Iowa State basketball received a facelift from last season. Its three leading scorers are all gone, including honorable mention All-American Royce White. Two transfers, Korie Lucious and Will Clyburn are in.
The additions and subtractions will create a new style of play for head coach Fred Hoiberg heading into the 2012 season.
“We just played through Royce the majority of our offensive possessions,” said Hoiberg in the recent Big 12 coaches’ teleconference. “This year, we’ll probably play it a little faster with Korie (Lucious)’s speed.”
Iowa State made it to the third round of the NCAA tournament this past year before losing to eventual national champion Kentucky. Lucious and Clyburn had to sit out the season because of transfer rules, but still gained an advantage.
“They were able to build chemistry with each other similar to how four guys that sat out the previous year did for us this season,” said Hoiberg.
Lucious went to two Final Fours and a national championship game with Michigan State before leaving for Iowa State. Hoiberg will use him as the go-to guy next season.
“Korie gives us a true point guard,” said Hoiberg. “He’ll handle the responsibilities.”
While Lucious is running point, swingman Clyburn brings versatility to the Cyclones. He led Utah in scoring and rebounding during his junior year before switching to the Iowa State.
“Will gives us a very athletic small forward,” said Hoiberg. “He can get out and finish in the break. He’s got range in his shot.”
“I’m really excited about those two players,” he continued.
Excited enough to be confident for 2012 even after losing his top three scorers?
“I feel collectively, we’ve got a pretty good core coming back plus the addition of those two guys (and) a group of freshmen coming in,” said Hoiberg. “The pieces we have now resemble more of a traditional lineup as opposed to last year.”