Finals are Over - Time for First Semester Grades

Finals week wrapped up last night at Iowa State, and the minds of Cyclone Nation have slowly slipped to the television and a smorgasbord of college football and basketball. As many Iowa State students are eagerly checking WebCT and Access+ to check their grades, it might be time to hand out some grades to the Cyclone men's basketball team some grades of its own. We cross our fingers that all of the real grades that our guys get are passing, but how are they doing relative to expectations?

Starting Lineup

G Diante Garrett - Coach Hoiberg told Diante he'd have to be the leader of our team during this campaign and he has been. Despite some questionable shot selection at times, and moments when we wished he'd quit shooting (the Iowa game miiiiight be one that comes to mind), his ability to get into the lane has opened up things for our shooters. 

  • 3rd in Big 12 in minutes per game (34.5 mpg)
  • 3rd in Big 12 in assists per game (5.7 apg)
  • 4th in Big 12 in assist/turnover ratio (2.1)
  • 4th in Big 12 in steals (4.1 spg)
  • 9th in Big 12 in scoring (16.3 ppg)
  • 12th in Big 12 in three pointers made per game (1.7)
  • 13th in Big 12 in FG percentage (41%)

FIRST SEMESTER GRADE: B+

Comments: Diante has embraced a leadership role, and has been vital to the 9-2 Cyclones start. A bit stubborn at times, but his play has made everyone around him better.

More grades after the jump....

G Scott Christopherson - Scotty has been a revelation in his junior season. For all the manlove that Lucca Staiger got before leaving for the Fatherland, it turns out that Christopherson is a much, much more talented basketball player, especially when he's not sick. He singlehandedly defeated Iowa, is known as a Cyborg by the SBNation blog Bring on the Cats, works harder on his shot than any other Cyclone, and pretty much deserves to have at least one beer on the house at any Ames establishment. Scotty too Hotty indeed. Oh, and he's hit more threes, as of now, than any other player nationally.

 

  • 1st in Big 12 in three point percentage - and it's not close (54.9%)
  • 1st in Big 12 in three pointers made per game (3.5)
  • 5th in Big 12 in minutes per game (33.8 mpg)
  • 6th in Big 12 in scoring (16.5 ppg)
  • 10th in Big 12 in field goal percentage (48.9%)

FIRST SEMESTER GRADE: A+

Comments: Scott has been unconscious. 

 

G Jake Anderson - Thank you, Ricardo Patton. An early leader for the team, Jake has been up and down a times this year, but on a team lacking a true post presence, he's provided some key rebounds. Has disappeared a bit at times, and we'll need him come Big 12 season, but the best compliment  you hear about him - and you hear it a lot - is "he's a ballplayer."

 

  • 5th in Big 12 in offensive rebounds per game (3.1 rpg)
  • 6th in Big 12 in rebounding (8.6 rpg)
  • 6th in Big 12 in minutes per game (33.0 mpg)
  • 7th in Big 12 in defensive rebounds per game (5.4 rpg)
  • 11th in Big 12 in assist/turnover ratio (1.5)
  • 12th in Big 12 in assists per game (3.3 apg)
  • 13th in Big 12 in steals per game (1.6 spg)
  • 14th in Big 12 in free throw percentage (73.8%)

FIRST SEMESTER GRADE: A-

Comments: Jake has been a lot of fun to watch this year, and his nickname - "Uncle Jake" - is a testament to how much the other guys look up to him. May need to step up more in terms of dribble penetration as the year progresses.

 

F Melvin Ejim - A guy that was looked at as a bit of a steal in the recruiting class, Ejim has shown flashes of brilliance, along with flashes of being a freshman. He's a fairly intelligent basketball player who can go inside or out. Still needs work on his post game - he won't get the looks against Kansas and Texas that he'll get against Alabama State. That being said, we're getting as much as we can expect out of him.

 

  • 3rd in Big 12 in field goal percentage (61.1%)
  • 9th in Big 12 in offensive rebounds per game (2.7 rpg)
  • 11th in Big 12 in rebounding (6.9 rpg)
  • 16th in Big 12 in scoring (13.3 ppg)

FIRST SEMESTER GRADE: B+

Comments: The best thing about freshmen is that they become sophomores, but it is hard to be disappointed with what we've seen thus far. Development is the key.

 

F Jamie Vanderbeken - Jamie's been a little tough to read at times. When he's on, he's useful, and he's our only experienced post. He's also very vulnerable to the dumb foul. Also has one post move. He's both incredibly frustrating as well as crucial to our team going forward. Leads nation in "I get these rebounds simply because I'm tall."

 

  • 3rd in Big 12 in blocks per game (2.0 bpg)
  • 7th in Big 12 in three pointers made per game (2.0)
  • 7th in Big 12 in three point field goal percentage (40.7%)

 

 

FIRST SEMESTER GRADE: B-

Comments: Looking forward to a stronger second half out of Jamie. Has "brainfarts" at times that hurt him and the team at times. Needs to work on better using his size.

-----

The Bench 

 

G Bubu Palo - The primary backcourt defender for the Cyclones, Bubu is a hometown favorite and is the only walkon in the rotation. That being said, him playing crucial minutes for this team isn't really a good thing, as he is a pretty big offensive liability. Good story, not a good basketball player right now.

 

FIRST SEMESTER GRADE: D

Comments: The D is for defense, which is really the only thing he brings to the table.

 

G DeMarcus Phillips - Has only played a couple of games, from which we can't really draw anything, and we're not sure if he'll even be back past this year.

 

FIRST SEMESTER GRADE: INC

Comments: Simply hasn't shown up enough to conclude anything.

 

F Eric McKnight - RAW. Don't doubt he can jump, do doubt he can play Big 12 basketball right now. Likely in trouble if he's playing serious minutes.

 

FIRST SEMESTER GRADE: D

Comments: Ability might be there. Would have been really useful to redshirt him.

 

F Calvin Godfrey - It'd be nice to give him some time to develop, but this is simply not an option. A ballhawk as a rebounder, he's not much of an offensive threat right now. Reminds me of what Damion Staple might have been as a freshman. Needs to develop in the post, but his size has been invaluable. His passing is an adventure.

 

FIRST SEMESTER GRADE: B-

Comments: Performing as well as could be expected right now. Has been pushed into action much earlier than should have been necessary. Looking forward to seeing him develop.

 

C Jordan Railey - As with Godfrey, he's been pressed into action a bit earlier than necessary. Actually has some pretty nice touch, but needs to progress as a post player. Seems to be a decent defensive player, but is vulnerable to some dumb fouls. Seemingly a pretty smart basketball player outside of that.

 

FIRST SEMESTER GRADE: B-

Comments: Similar to Godfrey, although he's got further to come along. Getting him minutes anywhere we can is key. 

 

 

 

The Redshirts

 

G John Lamb, G Chris Babb, G Chris Allen, F Anthony Booker, F Royce White - These five have done everything asked of them, and the fact they are all redshirting together has helped with team cohesiveness. Has reportedly been tougher to play against as a scout team than any opponent.

 

FIRST SEMESTER GRADE: A

Comments: They seem to love Ames, and they're getting the love right back. Can't wait to see them in action.

 

The Coach 

 

 

Fred Hoiberg - Tough to argue with him right now. His hire of Bobby Lutz has been a stroke of genius, and the team has been really exciting to watch. Apparently refuses to take timeouts. His players seem to love him. 

 

FIRST SEMESTER GRADE: A-

Comments: Done everything he needs to so far. Could be undefeated, but he's still learning how to coach as well. We'll learn more about what he's made of in conference play.

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At this point in the season, it makes sense to give this team a B+. A 9-2 record isn't bad at all, though 11-0 should probably be the case. That being said, this team is still learning how to play together, and the future looks a hell of a lot more exciting than a year ago at this time.

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