2009-2010 Iowa State Cyclones Basketball Preview
The Iowa State Cyclones (15- 17 overall, 4- 12 Big 12) have not
been to the Big Dance since 2005. In fact, since that time they
haven't even been to the NIT. Last year, the club ended the season
in 10th place. This year things could turn out a bit better for
the Cyclones. A lot will depend upon how well some freshman and
junior college players perform.
In 2008- 2009, the Cyclones had a tough time scoring as they averaged just 64.9 PPG (10th), hitting 43% from the floor (11th) and 35% from downtown (11th). Frees went in 71% (6th) of the time. Defense was staunch with the Clones holding opponents to 65.6 PPG. The team's rebound margin, which was minus-1.6, must improve. If this team is going to be competitive they must find more ways to score.
Junior forward Craig Brackins (20.2 PPG, 9.5 RPG, 1.3 APG) can notch a double-double just about any night. He’s simply the team’s top player. Six-foot-eleven forward Jamie Vanderbeken (5.5 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 0.6 APG) is a 41% shooter from downtown. Junior college transfer LaRon Dendy was a top 100 recruit a few years ago. He looks to be an important part of this team’s offense. Marquis Gilstrap, another junior college transfer, is an athletic two-way player. This will be his only season with Iowa State.
Last season then sophomore Diante Garrett (9.8 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 5.0
APG) matured a lot. He proved to be a dependable point man who
could learn and adapt quickly. Now a junior, Garrett could be
the best at the point in the entire conference. Shooting guard
Lucca Staiger (8.2 PPG, 2.2 RPG, 1.5 APG) is accurate from downtown,
while frosh guard Chris Colvin, a top 100 recruit, is smart, dependable
and strong. He could also be a fine point man and on-court leader.
Three backup guards, who are potential point contributors, will
grace the bench.
Now heading into his fourth season as Iowa State's head coach, Greg McDermott has put together a team with decent experience, talented new recruits and a go-to player in Brackins. What all of this means is that Iowa State could finish a few ticks up in the Big 12 standings from last year and make their way to the NIT. Next year, they could do even better. This is a team with a lot of potential.