Iowa State looked like a team ready to compete for the Big 12 title last Saturday in Lawrence, so those are the Cyclones we talked about with Wide Right Natty Lite managing editor Levi Stevenson. They’re young, versatile and fast, highlighted by a ton of offensive weapons including Marial Shayok, Lindell Wigginton, Michael Jacobson and Tyrese Haliburton, the guard Levi said Fran Fraschilla is correct to call “a 6-5 Monte Morris.” Levi says this Iowa State team can even play defense, and a KenPom Adjusted defensive efficiency ranking of 29 backs him up. That’s terrifying.
Since we recorded on Sunday, we didn’t touch on the possibility of K-State getting to face the Cyclones who lost at Baylor, but the ‘Cats probably shouldn’t count on that. As Levi reminds us, Hilton Coliseum provides a nice boost, and Iowa State has plenty of shooters who are much less likely to go cold in Ames. That said, it’s worth noting Levi raves about the way reserve big man Cam Lard played in the win over Kansas, but it looks like he won’t be available on Saturday after he sprained his ankle on Tuesday.
The consensus is K-State’s elite defense could still keep things close, as usual, and then we’ll see what happens. It’s definitely the offense Eric and I are most worried about, along with every other K-State fan who is remotely paying attention. Speaking of offense, we also asked Levi about new Wildcat football offensive coordinator Courtney Messingham, who formerly held the same position at Iowa State. Let’s just say Levi didn’t offer a ringing endorsement.
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