The Cyclones have 10 losses, but all but three of them came against ranked teams. However, one of those losses came against the lowly Texas Tech Red Raiders. Counteract that with a couple of wins against the Cowboys and No.9 Kansas State Wildcats and ISU being back in the conversation isn’t so hard to fathom anymore.
Nobody thought a regular-season-ending game against the West Virginia Mountaineers would be so much of a threat, but a loss to TTU still leaves the Cyclones subject to a little criticism.
Another point against Iowa State is the fact that they play in a somewhat loaded Big 12 Conference this season.
ISU is one of five Big 12 teams with at least 10 conference wins and all five have at least 20 wins overall. The Cyclones benefitted greatly from the Big 12 realignment this past season and the coaching of Fred Hoiberg is another reason for Iowa State’s success. The Cyclones legend has ISU with back-to-back 20-win seasons in just his third year at the helm.
Let’s not forget the play of Georges Niang, Will Clyburn and Tyrus McGee, all of whom average double-digits in scoring and none of whom shoot below 44-percent from the field and 70-percent from the free-throw line.
Iowa State can do big things if they make the NCAA Tournament, so all they need is the chance to do so.
Mike Gillmeister can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter:@mgillmeiRantCBB. Like his Facebook page here for updates on Big 12/A-10 men’s basketball.