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Basketball

MONDAY MUSINGS: Where I’m at on the Cyclones

Dec 17, 2016; Des Moines, IA, USA; Iowa State Cyclones guard Nick Weiler-Babb (1) celebrates during the second half against the Drake Bulldogs at Wells Fargo Arena. Iowa State won 97-80. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports 

I hate to say it, but I feel worse about Iowa State basketball following Saturday’s 17-point win over Drake than I did leaving Iowa City a couple of Thursday’s ago.

I just don’t know how after that embarrassing performance in Carver Hawkeye Arena, this veteran team wasn’t scratching and clawing at a chance to shut up the naysayers.

I’m not panicking, just a little flustered.

Monte Morris, Naz Mitrou-Long and Matt Thomas are still all really good guards and character human beings as well. None of that has changed.

It is nice to see Donovan Jackson coming around and Nick Weiler-Babb has shown a world of potential. My guess is that he will see more and more minutes as the season goes on.

Deonte Burton was, is and probably always will be a 6-foot-5, 250-pound wildcard. There’s no way he can continue to miss that many bunnies around the rim. (Right?!?!)

Iowa State’s post play has been next to non-existent.

I don’t think anybody was ever expecting the Cyclones to thrive in the frountcourt but Merrill Holden has been a shadow of the guy Iowa State thought it was getting. Darrell Bowie is a nice player but isn’t dynamic enough to be a real inside threat in the Big 12. I think we are all waiting for Solomon Young to finally break through and get his “shot.” Stay tuned for that.

What to do?

Play faster and convert quality defense into offense. Steve Prohm made that a priority all last week and the offense no doubt looked better vs. Drake.

At the current time, Iowa State is ranked 150th in tempo according to KenPom.com. That needs to be in the top 50.

That defense part though…What the crap was that?

We have yet to see everything click at once for the Cyclones.

Remember that Iowa State is still only three points away from having wins over Gonzaga and Cincinnati.

Is it time for a four-guard lineup?

Maybe.

Lots of questions. No great answers.

The final tune-up of the season is tomorrow night vs. Mississippi Valley State before Big 12 play begins and Texas Tech comes to town on the 30th.