Hopes are high as the Iowa State basketball team prepares for the upcoming season. The Cyclones return a number of key players from last year’s team that won the Big 12 Tournament title and made it to the sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.
The Cyclones enter this season as a consensus top 20 team are expected to contend with Kansas and Texas for the league title. ISU coach Fred Hoiberg who says two key losses from last year are Melvin Ejim and point guard DeAndre Kane, he says those two are a lot to replace. “I’m confident with the group that we’ve got coming back as well as the newcomers that we’ve got coming in, as well as a couple that we had sitting out last year, that by committee that we can replace somewhat of what those guys left,” Hoiberg says.
This will be the most depth Hoiberg has had at Iowa State and says it will be important to develop chemistry. He says any team has to have sacrifice where players aren’t worried about individual stats. “I am excited about that depth, but at the same time it’s going to cut some minutes down, which again will help us to play a little faster,” Hoiberg says.
Hoiberg says there is so much depth he has no idea what the rotation will look like. He says it is fun to see how things will evolve, and he says they need to find out not only who will play, but who will play in the “crunch time.”
Hoiberg is not concerned about the high expectations for this season. “I don’t think I am going to have to motivate this group at all, they are pretty self-motivated, and when you have that you are usually a step ahead…the big thing I have talked to them about is winning on the road. We have not done a great job and I think that has prevented us from winning a Big 12 championship,” Hoiberg says.
The Cyclones open at home November 14th against Oakland of Michigan.