Fred Hoiberg Monday Morning Notebook

AllCyclones Publisher
Posted Feb 24, 2014
Trey Scott


"So that's the growth I think we've made as a team. Even when we don't shoot the ball well we'll have a chance to win because we've got guys in the pain that can make plays."

Heading over to Sukup for player interviews but here's a notebook from Fred Hoiberg's Monday press conference.

It was TCU, one of the worst AQ-confererence teams in college basketball, but Iowa State managed to go 1-for-11 from three-point range and still pull out a road win by double figures.

The clip — 9 percent — measured as the worst of the season for the Cyclones, but it's certainly not their first poor shooting outing. Consider 4-for-25 against Kansas, or 4-for-23 against West Virginia, or 6-for-26 against Oklahoma, all losses.

ISU as a team is No. 200 nationally in three-point percentage, at 33.7, and gets 29.3 percent of its total points from long-range shots. That's a far cry from a regular Fred Hoiberg team, which in his first three years in Ames took on the identity of its coach, a former NBA gunner.

In 2012-13, ISU was No. 34 in three-point percentage and only eight teams got a larger chunk of its points from distance shots. The two years prior, the Cyclones were Nos. 28 and 34, respectively, in percentage of points off three-pointers.

"I'll say this, I don't think our teams in the last couple years would have won or even come close to winning a game hitting only one three," Hoiberg said Monday."So that's the growth I think we've made as a team. Even when we don't shoot the ball well we'll have a chance to win because we've got guys in the pain that can make plays."

The Cyclones are No. 5 nationally in two-point shot percentage (56) and Saturday at TCU they went 28-for-49 in that category.

Here's what I take out of it: The fact we only took 11 (threes)," Hoiberg said. "We took what the defense gave us. If they're gonna take away our three-point shot, I thought our guys did a good job of getting the ball where it needed to be where we could win the game."

ISU doesn't have anybody shooting over 40 percent from distance, Naz Long pacing the team with a 37 percent clip (40-for-108).

Perils of Social Media

Iowa coach Fran McCaffery has instructed his players to keep off Twitter the rest of the season following a tough situation this weekend regarding Zach McCabe, who played poorly down the stretch against Wisconsin and got some heat about it. McCabe took to Twitter and swung back at his detractors before deleting his Twitter account.

Here's what Hoiberg thinks about all of it:

"We experienced some of that earlier in the season with Mattt Thomas. It's, unfortunately, the age and era we live in. Social media has taken over so many young people's lives. I think it's a disgrace. Social media is gonna be the end of us. It's a joke there are people who sit behind their computer and take a stab at a young kid who's doing the best he can. It's obviously gotten a lot of play here this past week but it happens everywhere. … I think it's really sad. I would not have been able to function with that when I was playing. I was so mental. I would have taken to heart everything that was said of me. And it's too bad that that's the world we live in right now but it is what it is. You have to block it out the best you can and try to play. I've talked to them about being careful about what they say and what they read.

"It wasn't around (when I played). I'm too old I guess. If it would've been around aI would've had to be one of those guys who couldn't read it. I'm one of those guys I get 100 positive comments but I remember the one negative one. That's what it is. People take shots at me all the time. I'm 42 … Go at me. I don't care. Don't go at these 18-year-old kids that leave their heart on the floor for their program."

Ejim for Big 12 POY?

Melvin Ejim leads the conference in scoring at 18.9 points per game and is second in rebounding. As far as advanced metrics go, Ejim is No. 100 nationally in true-shooting percentage and in the top 400 in offensive and defensive rebounding rate — the latter numbers not nearly as good as he was last year, but he's got Dustin Hogue to battle with inside and Ejim's spending a little more time on the perimeter.

Ejim currently figures as the front-runner for the Big 12's Player of the Year award, though the conference has several worthy candidates — including Ejim's teammate, DeAndre Kane.

"That 48-point game he had is something people will look at as the highest scoring game in the Big 12 conference," Hoiberg said, adding Ejim's off-court accomplishments and his academic status should be factored.

West Virginia, Revisted

ISU's worst loss of the year came Feb. 15 at West Virginia, 102-77. The Mountaineers visit Hilton on Wednesday.

"We'll go back and watch a lot of that game today," Hoiberg said.

The Mountaineers are much-improved under Bob Huggins in the second year in the Big 12 and it seems they've assimilated to the Big 12 well, with the No. 83 tempo nationally, compared to No. 235 last season.

"They're playing a lot faster than they did a year ago and they're really spreading the floor out, running a lot of spread pick-and-rolls with shooters at every position," Hoiberg said. "They do have a toughness, there's no doubt about it. Every team Huggins coaches will have that toughness, whether they're the No. 1 team in the nation or whether they're struggling, it's always going to be a battle."

WVU has two prolific scorers in Eron Harris and Juwan Staten, who average 18.1 and 18 points per game, respectively.



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