Five Questions For... Iowa State Cyclones

Welcome to Five Questions for... Iowa St. Cyclones.

Here you'll see five of the most pressing questions for the Clones and our response to them.  Feel free to contribute your answers int eh comments section.

1. Royce White is one of what seems like a billion new faces for ISU (actually it is only eight at last count). Can a team that really hasn't played together make waves in college basketball?

2. ISU rolled through a summer tour of Italy, going 4-0 and winning by an average of 58 points per game. Does your outlook on ISU change because of the success overseas, or do you dismiss the record because of the seemingly inferior opponents they played?

3. Melvin Ejim averaged 10.3 ppg and 6.7 rpg as a freshman. Will he suffer through a sophomore slump, or will his game improve in his second season?

4. Korie Lucious and Chris Allen were both let go from Michigan State and ended up in Ames. Add in White and you have three talented players dismissed from Big Ten schools. If you were rebuilding a program like Fred Hoiberg is doing at ISU, would you take in these talented, but controversial transfers?

5. At season's end, who will be the Clones' leading scorer: Ejim, White, Scott Christopherson, someone else?

 

See our answers after The Jump.

1. Royce White is one of what seems like a billion new faces for ISU (actually it is only eight at last count). Can a team that really hasn't played together make waves in college basketball?

Joe Loyd:  I would say yes since way back in what 1992 the Fab Five all came together and made back to back national title games. Now obviously this team doesn't have that kind of talent coming in but these players have all been in Ames and been practicing together so I definitely think it's possible they make a good run next season.

Matt Patton: I agree with Joe, but I'm definitely still hesitant until I see them play together. This team has the raw ability to finish in the top four in the conference, but the raw personalities to lose nearly every game. If Hoiberg proves an effective manager of talent and temper, look out. I expect they'll fall somewhere in between, losing games that make your jaw drop and winning ones that awe you too.

Evan Pfaff: "Can a team make waves?" sure. See the Fab Five or Melo's Cuse team.... But also look at Kentucky or Texas the past few years. As much talent as anyone in the country, but with inexperience they always fizzle. ISU might have numbers, but I don't see the talent there that UT or UK has had, so answering the questions specifically towards the Clones, I'd say waves, yes. Monsoons, no..

2. ISU rolled through a summer tour of Italy, going 4-0 and winning by an average of 58 points per game. Does your outlook on ISU change because of the success overseas, or do you dismiss the record because of the seemingly inferior opponents they played?

JL: I pretty much dismiss all stats from overseas contests like that.  Seems like every year you will hear about some individual college players who went and played in some games such as this and lit it up and then when season starts they are pretty much the same player.  Like I can remember reading about how Jeff Withey of KU was playing really well over in like Kosovo or somewhere here this year. But come on, I think Withey can be better this year but not going to expect that much more from him.  So basically since this happens on an individual level I think the same applies for a team.

MP: Dismissed. That said, I think any practice helps a team like this one prepare for the season. Still, many Iowa State teams have struggled to score 58 points a game in the past, so it's got to be somewhat promising.

EP: Three-for-three. The stats should be dismissed but the experience playing together could prove invaluable. Going back to question 1, with a whole new slate of players, having those summer practices and game time scenarios will help them down the road and might be more important to a team like ISU than other teams who have a history together.

3. Melvin Ejim averaged 10.3 ppg and 6.7 rpg as a freshman. Will he suffer through a sophomore slump, or will his game improve in his second season?

JL:  I think his overall game will improve but his personal stats may not back it up. This is an area where you could see a problem develop with all the transfers on the team who are looking at getting their own stats to help them in their personal professional goals. Ejim definitely will not have as many opportunities this year and he will have to find ways to get his touches.

MP: Agreed again. I think Ejim will see a much reduced role on next year's team, at least scoring wise. Assuming the transfers prove positive additions, he seems to me much more of a glue guy this year. To be fair, if he takes a less important role, in some ways that means the team is in a much better position.

EP: Ejim didn't have much around him last year, so his numbers may have been a little inflated. I do feel, however, that with an additional year of experience, he will be able to put up at least the same numbers as his freshman campaign.

4. Korie Lucious and Chris Allen were both let go from Michigan State and ended up in Ames. Add in White and you have three talented players dismissed from Big Ten schools. If you were rebuilding a program like Fred Hoiberg is doing at ISU, would you take in these talented, but controversial transfers?

JL:  Well I think you pretty much have to take in transfers when you aren't at a school like Kansas or Kentucky. Sometimes you end up with a complete waste of a scholarship (Freddy Asprilla) and sometimes you get a really solid core player for your program (Denis Clemente). I am sure Hoiberg knows the risks but he has enough goodwill built up where if it goes to hell he can stick it out and rebuild.

MP: I'm not sure I would, but it's hard to really put yourself in Hoiberg's shoes. Think about this: he had no real (i.e. college) coaching experience before taking this job; he had tremendous expectations for himself and from fans; and he has a true dedication to Cyclone basketball as a former player. All of those combine to create a very pressurized atmosphere where Hoiberg wanted to succeed as quickly as possible. Additionally, I think Joe brings up a great point saying Hoiberg has enough goodwill to take a few risks, and it's always better to risk earlier than later.

EP: There really isn't another way to turn around a program in a year or two than by bringing in talent, so in that respect, I agree that he has to bring them in. However, if one of them turn out to be a bad seed, shit can roll downhill (see, Clemons, Ricky). One bad apple and everything Hoiberg stands for and has done to turn the program around can be ruined, so I feel like it is a lot more of a risky than Matt or Joe.

5. At season's end, who will be the Clones' leading scorer: Ejim, White, Scott Christopherson, someone else?

JL: I am going to go with White simply because he is a post player so he will get more opportunities for some junk points off rebounds and tip ins. Plus if you believe everything you hear and read then he should be the Cyclones best scoring option.

MP: I'm going with Christopherson. He can flat out shoot the basketball. Though I'm tempted to take Lucious, who should see a very big role change and showed a lot of promise for a talented Michigan State team. White certainly have the most talent of any of the players on the roster, but he hasn't played D-I level basketball in a long time.

EP: I'll go with Ejim. Like I said above, I think his game will improve, and seeing as it is his second year in the system, he will have more familiarity with it than the transfers.

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