The art of the handshake

Max Dible

At Iowa State, the offensive philosophy is pretty simple: run the floor in transition, finish on the fast break, share the ball and make 3-point shots.

The ISU offense doesn’t get much more complex in half court sets. High pick and rolls and isolation dribble-drives that end in buckets, fouls or kick-outs to open shooters encompass a good deal of what the Cyclones typically try to do.

Where things start to get more complicated is after point guard Monté Morris finds Jameel McKay on an alley-oop from half court that ends in a thunderous slam, or Naz Long nets a 3-point dagger to extend a slim lead in a close game. At those times, the question becomes: how to celebrate? The answer is complicated.

There’s the Tiger Woods fist pump. Everyone knows what that looks like. There’s the two-player, leaping shoulder bump, but talk about played out. And honestly, no one on a basketball court — or anywhere else for that matter — is still asking people to “teach them how to dougie.” It’s time to move on, John Wall. It’s time to move on.

Iowa State may operate on simple offensive principles, but those are merely a platform to create. Any fan who has watched Morris navigate through traffic in the lane or witnessed Georges Niang dip, duck and spin someone right out of a play knows what the Cyclones are capable of on the floor. When the time for improvisation arrives, what ISU players come up with can really only be described as artistry.

Now that artistry has extended to their celebrations, and as it tends to at Iowa State, creativity reigns supreme.

Any fan paying close enough attention has seen them. The handshakes shared by members of the ISU basketball team are intricate, clever and unique. No one handshake celebration between two teammates is the same. The creativity and fun that the Cyclones pour into their post-play, interactive art projects does justice to their style of basketball — poetry in motion.

Niang said that the handshake between Morris and Long is the best the team has to offer, while the handshake he and Morris came up with ranks second. The three were kind enough to put on a demonstration so the fans could decide for themselves.