Iowa State took its first nonconference loss in a long time on Tuesday night as they fell to Maryland in the CBE Hall of Fame Classic Championship.
Another slow start doomed Iowa State, who looked flat most of the evening and could not get any runs going. They only shot 29 percent from the field, but only part of that was due to Maryland’s post defense. The telling stat is 22 percent from 3-point range, and after watching the game, it was easy to see that nobody really had any legs tonight. Maryland did rebound and harass effectively, but they didn’t do anything special to win the game.
Nov 24, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Iowa State Cyclones guard Bryce Dejean-Jones (13) shoots a layup and draws a foul from Alabama Crimson Tide forward Shannon Hale (11) during the first half at Sprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Despite the loss and poor offense, Bryce Dejean-Jones is still making his case for best newcomer in the Big 12. He scored a game-high 17 points to lead all scorers and shot 6 of 12 from the field. He didn’t get a ton of help though. Georges Niang had 10 and Daniel Hogue contributed nine off the bench, but most everyone looked tired and off-kilter in their second game in as many nights.
I was mostly accurate in predicting Maryland’s regression to the season averages. Melo Trimble came back to earth with 11 points after scoring 31 against Arizona State. The difference was everyone else decided they wanted to make threes; the Terrapins shot 42 percent from distance. This is an aberration for both their offense and Iowa State’s defense, which will improve with more time together.
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While it isn’t fun to lose against a very average team that will probably be middle-of-the-pack in the Big Ten, Iowa State still has plenty of talent to burn. Tonight was just a cold one shooting-wise, and those happen occasionally. I don’t see too many rotation or style changes going into the next game against Lamar at Hilton Colosseum on December 2nd (7:00 PM CT, Cyclones.tv).
Don’t despair, fellow Cyclones, as there are still plenty of games to settle things down before the real season starts. Be sure to visit Clones Confidential for any and all Cyclone previews and analysis.