Iowa State Remains Undefeated, But Lack of Depth May Become Issue
The No. 13 Iowa State Cyclones improved to a perfect 13-0 on the season and 1-0 in the Big 12, as they defeated the Texas Tech Red Raiders by the score of 73-62. Head coach Fred Hoiberg has to be ecstatic about his team’s undefeated start, as the talented, popular coach has the opportunity to lead his alma mater to a potentially huge season.
Despite the great play of Texas Tech’s Jaye Crockett, who had 20 points and 11 rebounds, the Red Raiders fell apart in the final minutes of the game, after remaining in the game for most of the contest. Dusty Hannahs, with one of the more unique names in college basketball, also contributed 16 points off the bench.
The Cyclones had four players in double-figures, with Georges Niang scoring 17, Melvin Ejim with 16, DeAndre Kane with 15 and Monte Morris off the bench with 11. Niang also had seven rebounds and Kane had six assists.
Despite the win, the fact that Iowa State is so short off the bench, only playing two players, is troubling to me. Especially in Big 12 games, depth becomes all the more important when players get injured and into foul trouble in the physical nature of the conference. However, at the end of the day, the team hasn’t lost yet, and has had some impressive victories. I will look for this team to remain around the top 10 for the next few weeks. Hoiberg has them playing smart and energized, as evidenced by their 24-for-29 free throw performance while giving up a 6-for-8 performance from Texas Tech.
The Cyclones take to the court on Tuesday, when they square off against the Baylor Bears at home. That should be yet another tough matchup on the schedule for Iowa State. Let’s see if they can keep it rolling. Tip off is at 7:00 p.m. ET.