One Loss Before The Holidays
As we near the holiday break, ISU goes into Saturday’s game against Drake with an 8-1 record. If the Cyclones are able to defeat Drake, it would mark just the fifth time since 1998-99 that the Cyclones went into Christmas with just one loss. That runs you back through the Larry Eustachy days, so certainly nothing to bat your eyes at. Here is a look at those one or fewer loss teams:
2013-14 – 11-0
2003-04 – 7-0
2002-03 – 8-1
2000-01 – 10-1
No. 10 In SI.com Power Rankings
While Iowa State comes in at No. 13 in the AP and Coaches Polls, SI.com has the Cyclones No. 10 in its power rankings. More fascinating is writer Luke Winn’s breakdown of Georges Niang’s passing ability. He breaks down all of Niang’s assists. Last season, when Winn was in town for a DeAndre Kane story he told me he spends about 24 hours on each of his weekly power rankings. It shows. He does a terrific job.
Niang In Rare Company
We all know that Georges Niang is a great all-around player. He’s one of three players nationally averaging at least 17 points, six rebounds and four assists. Thanks to Kevin Bonner of LaSalle and ESPN Stats and Info we also know that Niang is one of four players in the nation with multiple 25-point, 5-rebound and 5-assist games. He joins LaSalle’s Jordan Price, A.J. English of Iona and Fresno State’s Marvelle Harris as the only players to do so multiple times.
Greenberg Loves Morris
ESPN’s Seth Greenberg visited an Iowa State practice in the preseason and last night he heaped great praise on Monté Morris. At halftime of the UCONN-Duke game, Greenberg tabbed Morris as his top point guard.
Morris is having another solid season, averaging 11.2 points, 5.8 assists and 4.1 rebounds. The Cousy Award watch list member is leading the nation with a 6.5 assist-to-turnover ratio, a year after breaking the NCAA record with a 4.79 ratio.
As I was writing this another national writer, CBS’ Jon Rothstein chimed in with his thoughts on Morris.
Abdel Nader returned to the lineup against Alabama and he’s been solid, averaging 7.0 points and 3.7 rebounds. He had his best game against Iowa when he finished with 19 points and hit 4-of-6 threes.
Nader has also had a major impact on the defensive end. The Skokie, Illinois, native is averaging a block per game. In the last three games, Nader has averaging 2.0 blocks per game.
Between Nader, the return of Jameel McKay and the length provided by Bryce Dejean-Jones on the perimeter the Cyclones have the chance to be a better shot blocking team than in previous seasons.
Hallice Cooke has had both of his surgeries on his hips and began rehab on them Wednesday. He’s easing back into things with hydrotherapy workouts this week.