Basketball Blog: Exhibition preview

By Chris Williams, Publisher

Iowa State vs. Dubuque (Exhibition)
Tonight, 7 p.m. @ Hilton Coliseum
Cyclone Radio Network, no TV

With basketball, I normally write my “breakdown” column leading up to games. I’m not going to do that for tonight’s exhibition clash with the mighty Dubuque Spartans. Is there really a need to break down two teams that nobody has ever seen before? No sir.

Instead of the CF norm, here are some things for fans to keep an eye on in what is unofficially the start of the Fred Hoiberg era in Ames. Things will officially tip off a week from tonight, when Northern Arizona comes to town.


After Thursday’s practice, Hoiberg confirmed what I have speculated to be Iowa State’s starting lineup for a little over a month.

G: Diante Garrett, 6-foot-4 Sr.
G: Darion “Jake” Anderon, 6-foot-2 Sr.
G: Scott Christopherson, 6-foot-3 Jr.
F: Melvin Ejim, 6-foot-6 Fr.
F: Jamie Vanderbeken: 6-foot-11 Sr.

After that, you’ll more than likely only see three other Cyclones play tonight. Those men are redshirt freshman (walk-on) guard Bubu Palo, freshman forward Calvin Godfrey and freshman center Jordan Railey.  Remember that JUCO transfer DeMarcus Phillips is out until late November with a broken hand.

Don’t expect to see freshman forward Eric McKnight in action this evening either.

“He had a little issue going on that he just got cleared,” Fred Hoiberg said after Thursday’s practice. "I’m not sure that he’ll be able to play. Most likely we’ll go in with eight guys.”

Four of those eight will play in their first college basketball game ever tonight. If those players didn’t sleep last night, they weren’t alone. Their head coach is nervous too.

“It will be emotional for me,” Hoiberg said. “I know that it is an exhibition game but still, there will be a lot of people there, people who have supported me my whole life. I am excited about my first opportunity to coach in front of the fans.”


Hoiberg on Melvin Ejim’s role

“Melvin brings a ton of energy. He is the most ready of our freshmen. He can play the three and the four and we’re going to need him to. He is the only guy who will play inside and out. He’ll start at the four but I see him down the road at the small forward.”

Hoiberg on Royce White’s eligibility

“Still waiting to hear on Royce. Hopefully we will hear here in the next few days. Whatever happens with Royce, he has had a tremendously positive attitude to this point. He is on board for whatever decision comes. If he plays, that is obviously great for us. If not, he is ready to sit out with the other guys to build chemistry and come back stronger next year.”


–       Iowa State returns only 23.5 percent of their scoring and 12.8 percent of their rebounding from last year’s team.

–       Iowa State and Dubuque have only played one time. That was back in 1942. The Cyclones won that contest 46-30. If you were at that game, you deserve some sort of an award. That was a regular season contest. They met again in an exhibition back in 2007-08. Iowa State won 66-38.

–       With more of an up-tempo offense, I expect Iowa State to score more points with less talent than last year’s team.

–       Iowa State is 42-4 in exhibition games dating back to 1983.