Kansas and Baylor have been the talk of the Big-12 this season and it is a shame because Iowa State is really good. Everyone discounted the Cyclones after graduating stalwart Georges Niang but Monte Morris and Deonte Burton have done nothing but improve to make up for the loss. I am extremely high on Iowa State this year and believe they can make a nice run in the tournament.
Strength: Monte Morris
This is a slam dunk home run. Monte Morris has gone weeks without committing a turnover and even West Virginia has struggled to get him out of control. Morris has always been allergic to turnovers but his scoring and shot making ability have improved greatly since last year. This year he has shot over 40% from the outside making him unstoppable. If the wheels aren’t turning for the rest of the Cyclones look for Morris to step up and get everyone going with crisp passing and scoring.
Weakness: Fouls and Front Court
The backcourt is the backbone of this team and does a great job defending without fouling. The front court is very thin and struggles keeping their man off the free throw line. This is a two pronged issue as it gives opponents easy opportunities at the foul line and it puts their thin front court in foul trouble. The Cyclones only play three bigs in their rotation and all of them are 6’8″. The Big-12 was not full of talented big men this year with Jarrett Allen being the only true scoring threat. Allen put up 17 points with 9 rebounds in one matchup and 11 points with 7 rebounds in the other matchup with the Cyclones. Facing a team with polished big men in the tournament is the achilles heal of this team.