By Chris Williams, CycloneFanatic.com PublisherFollow Chris on Twitter @ChrisMWilliams
Some quick thoughts on the Iowa State men’s basketball team’s 76-66 loss to Michigan during halftime of the football game…
— I’ll start with the positives…After Wednesday night’s loss to Northern Iowa, Fred Hoiberg was upset with the way that his team responded to adversity. While it certainly wasn’t a flawless performance on Saturday, the Cyclones never quit vs. Michigan. That could have easily been a 30-point blowout but thanks to some effective full-court pressure and a few shots that actually fell (that didn’t happen very often in Ann Arbor), Iowa State actually made the game interesting in the final minutes.
— Speaking of full-court pressure, this team has looked good applying it so far this season. Is this a sign of things to come?
— The Cyclones went 6-for-27 from 3-point range against the Wolverines. That’s coming off of a 4-for-18 performance vs. Northern Iowa. Now consider that Iowa State made 10 or more 3-pointers in each of its four previous games, including a 16 3-pointer night that set a school record on Nov. 22. The Cyclones are in a shooting slump right now. That will come around. For instance, Chris Babb, who might be Iowa State’s best pure shooter (that’s arguable), went 1-for-10 from long range on Saturday. That won’t happen very often folks. Had Iowa State just made some shots and this game could have gone another way.
— Another reason for some optimism? Iowa State out-rebounded Michigan 38-35.
— Props to Royce White for playing as complete of a basketball game as I’ve seen from a Cyclone in a long time. White scored 22 points while recording 13 rebounds, three assists four steals and a block in the loss. Take him out of the equation and things would have gotten downright nasty in Ann Arbor.
— Now for some not so rosy nuggets. Chris Allen went 4-for-16 from the field on Saturday. Meanwhile, one of the best shooters in Iowa State history, Scott Christopherson, only attempted three shots in 28 minutes. I’m not digging on Allen. There’s no doubt in my mint that he’s one of the best players on Iowa State’s roster. But there’s something not right about that shot ratio. Christopherson needs to shoot more and handle the ball less. Period.
— Melvin Ejim hasn’t scored a point in two straight games. There’s no need for me to analyze that stat.
For more on the loss, CLICK HERE to read a full report from our Ian Smith.