Burton says ISU offense was 'nonexistent' against Hawkeyes
IOWA CITY, Ia. — The Iowa State men’s basketball team has developed a reputation over the last few seasons as one of the best offenses in college basketball that would show regardless of the opponent.
That offense never appeared Thursday night
No. 25 Iowa State never could get going offensively in a 78-64 loss to Iowa at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
“We didn’t’ run any offense like we usually do,” said Iowa State’s Deonte Burton. “So, it was really nonexistent.”
The Cyclones missed open layups, failed to connect on jumpers and bricked uncontested 3-point shots.
They shot just 26.6 percent (8-for-3) from 3-point range, turned it over 11 times and never got into a consistent rhythm.
It was that way from start to finish.
The Cyclones shot just 34.4 percent from the field in the first half, 36.8 percent in the second half and 35.7 percent for the game.
It was an uncharacteristically bad offensive night for the Cyclones who entered Thursday’s game averaging 84.8 points per game.
“We were bad tonight,” said Iowa State coach Steve Prohm.
The struggles from deep may have been the biggest surprise, especially with a roster full of strong shooters.
Burton scored just 10 points on 5 of 13 shooting from the field. Monte Morris had just 10 points on 4 of 15 shooting.
Naz Mitrou-Long, who has struggled for most of the season, shot 3 of 8 from the field, 2 of 6 from 3-point range and finished with just 10 points.
“Obviously I think they pressed out on our shooters because that is our strength,” Prohm said. “And then we’ve got to probably screen better and move the ball a little bit better.”
But, the spacing between shooters, the ball movement to one another, and the shots that usually fell for Iowa State was rarely there. Iowa State's 25 baskets came on just nine assists.
All of that had a hand in Iowa State’s second-worst offensive output of the season. The worst: a 54-point effort in an overtime loss to Cincinnati.
“It was us,” Burton said. “Iowa played really good defense, too, but it was mainly us.”
Even Burton struggled to find reasons why it was so bad for so long on Thursday night.
“Can’t tell you,” he said. “I wish I knew.”
Part of the reason: Missed layups have haunted Iowa State for most of the season.
“We missed a ton of bunnies,” Prohm said.
Another struggling spot for the Cyclones: 3-point shooting. The Cyclones entered Thursday’s game ranked eighth among the 10 Big 12 teams in 3-point percentage (35 percent).
Is this the type of 3-point shooting team Iowa State really is?
“I don’t think so,” Prohm said. “I think we’ll get it right from that standpoint. I hope it is and I don’t think it is.”
Then there's Iowa State's troubles in the post. Starter Merrill Holden scored just one point. Darrell Bowie added five. Solomon Young chipped in with only four.
The three may never score a bunch this season but Prohm said they have to start scoring when presented with opportunities like layups.
“We don’t have the guy you’re just going to throw (it) in there (to),” Prohm said. “We’ve got to score a little bit differently on drives and kickouts. But, those plays we’ve got to finish.”
There is hope that the Cyclones will get things straightened out offensively. It is early in the season and many of the shooters have a history of success.
“Just keep repping it,” Burtons aid. “Keep repping our offense and stick to our principles.”