Normally it's not really a celebration when a team goes 2-0 during the non-conference portion of the schedule. But I don't think you can consider this a "normal" year. So, it's time to be happy things are starting off well from this group.
If you've been reading the site, you'll see that I've been in Colorado, so I was unable to watch any ISU basketball. But here's what I can deduce from the games based off the information I do have:
Against Northern Arizona, the game I was concerned about, Iowa State benefited from going 11-23 from 3 point territory. Jamie Vanderbeken (23 points, 8-16 shooting) and Diante Garrett (19 points 8-15 shooting) had especially good shooting nights, which lead the team to victory. When you can shoot over 45% from 3 point land, that's a good shooting night. At the same time, expecting those numbers sustained over the course of the season is not realistic. We were very fortunate, because Northern Arizona was one of the Top 30 shooting teams in the nation last year, and they returned a majority of their guys.
Against Alabama State, Iowa State had another good shooting night, combined with Alabama State having a poor shooting night. ISU shot 48% from the floor, including 46% from 3 point land. Alabama State had 27% field goal shooting, and went 3-22 from 3 point land. Now, is Alabama State's poor shooting due to Iowa State playing good defense, or is it due to Alabama State just not shooting well? Those are the kinds of things you cannot really deduce from the boxscore. Something else that I saw from the Alabama State boxscore is DeMarcus Phillips played about 7 minutes. It's good to see him playing.
Up next for the Cyclones is Drake at Hilton on Wednesday. I will preview that matchup on Wednesday morning, and we'll recap the game on Wednesday night. I will be attending that game, so I should be able to provide a better breakdown on Thursday.