Cyclones showing depth early on

The Iowa State men’s basketball program is off to a 4-0 start in 2009 as the team is averaging an impressive 86.5 points per game. The Cyclones are outscoring their opponents by 25.8 points per game so far.

Putting the ball in the bucket has definitely not been an issue for Iowa State head coach Greg McDermott.

“I don’t think that I would have guessed that we’d be shooting it as well as we are shooting it through four games,” McDermott told reporters after Sunday’s 96-55 win over Mississippi Valley State. “Today (Sunday) was the first time where I felt like Marquis was really at ease offensively and wasn’t trying to force the issue. There are enough guys who can score. Lucca gets 32 the other night and he gets three tonight. He is okay with that. If they are going to lock on and stand next to him then we’ll keep dumping it in to Marquis or Craig and making that extra pass. That’s what gives this team and opportunity to be special. Lucca could play 28 or 29 minutes and score 32 and then come back and play 23 and only take three shots.”

Brackins, Gilstrap and Staiger are the usual suspects and the guys who will be in the headlines all season long. Who else has impressed McDermott so far this season?

“Charles Boozer is playing the best basketball of his career. You have Scott Christopherson over there,” McDermott said. “Jamie Vanderbeeken, Chris Colvin, Dominique Buckley and hopefully LaRon will be back by mid-week. It just gives us a lot of options and it allows you to play through a game where if somebody has an off game or somebody has the flu or sprains an ankle. We just haven’t had that luxury here in the past.”

Scott Christopherson has scored in double-digits every game so far for Iowa State. The Marquette transfer is currently averaging 11.8 points per game while going 17-for-29 from the field and 9-for-15 from 3-point range. Christopherson joints Brackins, LaRon Dendy, Gilstrap and Staiger as Cyclones averaging double figures.

“I had a pretty good idea of how he was going to play, just because of how hard he has worked not only last season to improve on so many things that we felt he needed work on but in the summer and the fall, the guy was in the gym all of the time,” McDermott said. “He has tightened up his ball handling. He can shoot at a very efficient rate. He didn’t turn it over again today. That’s one turnover in the last two games, when he is out there against some pretty good pressure.”

Iowa State will host Tennessee State tomorrow night in Ames before heading off to Chicago for a date with St. Louis on Friday.


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