Three Big Takeaways: Cyclones get big win at season opener


Jacob Rice

ISU vs. IUPUI men’s basketball game. Nov. 7, 2022.

The 2022-23 men’s basketball season is officially underway as the Iowa State Cyclones faced the Jaguars of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) Monday evening.

From the minute the Cyclones stepped onto the floor, the Hilton Magic was felt in Hilton Coliseum as it was clear the fans were ready for the Cyclone basketball season.

From veterans to newbies, each Cyclone seemed to put 110% in the court. The hard work and perseverance from practices and the offseason were visible to all who watched.

With that, the Cyclones defeated the Jaguars 88-39.

“They [Cyclones] came out right away aggressive…that’s where we need to be,” head coach T.J. Otzelberger said.

Here are three big takeaways from the first win of the season.

Freshman firsts

The starting five for Iowa State looked a little different from what it was last season.

Caleb Grill and Aljaz Kunc were the only veteran Cyclones on the starting lineup as freshman Tamin Lipsey and senior transfers Jaren Holmes and Osun Osunniyi joined in.

Additionally, freshman Demarion Watson was one of the first three off the bench as Robert Jones and Gabe Kalscheur were the other two.

“I was just ready to go in there and play how I play,” Kalscheur said.

Both the freshman and the transfers stood out specifically in the first half. Holmes was the first Cyclone to reach double digits with 15 points and finished with 23.

“I’m just thankful to be here,” Holmes said. “It was kinda just a surreal feeling.”

Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) transfer Hason Ward also had a game of his own with seven rebounds.

“Hason [Ward] is just like different when it comes to defense,” Holmes said.

Lipsey had five assists in the first half but was the only player who did not score.

At his first time at the free throw line, Osunniyi shot 2-2 and was 2-3 for field goals in the first half.

With about six minutes left in the game, freshman Eli King was given his first opportunity on the court and scored immediately. Kansas transfer Conrad Hawley also saw the court giving each Cyclone playing time.

“I was pleased to see my man Conrad Hawley come in late and take a couple charges,” Otzelberger said.

Additionally, the Cyclones as a whole were able to put up a 15-0 run against the Jaguars. In the second half, the Cyclones gave the Jaguars a 21-0 run.

Turnover benefits

IUPUI seemed to have an unnecessary amount of turnovers, giving Iowa State the benefit of the doubt.

In the first half alone, the Jaguars found themselves with 16 turnovers compared to Iowa State’s five. With that, the Cyclones were able to get 16 points off of the turnovers.

IUPUI finished the game with 29 turnovers.

Fouls were also a struggle for the Jaguars, giving the Cyclones more chances at the free throw line.

Iowa State was 78% from the free throw line along with 50% for field goals and 30% from the three point line.

Rebounds on rebounds

As the Cyclones battled back and forth on the court, rebounds helped give second and third chances at scoring.

The team had 11 second-chance points and scored 15 points off of rebounds.

Additionally, Iowa State finished with 40 total rebounds with 15 of them being offensive and 25 defensive.

Otzelberger said knowing that a strong defense is waiting on the bench is impactful for him and the team.

“We’ve got a lot of room to improve,” Otzelbeger said.

Nonetheless, the season is only beginning for Iowa State.

So, who’s next?

The Cyclones will be back in action Sunday afternoon as North Carolina A&T comes to town.