Predictions: What will the season look like for Cyclone men’s basketball


Jacob Rice

Eli King poses at men’s basketball media day on Oct. 12.

Andrew Harrington and Hailey Dohnal

Editor’s note: The 2022-23 Iowa State men’s basketball season is upon us.

With a combination of incoming freshmen and experienced transfers, there is a lot of unknown for the team this season. Sports Editor Andrew Harrington and Assistant Sports Editor Hailey Dohnal give their predictions for the anticipated season.

Record predictions

Andrew Harrington: 21-10

Iowa State is coming off of a massive turnaround season. The Cyclones became a national storyline. Now, Iowa State will need to stay consistent to keep building upon the strong season.

Only returning four players, or five if you include the inactive Tre King, means that it will be a completely new core.

The upside of having a new crew is that the young core is extremely hungry. Obviously everyone wants to win in college athletics, but young players seemingly want it even more at times.

The key to success will be easing these young players in to their roles so that they do not struggle out of the gates.

Hailey Dohnal: 20-11

Iowa State made a historic run, making it to the Sweet Sixteen last season, and I believe they are set up for another successful season.

The Cyclones have an elite freshman class who looks to bring a strong defense to the basketball squad along with positive mindsets on and off the court. Additionally, they have an experienced team as well who knows what it’s like to go from a 2-22 record to making it to the big dance. 

The Cyclone men have expressed that they feel no pressure to have another big season as they feel they have the abilities and confidence to be great. 

A 20-11 record seems reasonable for Iowa State as I think this season will look similar to the last, and the team will continue to look stronger and grow throughout the season. 

I know there will more than likely be games the Cyclones lose that they shouldn’t along with thrilling upsets, but I feel this season will be an exciting one. 

Potential upset

Andrew Harrington: Texas, Jan. 17

Texas comes into the season ranked No. 12—and notably picked up former Cyclone Tyrese Hunter. When Texas comes back to Hilton Coliseum, it is going to be the loudest the place gets all year with the fans erupting for every Longhorn miscue.

With an atmosphere like this, the game can only go one of two ways: Hunter could have a dominant night and singlehandedly take down the Cyclones, or the crowd could get the best of him.

This upset seems more likely than one against teams such as Baylor and Kansas in my mind.

Hailey Dohnal: Kansas, Feb. 4

Baylor and Kansas are currently tied for fifth in the AP Top 25 preseason poll. Additionally, Texas is at No. 12, TCU at No. 14 and Texas Tech at No. 25. 

The Cyclones will play all five teams both away and at home. 

The Cyclone’s first game out of the five will be against Baylor at home. However, with the game being during winter break, the lack of students may be a problem. Additionally, the rest of the first appearances against these teams will be played during Iowa State’s winter break. 

It can be challenging to upset a team when there aren’t as many fans as there typically would be.

With all that said, I think the upset will come against the Jayhawks on Feb. 4. The Cyclones will have already played Kansas in Lawrence, and this will either be another chance to beat them or a chance at revenge. 

The game is set to be at 11 a.m. on a Saturday, and I believe that is the perfect time to watch an upset occur. 

Bold prediction

Andrew Harrington

My bold prediction is that freshman Eli King will land on an All-Big 12 team when the season is done. It does not seem like King will be a starter when the season kicks off, as Tamin Lipsey and Jaren Holmes will be the starters more than likely.

The loss of Jeremiah Williams due to injury will clear the way for King to get some playing time, and I think he will show out early. The low minutes early in the season might take him out of contention, but many voters weight conference play more heavily than non-conference when making a decision.

Hailey Dohnal

Although I’ve made my record prediction, my bold prediction is that the Cyclones will only lose a maximum of five games. 

After hearing the players and coaches talk, I could see Iowa State blowing fans’ minds and having a record-breaking season. These men seem passionate and pumped to get back onto the court, and once they can get some big wins under their belt, it may just be game over for any other team they have. 

Yes, it’s bold. Will it happen? I guess we’ll find out. But, if the Cyclones do make this prediction come to life, just remember where you first read about it.  

Under the radar player to watch

Andrew Harrington: Jaren Holmes

Jaren Holmes was not a stat sheet stuffer at St. Bonaventure, but he was a top tier facilitator. Holmes does what the team needs of him on both sides of the ball in order to get the win.

With the previously mentioned injury to Williams, there is a massive opening at the guard position, and Holmes will be one of the players that fills it.

Holmes will likely start at the shooting guard spot but fill in occasionally at point guard.

Hailey Dohnal: Tre King

I think the Eastern Kentucky transfer will be an under-the-radar player to watch this season. During media day, head coach T.J. Otzelberger described King as being a “force.” With that, King sat out the 2021-2022 season due to eligibility rules. King will be eligible to play midway through the season and has the potential to be dominant.

In the COVID season at Eastern Kentucky, King played in 28 games while making 27 starts and shooting 49% from the field. 

I don’t know that King will make the starting lineup this season, or at least not right away, but I can see him bringing a lot to the court to help his team succeed.