Cyclones confident heading in to 2016-17 season - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cyclones confident heading in to 2016-17 season

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AMES (KWWL) -

Georges Niang's jersey will one day hang in the Hilton Coliseum rafters, but this year his presence will be missed along with the play of Jameel McKay and Abdel Nader.

"We know that the critics out there are saying the departure of Goerges, Jameel, and Abdul are really going to take a hit to us, which they will," said senior guard Matt Thomas, "but we have people who will step up, and I'm looking forward to proving people wrong."

Despite the loss of the big three off of last year's roster, preseason Big 12 player of the year Monte Morris still seems as comfortable as he's ever been.

"I'm loose because I'm confident," said Morris, "I put in crazy work this summer, man. When you put in work, it's like studying for a test. If you study, you're good on test day."

He doesn't have to take that test alone with seniors Naz Mitrou-Long,  Deonte Burton, and Thomas back this year. Senior 6' 8" grad transfers Merrill Holden and Darrell Bowie round out the older group giving ISU a ton of expericence .

"It's good, expecially when you've got four guys in your program that have been in your program that are back," said second year head coach Steve Prohm, "Merrill and Darrell's character is really high. Hopefully that experience will pay off."

The Cyclones will be be relying on several newcomers as well to improve on last year's sweet 16 run. There are currently seven on the roster, but they believe they've got the talent to do so.

"If the ball gets in a guy's hand, and it's in the right circumstance whether it's an isolation play, I have confidence in anybody," said senior guard Mitrou-Long, back after taking a medical redshirt last season, "Coach draws up a play for a specific person, I have confidence in anybody, and that's the thing I love about this team, we're so versatile."
 

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