NCAA March Madness Preview – Iowa State Cyclones

Iowa State Cyclones

Big 12 (23-10, 12-6)

 by Joel Welser

Coach Steve Prohm is just in his second season at Iowa State, but has done a great job continuing their consistency. The Cyclones have reached the NCAA Tournament every year since 2012 and usually win a game or two once they get there. This is a very experienced squad that has proven that they can beat anybody. The Cyclones have played very well on the road too, beating Kansas in Lawrence and nearly knocking off Baylor.

Big Wins: 1/11 at Oklahoma State (96-86), 2/4 at Kansas (92-89), 2/25 Baylor (72-69)

Bad Losses: 12/8 at Iowa (64-78), 1/14 at TCU (77-84), 2/7 at Texas (65-67)

Coach: Steve Prohm

Why They Can Surprise:

The amount of talent and experience in the backcourt is staggering. Monte Morris leads the way with 16.3 points, 6.1 assists and 4.8 rebounds. Morris is superb when it comes to attacking the basket and he is a huge reason why Iowa State commits a mere 10.2 turnovers per game. Nazareth Mitrou-Long, Matt Thomas and Deon Burton are also senior starters on the perimeter and average double figures in the scoring department. Mitrou-Long and Thomas are the main outside shooting threats on the team and both have been relatively consistent this season. With that much experience on the perimeter, Iowa State rarely beats themselves and that is especially important during the NCAA Tournament.

Why They Can Disappoint:

Coach Steve Prohm does not have much of a choice except to play small. His frontcourt lacks bodies and it shows on the glass and defensively. Freshman Solomon Young has done an admirable job, but transfers David Bowie and Merrill Holden have not had as big of an impact as many expected. The backcourt, especially when Morris is being as efficient as usual with the ball in his hands, can win games, but eventually Iowa State will run into a team that can contain the backcourt relatively well. Then it will be up to the frontcourt to step up their production and at least be a threat on the offensive end of the floor so Mitrou-Long and Thomas can get some open looks.

Probable Starters:

Monte Morris, Senior, Guard, 16.3 ppg, 6.1 apg, 4.8 rpg

Nazareth Mitrou-Long, Senior, Guard, 15.5 ppg, 2.8 apg, 4.7 rpg

Matt Thomas, Senior, Guard, 12.0 ppg, 1.6 apg

Deon Burton, Senior, Guard, 14.8 ppg, 1.8 apg, 6.2 rpg, 1.4 bpg

Solomon Young, Freshman, Forward, 4.5 ppg, 3.3 rpg

Key Role Players:

Nick Weiler-Babb, Sophomore, Guard, 4.2 ppg, 1.6 apg

Donovan Jackson, Junior, Guard, 6.3 ppg, 1.2 apg

Darrell Bowie, Senior, Forward, 5.8 ppg, 4.1 rpg

Merrill Holden, Senior, Forward, 2.4 ppg, 2.0 rpg

By the Numbers:

Scoring Offense: 80.4 (31st in nation, 4th in conference)

Scoring Defense: 71.9 (167, 7)

Field-Goal Percentage: 46.2 (81, 6)

Field-Goal Defense: 42.7 (121, 6)

Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 10.0 (14, 1)

Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 39.9 (17, 3)

Free-Throw Percentage: 69.8 (185, 5)

Rebound Margin: -4.0 (302, 10)

Assists Per Game: 15.9 (46, 4)

Turnovers Per Game: 10.2 (8, 1)

Recent Postseason Appearances:

2016    NCAA Round of 64 win over Iona

2016    NCAA Round of 32 win over Arkansas-Little Rock

2016    NCAA Regional Semifinal loss to Virginia

2015    NCAA Round of 64 loss to UAB

2014    NCAA Round of 64 win over North Carolina Central

2014    NCAA Round of 32 win over North Carolina

2014    NCAA Regional Semifinal loss to Connecticut

2013    NCAA Round of 64 win over Notre Dame

2013    NCAA Round of 32 loss to Ohio State

2012    NCAA Round of 64 win over Connecticut

2012    NCAA Round of 32 loss to Kentucky

2005    NCAA Round of 64 win over Minnesota

2005    NCAA Round of 32 loss to North Carolina

2004    NIT     First Round win over Georgia

2004    NIT     Second Round win over Florida State

2004    NIT     Quarterfinal win over Marquette

2004    NIT     Semifinal loss to Rutgers

2003    NIT     First Round win over Wichita State

2003    NIT     Second Round loss to Iowa

2001    NCAA Round of 64 loss to Hampton

2000    NCAA Round of 64 win over Central Connecticut State

2000    NCAA Round of 32 win over Auburn

2000    NCAA Regional Semifinal win over UCLA

2000    NCAA Regional Final loss to Michigan State

*all team stats through 3/5

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