AMES — Iowa State made quite the impression on one of the most well-respected coaches in college basketball on Sunday. After his team’s 77-70 loss to the Cyclones, Michigan’s John Beilein raved about all things Iowa State.
“Iowa State has a tremendous atmosphere here. Fred has done an incredible job. They really have a good team. I really like what he has been able to do. He’s found these nuggets all over the place, whether if it is a fifth year guy or a junior college guy. It has been incredible that he has been able to find guys to places pieces in this puzzle. You get a kid like (Naz) Long who didn’t even play last year. Now, he is ready to play. You should be very happy here that you have it rolling and it is a great team and it was a really great thing for us to be a part of today.”
Beilein led Michigan to a runner-up finish in last season’s NCAA Tournament. The Wolverines entered Sunday as the 7th-ranked team in America and were selected to finish second in the Big Ten this season’s by the league’s media poll.
"They attacked us in some soft spots that we have," Beilein said. "Sometimes they are physical. Sometimes they are matchup related. They are a very good team. There is a reason why they are 17-1. I know you had a good team last year. This team, there is not much of a drop-off. Mostly, when you can get a fifth-year senior guard (DeAndre Kane) coming in there that has scored about 1,500 points already, that’s a treasure right there.”
Up next for Iowa State is another tough challenge – a road trip to Provo, Utah for a Wednesday evening (8:30 central) tip at BYU.