Big 12 Power Rankings: Iowa State Still Strong Despite Upset in Lubbock

Iowa State suffered the biggest upset this past week in the Big 12, but losing the back end of a two-game road trip in conference play isn’t a reason to overreact. Even if it is against Texas Tech.

Jan 23, 2013; Lubbock, TX, USA; Iowa State Cyclones guard Korie Lucious (13) goes up for a basket against Texas Tech Red Raiders guard Josh Gray (5) in the first half at the United Spirit Arena. Mandatory Credit: Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

What fans need to remember is that this team is young overall, and this is Korie Lucious’ first season leading a team at point guard. He’s gotten better since the first couple games this season, but when talent improves he’s going to have nights where he will struggle. It’s easy to point to his turnovers and lack of assists, but remember two of his three 3-point shots came in the clutch to keep the Cyclones in it against the Red Raiders.

3-point shots didn’t fall most of the night and collectively the team should have had better production grabbing the offensive boards. Shot selection was horrible especially coming out of the gate. Texas Tech shouldn’t have won the rebounding margin, and that’s what gave Iowa State the loss.

But don’t say the season is over. There’s plenty of conference play left, and this team has put solid efforts in against Kansas and one of the toughest teams they’ll play defensively against, Texas. All they need to do is close out games more convincingly, and not let teams like West Virginia hang around when they have them on the ropes.

“Every team is going to have some losses,” Melvin Ejim said on Big12Sports.com’s weekend outlook. “We’ve just got to put it behind us, focus on the games ahead. Just continue to win. We can’t let this start a downward trend of losing.

So for that, the Cyclones won’t fall far in the rankings. Oklahoma had the better week and is now tied with Kansas State after the Wildcats lost a tough game against Kansas. There a severe drop-off in talent once you get past Oklahoma State. While I believe the Cowboys won’t get an NCAA bid, the last four teams in this conference will struggle to get into a postseason tournament.

Big 12 Power Rankings

  1. Kansas (17-1, 5-0) LW: 1
  2. Kansas State (15-3, 4-1) LW: 2
  3. Oklahoma (13-4, 4-1) LW: 4
  4. Iowa State (13-5, 3-2) LW: 3
  5. Baylor (13-5, 4-1) LW: 6
  6. Oklahoma State (12-5, 2-3) LW: 5
  7. West Virginia (9-9, 2-3) LW: 7
  8. Texas Tech (9-8, 2-4) LW: 9
  9. Texas (8-10, 0-5) LW: 8
  10. TCU (9-10, 0-6) LW: 10

 

Brian Spaen is the lead editor of Clones Confidential. Get more Cyclones coverage by following us on Twitter.

 

Topics: Basketball, Iowa State Cyclones, Korie Lucious

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