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Monday, November 07, 2005
Rough Start For State
In case you missed the headline this weekend, Iowa State lost its exhibition opener to mighty EA Sports, 64-57. Freshman Shawn Taggart and guard / forward Anthony Davis (injured last year) sat out with injuries, so ISU moved uber-athlete Rashon Clark to power forward and started Ross Marsden at center.

You kind of figured ISU would have some struggles early on with all the new faces in their frontcourt, but I'd say this loss caught everyone off guard. However, their issues in this game were consistent with the problems they exhibited last year. The most obvious was the inability to put the ball in the basket. In Big XII games last year, ISU was the conference's worst shooting team (with a dreadful 45.7 eFG%) and finished with the third worst overall offense in the league (only Missouri and Baylor were worse). It was shooting that killed the 'Clones this weekend too, as they only managed to hit 27% of their shots, including 3-17 from Mr. Overrated himself, Curtis Stinson. Will Blalock also contributed a 7-18 night. I wrote during the summer that Iowa State would need to develop some shooters if they were to have a respectable season, and it looks like they still need a lot of progress there.

Also like last year, ISU's defense was very good. They forced 25 turnovers and held EA to 44% shooting. That will continue to be the case this year, with the defensive talent they have in the backcourt, and as they get players back from injury.

So the prescription for success looks similar today to the one I wrote several months ago. Even if Iowa State's defense is as dominating as it was a year ago, they still need an occasional basket at the other end for the team to win some games. Until they prove they can hit some jump shots, the Cyclones won't have any business being ranked among the nation's top 25.
Heh, seems like I've been saying they don't deserve to be ranked either. No one pays attention to us on that front, it seems.
True, but saying they shouldn't be ranked and saying they could get beat by EA Sports are potentially two very different things. I won't pretend that I saw this one coming.
Heh, I'm pretty sure after losing to Kansas State, no, EA Sports shouldn't beat ranked teams, at Hilton, nonetheless.

Picked up my Iowa game ticket. Row 2.
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