Ever since I can remember, I have heard that in all areas of life if you are a part of a successful team, it is because you have all the necessary parts/people. I’m not quite sure why I was thinking about this concept on the way to work this morning; however, I decided to make a correlation to the Cyclone basketball team. It was actually quite fun and made my 35-minute drive into work seem more like 10 minutes. So here are my thoughts on why Iowa State is poised to make a run this postseason. (I decided to give them fun titles as well.)
The Spark Plugs – Tyrus McGee & Anthony Booker – These guy’s pictures belong in the Webster’s Dictionary under the word energy. They come in the game and provide immediate energy to the team, whether on the defensive or offensive end. Either one of them can come in and make the big block or steal on the defensive end, get that crucial rebound, and hit that game changing 3-point shot. They may not play the most minutes, but every minute is filled with intensity.
Mr. Consistent – Bubu Palo – When Bubu comes in the game, you know exactly what you are going to get out of him. He will he do exactly what he was put in there for. He will defend hard, help get the ball up the court against pressure, run the offense, and get into the lane to create plays—all without costly turnovers. Every team needs this type of player to spell the starters without mistakes.
The Change Up – Percy Gibson – The opposing team’s big men have been battling Royce White throughout the season, and when he heads to the bench, they give a sigh of relief. Uh-oh, they better not relax too much as 6′ 9″ Gibson comes in. He will be on the block posting them up, and should he get the ball, they will have to contend with this crafty lefty. They won’t expect that quick left hook that goes in more often than not, and on the defensive end, he somehow gets his hands on plenty of shots.
The Defender – Chris Babb – No player in his right mind would want to see Babb across from him on the defensive end of the court. He will follow you all over the court, denying the ball, altering your shot, and frustrating you to no end. This won’t just happen a few times down the court but rather all game long, and he is holding the best offensive players in the league below their season average. Oh yeah, he can also get hot at any time and sink 3 after 3 in a matter of minutes.
The X-factor – Chris Allen – This senior has the ability to change the outcome of the game at any time should he get into rhythm. He can get to the rim, pull up, or hit the 3 and can even do these while guys are in his face. He has the ability to hit the big shot while the shot clock is running down. Let’s just say that if he gets hot…look out! He can put up some big numbers quickly. If he plays within himself, he is a huge asset to the team and could potentially put the team on his back in late game situations.
The Workhorse – Melvin Ejim – Melvin seems to do a majority of the dirty work for the Cyclones. He battles all game long with post players who are usually taller than he is but that doesn’t seem to affect him. He still pulls down plenty of boards, sets hard hitting picks, and finds his way to open spots around the court for layups, dunks, and jumpers. He quietly gets double-doubles, and his motor never seems to quit. He just seems to do a bit of everything for this team.
The Nightmare – Royce White – This 1st Team All-Big 12 Conference member causes nightmare’s for opposing coaches and teams. How do you stop him? He has the handles, eyes, and quickness of a guard, body of a tight-end, and nice post moves to make matters worse. His hands allow him to pass the ball with ease and you rarely know where it’s going until it is too late. He is a constant triple-double threat, and the offense runs through him. Try to double team him, and he will make you pay with passes to the perimeter. Try to play him straight up, and he will blow right by you. He is just an impossible match up.
The Leader – Scott Christopherson – Scott is the heart and soul of this team. He will go down as one of the best Cyclones in history. He loves this team and leaves everything on the court night in and night out. He has been clutch all season…long hitting shot after shot…putting this team on his back…doing whatever it takes to come up with a victory. You want the ball in his hands when the game is on the line, and he will either hit a big shot or hit some key free throws. Without Christopherson, this team isn’t the unit we see on the court. He leads, and the guys follow.
This is the type of team that has all the necessary pieces to make some big runs in the tournaments. Each player has a role, each player has accepted that role, and each player plays it well. They are a team in every sense of the word. They are ONE. They are the CyclONEs!