Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Geno's Preseason Top Ten- No. 8 Iowa State Cyclones

                                                          Photo Credit: Iowa State Athletics

No. 8 Iowa State Cyclones
2013-14 Record: 28-8 overall (11-7 Big 12 Conference)
Result: 81-76 loss in the regional semifinal of the NCAA Tournament to No. 7-seeded Connecticut.
Key Games:
Dec. 12 at Iowa
Jan. 14 at Baylor
Jan. 17 vs. Kansas
Feb. 2 at Kansas
Feb. 25 vs. Baylor

Key Losses: Melvin Ejim (17.8 PPG and 8.4 RPG) and DeAndre Kane (17.1 PPG and 6.8 RPG)

After an unexpected end to the 2013-14 season in the regional semifinal of the NCAA Tournament to UConn, Iowa State knew it was in for changes.
Despite losing its top two scorers Melvin Ejim and DeAndre Kane, Iowa State will have to rely primarily on 6-8 forward Georges Niang to carry the majority of the load this season.
The junior averaged 16.7 points and 4.5 rebounds last season and will be expected to be a part of coach Fred Hoiberg’s core.
Expect transfer Bryce Dejean-Jones from UNLV to also make up for the losses of Kane and Ejim.
In 31 games last season, the senior guard started 26 games for the Rebels and averaged a team-high 13.6 points and grabbed 3.7 rebounds. 
Another transfer to watch out for is 6-7 guard/forward Abdel Nader, a transfer from Northern Illinois, who led the team in scoring with 13.1 points in the 2012-13 season.
Hoiberg expects Nader to play multiple positions on the floor.
“I see us using Abdel as a perimeter guy and someone that can go inside,” Hoiberg said on “We’ve had a lot of success with guys that can make plays from the four-spot and I think that is something that Abdel can do.”
Monte’ Morris will also play a key role for the Cyclones. Morris broke into the starting five in February and led the team in steals with 46.
“Monte’ is a flat-out winner,” Hoiberg said on “He will do whatever it takes to win basketball games.”
Other players to watch out for Iowa State are guards Naz Long and Matt Thomas. 
Long averaged 7.1 points and shot 40 percent from long range, while Thomas averaged 5.5 points as a freshman.
In terms of incoming freshman, Clayton Custer (Blue Valley Northwest High School- Overland Park, KS) is the main player to watch out for. The 6-1 point guard averaged 19.4 points and 4.1 rebounds.

Projected Starting Lineup:
G Monte’ Morris 6-2 170
G Bryce Dejean-Jones 6-6 210
F Dustin Hogue 6-6 220
F Georges Niang 6-8 230
F Jameel McKay 6-9 215

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