Iowa State is Prepared to Compete in the Big XII

On Friday, the Iowa State Cyclones dominated the then ninth-ranked Memphis Tigers. Led by Gabe Kalscheur’s monster performance, the Cyclones routed the Tigers 78-59. The world of college basketball didn’t expect the Tigers to be brushed away so easily, especially after the AAC powerhouse’s win against Virginia Tech
For the Cyclones, it is their way of sending out a signal to their conference, the Big 12. The Cyclones are undefeated, with previous wins over Xavier and Oregon State. Today may be the year that the Cyclones show up big and mount a surprise Big 12 title bid.
The Cyclones have shown that they are capable of doing this. From their win against Alabama State to their victory over Arkansas-Pine Bluff, they have proven that they can take down any team, whether they are big or small.
Kennesaw State was their first opponent on the Cyclones’ schedule. Gabe Kalscheur led the scoring with 19 points, while Izaiah Brockington’s 18 points and 6 rebounds went a long way in their 84-73 win.
Kalscheur was up to his usual tricks in their second game, posting fifteen points. Brockington scored ten points and had 12 rebounds in their 60-50 win against the Oregon State Beavers.
Izaiah Brockington led the Cyclones with 23 points and 13 rebounds in their 68-60 win over the Alabama State Hornets, while Tyrese Hunter also posted big numbers. Hunter’s nineteen points and six assists, along with a good collective team outing, helped the Cyclones triumph over the Hornets.
After they clashed with the Hornets, Alijaz Kunc led the Cyclones past the Grambling State Tigers off the bench with 21 points. The 82-47 rout, primarily led by Kunc and forward Tristan Enaruna gave the Cyclones their fourth win.
Their fifth win came against then-#25 Xavier. The Cyclones had a relatively easy time, again lifted by Izaiah Brockington and Tyrese Hunter’s 30 and 19 points, respectively. This win marked the Cyclones as dark horses for the early portion of D1 basketball. This 82-70 win helped announce themselves to their Big12 contemporaries.
The Memphis Tigers were arguably Iowa State’s biggest test. That was true until the game started. The Tigers didn’t look like a top-ten team, conceding 78 points to an underdog Iowan side. Penny Hardaway’s side was only able to score 59 points. Gabe Kalscheur’s superhuman scoreline helped the Cyclones past Memphis.
After that win, the Cyclones reaffirmed their place as a Big12 contender by beating the Arkansas Pine-Bluff Golden Lions 83-64. Izaiah Brockington led the effort with 23 points and 10 rebounds.
Gabe Kalscheur, Izaiah Brockington, and Tyrese Hunter have been the core of this Iowa State squad. Kalscheur, Brockington, and Hunter have logged 258 points, 51 assists, and 81 rebounds between the three.
Alijaz Kunc, who made his mark against Grambling State is one of the Big12’s best sixth men. The Washington State transfer has scored 41 total points and has given the Cyclones shooting options from range.
Tristan Enaruma and Tre Jackson are also instrumental to the Cyclones’ title chase, with Enaruma providing quality rebounding and Jackson operating as a shooter from anywhere.
In the Big12, Iowa State is near the top of the table. The Cyclones rest at third record-wise, above Kansas, Oklahoma State, Texas, and Oklahoma. The only teams ahead of them are Texas Tech and Baylor, the reigning NCAA D1 basketball champions.
The AP Top 25 poll ranks Iowa State at #19, and CollegeSportsMadness ranks Iowa State at #25. That is a big step up from unranked. With their games against AR Pine-Bluff and Creighton, the Cyclones will look to further their place in the rankings.
Unlike the ACC, the Cyclones compete in a tightly-packed Big12. After their relatively small games against AR Pine-Bluff and Creighton, Iowa State will lock horns with in-state rivals Iowa. 
After that sure-to-be-heated matchup, the Cyclones will face now 1-7 Jackson State. The game should be an easy victory for Iowa State, but they will need a strong showing to convince pundits and critics. 
Iowa State will then play the Southeastern Louisiana Lions. Currently 3-5, Iowa State should easily dominate the Lions.