Friday, November 21, 2014

Game Two Reaction

Does this team have a "Chris Babb" on it?

I don't know know if anyone is quite to that level yet but the Cyclones had three guys (Naz Long, Bryce Dejean-Jones and Monte Morris) play spurts of lock-down defense.  I was really impressed with the job Naz and BDJ did on RJ Hunter.  I think Hoiberg would have rather had Bryce on him but was afraid of getting him into foul trouble.  With the return of Thomas and Nader on Monday both of these guys should be able to lock it down a little more aggressively.  Hoiberg likes to have someone chase around the other teams best scorer and takes away their help responsibilities.  It will be even easier to do this once McKay returns.

Niang (and the rest of the team) still has trouble getting started against a zone defense.

I had a feeling the team would come out much better in the second half against the zone after letting Fred make some adjustments at the half.  I feel Niang struggles a bit because it limits the amount of isolation opportunities he gets which is where he really excels.  I'd like to see Fred schedule more zone defense teams in the non-conference to get some more reps before the Baylor's and West Virginia's of the world come calling.

Monte Morris is becoming an elite point guard.

He rarely makes a poor choice with the ball and he's really improving his scoring and rebounding this year.  Niang might get most of the headlines but its possible Morris is as important to this team as anyone else.  I'm not sure who will spell Morris when he needs a break or gets into foul trouble but it might be Niang running the point-forward.  My only concern is whether the amount of minutes Morris might accumulate will affect him down the stretch.

Bryce Dejean-Jones is quickly shaking the "volume shooter, ball hog" label.

Fred has challenged BDJ to be a more complete player here at ISU and so far he is really responding.  He is second on the team in assists through two games and he has made dramatic improvements already to his shot selection.  He will be an exciting player to watch this year, especially if he plays within himself.

If McKay is "as advertised" this could be a really, really fun year.

Georgia State wasn't a traditional "buy game".  The game was hyped up by a variety of people both attached to Iowa State and nationally.  It turned out to be a rout.  If the "reinforcements" come in and are able to add everything people think they will then this team can win in a variety of different ways throughout the season.  Most people talk about McKay's defense but I think he will be just as fun to watch run the floor (alley-oop!) and against zone defenses (alley-oop!).

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