Lucious Has Struggled So Far For Cyclones, Which Play BYU Saturday
By Rob Gray, Reporter
AMES, Iowa — Will Clyburn knows BYU.
There’s not a team on the schedule the high-flying Iowa State transfer forward has played more often than the up-tempo Cougars (5-2).
So allow him to break down Saturday's 1 p.m. matchup at Hilton Coliseum.
“BYU, I feel, is run and gun,” said Clyburn, who averaged 20.5 points in two losses against the 2010-11 Cougars while playing for Utah. “They get up and try to score as many points as they can in transition. They’re pretty disciplined, though, so that’s what makes it even harder to defend them — because they’re disciplined and they like to get up and down.”
ISU (4-2) merely hopes to get back up after sustaining two losses to top-25 teams in last weekend’s Global Sports Classic at Las Vegas.
The Cyclones struggled the most with ball security, yielding 33 turnovers to 22 assists in setbacks to Cincinnati (78-70) and UNLV (82-70).
Point guard Korie Lucious managed two assists in 62 minutes of those games.
He also lost eight turnovers while shooting 6-for-21 from the field.
Through six games, Lucious — a former Michigan State star — has a 1-to-1 assist to turnover ratio with 26 of each.
“Right now we’re trying to hit too many home runs and we’ve got too many weapons on the offensive end to take those types of chances,” ISU coach Fred Hoiberg said. “We’ve got to get the ball moving, get the ball from side to side and our numbers show we’re a lot more successful when that happens.”
Hoiberg said he and Lucious met one-on-one upon returning from Vegas.
“We’re just going to continue to try to talk and put together some things that can be more simple for him — to get us into an offense to get more guys touching the ball, get it shifted from side to side,” Hoiberg said. “It’s a process. ... It’s something a lot of teams are going through right now as far as what you’re gonna do to put together the best package for your team to be successful. I think we’ll get there.”
The Cyclones have already arrived in terms of rebounding.
They average 48 boards per game, which ranks second-best nationally.
“I thought that would be a weakness of our team, but we’ve really battled,” Hoiberg said.
Clyburn’s led that charge, averaging 9.2 rebounds per game.
Melvin Ejim’s a close second and 9.0.
“You know he’s not the biggest guy out there, but he’s probably the toughest guy on our team, hands down, except (guard) Tyrus (McGee),” Clyburn said of Ejim.
That comment drew a chuckle from McGee, who supplies instant energy — and keen long-range shooting — off the bench.
“It’s what I do,” he said.
McGee scored a career-high 22 points in the Cincinnati loss, but his ongoing performance in an unofficial statistical category most impresses Hoiberg.
“Right now he’s leading us in scoring (14.8 points, tied with Clyburn),” Hoiberg said. “And leading us in floor burns, as well.”
More of those to come Saturday.
“We’re going to have to come out with great energy and effort,” Hoiberg said. “We expect to win every game we play at Hilton Coliseum.’’
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