Taylor Leads Cyclones to First Victory

The Iowa State Cyclones officially kicked off the Greg McDermott era and the 2006 Cyclone Challenge on Friday night when the Clones knocked off the pesky UC Riverside Highlanders by a score of 69-61.

The big storyline coming out of Friday night's game was Cyclone junior guard Michael Taylor's first ever appearance in Hilton Coliseum coming off of a suspension during the two exhibitions due to academic reasons. Taylor, the JUCO transfer, lived up to the hype as he led the Cyclones in scoring with 22 points on the night and seven rebounds.


"I was just ready to play as usual," Taylor told the media after the game.


Taylor was ready to play alright. According to Iowa State head coach Greg McDermott, the Cyclone coaching staff was busy calming down Taylor for the majority of the day.


"We spent most of the day trying to calm him down. He was really excited to put on that uniform and get on the floor," McDermott said after the game.


Iowa State struggled in the first half as the Cyclones faced a three point deficit at halftime. One of the reasons for that was that Rahshon Clark only took three shots in the opening half of play.


"I don't have to take 100 shots. We have players like Mike Taylor who can make plays," Clark said.


Even though the Cyclones got the win on Friday, McDermott wasn't pleased with how his young team got to that point.


"I'm happy that we won. I don't like the way we executed," McDermott said. "The end result isn't as important to me as how you get there."


Iowa State turned the ball over 22 times.


"We're just making so many foolish mistakes with the basketball," McDermott said. "If they're making those mistakes, then I'm not doing a good enough job with them."


McDermott said after the game that it's easy to get your team to learn after a loss.


"It takes a mature team to learn when you win," McDermott said.


The Cyclones will go on to face Louisiana Monroe at 8 p.m. on Saturday night.



Other Notes:


  • Joining Taylor in double-digit scoring was junior freshman Wesley Johnson, who had 10 points and five rebounds.


  • UCR scored 30 points in the paint compared to ISU's 20.


  • UCR's bench scored 28 points compared to ISU's 19.


  • ISU's largest lead was 14, with 3:29 to go in the game.


  • ISU shot 42% from the field compared to UCR's 34%.


  • Iowa State had six blocked shots.


  • Starter Ross Marsden only played 13 minutes for the Cyclones.


  • Rahshon Clark had nine points and nine rebounds in the game.



  • Iowa State junior forward Jiri Hubalek was in street clothes as this was the first of six games he will miss due to a suspension from NCAA rules infractions.



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