Melvin Ejim, Georges Niang and Dustin Hogue were simply too much for Kansas State’s bigger front line, as No. 16 Iowa State’s starting forwards combined for 61 points and 27 boards as the Cyclones ran past the Wildcats in a thriller, 91-85.
The Cyclones were up five in the final minutes, but after Kansas State star Foster rattled home a three and Ejim missed a layup, the Wildcats had a chance to tie the game at 87 but Shane Southwell committed a turnover and Naz Long buried a pair of free throws. Bruce Weber’s club never got the ball in a one possession game again.
Kansas State had been one of the best defensive teams in the Big 12 this season, but they not only allowed Iowa State to score 91 points, they gave up 50% shooting from the floor and 16 offensive rebounds. For a team that struggles offensively, losing a game with they shoot 54.5% from the floor is disheartening.
Iowa State will be one of the more interesting teams to seed come Selection Sunday. This group had 10 top 50 RPI wins, which is an outstanding numbers. If they can somehow find a way to win the Big 12 tournament, it might be time to start considering the Cyclones for a No. 2 seed, and maybe even for the last No. 1 seed.
No one else seems to want to win their way into the top line. Why not the Cyclones?
Iowa State will advance to take on the winner of Oklahoma State and No. 10 Kansas on Friday.
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.
UConn commit Juwan Durham, a four-star big man in the Class of 2016, has torn the ACL in his right knee for the second time in seven months. The Florida native committed to the Huskies and head coach Kevin Ollie back in September. The 6-foot-9 forward is regarded as the No. 31 overall prospect in the national Class of 2016, so he can really be a force when he’s healthy.
In a report from Tampabay.com’s Bob Putnam, UConn was notified of the injury immediately and there is no change in plans with the commitment. The Huskies also own commitments from four-star point guard Alterique Gilbert and three-star power forward Mamadou Diarra in the Class of 2016. Having Diarra, an active, rim-protecting presence, helps with Durham’s recovery, since he can provide some more front court depth.
If Durham rehabs back to full speed, UConn has a very talented power forward who was just hitting his stride in the Florida state playoffs last February. UConn has a nice class so far with this group, especially if Durham can recover, With a year to recover until next season, Durham can hopefully play during his freshman season in 2016.