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Basketball

Williams: Chemistry is the key

By Chris Williams, CycloneFanatic.com PublisherFollow Chris on Twitter @ChrisMWilliams

So you’re worried about chemistry when it comes to the 2011/12 Iowa State Cyclones huh?

You’re not alone. In fact, if I had a dime for every time I heard the word "chemistry" during Wednesday’s Iowa State men’s basketball media day, I’d be able to buy the 2011 Edition Cyclone Tundra courtesy of Wilson Toyota of Ames. (Don’t roll your eyes. I’m a company man.)

Fans are worried about chemistry.

The media is worried about chemistry.

Everybody is worried about chemistry.

And that’s exactly why chemistry has been and will continue to be something that Hoiberg and his coaching staff will stress with this group of Cyclones.

"I talk to our guys all of the time about having that chemistry," said Hoiberg. "It doesn’t matter how talented you are. If you don’t have chemistry, you aren’t going to achieve your goals."

So far, so good. In the 10 practices he had with his team and the actual Italy trip itself, Hoiberg saw exactly what he was looking for. Unselfish, team basketball.

"We had six players average double figures over there. The extra pass was made when it was there and that says a lot," Hoiberg said. "We have guys who can make tough shots but when the defense rotated to us and shifted to us, we hit the open guy. It was great to see."

"I had some concerns about that but it is something that we’ll continue to hammer our guys on. It will be talked about daily."

Royce White absorbed Hoiberg’s message the day he arrived on Iowa State’s campus.

White, a 6-foot-8, 270-pound forward, averaged a triple-double (points, rebounds and assists) in the Des Moines YMCA Capital City League over the summer.

"He (White) told me that he’d rather get an assist than a point," said Hoiberg.

“I want to play the game in an unselfish way," said White, who the Big 12 coaches recently voted as the league’s Preseason Newcomer of the Year. "I watched our games last year and tried to mold my game in a way that would help our team. With as many shooters as we have this year and as many weapons, it is going to take unselfishness up and down the line. Not just on my part but especially on my part.”

Hoiberg nailed the chemistry angle in his press conference.

"You see the great teams at whatever level, the high school teams that win it, the college teams that win it and the NBA teams that win it. They don’t worry about individual statistics. They worry about winning and again, it’s something that we’ll talk about a lot this year."

Yes – Chemistry is key. On Oct. 12, the Cyclones appear to have it.

If that is still the case when March rolls around, the Cyclone Nation could be on the brink of a special season.