Four Takeaways From Iowa State’s Win Over BaylorPosted by Brian Goodman on January 7th, 2014
If you are just now turning your attention to college basketball, you can thank the Big 12 scheduling committee for throwing you a bone. One day after both teams moved into the top ten of the AP Poll (not ours, which as you saw tonight was more accurate), Baylor met Iowa State in Ames, with the Cyclones pulling away in the second half for a resounding 87-72 win in Hilton Coliseum. If you didn’t catch it, however, we have you covered with four key takeaways:
- Welcome to the national spotlight, DeAndre Kane: The graduate transfer from Marshall has been terrific all season, but he completely outdid himself Tuesday night scoring 30 points, grabbing eight rebounds, and dishing out nine assists. Oh, he also had five steals. Kane excelled at picking his spots to drive right to the hoop, stop on a dime and pass, or pull up from three as well as regularly beating the Bears down the floor in transition. With conference play revving up in earnest, he is going to start gathering a lot of headlines, so be sure to tune in when the Cyclones hit the floor over the next two months.
- The rest of Iowa State’s perimeter attack is pretty good, too: The Cyclones torched the nets from long range, hitting 10 of their 25 threes on the night. They are used to launching with regularity, but Baylor’s imposing frontcourt, when matched up against Iowa State’s undersized lineup, dictated an especially perimeter-heavy game plan. Not unsurprisingly, Fred Hoiberg‘s team executed it about as well as could be expected. In addition to Kane, Melvin Ejim, Matt Thomas, Monte’ Morris, and Naz Long all connected from deep, and that kind of success will only help to open up more opportunities for the likes of Georges Niang and Dustin Hogue.
- The Bears failed to make adjustments: Scouting report oversights on the part of Baylor unfortunately aren’t anything new, but if there was one thing to circle on Tuesday night, it was that Iowa State loves to get up and down the court, ranking among the top 40 teams nationally in possessions per game. I lost count of how many times Kane and Ejim beat Baylor back down the floor, because when they weren’t carpet-bombing the Bears from long range, they were getting easy layups and emphatic dunks left and right. Baylor’s too athletic to fail to keep up with Iowa State the way it did, so to see them fall behind in the chase back to the other end was a major disappointment. Winning on the road is hard, but Baylor completely fell apart in the second half.
- Isaiah Austin continues to progress: Baylor’s lanky center continues to improve this season, largely due to his growing confidence in the paint. Austin had a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds, and he likely would have scored more if the game hadn’t gotten away from the Bears as quickly as it did in the second half. Iowa State’s smaller lineup provided plenty of opportunities for Austin to showcase his talents, but he is proving that he belongs among the top big men in the conference after spending much of last season simply camped out on the perimeter.