Iowa State basketball coach Fred Hoiberg said Thursday he’s evaluating what starting lineup to use in Saturday’s 3 p.m. game against 23rd-ranked Oklahoma at Hilton Coliseum. Will freshman Monte Morris start, or will Hoiberg use the same five that started the previous four games during which the Cyclones have a 1-3 record? “We’ll evaluate all that in the next couple days,” Hoiberg said before practice. “(Morris) has been a spark for us off the bench. That’s the reason that I’ve been having him in that role, but we’ll evaluate things.” The 16th-ranked Cyclones’ records fell to 15-4 overall and 3-4 in the Big 12 Conference after Wednesday’s 92-81 loss at sixth-ranked Kansas. One of the factors in the defeat was Kansas’ scoring binges at the start of the game and at the start of the second half. “We’ve been coming out flat,” Morris said. “I don’t know why, if it’s defense or we’re just not ready.” That’s the reason for speculation. Morris is a tempo-changer. The Cyclones are quicker when he’s on the floor. “It seems like when I’m in, it’s like everybody plays a little bit faster,” Morris said. “We’ll see what happens. Fred will let me know if I’m in the lineup.” Morris played 35 of 40 minutes against Kansas, so usually the question about him starting isn’t pertinent. This time, though, it’s appropriate, considering Iowa State’s slow starts. “I feel like I can give a boost,” Morris said. Morris running the offense would allow DeAndre Kane to play off the ball, a role with which he is more comfortable. “DeAndre wouldn’t be worried about having to come back and get the ball all the time,” Morris said. “He knows that if I’m in the game, that if we get the rebounds, we’re gone. We can look to score in transition. If he’s not on the ball so much, he can get out in transition and display that skill.” Whether he starts or not, Morris will play 30-plus minutes. “I went in at the 17-minute mark of both halves and played right through,” Morris said of the Kansas game. “I pulled on my jersey a couple times (for Hoiberg) to give me a break, but he put his hand up and told me to keep going.”
Could Cyclone men have a new starter in Saturday's lineup?
Des Moines Register | Jan 31