Iowa State beat Lehigh 86-77 last night at Hilton Coliseum. It served as the Cyclone debut for highly touted forward Royce White. It was good to see White scored (25 points) and rebounded (11) effectively. He also blocked three shots.
The Cyclones also got some nice production from Scott Christopherson, their reliable shooter. He made all six of his free throws and had 12 points and four rebounds.
Melvin Ejim averaged about 27 minutes per game last year and it looks like he’ll play a big role this year, too. He had 10 points and five rebounds. New transfer Chris Allen had 10 points as well.
I’m looking forward to watching Iowa State this year. One positive thing I see from the scoresheet is the shooting percentage yesterday. The Cyclones were 30-53, for 56%. Even against subpar competition, that’s a sign the offense is taking good shots or getting fast breaks, or both. Some teams are tempted to take bad chances against inferior athletes but Iowa State didn’t do that.
I do not like the turnovers. There were 18, and White made six of them. Nothing to worry about of course, but it’s something to try to improve. They had 13 assists, which isn’t too bad for 30 made shots.
I am very curious to see if 20+ point efforts are the norm this year for White. It was nice to see five guys score at least 10 points, because that indicates a natural balance.
We all know one of Iowa State’s biggest problems in the last few years was depth. Craig Brackins was a great player but defenses could key on him too much. If the Cyclones continue to share the basketball well, I think we’ll soon see a team much better than the one that beat Lehigh by nine yesterday.
P.S. Shoutout to Cyclone fans for selling out the season opener, 13,000+ in attendance yesterday.