Snarky headlines aside, it was nice to finally see one of Iowa State's revenue sports win at something. It wasn't exactly pretty from start to finish, but the Cyclones overcame a three-point half time deficit and poured in 54 second half points en route to a 90-68 win.
With a hobbled Melvin Ejim sitting on the sidelines, the Cyclones dominated the glass 49-36 with DeAndre Kane snagging a team-high 10. The entire back court actually rebounded well. Naz Long pulled down 8 and Monte Morris grabbed 5.
What Looked Good
Let's start with Kane. In his first game in a Cyclone uniform, Kane posted a double-double going for 19 and 10 in only 20 minutes. Kane kept Iowa State in the game in the first half when nothing was going well by attacking the basket and ripping down what seemed like every rebound.
How about the play of freshman guards Matt Thomas and Monte Morris? We got a glimpse at just how prolific of a shooter Thomas is as he drained 3-4 from down town. Morris on the other hand displayed the type of court awareness and savy that comes with being a two-time state champion and former Mr. Basketball in the state of Michigan. Although Morris didn't start, he saw extended minutes off the bench and instead of looking like the point guard of the future, he looked like the point guard of right damn now. Very excited to watch this pair grow this season.
Welcome back to productivity Percy Gibson. It wasn't a perfect performance, but Percy played solid minutes and after what we saw last season and especially with Ejim's injury, it was a relief to see the big lefty playing well.
Things That Made Me Yell Profanities
Georges Niang grabbed 7 boards and dished out 6 assists, but overall, he had a pretty sloppy night, shooting just 5-15, which included 0-4 from outside and turning the ball over 5 times. I'm not too concerned about Niang, but when Iowa State faces better competition, Niang is going to have to raise his level of play.
Defensively, it was a mixed bag. Iowa State had a much better effort in the second half, but the defense in the first half isn't going to allow the Cyclones to play winning basketball. Augustana's 39 points in the opening stanza was unacceptable. Against a better team, it would have been 50.
Iowa State led the nation in made three-point attempts a season ago, but for the first 20 minutes, I was a little nervous. ISU shot 0-8 in the first half, then responded by hitting six of their next seven, then missed their final nine. Hopefully we don't have to look forward to that type of streaky shooting.
Full game stats are available here, and we'll see you back here next Sunday when Iowa State tips things off for real against UNC-Wilmington.