Cyclone men’s hoops primer

A family member’s wedding is Saturday in Chicago and I won’t be at any of the basketball games or Iowa State’s final home football game against 12th-ranked Missouri.

While I may be glad to be missing what’s goes on at Jack Trice, I’m bummed about not being able to see the Cyclone men’s basketball team play UC-Davis, Loyola Marymount or UW-Milwaukee with my own two eyes.

Going to Hilton Coliseum Friday, Saturday or Sunday?

Here are some things to look for that may provide clues as to how Year Three of the Greg McDermott era will unfold:

– Will forward Craig Brackins score in double figures and total 7, 8, 9 or 10 rebounds each of the three games? Consistentcy is the key for the Brackins this season. ISU won’t win many games if he goes for 20 one night and 6 the next?

– Improved 3-point accuracy. The Cyclones were last in the Big 12 a season ago. There’s better shooters on the roster now and a committment to having them shoot with an inside presence that consists only of the 6-10 Brackins.

-Who is doing most of the ball-handling? If last year’s starting point guard Bryan Petersen is able to slide off the ball more in favor of Diante Garrett and freshman Dominique Buckley, the former Kirkwood CC player will be free to do what he does best: shoot. That’s a good thing.

-Who is going to be the spark plug off the bench?  It’s probably gonna be a freshman. Buckley could be that guy, or maybe 6-11 banger Justin Hamilton. My guess is Wes Eikmeier, who was a scoring machine at Bergan High School in Fremont, Neb. The Big 12 that is not, but shooters like Eikmeier can thrive at any level as long as they get a semi-open look at the basket.

-Lucca Staiger: After a year of not playing and a nagging knee injury, hopefully the kid gets on the floor. The ovation will be a sight to see.

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