State of the Cyclones: Reviewing Iowa State men’s basketball


Well fans, it is time for our final State of the Cyclones for this year and it features the most anticipated team of the entire ISU family, men’s basketball.

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Last season was terrific for the team. They went 11-7 in conference and 28-8 overall. They began the year going 14-0 until a road loss to Oklahoma snapped the streak. Ultimately they would win the 2014 Big 12 Tournament, defeating Kansas State, Kansas, and Baylor en route to the title.

They would play well though the entirety of the NCAA tourney as well by blowing out North Carolina Central and eking out a victory over old Roy William’s North Carolina Tar Heels. The team would unfortunately lose to eventual champion Connecticut, but not before playing them to their smallest margin of victory. Truly, it was a year that put Iowa State on the map of college basketball.

Feb 1, 2014; Ames, IA, USA; Iowa State Cyclones guard Monte Morris (11) with the ball against the Oklahoma Sooners in the first half at James H. Hilton Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

Last year’s team was led by Big 12 first-teamers Melvin Ejim and DeAndre Kane, who both graduated. Taking over the leadership role will be Georges Niang, Monte Morris, and Naz Long, but those three will be accompanied by the returning Dustin Hogue and Matt Thomas. Not to be overshadowed by the incumbents, however, is another group of talented transfers and newcomers headlined by Bryce Dejean-Jones from UNLV, Abdel Nader from Northern Illinois, and Jameel McKay of Marquette. I cannot name everyone here, but the team looks to be the deepest during Fred Hoiberg‘s tenure.

Speaking of Hoiberg, the Mayor is among the hottest coaches in America right now after only four seasons, but he is locked up for many years to come with his current contract. He has proven that his unique formula of transfers and youngsters, combined with a fluid NBA-style offense, is capable of excelling at the college level. It certainly doesn’t hurt that Fred played for 10 years in the NBA and has a wealth of connections to utilize.

The team kicks off this season against Wisconsin school Viterbo on November 7th and the excitement could not be more palpable. We will begin more in-depth coverage of the season here shortly in the next week.

There is so much more I could say about this team, but I’ll end this series by thanking everyone who has followed State of the Cyclones. No matter what others might say, Cyclone Nation will always remain strong on the backs of its talented men and women.