Basketball

Williams Blog: Freshmen were key

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AMES — Obviously, Matt Thomas had a big day on Saturday. I feel like I’ve already established that though.

So you need more reasons to feel good about the future of Fred Hoiberg’s program? What about this Monte Morris guy?

Oh, his seven points and five assists didn’t do much for you, huh? The following Fred Hoiberg quote regarding Morris’ poise and defense should speak volumes.

“I think Monte is as good of a defender as we have,” Hoiberg said. “He is the smartest defender I have seen for a freshman. A guy who can come in and jump to the ball and plug gaps, things that don’t show up in the box score.”

That’s right. Good or bad, Hoiberg believes that his top 15 basketball team’s best defender is a 6-foot-2, 170-pound true freshman.

“He is the best we have right now and for a young player to have that type of awareness on the basketball court is huge,” Hoiberg said. “If we need stops, he is going to be on the floor at the end of the game.” 

On a sad note, Morris’ no turnover streak that dated back to Dec. 22 ended on Saturday. Morris turned the ball over twice in 30 minutes of play. 

No more Twitter fellas

Earlier this week, Hoiberg told Matt Thomas to stay off of Twitter and get away from fan negativity. It must’ve worked.

“I try to stay off of that,” Thomas, who made 4-of-5 threes, said. “Through ups and downs, some fans are going to go with it. When we are playing fan, they are not going to be good fans. You just kind of have to block out some of that negativity and just worry about what you have to do on the court.”

Standing in his normal position in front of Iowa State’s bench, Hoiberg loved the show.

“It was fun to see him go out there,” Hoiberg said. “I feel so good for the kid because he puts so much time and effort into it. Anytime that you do that, you feel the pain when they are going through the struggles. 

Note to the Cyclones: Stay the heck off of Twitter.

Meanwhile…

Texas went on the road and THROTTLED Baylor by 14 today. 

Oklahoma State barley skated past West Virginia at home.

As expected, Oklahoma took care of Texas Tech.

As for Iowa State, up next is a Wednesday night road trip to Kansas, which should be a doozy.

Chris Williams

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Chris was hired as Cyclone Fanatic’s publisher in the fall of 2009. He is Iowa State football's postgame show host on the Cyclone Radio Network and can be heard daily from 4-7 on Des Moines' top-rated sports station, 1460 KXnO. Williams, a 2007 graduate of Iowa State’s Greenlee School of Journalism, is the former publisher of the old CycloneNation.com (Scout.com). He has also written for the Des Moines Register, the Ames Tribune, CycloneReport.com and is the former sports director at KMA Radio. When Williams isn’t working, you can usually find him doing something outdoors with his wife Ashley, daughter Camryn, and Golden Retriever Dierks. He enjoys golfing, boating, country music, the Minnesota Vikings, Atlanta Braves and is passionate about any and all motor sports so finding Williams at a local dirt track is very common.