Iowa State's Big Monday matchup against Kansas comes packaged with a Big Question.
Will the Cyclones have the services of senior point guard DeAndre Kane, he of the bum left ankle?
"It’s pretty sore," Kane said Sunday. "But I always want to get out there and help my brothers win, try to do whatever I can to play. But when you twist your ankle, it’s always going to be sore, it swells up. I’ll keep getting treatment every 20 minutes or so and see how I feel tomorrow — do a little workout, and if I can go, I’m going to play."
Kane rolled his ankle in Saturday's loss at Oklahoma in the final seconds and was carried off the court. Later, Kane used crutches to exit the arena. Within a few hours, his ankle had its own Twitter account.
The crutches were gone Sunday, leaving Kane to limp on his own. A game-time decision against the No. 18 Jayhawks (11-4, 2-0), Kane will spend the next 24 hours trying to reduce the swelling. Ice, massages, rosary beads, whatever.
" “It can get worse, or it can stay the same," Kane said. "Like I said, it’s up to [Hoiberg] and (trainer) Vic Miller. Whatever they say goes."
Said Hoiberg: "Not much I can give you as far as what’s going to happen tomorrow. He’ll continue to get treatments around the clock today and get them again [Monday] and then he’ll be a game time decision.”
No. 9 Iowa State (14-1, 2-1) would likely start freshman Monté Morris in Kane's place if need be, rendering Naz Long the only reliable scorer off the bench.
"He's been terrific for us all year," Kane said of Morris. "He can control the game and I’ll still be out there helping. I’m still going to be on the bench, so whatever pointers he needs, and help he needs, I'm going to give it to him.”
A 30-point, nine-assist, eight-rebound, five-steal performance in a win over Baylor on Tuesday thrust Kane onto the national scene, but he's been brilliant all year for the Cyclones. The fifth-year transfer from Marshall leads the league in points (22.7), assists (6.3) and steals (3.3) in Big 12 games and is one of two players, along with teammate Melvin Ejim, to rank in the top 10 of the conference's scoring and rebounding lists.
Per advanced stats site kenpom.com, Kane uses 28.1 percent of Iowa State's possessions while taking 21.9 percent of available shots; he's bested in the latter category by Ejim and Georges Niang.
Over the last five games, Iowa State's No. 2 most-frequent lineup is Kane-Long-Dustin Hogue-Ejim-Niang, while Nos. 3 and 4 include Morris.
Morris hasn't committed a turnover since Dec. 22 and in the six games since is averaging 2.5 assists.