The Iowa State Cyclones Men’s Basketball team had quite the season during 2018-2019. It was one that us as fans had high hopes for after a rebuilding year of 2017-2018, where we had 18 losses and finished last in the conference. We needed a boost this year. And we got one, but had a few issues along the way. In honor of our love of beer here, below is a flow chart that resembles ice cold, blue mountains of how our season went. There were highs and lows. So, kick back, grab a beer that reminds you of the flow chart, and enjoy.
Iowa State was picked preseason to finish 6th receiving 41 votes. They followed: Kansas, K-State, West Virginia, TCU, and Texas; respectively. As we well know, they ended up finished 5th in the regular season with a fourth Big XII Tournament Championship in the past six years. Talk about ending the season pre-NCAA tournament with a bang. But, as we can see with the final standings, preseason really doesn’t mean shit. I mean, West Virginia was picked third and finished last. They showed some hope in the Big XII tournament, but ultimately amid troubles of their own. They didn’t live up to preseason rankings. But that’s another team, we care about OUR team. Did Iowa State live up to your expectations?
Final Big XII Conference Standings
#17 Kansas Jayhawks
Big XII Tournament Champions 2019
What the season was like in one paragraph:
Iowa State was not ranked in the top 25 prior to the season. They had some good quality wins early, a decent Maui tournament, and solid conference wins. The team was ranked as high as #17 during Week 14. They would battle in and out of the Top 25 all season long with highs and lows along the way. They closed the year prior to the tournaments ranked at #24. Iowa State found it’s way to the Championship stage in Kansas City, MO, for the Big XII Tournament. They would move onto play the
Idaho Ohio State Buckeyes in the NCAA tournament. Chatter had begun with a potential run, but that would be shot down after a loss to the Buckeyes; 62-59. As of recently, Prohm received an extension into 2025 as Iowa State’s head basketball coach. And with even more fresh news, Cameron Lard will be transferring.
The men would finish 13-2 in the non-conference with 14 games before conference and one against against a respected Ole Miss team on the road in late January. Early in the season, the Cyclones went upwards with an exceptions against Arizona in Maui a brief bump against TOE. Two losses prior to the grind of the Big XII was looking good.
We would start off conference 2-0 with a win streak. Week 14 the Clones found themselves ranked at #17 in the nation. They had just thumped then #5 Kansas 77-60 in Hilton. At that point, which was arguably the Denali mountain peak of the season, Big XII Conference Champions was in the mix.
Iowa State would then lose a game in Waco, as usual, and home loss to Kansas State. The loss to Kansas State would be the return of Dean Wade and he had our attention, but wasn’t the Achilles heel of the game. Both of those losses sent outbursts and criticism from fans. But looking back, those losses weren’t the worst ones. Actually, they make sense now. AND, those losses were a combined total of four points. Not too shabby. None-the less, it appeared the roller coaster had started to head toward a fall.
The Cyclones would then show a valiant effort in Lubbock to then #8 Texas Tech and get out of there with a win. Iowa State lead by eight at the half and won it 68-64. Not sure about you guys, but I wanted that game to be over sooner than later as we lead the majority of that game. Iowa State would then win the next 7 out of 9 games. We began to climb back up the next tallest peak with a good road win against then #20 Ole Miss. A downer was losing to TCU but we beat Kansas State the very next game.
However, Cyclones can’t have nice things. We would then lose 5 out of our next six with losses to notable teams like: Baylor (again), TCU (again), Texas, West Virginia, and Texas Tech. At this point, negativity about team effort was spouted and #fireprohm with fair weathered followers was amidst. The regular season had come to a close with controversy in the locker room and a “stubbed toe” and some arguments. Twitter was full of how broken the team was and we should forget about wasting our time and money at the Big XII Tournament. But we needed to move on. And up next was the Big XII Tournament. An opportunity to start it up again. At this point in the season, I would like to say was the ultimate low.
The Big XII Tournament has been great to the Cyclone team and fan base the last few years. We would pretty well dominate two of our three tournament games and a good solid game against Kansas State in between Baylor and Kansas. Iowa State would win the Big XII Tournament against Kansas in convincing fashion.
Excitement was surrounding the Cyclone basketball community as March Madness approached. The Cyclones found out they would face Ohio State as the six seed in the Midwest bracket on Friday around 8:50 PM. The roller coaster began to climb again with the fan base and the city of Tulsa stocking up on the beer of the Cyclones: Busch Light. As we filled out our brackets we all questioned which squad would show up. The majority of us took the Cyclones past Ohio State to face Houston in the second round. But after that, it doesn’t really matter. We didn’t show up against Ohio State and found ourselves as the “Team B” Coach Prohm doesn’t like to see. Ohio State pretty much did the only thing they could do to win, and that was to hammer it inside and hope we had an off night. The season had ended for 2018-2019.
Where do we see this team going? Three seniors are leaving us and Cameron Lard recently announced he will be transferring. Two of the seniors were starters all year in Shayok and Babb. Both contributed a lot of minutes this season and Shayok lead the team in PPG with 18.7 and Babb was the leader in APG with 4. Two great leaders and ball players that will be missed. But what is next. We have extremely talented players left on this ball team. Who will stay for another year? That is yet to be determined. What we can hope for is that some momentum will carry into 2019-2020 with additions of some new faces. We have a lot to be thankful for this past season and much more to look ahead to.