#57 Iowa State Cyclones: College Basketball 111 in 111


iowa state cheerleaders

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s third annual college basketball season preview series.  Two years we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  Last year, we were slightly more aggressive and expanded to 111 teams in 111 days and will do so again as we look ahead to the 2012-2013 season.

We will rank the 75 power conference teams and top 36 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

Transfer U. loses their top three scorers from last season’s team that made a huge turnaround and surprised many by making the NCAA Tournament.  Fred Hoiberg welcomes two new transfers to his Iowa State Cyclones team as they try to repeat their success from a year ago.

Last Season: T-3rd, 12-6 in Big 12, 22-11 overall
Predicted Big 12 Finish: 6th

Projected Depth Chart
F/C: Percy Gibson (So)/Anthony Booker (Sr)
F: Melvin Ejim (Jr)/Georges Niang (Fr)
G/F: Will Clyburn (Sr)/Nkereuwen Okoro (Fr)
SG: Chris Babb (Sr)/Tyus McGee (Sr)/Sherron Dorsey-Walker (Fr)
PG: Korie Lucious (Sr)/Bubu Palo (Jr)/Naz Long (Fr)

Gone: PF-Royce White, SG-Chris Allen, G-Scott Christopherson, PG-Tavon Sledge (transfer-Iona), C-Jordan Railey (transfer-Washington State)

2012-2013 Outlook:
While the Cyclones lose three starters from last year’s team, they welcome in a pair of transfers who are ready and capable of making a major impact.  The headliner of that duo is former Michigan State point guard Korie Lucious.  He brings some serious experience to the floor as he helped step in for an injured Kalin Lucas in the 2010 NCAA Tournament, leading the Spartans to the Final Four.  Lucious will be asked to carry a ton of responsibility in his first and only season in Ames.

Former Penn State transfer Chris Babb will return to start on the wing.  He is known more for his three-point shooting and defensive abilities but will need to step up as a scorer this year to help replace Scott Christopherson and Chris Allen.  Tyrus McGee served as the team’s sixth man last season and will likely resume that role this year.  Former walk-on Bubu Palo will compete for minutes off the bench along with freshmen Naz Long and Sherron Dorsey-Walker.

The other high impact transfer who should be a major addition on the wing is former Utah Ute, Will Clyburn.  He averaged 17.1 points and 7.8 rebounds per game in his lone season at Utah while also proving to be a threat from downtown and more than capable defender.  Nkereuwem Okoro is a physical freshman wing who could factor into the equation as well.

Up-front, Hoiberg must replace the unique talent that was Royce White who did a little bit of everything for Iowa State last year.  Returning starter Melvin Ejim will have to elevate his game to help fill White’s shoes.  Percy Gibson and Anthony Booker will compete for the starting spot in the middle.  Both players were effective in limited roles last year and it will be intriguing to see which, if either of those players can emerge as a defensive presence inside which the Cyclones don’t truly have.  Freshman Georges Niang was a great recruiting get for Hoiberg and adds more strength and physicality inside but a concern for ISU will be not having a true center who can protect the rim.

It is hard to imagine the Cyclones matching their success from a year ago.  The pieces are still there for Iowa State to make a run at a tourney berth but for that to happen, transfers Lucious and Clyburn must rise to the occasion in their only year in Ames.

Player to Watch: Will Clyburn
A terrific junior year earned him Second Team All-Mountain West Conference honors.  It seems Clyburn has only gotten better and better since coming out of high school.  If he can continue his upward climb against tougher competition in the Big 12, I wouldn’t be surprised to see his name called in the NBA Draft.

Key Non-Conference Games:
11/23 vs. Cincinnati (Global Sports Classic in Vegas)
11/24 vs. UNLV/Oregon (Global Sports Classic in Vegas)
12/1 vs. BYU
12/7 at Iowa


OTHER 111 IN 111’S:
#59 Colorado State Rams
#60 Iowa Hawkeyes
#61 South Florida Bulls
#62 Valparaiso Crusaders
#63 Illinois Fighting Illini
#64 Arkansas Razorbacks
#65 Wichita State Shockers
#66 George Mason Patriots
#67 Virginia Cavaliers
#68 Villanova Wildcats
#69 Maryland Terrapins
#70 Marshall Thundering Herd
#71 Iona Gaels
#72 Northwestern Wildcats
#73 Oklahoms State Cowboys
#74 Rutgers Scarlet Knights
#75 USC Trojans
#76 UConn Huskies
#77 Harvard Crimson
#78 Xavier Musketeers
#79 Ole Miss Rebels
#80 Clemson Tigers
#81 Oregon State Beavers
#82 Texas A&M Aggies
#83 Providence Friars
#84 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
#85 Oklahoma Sooners
#86 Lehigh Mountain Hawks
#87 Washington State Cougars
#88 Long Beach State 49ers
#89 Belmont Bruins
#90 Vanderbilt Commodores
#91 Dayton Flyers
#92 Houston Cougars
#93 UCF Knights
#94 Old Dominion Monarchs
#95 Oregon Ducks
#96 LSU Tigers
#97 South Carolina Gamecocks
#98 Seton Hall Pirates
#99 Georgia Bulldogs
#100 DePaul Blue Demons
#101 Boston College Eagles
#102 Penn State Nittany Lions
#103 Arizona State Sun Devils
#104 Virginia Tech Hokies
#105 Texas Tech Red Raiders
#106 Auburn Tigers
#107 Wake Forest Demon Deacons
#108 TCU Horned Frogs
#109 Mississippi State Bulldogs
#110 Utah Utes
#111 Nebraska Cornhuskers

David Kay is a senior feature NBA DraftNBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank.  He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities.  David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu.  He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft and the most accurate 2012 NBA Mock Draft on the internet (Yup, repeat champ… #humblebrag.)

You can follow him on Twitter at David_Kmiecik.

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