Iowa State fans, stand up! You've got yourselves a competitive team! YEAH! The season opener went well for the Cyclones who beat a solid Lehigh squad 86-77 in Ames. I was anxious to see how the new faces would play together in a regular season setting, and they did not disappoint. All four transfers who saw action today scored in double figures, but the one that stole the show was ex-Minnesota Golden Gopher Royce White. White controlled the paint all game long, scoring 25 points, grabbing 11 rebounds and rejecting three shots. If he plays like that even three-fourths of the time, then you might as well hand him the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year Award to him right now and start calling him "The Mayor."
Their opponent, Lehigh, is no cupcake on the schedule either. They gave the Red Storm all they could handle earlier this week at St.John's. They won the Patriot League regular season title a season ago and bring back C.J. McCollum, whose points per game average in 2010-11 (21.8) is tops in the nation for a returning player. Good for head coach Fred Hoiberg to schedule a non-freebie to start the year.
Penn State transfer Chris Babb scored 10 points and dished out 5 assists, ex-Michigan State guard Chris Allen also scored 10 including 2-for-4 from the perimeter and former Southern Illinois forward Anthony Booker came off the bench for 10 more on a perfect 4-for-4 from the field. This is only game one of a long season, but a break here and a break there, Iowa State could find themselves in the NCAA Tournament come March.