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WRNL Predicts The 2021-22 Men’s Basketball Season

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All Aboard the Hype Train!

Iowa v Iowa State Photo by David K Purdy/Getty Images

The Iowa State Men’s Basketball Team will take the floor for the first time this season starting on November 9th against powerhouse Kennesaw State. Last year saw the Cyclones move on from Steve Prohm and hire a new (not really) coach in TJ Otzelberger by way of UNLV. Otz spent the offseason hard at work on the recruiting trail and in the transfer portal to put together this year’s roster, which is loaded with unfamiliar faces. Time will tell if this new group will be successful, but in the meantime, let’s ask the staff how they think the season will go.

Austin Keeney

Iowa State’s Non-Conference Record: 9-4

Let’s give the team a surprise home win over Mizzou in the SEC challenge

Iowa State’s Conference Record: 4-14

There’s just no way things can be worse than last year. We’ll win a couple at home and steal a road game in a rebuilding year.

All Big 12 First Team (Denote POY)

David McCormack, Kansas

Adam Flagler, Baylor

Taz Sherman, West Virginia

Avery Anderson, Oklahoma State

Marcus Carr, Texas

3 Random Big 12 Predictions

1. Baylor wins the conference again. The National Championship was Scott Drew’s crowning achievement, but his program is set up for success year-in and year-out

2. Mark Adams is the coach of the year at Texas Tech

3. The Big 12 is the #1 conference on Kenpom again

3 Random Iowa State Predictions

1. Iowa State wins a conference road game

2. Tyrese Hunter leads the team in scoring and is an All Big 12 honorable mention

3. The student section has fun with Caleb Grill puns.

Iowa State Floor

We’ve kind of seen what the absolute floor is, right? All the roster turnover will take awhile to develop any sort of chemistry. Worst case, Iowa State goes 1-17 or 2-16 in Big 12 play and finishes at the bottom of the league again. None of the transfers prove to be a long term answer.

Iowa State Ceiling

It’s all about development. Thankfully, turning over the entire roster and bringing in a new coach can make this a surprisingly fun team with some proven Power 6 talent. Best case, Tyrese Hunter looks like a guy that can lead the next great Iowa State team, and Otz has the guys leading a bunch of games in the 2nd half. We shock a ranked team at Hilton and play close to .500 basketball.

Summarize Iowa State’s Season with a GIF

SMDDEE

Iowa State’s Non-Conference Record: 9-4

Losses to each major opponent outside of Oregon State starts the season off right where the Clones are expected to be. Fans will need to stay patient as the team begins to play together for the first time. I would encourage all to be weary of inflated offensive and defensive numbers as the Cyclones weed through some bad teams to start. The NIT Season Tip Off will be fun (Xavier, VA Tech or Memphis) but likely will send Otz home with his first few losses as a Head Coach. Getting Missouri at home for the SEC/Big 12 Challenge is great, and I expect Iowa State to put up a fight and shock the Tigers.

Iowa State’s Conference Record: 4-14

The Big 12 is outrageously difficult this year, and wins will be hard to come by. Likely, Iowa State, TCU, and Kansas State will beat each other up in some way or another, while the rest end up in position to make the NCAA Tournament. Of note, I think Iowa State beats someone they aren’t supposed to this year at the top of the food chain and encourages fans to stay engaged.

All Big 12 First Team (Denote Big 12 POY)

Marcus Carr, Texas

Remy Martin, Kansas

Adam Flagler, Baylor

Matthew Mayer, Baylor

Kevin Obanor, Texas Tech

3 Random Big 12 Predictions

1. Texas wins the Big 12. Chris Beard owns an absolutely LOADED Texas roster that had it’s way in the transfer portal. Newcomer Marcus Carr from Minnesota is a shoe-in for Player of the Year and Beard’s hard-nosed defensive system should be a massive improvement for a Texas team struggling to make it past the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament.

2. Oklahoma State surprises - finishes third in the Big 12. After losing number 1 overall pick Cade Cunningham, the Cowboys should be in a rare position to reload. Isaac Likekele, Avery Anderson, and Kansas transfer Bryce Thompson should be fully suited to fill Cade’s shoes and power OSU to the top portion of the Big 12, regardless of their recent postseason ban.

3. The entire conference race turns into a bloodbath. The Big 12 is absolutely loaded this year. Gone are the days of Niang, Ellis, and Hield, but this year’s crop of talent is experienced and talented. Texas, Kansas, and Texas Tech all raided the transfer market effectively. Oklahoma added Loyola whisperer Porter Moser and the Groves Brothers from Eastern Washington. Baylor are the defending national champions. Bob Huggins is Bob Huggins. Wins will be extremely hard to come by, and I would not be surprised to see 7 (now 6 with the OSU ban) Big 12 teams make the NCAA Tournament this year.

3 Iowa State Predictions

1. Iowa State upsets a Big 12 Title Contender

2. George Conditt makes “the leap”. Conditt averaged a disappointing 2.4 points per game and 3.6 rebounds last year. A new coach with a new system should allow George to finally play to his potential, as he did on the Puerto Rican nation team during Olympic Qualifying, where he averaged just under 15 points and 3.5 rebounds in two games.

3. Tyrese Hunter shows out, but Gabe Kalscheur leads the team in scoring. The Minnesota transfer guard averaged just under 10 points per game last season, and will likely share the bulk of the scoring load alongside Hunter and Penn State transfer Izaiah Brockington. Kalscheur can score, but had trouble shooting from behind the 3 point line last season. The 6-4 guard only made 24.5% of his shots from beyond the arc, but is plenty capable of being more consistent. In 18-19 and 19-20, Kalscheur shot 41% on 5.2 attempts per game and 34% on 7.2 attempts per game from 3.

Iowa State Floor

Well, we saw the floor last year, so I’d say 2 wins is a decent place to start. My greatest concern is that Iowa State continues their bad habits from last season. Notably, they were last in the Big 12 getting to the free throw line, and first in the Big 12 committing fouls. This is the football-equivalent of losing the field position battle every single game. Look for Freshman of the Year candidate Tyrese Hunter to be the primary attacker and hopefully get to the line early and often.

Iowa State Ceiling

Unfortunately, the ceiling of this team is likely 6th or so in the Big 12 (IE, a bubble team). This would mean that Tyrese Hunter shows out as a generational talent, and Otz gets maximum productivity from each transfer. This would also mean Hilton becomes the feared gym it used to be, something I am bullish on this year due to what fan support has looked like previously. Optimistically, excitement around Otz will only gain momentum, especially if he is able to squeak through Non-Conference with a few upset wins.

Summarize Iowa State’s Season with a GIF

Levi Stevenson

Iowa State’s Non-Conference Record: 7-5

I’m not sure there’s a lot of variance to be had in this nonconference schedule outside of the Oregon State game. The weaker opponents are generally pretty bad, and the better opponents are generally pretty good. The Cyclones look decent against the weaker teams like Kennesaw State and Chicago State, but will likely struggle against, Xavier, either Memphis or Virginia Tech, Creighton, and Iowa. Oregon State is the remaining P6 program on the schedule, and is a winnable game for the Cyclones. However, in just their second game with an almost entirely new roster and a new head coach, I’m still hesitant to give the Cyclones the win there.

Iowa State’s Conference Record : 3-13

Unfortunately for Iowa State, the Big 12 will be incredibly good this year once again, and there just won’t be a lot of opportunities to rack up wins in-conference this year. Give me Iowa State to pick off TCU and Kansas State at home, and TCU on the road. That said, don’t be surprised to see the Cyclones give a few of the teams near the top a run for the money, and really start to look competitive as we get into February and March. There’s a lot of good, young talent on this team, but it’s just that. Young. I’m excited to see the growth of this team and look forward to having some legitimate program momentum heading into the 2022 season.

All Big 12 First Team (Denote Big 12 POY)

Marcus Carr, Texas

Remy Martin, Kansas

Adam Flagler, Baylor

Matthew Mayer, Baylor

Kevin Obanor, Texas Tech

3 Random Big 12 Predictions

1. Baylor doesn’t finish in the top-two in the regular season

2. This is Bruce Weber’s last season at Kansas State.

3. Porter Moser isn’t able to get Oklahoma on track, and they miss the NCAA tournament, leaving the Big 12 with just five tournament teams. TCU, Iowa State, and Kansas State don’t get all that close, and OSU’s postseason ban makes them a spoiler in every game this season.

3 Random Iowa State Predictions

1. Tyrese Hunter averages over 18 ppg, but does so on <50% shooting from the field, and <38% from three.

2. George Conditt blossoms into a force down low, and averages over 8 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game.

3. We finally see a reinvigorated Hilton Coliseum as Iowa State pushes Kansas to the brink at home on February 1st, and the crowd nearly pushes Iowa State victory.

Iowa State Floor

A nonconference record of either 7-5 or 8-4 seems like too good of a bet to change much beyond that, but if we truly don’t see any improvement from last season, then a second consecutive winless conference season is possible, even if they’re in two completely different contexts. That puts Iowa State at 7-18.

Iowa State Ceiling

9-3 in the non-conference with wins over Oregon State and a sneaky win over Virginia Tech in the NIT Season Tip gets Iowa State out to a better start than expected. Conference season gives Cyclone fans reason for optimism, with a sweep of TCU and Kansas State, as well as a home win over Oklahoma and few close calls against conference contenders giving Iowa State a 5-13 record that doesn’t look as good as the team actually was.

Summarize Iowa State’s Season with a GIF

Jake Brend

Iowa State’s Non-Conference Record:

9-4 with losses to Xavier, Memphis or Virginia Tech, Creighton and Missouri. Iowa State smoothes out their issues in the first five games, but it isn’t enough to win a game in the NIT Season Tip Off. The Cyclones play a closer than expected game against Creighton, but still lose. A win against Iowa gives fans hope for conference season.

Iowa State’s Conference Record

6-12 with wins @ Oklahoma, vs TCU, vs Kansas, vs K-State, @ K-State, vs West Virginia.

2-1 at Big 12 Tournament with win’s over TCU and Texas

All Big 12 First Team (Denote Big 12 POY)

G: Marcus Carr, Texas

G: Remy Martin, Kansas

G: Tyrese Hunter, Iowa State

F: Matthew Mayer, Baylor

F: Kevin Obanor, Texas Tech

3 Random Big 12 Predictions

1. Texas wins the regular season Big 12 title, but Kansas wins the Big 12 tournament

2. Oklahoma State wins in Phog Allen

3. Bob Huggins breaks a stool (on accident)

3 Random Iowa State Predictions

1. Tyrese Hunter makes eight threes in a game

2. Iowa State holds Jordan Bohannon to four points

3. Iowa State upsets Texas in Kansas City

Iowa State Floor

I’ll be a literalist, the floor for this season is 0-32. Iowa State loses every single in convincing fashion, because after last season, nothing hurts me anymore.

The actual floor is 7-6 in the non-conference and 2-16 in conference play. I would like to think that getting rid of Steve Prohm and adding Tyrese Hunter automatically raises the floor, but it doesn’t disqualify Iowa State from poverty.

Iowa State Ceiling

On the other side, a 39-0 season is not out of question for Coach Otz’s first season. It’s not likely, but hypothetically Iowa State could pull together the biggest miracle in the history of sports (think Leischer City.)

In all reality, the absolute ceiling would be Iowa State winning 10 games in the conference and winning 11 in the non-conference. The Big 12 would have to be very down and Iowa State would have to take a massive leap. I don’t see it happening, but if there had to be a cap it’s probably 21 games.

Summarize Iowa State’s Season with a GIF

Matthias Schwartzkopf

Iowa State’s Non-Conference Record: 12-0

This literally will be a cake walk. Iowa won’t stand a chance. Xavier? never heard of her. Easy as pie.

Iowa State’s Conference Record: 16-0

16-0, will beat Baylor by 69 points.

All Big 12 First Team (Denote Big 12 POY)

Tyrese Hunter, Iowa State

Izaiah Brockington, Iowa State

Eric Steyer. Iowa State

Caleb Grill, Iowa State

George Conditt, Iowa State

3 Random Big 12 Predictions

1. Kansas will try to contend but ultimately be hit with sanctions, Bill Self fired and Steve Prohm will take his place mid season only to lose to Iowa State in the Big 12 title game

2. Texas will underperform

3. Kansas State will finish last

3 Random Iowa State Predictions

1. Tyrese Hunter and Izaiah Brockington will battle for teams leading scorer

2. George Conditt will lead team in rebounds

3. Caleb Grill will shoot near 40% from 3

Iowa State Floor

Lose in NC game

Iowa State Ceiling

National Title

Summarize Iowa State’s Season with a GIF

Cyclone Larry

Iowa State’s Non-Conference Record: 7-5

I think this Iowa State team will surprise a lot of people this season. Oregon State should be a fun challenge early in the season to see where we’re at. Honestly 13-0 in the non conference would not surprise me. Iowa sucks and we are going to beat them by 40 I think.

Iowa State’s Conference Record 7-11

Once again, I think Otz is the man and this team is gonna surprise us. Honestly I think 18-0 is on the table, but that’s only if the new roster and coaching staff can gel quickly.

All Big 12 First Team (Denote Big 12 POY)

Marcus Carr, Texas

Remy Martin, Kansas

Adam Flagler, Baylor

Tanner Groves, Oklahoma

David McCormack, Kansas

3 Random Big 12 Predictions

1. Texas Tech will beat Texas twice.

2. Bob Huggins will retire at the end of the season.

3. Matthew Mayer will terrorize Kansas.

3 Random Iowa State Predictions

1. Tyrese Hunter will dunk on their asses.

2. Iowa State will beat Baylor on the road and Kansas at home, but will be swept by Kansas State.

3. George Conditt makes 10+ threes

Iowa State Floor

Technically 0-31

Probably 11-20

Iowa State Ceiling

Technically 40-0

Probably 40-0

Summarize Iowa State’s Season with a GIF

Dylan Coon

Iowa State’s Non-Conference Record: 7-6

Sadly, I don’t think Iowa State picks up a non-con P6 win this year.

Iowa State’s Conference Record: 3-15

The Big 12 is better across the board, but a couple of head coaching changes across the league could lead to some growing pains for other teams too. At least it’s not 0-18.

All Big 12 First Team (Denote POY)

Remy Martin, Kansas

Matthew Mayer, Baylor

Ochai Agbaji, Kansas

Tre Mitchell, Texas

Marcus Carr, Texas

3 Random Big 12 Predictions

1. Chris Beard and his transfer Avengers team wins the Big 12

2. The Big 12 will have three top 10 teams most of the year.

3.

3 Random Iowa State Predictions

1. Tyrese Hunter beats out Baylor’s Kendall Brown for freshman of the year

2. Caleb Grill still can’t play defense

3. We have more games on ESPN+ than any other outlet

Iowa State Floor

Last year. 0-18 baby. I’d like to act like it’s impossible, but I’ll keep it at improbable. The Big 12 is very good, we have a whole new team of guys and it’ll take Otz awhile to figure out the rotations. Hopefully we can walk away with a handful of conference wins.

Iowa State Ceiling

The foundation is built. Otz has been harping about defense and toughness, and now’s the time to build that. To win in college basketball, you need an identity. Let’s hope Otz develops his vision early on, the team buys in, and maybe we can get some surprise upsets against ranked teams come Big 12 play.

Summarize Iowa State’s Season with a GIF