#33 Iowa State Men's Basketball 2012-13 Preview

Iowa State Cyclones

2012-2013 Overall Rank: #33
Conference Rank: #4 Big 12
Iowa State Men's College Basketball 2012-2013 Team Preview
Iowa State Team Page


It worked for Iowa State last year and there is no reason to think it will not work again in 2012-2013. Once again the Cyclones add some big name transfers to help bolster their roster. Korie Lucious, from Michigan State and Will Clyburn, from Utah, are eligible to play this season after watching the team win a game in the NCAA Tournament a year ago. Lucious is the true point guard Coach Fred Hoiberg needs. He is a clutch shooter and a quality all-around scorer on top of his ball handling ability. The senior has plenty of big game experience during his days with the Spartans and should be ready to take over at Iowa State. Clyburn played just one season with the Utes after a couple years at the junior college level, but he had a great year. Back in 2010-2011 he led Utah with 17.1 points and 7.8 rebounds. The 6-7 wing can shoot over smaller defenders and cruise past larger defenders and attack the basket. Either way, he will score and help out on the glass.

2011-12 Record: 23-11, 12-6
2011-12 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Fred Hoiberg
Coach Record: 39-27 at Iowa State, 39-27 overall

Who’s Out:
Lucious and Clyburn will be asked to help replace last year’s transfers, Chris Allen and Scott Christopherson. Allen averaged 12.2 points per game during his one season with the Cyclones. Allen knocked down 2.2 three-pointers per game and always played solid defense. The loss of Christopherson hurts the team’s outside shooting too. The 6-3 senior shot 45.6 percent from beyond the arc. While Iowa State has plenty of shooters to help replace Allen and Christopherson, the early departure of Royce White to the NBA will prove to be more of a concern. White led the Cyclones with 13.4 points, 9.3 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.2 steals. He emerged as a point forward for Coach Hoiberg and really did it all. With Lucious, ISU should have a true point guard to work with, but White’s interior scoring and defensive toughness will be missed.

Who’s In:
Georges Niang will be asked to replace White. He is top recruit in a very good class. While Niang is a bit undersized at 6-7, he is a tough rebounder and a very good scorer in the paint. What Niang lacks in size he makes up for in hustle and he will be a great asset right away. The backcourt will get some quality depth from wings Nkereuwem Okoro, Naz Long and Sherron Dorsey-Walker. Point guard Aaron Law redshirted last season and will look to make an impact off of the bench this time around.

Who to Watch:
Percy Gibson, a 6-9 sophomore, had a very good freshman campaign and could step into a starting spot if Coach Hoiberg needs a big body on the floor while Niang works his way into the rotation. Gibson shot 65.6 percent from the floor and will turn into a fine interior scorer given the opportunity. Anthony Booker did not make the impact many expected after transferring in from Southern Illinois, but the 6-9, 250 pound senior is an experienced option who can at least provide another big body who can hit the glass and play some solid defense. Forward Melvin Ejim started 29 games a year ago and will be asked to do a lot of rebounding this year. Iowa State could play small since Ejim and Clyburn are both quality rebounders, but most of the time in the Big 12 they will need a player like Gibson, Booker or Niang on the floor for defensive purposes.

Final Projection:
Chris Babb was a bit overshadowed by the shooting of Christopherson and Allen, but he knocked down nearly two three-pointers per contest. Most of Babb’s offense comes from long range, but he adds another rebounding threat from the perimeter. Tyrus McGee was the sixth man last season and will likely fill that role again. McGee is yet another quality shooter and he can provide a quick burst of offense from the bench. Add Bubu Palo, if eligible, to the mix along with all of the transfers and newcomers and Coach Hoiberg has a lot of weapons on the perimeter. The frontcourt may be less experienced, but they certainly do not lack in talent. This is a team that should be strong on the glass. If an interior scorer can be found, this will be a very good team.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA

Projected Starting Five:
Korie Lucious, Senior, Guard, DNP last season
Chris Babb, Senior, Guard, 7.8 points per game
Will Clyburn, Senior, Guard, DNP last season
Melvin Ejim, Junior, Forward, 9.3 points per game
Percy Gibson, Sophomore, Center, 4.8 points per game

Madness 2012 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#82 Georges Niang
#138 Sherron Dorsey-Walker