The Iowa State men’s basketball team continued to impress on Sunday afternoon. The Cyclones beat up on Mississippi Valley State by 41 points, in a 96-55 victory. Things are really clicking right now for the Cyclones who are 4-0, heading into Tuesday’s contest with Tennessee State.
Any good coach will always tell you that his team has things to work on though. Through four games, one thing has stuck out to Iowa State head coach Greg McDermott that his team needs to improve.
That’s man-to-man offense. Here’s what the coach had to say after Sunday’s win.
Our man-to-man offense is still obviously a work in progress. That was evident by our start to the game. We have spent a significant amount of time on our zone offense because of the teams we have played to this point. Because of that, our man-to-man offense is a little behind where I would like it to be at this point. The first 15 possessions, we scored on five, we missed on five and we turned it over on five. We have to limit those turnovers. This is a team that has enough offensive weapons. If we get, to steal a soccer term, a shot on goal, we’re going to have a good chance to put it in the basket or go get that offensive rebound. A lot of the turnovers are self-inflicted and not necessarily something that the defense is doing that we didn’t expect. We were just a little weak with the basketball or tired to make that perfect pass. We’ve got to get better at that. Our defense, fortunately kept us in the game until our offense got clicking. Once we got rolling midway through that first half, I thought that we were pretty efficient offensively the rest of the way.
McDermott was then asked if he’d attempt to work on this before Tuesday.
You don’t address it in one day. We spent a lot of time on it on Thursday in practice. We spent a good portion of Friday before we turned our attention to Mississippi Valley State. Then, yesterday, a lot of it was getting ready for today. We’ll just continue to work on it. There are some things that we can take up off of this film that will help us become better. The guys are trying to make some plays defensively. The effort is there. Just for whatever reason, to start that game, we didn’t really get that bounce in our step until we scored a few easy baskets and that kind of fueled our defense. The great teams are able to play that defense like that when their offense is struggling. That’s where we have to continue to progress.
What did you guys do differently that held them to so few points late in the first half?
I’ve tried to sell this to our players. The pressure isn’t going to impact our opposing team in the first six or seven minutes of the game. They are fresh enough and they have enough bench at that point in time. It’s going to impact the game later in the half and certainly in the second half of the game. Their ball handlers finally got tired of the pressure and they just gave it to us. That fueled our offense. We just had to make some adjustments of some things that we were doing on the post and we did a little bit better of a job there. We were consistent with our pressure. There were two or three guys pressuring on one possession but very seldom, early in the game were we getting all five. Once we got to that point, I thought that we were able to really take them out of what they wanted to do. The way we are defending, we are going to give up a lay up once in a while. We are going to foul once in a while. But it is usually going to be out of the scope of their offense.
Iowa State will be back in action on Tuesday against Tennessee State. The game will tip at 7 p.m.