Analyzing our preseason men’s basketball predictions


Jacob Rice

Hason Ward reacts to a foul called against him at the 2023 Big 12 Tournament Semifinals versus Kansas in the T-Mobile Center, Mar. 10.

Hailey Dohnal and Andrew Harrington

Now that the Iowa State men’s basketball season has come to an end, managing editor Andrew Harrington and assistant sports editor Hailey Dohnal reflect on the predictions they made at the beginning of the season. 

Record Predictions

Hailey Dohnal: 20-11

The Cyclones finished the season with a 19-13 record, including tournament games. So, I’d say I did a fairly decent job predicting their record. 

One of the biggest struggles for Iowa State was they hit a mid-season slump where they were losing games that they shouldn’t have and lost multiple games in a row. 

Another factor into their final record was road games. Iowa State won three road games all season, which caused their record to worsen. 

Nonetheless, they had a good season overall and I have a feeling they will be even stronger next year. 

Andrew Harrington: 21-10

I was a little high on the Cyclones record-wise, but I felt I had a solid grasp on the capabilities of this team.

Where I went wrong is I did not see some of the struggles against the bottom teams in the Big 12 coming. A pair of losses to Oklahoma State, a loss to Texas Tech, two more losses to West Virginia and a loss to Oklahoma. 

It was difficult to envision the biggest struggles coming against some of the most beatable teams.

Potential Upset

Hailey Dohnal: Kansas, Feb. 4

My prediction for a potential upset turned out to be true as Iowa State beat Kansas at Hilton Coliseum 68-53. At the time, the Jayhawks were ranked No. 8 and the Cyclones at No. 13. 

Because Iowa State played Kansas in Lawrence before playing them at home, it gave them a better opportunity to beat them since they lost to them in the previous meeting. 

The Jayhawks went on to finish the season with a 28-8 record, but ended up losing to Texas in the Big 12 Championship game. Additionally, they lost in the second round of the NCAA tournament while the Cyclones lost in the first round. 

Andrew Harrington: Texas, Jan. 17

With the energy of Tyrese Hunter’s return to Hilton Coliseum in addition to facing a No. 7 Texas team, the Cyclone fans did not hold back.

Hunter ultimately went scoreless for the majority of the game after a hot start, and Iowa State prevailed. There has since been some social media drama between interim coach of Texas, Rodney Terry, and Cyclone fans in regards to how Hunter has been treated by fans in his games in the state of Iowa.

Ultimately, Iowa State picked up the 78-67 win in this one and Texas got the last laugh as it is still pushing through the NCAA Tournament.

Bold Prediction

Hailey Dohnal

My bold prediction at the beginning of the season was Iowa State would only lose a maximum of five games. 

As we have seen, that prediction turned out to be false as the Cyclones would go on to lose 13 games. However, Iowa State ended up having multiple wins over ranked teams and I think that counts for something. 

Andrew Harrington

My bold prediction ahead of the season was by far my worst prediction. I predicted Eli King would wind up on one of the All-Big 12 teams.

Eli King sat on the bench for most of the season before getting a few short opportunities at an increased role to end the year.

I still believe Eli King can rise to these levels, but it may take some more patience than I had.

Under-the-radar player to watch 

Hailey Dohnal: Tre King 

Due to eligibility reasons, Tre King did not step foot on the basketball court until Iowa State’s game against Western Michigan on Dec. 18. 

However, Tre King ended up being a large contributor to the team and ended up in the starting lineup for the last four games. 

Furthermore, Tre King went on to get a season high of 13 points and played 30 minutes against Oklahoma State Jan. 21. 

So, I would say that Tre King definitely met my expectation of a player that was under the radar at the beginning of the season but is now known by many. 

Andrew Harrington: Jaren Holmes

Holmes was not a huge under-the-radar player entering the season; however, I envisioned him having a massive role on this team.

Holmes finished the season as the team’s leading scorer, averaging 13.4 points per game. When freshman Tamin Lipsey was not the one taking the ball up the court, Holmes filled in to the point guard role.

Overall, this season was a big success for Holmes.