Big 12 Conference coaches picked Iowa State to finish eighth in the league this season, the highest predicted finish for the Cyclones during Greg McDermott’s coaching tenure.
There are reasons — good ones, at that — to believe ISU will live up to that expectation and maybe exceed it.
Forward Craig Brackins returned for his junior season and is an All-America candidate. Big things are anticipated out of newcomers Marquis Gilstrap, Chris Colvin and LaRon Dendy.
Gilstrap was recently chosen at the league’s preseason newcomer of the year.
And then there’s experienced returnees in Diante Garrett, Lucca Staiger and Jamie Vanderbeken.
Fans are excited. They should be. Postseason basketball is a realistic goal for this team.
Media day for the ISU men is tomorrow (Thursday). There will be lots to talk about.
Kansas was the overwhelming choice to finish as league champion, with 11 of the 12 first-place vote. Texas got Jayhawks coach Bill Self’s vote. Coaches are not allowed to vote for their team.
Oklahoma, Kansas State and Texas A&M round out the top five.
The remaining order goes like this: Oklahoma State, Missouri, Iowa State, Texas Tech, Baylor, Nebraska and Colorado.