CHRISTOPHERSON: Let’s go dancing

Feb 26, 2022; Manhattan, Kansas, USA; Iowa State Cyclones guard Tyrese Hunter (11) brings the ball up court against Kansas State Wildcats guard Selton Miguel (3) during the second half at Bramlage Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

As I sat back and thought about what this team has done over the past several months, it is hard to fathom that the Cyclones sit at 20 wins for the season.

Coming off a two-win season which saw the program hit a low point in its storied history, no one saw this coming.

March Madness is quickly approaching, and it looks as though this team is getting hot at just the right time.

A newfound lineup that is predicated on “small ball” featuring Jaz Kunc at the five, Jaden Walker at the four, and three guards has opened defenses up and allowed this team to attack offensively. 

As a result, Tyrese Hunter looks like a player on the cusp of stardom and Izaiah Brockington finds himself squarely in the conversation for Big 12 POY.

Gabe Kalschuer and Caleb Grill are shooting the ball better from the perimeter and breaking 70 points on any given night doesn’t feel as unrealistic as it did one month ago.

The question I had to ask myself is this — how dangerous can this team be in March? 

None of us will know for sure until it plays out, but we are starting to see the make-up of a team that shines in a tournament atmosphere.

There are several key characteristics possessed by most teams that make deep tournament runs.

Can you defend? How good are your guards? How battle-tested are you? Do you have a star that can close out games late? Does your team play for each other?

I won’t dissect the answer to each of those questions because anyone who has watched this team throughout the season knows the answers to them are relatively straightforward. 

If there was a coach in college basketball built to resurrect this basketball program, it was TJ Otzelberger. If there was a model player to build this team around it was Izaiah Brockington. Regardless of the highs and lows of this season, this duo has stayed the course.

They have kept the locker room together and have this special group of young men believing in themselves.

We will all look back on this season in the years to come and cherish this player-coach combination and what they have led this team to accomplish.

This group was the exact remedy needed to restore the Iowa State men’s basketball program, and after Saturday’s tournament clinching road win against Kansas State, it is back baby! 

With one week to play in the regular season this team still has everything to play for.

Conference position and seeding will go a long way in determining their chances in the NCAA tournament.

However, let’s take moment to appreciate this group because they are special.

They embody what it means to be a Cyclone and what makes Iowa State a special place to play college basketball.

Then dust off your dancing shoes, call up your tailor, and get ready for the ball because it is almost time to go dancing and I cannot wait.


Scott Christopherson


Scott played 3 seasons for the Iowa State Cyclones, scoring over 1,000 points and finishing third-team all-conference as a senior while helping lead the Cyclones to the NCAA tournament. In 2012 he graduated from Iowa State with a degree in Finance and currently works in Indirect Lending for BMO Harris Bank and is also pursuing his MBA at St. Thomas University. Scott is passionate about leadership, teaching, and business. When he isn't working, Scott can be found spending time with his wife Kelly and their twin boys, Noah and Isaiah.