Three Big Takeaways: Deja vu for Cyclones’ offense in blowout loss to Texas


Jacob Rice/Iowa State Daily

Iowa State men’s basketball coach T.J. Otzelberger coaches against the University of Kansas on Feb. 1.

James Powell

No. 20 Iowa State capped off a losing week with a 63-41 walloping at the hands of the No. 23 Texas Longhorns in Austin on Saturday.

The Cyclones are now 3-7 in Big 12 play with eight games remaining.

The “41” on Iowa State’s half of the scoreboard tells most of the story, but sub-plots such as another dormant afternoon shooting, losing the one battle they usually set out to win and a second-half collapse, give a better indication of where things went awry.

More of the same on offense

Izaiah Brockington made it known when he transferred from Penn State that he wanted to be “the guy,” and the go-to scoring threat for T.J. Otzelberger.

The Cyclones have fulfilled that wish and more.

The first half against Texas provided the average viewer a glimpse into something the Cyclones have leaned on throughout their first 23 games: Brockington making his patented mid-range shots and carrying his team through an otherwise dreadful offensive output.

In the first 20 minutes, Brockington had 10 points on 4-11 shooting. The rest of his team had 13 points for a total of 23 at the half.

Commonly this season, Brockington gets his looks on the offensive end and hopes the rest of his team joins him in scoring.

When Brockington went cold in the second half (two points on 1-6 shooting), the rest of his team followed suit, and it led to an 18-point half, the lowest half output from the Cyclones this season.

The Cyclones’ 41 points are the fewest they’ve scored all season.

Points off turnovers became a weapon against ISU

Otzelberger has harped on points off turnovers as one the biggest indicators of offensive success for the Cyclones this season. It has long been a calling card of his aggression—pressuring the ball with a gritty style of play that allows for “easy” baskets.

On Saturday, Texas used Iowa State’s formula against them.

The Longhorns outscored the Cyclones 24-2 in that stat, ending in a 22-point loss for Otzelberger’s team.

“Our winning formula needs to be to out-tough, to out-physical, turn our opponents over,” Otzelberger said after the loss against Texas. “That’s what we can do to be successful.”

When Iowa State wins the battle in points off turnovers this season, the Cyclones are 12-2—the two losses being Baylor on Jan. 1 and their most recent bout with Kansas.

When they lose the battle, they have a record of 3-4. Both games against Texas Tech were tied in terms of points scored off turnovers, and Iowa State split those games.

Lack of post production

The center position has been a point of concern for Iowa State this season.

George Conditt and Robert Jones, the two traditional centers for Iowa State, have both started at least three games this season. Conditt has gotten the nod for the majority of the season.

Combined, they score an average of 7.7 points per game grab 5.0 rebounds and a block and a half per contest. The rebounding number may jump out the most for a position in which cleaning up the glass is one of their bigger responsibilities on the court.

Not only do the Cyclones get lack-luster production on offense from their “big-men,” but Jones and Conditt frequently find themselves in foul trouble. Conditt committed three fouls, and Jones was whistled for two against Texas. 

Jones has had six games this season with at least four personal fouls and has fouled out twice. Conditt has been called for at least four fouls in 10 contests this season, fouling out three times.