Hoops Preview: ISU Eyes Tourney Run

Is the schedule too daunting, especially early? Can Marshall transfer DeAndre Kane steady an offense that will start four new players to begin the year? Is sweet-shooting freshman Matt Thomas the real deal? Can Georges Niang take the "leap?"

Iowa State's basketball season begins in earnest Sunday when the Cyclones tip off against UNC-Wilmington, which has but a 2 percent chance of winning, per projections kenpom.com, an advanced analytics basketball site we will cite frequently.

The Cyclones have moved well past the heartbreaking, controversial loss to Ohio State in the third round of the NCAA tournament and, with a cast of new faces, are retooling for a third consecutive run at the Big Dance. Picked to finish fourth in the Big 12, a conference which may only send four teams to the tourney, Iowa State likes its odds.

A heap of factors will tell how the season runs. When should star forward Melvin Ejim return from the knee injury that sidelined him before the exhibition game? Is the schedule too daunting, especially early? Can Marshall transfer DeAndre Kane steady an offense that will start four new players to begin the year? Is sweet-shooting freshman Matt Thomas the real deal? Can Georges Niang take the "leap?" What can the Cyclones expect out of the other newbies, like Monté Morris and Dustin Hogue?

In the AllCyclones season preview, we're going to dive into all of that, and more. If you're a premium Scout.com subscriber, click through and enjoy.

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