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Basketball

WILLIAMS: Five takeaways from Iowa State’s exhibition win

AMES — Predictably, the seventh-ranked Iowa State basketball team had its way with Division II opponent Grand Valley State in Friday night’s 106-60 exhibition victory. 

Naz Mitrou-Long led the Cyclones with 20 points while making 6-of-7 3-point shots.

Seven Cyclones scored in double figures including Jameel McKay, who recorded the game’s lone double-double at 13 and 11.

To view the game’s box score, CLICK HERE. 

Here are five subtle takeaways from Iowa State’s exhibition win.

1 – Hoiball lives

Well, for now.

Not to obsess over Hoiberg (because it is Steve Prohm’s program now) but when Fred left for the NBA, many fans were hoping that Jamie Pollard would make a hire that would keep a certain up-tempo style of basketball prevalent inside of Hilton Coliseum.

The Cyclones made 16-of-32 3-point attempts Friday night and the pace was very similar.

It’s an exhibition though and is too early to tell anything. However, making 16 threes and scoring 106 points against anybody is a nice start.

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2 – Rotation is what we thought it was

As Iowa State was nearing 100 points midway through the second half, Prohm still hadn’t gone deeper than seven.

“That’s what you’ll probably see (going forward), I’d guess,” Prohm said after the game. “Those five with probably Abdel (Nader) out first so that way we can go small and put him (Nader) back at the four. And then Georges (Niang) or Hallice (Cooke).

My guess is it will stay that way until Deonte Burton is eligible in December too.

What if Iowa State does go eight or deeper?

“What we need from a Simeon (Carter), a Brady (Ernst) or Jordan (Ashton) if they do get in, is simply just defend and rebound,” Prohm said. “We’ve got enough guys who can score.”

3 – What’s Simeon Carter’s deal?

I’ve had a lot of fans ask me this over the last couple of weeks.

Here’s the deal: As we saw on Friday night, Carter, a 6-foot-8, 215-pound true freshman, is and will be a work in progress during the 2015-16 season.

Now don’t get me wrong, the feeling around the program is that Carter has a bright future. In fact, I’ve heard that they’ve penciled him in to start as a sophomore, but as Prohm noted, Carter’s minutes will be giving ISU’s bigs a blow and in desperate foul situations.

This isn’t a bad thing either. Let him learn behind some of the best players in the country.

Carter played 10 minutes, scored four points and had three rebounds in the win. 

4 – It was good to see Hallice Cooke out there

Because of his transfer year year, I don’t think that most fans understand what this guy has gone through over the last 12 months after undergoing major hip surgery. When Cooke, an Oregon State transfer, checked into the game for the first time, he thanked the Big Man upstairs.

“I think he got some confidence,” Prohm said. “He needs to defend his position, rebound the ball, take care of the ball and make shots.”

Cooke went 4-for-5 from 3-point range and scored 12 points in his Iowa State debut.

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5 – Never seen anything like it

I was our staff photographer on Friday night and while sitting on the floor leading up to the game, I just watched as the Cyclones went through lay-up drills.

I thought to myself, “I’ve never seen this much talent on an Iowa State team, and I’m not sure if I ever will again.”

Not to be a downer, but I also think that is being somewhat realistic too. I mean, this team is absolutely loaded. It is a close group too, which is important as I don’t see chemistry ever being a problem with this team.

The ingredients are here for a special, special season that will begin next Friday in Sioux Falls S.D. vs. Colorado.

Of course, we will have a ton of hoops preview content between now and then at CycloneFanatic.com.

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