Chemistry is a big part of every successful basketball team and Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg says it is a big reason the Cyclones are 26-7 and the third seed in the East Region of the NCAA Tournament. They open on Friday night against North Carolina Central in San Antonio.
“It’s just a testament to who these guys are, they hang in there, they like each other. They’re with each other off the floor all the time. It’s a group that really has jelled,” Hoiberg says. Hoiberg says that chemistry has made the Cyclones good at handling adversity very well so far. He says they will likely face adversity again in the tournament, and they have so far found a way to deal with it.
Sophomore forward Georges Niang says the ability to handle adversity is the biggest difference from last year’s team. “And then coming back with our own punch and making the other team go through some diversity,” Niang says. Niang credits the senior leadership on the team, who he says refuse to loose, and that rubs off on all of the team.
If the Cyclones win on Friday night they will meet either North Carolina or Providence on Sunday.