Technically, nobody can talk about these “secret scrimmages” that have become so popular over the years in the world of college basketball. The days of programs hosting two open exhibition games are long gone – at Iowa State anyway.
On Sunday, Fred Hoiberg’s Cyclones traveled west to do battle with former Iowa State head coach Greg McDermott and the Creighton Bluejays – a program picked to finish third in its inaugural season in the Big East.
According to multiple sources, Creighton won the scrimmage by seven points but Iowa State held a lead midway through the second half. Iowa State’s starting five fared well in the scrimmage. It was Creighton’s bench that ultimately won the game for the Bluejays
Regardless, the final score means little to nothing in these “secret scrimmages.” The coaches experiment quite a bit. This is exactly why they want to play “secretly” and not in front of 10,000 fans. That’s the glory of it.
— I’m hearing that Marshall transfer DeAndre Kane led Iowa State in scoring and rebounding on the day. That’s encouraging.
— I’m also hearing that Georges Niang and Melvin Ejim played just okay for the Cyclones. That too, is encouraging. By all means, those are Iowa State’s best two returning players. If they were just okay and Iowa State hung around with a team like Creighton, other Cyclones had to have done something right.
— One of the biggest preseason practice surprises so far from Iowa State has been the play of junior college transfer Dustin Hogue. He played well on Sunday.
— I’ve heard that the two freshmen, Matt Thomas and Monte Morris, were efficient but not flashy in the scrimmage.
— Final word on the scrimmage…Remember to not take too much from what happens in November and December regarding Iowa State basketball. The Royce White team lost to UNI and Drake in the same season. That same team almost lost at home to Mississippi Valley State. Like the last two years, this Cyclone team is going to need some time to gel.
Big story to follow…
…Is one that has been hashed out quite a bit during the preseason. Iowa State needs to extend its bench.
Foul trouble was a huge topic towards the end of last season. Ready or not, when Big 12 play comes around, Melvin Ejim and Georges Niang will experience foul trouble in certain games. This is inevitable. You think Bill Self won’t attack that duo from the opening tip?
Iowa State projected starting five (unofficial of course) consists of DeAndre Kane, Matt Thomas, Dustin Hogue, Melvin Ejim & Georges Niang. Right now, I have Monte Morris and Naz Long pegged as the sixth and seventh men (based off of sourcing from Sunday).
The point is that on any given night, somebody needs to step up and be that eighth (and ninth) man. The contenders: Sherron Dorsey-Walker, Percy Gibson, Daniel Edozie and K.J. Bluford.
In a perfect world, junior big man Percy Gibson will be this guy.
Iowa State will host Augustana in an exhibition on Sunday evening at 5 p.m.
A week later, the 2013/14 season will open with UNC-Wilmington on Nov. 10 at noon.