Senior guard Tyrus McGee. (AP Photo/Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, Zach Long)
Iowa State Cyclones (15-6, 5-3 in the Big 12)
Key Wins: Brigham Young, Kansas State, Baylor
Hello Fred Hoiberg and company and welcome to the No. 4 spot!
Everyone underestimates this squad, but they continue to surprise. Last season, the Iowa State Cyclones made it to the Third Round of the NCAA Tournament after upsetting UCONN in the Second Round.
Iowa State has put themselves in a good position to go to the tournament again after defeating Kansas State and Baylor in the same week. The Hilton Coliseum magic is back in Ames as the Cyclones have extended their home game winning streak to 19.
When I look at the Cyclones, I can’t help but notice their statistics. They are ranked in the Top 15 in the categories of points per game, rebounds per game and assists per game. The Cyclones average 78.5 points per game, 40.4 rebounds per game and 16.2 assists per game.
The Cyclones have been led this season by Utah transfer Will Clyburn. The senior guard has averaged 15.0 points per game, 7.6 rebounds per game and 2.3 assists per game. In Iowa State’s wins against Kansas State and Baylor, Clyburn averaged 26.0 points.
Freshman forward Georges Niang, junior forward Melvin Ejim, senior guard Korie Lucious, and sixth man Senior guard Tyrus McGee have helped lead this Cyclone team as well.
Niang is averaging 11.6 points per game and 5.0 rebounds per game. Ejim is also averaging over ten points a game with 10.1 and has averaged an impressive 9.4 rebounds per game.
Lucious, who sat out a season after transferring from Michigan State, has adapted well and is averaging 9.7 points per game, along with 5.5 assists per game. McGee has averaged an impressive 12.3 points per game and 3.5 rebounds per game coming off of the bench.
Iowa State needs to keep the momentum up and continue to win crucial conference games. Their next two games will be important as they host Oklahoma tonight and travel to play at Kansas State on Saturday. Going 6-4 in their last ten games could be good enough to put them in the NCAA Tournament.
Their last three of four games will be against Kansas, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. Iowa State cannot afford to have any bad losses against Texas, TCU or Texas Tech during this ten game span.
If the Cyclones make the NCAA Tournament they could be a potential Third Round or Sweet Sixteen team.