A Model of Efficiency

The Cyclones have shown to be one of the most offensively efficient teams in the country. But you don't need us to tell you that. Just take a look at the shot charts thus far for each player, and you'll see smart attempts all around

Efficient shots are what Fred Hoiberg is looking for, and efficient shots are what Fred Hoiberg is getting.

"Rim or three-point line, that's what we're looking for," Iowa State's basketball coach said this week.

As the No. 17 Cyclones (6-0) prepare for their first neutral site game of the season, Saturday against Northern Iowa (3-4) in the HY-VEE Big Four Classic in Des Moines, they're flexing their offensive muscle.

Iowa State is assisting on 63.1 percent of its 195 field goals and lead the Big 12 in assists per game (20.5) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.8).

It's a far cry from last season, when point guard Korie Lucious struggled in the early portion to keep the ball moving.

"[The ball] did get stopped sometimes but we were able to battle those challenges and overcome them," senior forward Melvin Ejim said Wednesday.

Take a look at their shot charts, and you'll see the Cyclones are taking the smartest of shots. Three-pointers and shots at the rim are considered the best in basketball. The former has the highest reward — and its easiest look comes from the corner, where the distance is slightly less — and the latter is a very easy shot, is best at drawing fouls and doesn't allow the opposition much of a chance at getting fast-break points, with the defense so sucked in.

Over a third of Iowa State's points are coming off three-pointers made (34.8), which is No. 28 nationally per kenpom.com, and 43 percent of ISU's total shots are from behind the arc, No. 19 nationally.

The Cyclones are also shooting 59 percent on two-pointers, No. 6 nationally, and we can take that to mean they're getting close looks.

Actually, we have the shot charts to prove it. Study each shot chart (we only included scholarship players here; sorry, Tyler Ellerman) and you'll see the Cyclones are mostly taking the shots Hoiberg wants.

By my count, there have only been 17 long two-pointers, the main perpetrators being Dustin Hogue, Matt Thomas and Melvin Ejim. If they're open, they're not bad shots, but they're not too efficient.

These shot charts are recorded in-game by Iowa State's media relations staff and then repurposed by AllCyclones.com.

(Those two takes inside the right wing three-point line will drive Hoiberg nuts).

(The blueprint of precision in this offense. Lots of looks in the corners (9-for-12 in the left corner), no long twos).

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