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  1. #1
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    This year's team... (long)

    I have been incredibly pessimistic about the basketball team last year. I'm not a huge basketball fan in general (like I am with football) and just didn't have as much excitement for Cyclone basketball (which I mostly get into because its ISU) as I usually do, but last night a couple of buddies and I hit the game up to scope things out, and I have to say I was impressed. While this isn't a post-season team (yet), I was very impressed with the shooting, and the general defensive execution. They seem to understand McD's system, and they definitely have some confidence. Perhaps the thing that impressed me most was how when UWM started making it close in the 2nd half, and everyone got the "here we go again" feeling, they really brought their game up and went on a tear, putting the game out of reach. I think with the shooting, and the improved D, they will be in a lot of conference games, and I think this year Greg will get that elusive upset. I thought we should have got one two years ago against KU, and last year against UT, but I think this year we get one honest-to-goodness, Hilton upset (either Baylor or KU). Rebounding is what will keep this team from post-season play, imo, but next year as some of the big guys like Hamilton and VDB get stronger and more used to the system, the rebounding will pick up, and I think they will have a good shot at post-season play in '09-10, assuming no one transfers...


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    Re: This year's team... (long)

    I think we have a post season team. Just watch. I am impressed with Greg MCD and his players!!


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    Re: This year's team... (long)

    Quote Originally Posted by clonomaniac View Post
    I think we have a post season team. Just watch. I am impressed with Greg MCD and his players!!
    We're playing together...we had a game where things didn't go our way, but "found a way to win". Can't put a price tag on that...



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    Re: This year's team... (long)

    I'm trying so hard not let my excitement get to me but wow, I am really impressed so far. I think we'll obviously have games where the shots aren't falling and we will get creamed but with this ability to shoot the long ball, we can certainly get hot and score some nice upsets!


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    Re: This year's team... (long)

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Architect View Post
    I'm trying so hard not let my excitement get to me but wow, I am really impressed so far. I think we'll obviously have games where the shots aren't falling and we will get creamed but with this ability to shoot the long ball, we can certainly get hot and score some nice upsets!
    We have so many shooters; I put us playing like we should 80%...playing worse 10%...and playing better than we actually are at 10% of the time.


    Last edited by kg-cyclone; 11-17-2008 at 09:52 AM.

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    Re: This year's team... (long)

    Quote Originally Posted by kg-cyclone View Post
    We're playing together...we had a game where things didn't go our way, but "found a way to win". Can't put a price tag on that...
    I agree. Friday night some posters were pretty down on the team, but I think it was a good win for the reasons you mentioned. UW-Milwaukee is generally a pretty good mid-major team, so that may go down as a pretty good win as the season progresses, too. I'm sure there will be plenty of bumps along the way, but if this team can find a way to get into the NIT, I think that will be a big success for these guys.



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    Re: This year's team... (long)

    I take it we shot well Sat & Sun?

    Because Friday night, with the exception of one run, we pretty much stunk the joint up from 3-land.



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    Re: This year's team... (long)

    Quote Originally Posted by Al_4_State View Post
    I have been incredibly pessimistic about the basketball team last year. I'm not a huge basketball fan in general (like I am with football) and just didn't have as much excitement for Cyclone basketball (which I mostly get into because its ISU) as I usually do, but last night a couple of buddies and I hit the game up to scope things out, and I have to say I was impressed. While this isn't a post-season team (yet), I was very impressed with the shooting, and the general defensive execution. They seem to understand McD's system, and they definitely have some confidence. Perhaps the thing that impressed me most was how when UWM started making it close in the 2nd half, and everyone got the "here we go again" feeling, they really brought their game up and went on a tear, putting the game out of reach. I think with the shooting, and the improved D, they will be in a lot of conference games, and I think this year Greg will get that elusive upset. I thought we should have got one two years ago against KU, and last year against UT, but I think this year we get one honest-to-goodness, Hilton upset (either Baylor or KU). Rebounding is what will keep this team from post-season play, imo, but next year as some of the big guys like Hamilton and VDB get stronger and more used to the system, the rebounding will pick up, and I think they will have a good shot at post-season play in '09-10, assuming no one transfers...
    I like your assessment, we will be tough on our home floor with the way we can shoot the ball. On the road, however, it will be hit and miss, unless we can get a decent inside game, which looks like we have the makings for that too. But time will tell. I was most impressed with the win over UWM, they are a proven NCAA team that is very tough defensively and mentally year in and year out, and we just dismantled them late in the 2nd half. Rebounding and FT shooting need to improve, but overall, I like the direction of this team.


    Go Cyclones!!

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    Re: This year's team... (long)

    Let's not get the cart ahead of the horse.

    I say McD starts with beating an MVC team (which he has yet to do) and we go from there.

    People are gonna get all hyped up because of our patsie non-conf. schedule and then when conf. rolls around wonder what happened all of a sudden.

    I think we will struggle with fouls, rebounding, and defensively in general.

    We will have a better record than the last two years though and the team looks to have better chemistry ( a good thing )



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    Re: This year's team... (long)

    I hope all this postive energy on the board right now sticks around when we loose some.



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    Re: This year's team... (long)

    Watching the game last night on CZ, I was really happy to see how the team is playing... these early games are so important for the team to figure itself out. This is year 3 in coach Mac's system, so the flow and execution should be improving. Are they post-season material? hard to tell right now, but even getting to the 18-20 win bar and an NIT berth would be progress for the program (and show a certain high school player on the Ames High team that the program has potential to be NCAA material in the next couple years).... the great thing about having so many options from 3-land is if one or two are off, a couple others may be hot, and the option for a drive-n-dish will be there unlike last season.... it's fun to be excited about men's hoops again!


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  12. #12
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    Re: This year's team... (long)

    I think there will be a lot of these types of posts this year. One day the posters will be very down on the team, then the next they will be posting nothing but positives. This team lives and dies by the three (so far anyway). So, they should have some great wins this year, but at the same time I think we will lose some games that fans don't think we should. Overall, it will be a mediocre season. This year, I would like to see us get a winning record. Anything more is just a bonus in my opinion. Post season play should definitely be a goal, but I just can't predict it at this point.

    ::shifting to memory lane::
    Remember the year after Fizer left. Our team lived by the three shot then too. We won the conference, but lost to Baylor in the tournament and Hampton in the NCAAs. Living by the three can result in both great and horrible. I am in no way proclaiming a big 12 title this year, however.


    Last edited by iowast8fan; 11-17-2008 at 10:02 AM.

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    Re: This year's team... (long)

    Quote Originally Posted by iowast8fan View Post
    I think there will be a lot of these types of posts this year. One day the posters will be very down on the team, then the next they will be posting nothing but positives. This team lives and dies by the three (so far anyway). So, they should have some great wins this year, but at the same time I think we will lose some games that fans don't think we should. Overall, it will be a mediocre season. This year, I would like to see us get a winning record. Anything more is just a bonus in my opinion. Post season play should definitely be a goal, but I just can't predict it at this point.

    ::shifting to memory lane::
    Remember the year after Fizer left. Our team lived by the three shot then too. We won the conference, but lost to Baylor in the tournament and Hampton in the NCAAs. Living by the three can result in both great and horrible. I am in no way proclaiming a big 12 title this year, however.
    Nice post. Clearly, reliance upon outside shooting will likely make for a inconsistent team. Additionally, all should remember that we are in the "tin can" portion of our schedule. We are supposed to be beating these teams!



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  14. #14
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    Re: This year's team... (long)

    I am trying to tame my expectations after the last two games, but here are a few observations I had about this year's team so far:

    I agree with KG, teams go on shooting slumps when they rely on the three and only have 1-3 good shooters. That is not the case here this year. We are finally in a position where we can put 5 guys on the court that can all consistently knock down the three.

    As KG noted in a different thread, when you have Lucca and Eikmeyer (I will add Haluska, and, on some nights, Petey) on the two wing spots, you really open up both the driving lane for DG/Buck and the post for Craig. If JVB is in there, then you simply cannot leave anyone to double Craig, such that Craig could end up having a monster year.

    I hope JVB works his butt off to improve his hedge and recover and post denial skills as I see those being the areas holding him out of the starting lineup right now. Additionally (or at least alternatively), I hope Alex and/or Big Ham can step up and make shots / dunks if their guy is the one doubling Craig. I see the potential for both.

    I don't know if Garrett or Buckley can get to the point where they can consistently hit the three (I personally liked Craig's quote in the DM Reg about knowing it is your night when DG is shooting and hitting three threes early), but I don't think they HAVE to for this team to be good. They just need to be able to (1) manage the game (i.e., keep up the amazing assist:turnover ratio the team currently has); (2) penetrate and dish either to the bigs or to the wings for 3s; and (3) get the ball to the wings when they are open on the fast break (DG needs to keep improving in this area, where he missed Eikmeyer 2-3 times and Lucca at least once on Saturday). We will just say we have not been able to do all three of the above the last two years.

    I have to say I am flat out impressed with Eikmeyer. I had heard he was a good shooter, and he definitely is. However, I was impressed with his ability to dribble / penetrate. He had a nasty fake cross-over, then cross-over on Saturday that I really was not expecting (nor was the LMU defender who had to pick up his jock). Also, his D is surprisingly quite good. He kept his body in front of guys that appeared to be much quicker than him. We will have to see if he can keep that up against some of the bigger, quicker, athletic guards we will face in Big 12 play, but, as of now, I think he can hold his own on the defensive end. All in all, I think he will be a very big value-add to the team this year, and I would be comfortable with him starting (although, as you will see below, I don't think we need him to start).

    I think our optimal offensive lineup is:
    PG: DG (maybe Buckley by the end of the season)
    SG1: Haluska (slight edge due to his defense) / Eikmeyer
    SG2: Lucca (slight edge due to his size) / Eikmeyer
    PF: CB
    C: JVB

    I know we are no where near that level of talent and it is early, but our optimal offensive team reminds me of the Houston Rockets in their hay day. Opposing coaches had to choose what they believed to be the lesser of two evils--either double Hakeem and give up wide open threes to good shooters or play Hakeem straight up and risk him going off for 40.

    Now, all we need is for Craig to create a college (i.e., non-traveling) version of the Dream Shake.



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    Re: This year's team... (long)

    I think this team will live by the 3 pointer, as well as die by the 3 pointer. Just have to hope they or on more than they are off!



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