Georges Niang

Iowa State lands huge bubble win over No. 13 Oklahoma State

Leave a comment

Iowa State is not yet a lock for the NCAA tournament, not when they have an RPI in the 50s, exactly one road win in the top 200, and a trip to West Virginia before a date with Oklahoma in the first round of the Big 12 tournament.

As entertaining as the Cyclones are to watch and as dangerous as they can be when their threes get to dropping, Iowa State is no better than its profile. And while its profile says right now is that they did bupkis in the non-conference and lost to Texas Tech and Texas on the road in league play.

The good news?

After beating No. 13 Oklahoma State 87-76 in Hilton Coliseum on Wednesday night, Fred Hoiberg’s club has finally earned themselves some breathing room. They now can claim wins over three teams in the top 30 in the RPI — the Pokes, Kansas State and Oklahoma — and six total wins against the top 100. They’re not out of the woods yet, but given the fact that there are teams on the bubble right now who have no quality wins, Iowa State should feel pretty good about themselves. I wouldn’t recommend losing the last two games, but they might be able to survive it.

As far as Oklahoma State is concerned, there isn’t anything to worry about. They lost their shot at earning a share of the Big 12 title with a win over Kansas State on Saturday, but they did so by losing in a building that everyone loses in.

Oklahoma State isn’t going to win many games on the nights that Markel Brown, Marcus Smart and Phil Forte shoot a combined 14-44, and they aren’t going to shoot a combined 14-44 too often.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

Report: Four-star center reclassifying to 2015; down to three

Leave a comment

An interesting recruiting development hit on Friday as Josh Gershon of reported that four-star center Jayce Johnson is reclassifying to the Class of 2015 and looking to join a program at semester break.

The 7-foot native of California is down to Cal, Colorado and Utah and Johnson is on an official visit to Utah this weekend after transferring to a charter school this week. As Gershon notes, only Cal has a scholarship to offer Johnson this season, but the family is willing to pay a semester at the other programs if it’s the right fit. Johnson would like to redshirt and train with his future college while playing against more mature players.

But if Johnson is persuaded not to redshirt, he could be an intriguing big man off the bench later in the season for a couple of teams looking to make a postseason appearance. As the No. 67 overall prospect in the Class of 2016, Johnson is a talented prospect and he isn’t afraid to score with either hand. With some time to fill out, Johnson can turn into a talented Pac-12 player down the road.

VIDEO: Utah Valley’s Mark Pope dances, lip syncs with daughters

Leave a comment

New Utah Valley head coach Mark Pope made quite an impression on fans at the team’s Midnight Madness celebration last night. That’s because Pope did a dance and lip sync routine with his four daughters that turned out to be pretty impressive.

The former BYU assistant looks to be the leader in the clubhouse for best coach dance so far this preseason. We’ll see if any other coaches pull out elaborate routines at madness celebrations the next few weeks.