Iowa State apparently hosted Minnesota in a top secret scrimmage on Sunday afternoon, except it wasn't really much of a secret at all. It was so not secret that stats were leaked out along with details about the competition and there was even a final score as the Cyclones supposedly prevailed, 103-78.
Chris Williams from Cyclone Fanatic and Travis Hines from The Ames Tribune filled in the gaps for the public on what went down. First, from Williams' piece:
--- Iowa State defeated Minnesota 103-78.
--- Bryce Dejean-Jones led the Cyclones in scoring with 19 points. The UNLV transfer also had nine rebounds while going 7-of-11 from the floor.
--- Dustin Hogue had 16 points for the Cyclones.
--- One of the best players in the nation, Iowa State's Georges Niang, only played 19 minutes while collecting six points along the way. A separate source said that Niang and Naz Long were not very active, which made the 25-point Iowa State victory over a good Big Ten team even more impressive.
--- Iowa State's sophomore point guard picked up right where he left off last March. Morris had 13 points and five assists to only one turnover.
--- I'm told that surprisingly, Daniel Edozie had nine and six for the Cyclones in 16 minutes.
--- Iowa State's 7-foot freshman out of Greece, Georgios Tsalmpouris, played 10 minutes for the Cyclones.
--- Due to NCAA rules, Marquette transfer Jameel McKay did not participate. He will be eligible to play on Dec. 20.
--- Matt Thomas and Abdel Nader did play, however. Both men will miss next Friday's exhibition and the first two games of the season due to a suspension. Nader had 11 & six while Thomas went 3-for-4 from the floor. Rumblings have insisted that Thomas has had an excellent preseason for the Cyclones.
--- A friend to the Cyclone Fanatic Podcast, Travis Hines of the Ames Tribune, reported that this was Iowa State's starting lineup: Morris, Dejean-Jones, Long, Hogue & Niang.
--- Hines also reported on Twitter that: "Sounds like the scrimmage was just a straight-up 40 minute game, too. Not much manipulation of time/circumstance."
And now some of the juicier notes from Hines' piece:
- Dejean-Jones scored 19 points on 7 of 11 shooting while also grabbing nine boards, dishing out four assists and registering three steals. I'm told his shot selection has been very strong recently.
- Morris tallied 13 points, five assists and had just one turnover. Sounds like he mostly dominated his matchup with Minnesota's senior PG Deandre Mathieu. Hearing that Morris has really turned it on in the last 7-10 days in practice.
- Sherron Dorsey-Walker played reasonably well. The first two games with Matt Thomas and Abdel Nader sitting due to suspension will be huge in determining his role this season.
- Freshman point guard Clayton Custer got subbed in the final few minutes of the first half and played some in the second. Custer missed more than two weeks while dealing with mono. A freshman missing so much time so early in his career puts him in a tough spot to try to get up to speed. I'm not sure now that it's a foregone conclusion he'll be getting backup PG minutes right from the start. I think ISU is happy with him thus far, but being unable to practice for such a long stretch just creates a big hill to climb.
- Sounds like the Cyclones defended reasonably well, though there remains room for improvement in some areas. The biggest stride ISU might make defensively, though, is getting McKay on the floor in January.
- Maybe the most interesting thing I heard today: The Cyclones are playing really, really fast. Word is they're playing maybe faster than any other Fred Hoiberg team. That's really fast. A lot of credit goes to Morris for pushing the pace.
There's certainly a lot to take in there. As is always the case, it's probably best not to get too carried away with what happens in one of these scrimmages, but if Iowa State truly dominated like it appears they did, that's an incredibly encouraging sign of what this season may hold in store.
In case you're not too familiar with Minnesota, most magazines are projecting the Gophers to finish somewhere in the middle to bottom half of the Big 10. They likely aren't an NCAA Tournament team, but could still be an NIT outfit. Still, to dismantle a team from a Power 5 conference by 25 points regardless of the setting is impressive.
In any event, it's almost here. We're only a few days away from getting to see this team take the floor for the first time as Iowa State will host Viterbo in an exhibition on Friday night. As if the anticipation and hype building for this season wasn't already high enough, now we have this to make these next couple days that much more agonizing.
Viva la Hoiball!