended the season losing two out of their last three games, losing on the road to Kansas State and Baylor, but then finding a way to win their final game at home against a hot Oklahoma State team in overtime. In winning the Big 12 tournament as the fourth seed, the Cyclones became the first team in the history of the Big 12 tournament to win with a seed lower than 3. It was obvious that a vocal crowd of fans who made the trip from Ames, Iowa to Kansas City had a lot to do with the team’s performance, and their success in the NCAA tournament might depend on where, geographically, the team will be playing their tournament games. A position in the Midwest region will go a long way in helping determine how far the team advances in 2014.

Commentary by Chuck Podhaisky
@Chuck_pod

Sources:
ESPN
Chicago Tribune
Kansas City Star

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.