If it wasn’t for an injury to Georges Niang, the Iowa St. Cyclones might have been national champions. Yes, the team was that good, and going into the 2014-15 season they were once again expected to be one of the elite in college basketball.
Despite losing DeAndre Kane to graduation, the Cyclones looked ready to take on any and all comers. They got off to a 3-0 start, but fell to the Maryland Terrapins in the fourth game of the season by a score of 72-63.
Iowa St. would go on to win their next eight games and improve their record to 10-1. Then the team lost to South Carolina, and it couldn’t have come at a worse time for the Cyclones, as they were only one game away from Big 12 play. However, the team bounced back and defeated Oklahoma St. and won it’s first conference game of the season.
The Cyclones aren’t going to be an easy task for any team this year. With Niang leading the charge to a tune of 15.2 points and 5.5 rebounds the team boasts of handful of talented players. The most impressive of which has been UNLV transfer Bryce Dejean-Jones.
Dejean-Jones has doing an admirable job in filling the void left by Kane. The Senior averages a solid 13.4 points and 6.4 rebounds for the Cyclones. In addition to Dejean-Jones and Niang, Iowa State has three other double digit scorers on its roster including Naz Long, Dustin Hogue, and Monte Morris.
As a result of all this firepower, the Cyclones rank 1st in the Big 12 with 80.9 points scored per game.
This team will need all the scoring it can get as it heads into conference play. It is unlikely the Cyclones make it out of their next three games unscathed, as they go up against West Virginia, Baylor, and Kansas, all of which are ranked in the AP Top 25.
Regardless of their record after this stretch, Iowa State is a force, not only in the Big 12, but all of college basketball.