From the Balcony

Fellow ISU men's basketball fans, welcome to a weekly edition of trying to bring forth to you some tidbits of information about Big 12 basketball and Cyclone sports.

Has anyone else forgotten Monday nights beat down to Texas? I hope so because there is a lot of the season left and from what it looks like, the Big 12 might end up looking like the Big 12 North in football, anyone's to have, except Texas right now.


Clearly after last nights performance by one of the most balanced teams in the conference, the Longhorns are clearly the team to beat and have an advantage in that they won at Hilton. Now this year there have been two other teams to win at Hilton but under Coach Wayne Morgan, the Cyclones are 36-7 with him at the helm. Morgan's record against ranked opponents falls to 6-3.


Big Monday woes are not out of the ordinary for the Cyclones. I've always complained why ESPN doesn't have the Cyclones on. Well here is it, they are 3-10 all time and after winning the first two games of Big Monday in 1992 & 1993, they have only one win. That came in 2001 at Kansas with Jamal Tinsley and Kantral Horton when the Cyclones won 79-77.


Either we get to 40 points first, or have the lead with five minutes remaining. Iowa State under Morgan posts a 10-2 record this year when they are the first team to score forty points. With that, they are 11-1 when they have the lead with five minutes to go. Cyclone fans, which lost did they have the lead and blew it under five?

Ohio St won 70-67 in Des Moines back in December.

Under Coach Morgan Iowa State is 43-4 all time when they have the lead with five minutes to go. Key is good ball handling and getting to the line.


With that segway about getting to the line, we all know Tasheed Carr's struggles with the three pointer. He is 5-33 (14%) from there this year when last year he was 28-82 for 34%. Where Tasheed has improved is from the free throw line in which last year he shot 69% and this year is shooting 73%. Now that's not much of a change but already so far this year he has made 27 when all of last year he made 31. That is what he needs to do to get back into the game. More penetration so that he can draw fouls on the big guys and be able to dish to Rashon, Will or John Neal who are shooting much better than he is.


The Cyclones on the year have allowed four teams to make ten or more three's with two of those being loses. You could almost count the Iona game in that mix as they were 9-19 at 47% and that too was a loss. On the year Iowa State is only shooting 32% while allowing close to 35% from three. Up 5% over last year and seemingly the weakness in this year's team as they are trying so hard to stop the inside game and the opponents are firing most of the time on all cylinders from outside.


Now for the Big Twelve rankings of the upcoming schedule and how they are playing.


1)    Texas 2-0, quality impressive win on the road has them being the front runner. Have both the inside game and the deep ball threats on the floor at all times. Not the deepest team, but the toughest so far.(Next opponent against Villanova 1/14, Texas Tech 1/17)

2)    Texas A&M 1-0, yes this is correct. The Aggies have not allowed an opponent to score more than 71 on them all year. They lead the conference in scoring defense with 57.2pts/game. Center soph Joseph Jones is among the top ten in scoring, rebounding, field goal %, FT%, and defensive rebounds. Their only weakness is consistent rebounding. This will be an important stretch for the Aggies to see if they have what it takes to be amongst the leaders (1/11 @Okie St., 1/14 Oklahoma.)

3)    Oklahoma 0-1, The Sooners laid an egg at Nebraska but the Huskers always play better at home. Still Taj Grey and Kevin Bookout are tough and seems this year if you have an inside game that puts you ahead of the other teams. (Big matchup tonight as Missu comes to Norman. OU can't drop to 0-2, 1/14 @ Texas A&M)

4)    Kansas 0-0, Big win against an over rated Kentucky team and these youngsters have played a tough schedule so far. Only real bad loss was to St. Joe's at Madison Square Garden. (1/11 @Colorado, 1/14 vs Kansas St.)

5)    Nebraska 1-0, The Cornhuskers usually start off strong and then fade. Collier has his best talented team so far while at NU but consistency is lacking. Wilkerson would look great in an ISU uniform. Can the Huskers win on the road? (1/11 @Kansas St, 1/17 Iowa St.)



6)    Iowa St 1-1, A loss to a potential final four team isn't bad, doing it at home when you're the only school in the conference with two home games to start the season is. The Cyclones need to bounce back and get even with a road win at Tech as they matchup very well. (1/14 @Tech, 1/17 @Nebraska)

7)    Oklahoma St 0-1, Time will tell if the loss at Missouri is bad or not but seems to be a bad one with the uncertainty with Coach Synder. The Cowboys are young but talented and look to a Sophomore to be the leader. Not many teams succeed with that. (1/11 Texas A&M, 1/14 @ Baylor-watch out)

8)    Colorado 0-1, much like Iowa St the Buffs live & die by the three. They have the most experience with 8 Seniors and Richardo Patton needs to move up in the Big 12 if he is to keep his job. (1/11 Kansas, 1/14 @Missouri)

9)    Missouri 1-0, Big game tonight against the Sooners but can Quinn hold this team together? The Tigers are near the bottom in almost every statistical category. If it stays that way this might be too high of a ranking. (1/10@Oklahoma, 1/14 Col)

10)Kansas St 0-1, The Wildcats showed some toughness in their comeback against the Cyclones but fell short. Cartier Martin is a great scorer but can't do it all. Not much of another three point threat hurts them. Don't see them any higher than 8th. (1/11-Nebraska, 1/14 @Kansas-always a loss)

11) Texas Tech 0-1, with the loss of Fr Terry Martin the Red Raiders lose their second best three point shooter at 38% making 16 for the year. That's comparable to what Stinson has made in total. This is a two man game and Zeno hasn't really proven he's a leader. (1/11 Baylor-watch out, 1/14 Iowa St.)

12) Baylor 0-0, until they play a game you can't determine what this team will be like. Right now their hungry and don't be surprised if they pull off a couple early upsets. Toward the end of the season when they know there's nothing to play for is the time to play the Bears. (1/11 @Texas Tech, 1/14 Oklahoma St)


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