As much as West Virginia has struggled offensively this year, Iowa State has been the exact opposite, averaging over 82 points a game, good for 7th in the nation. That’s exactly how head coach Fred Hoiberg wants it to be, too.
Hoiberg plaed in the NBA for ten years before turning to coaching.
“I think that’s our philosophy,” said Hoiberg, who played in the NBA for 10 seasons. “We really want to try to get the ball up and down the floor and score before the defense gets set. I really like the pace that we’re playing with right now.”
Not only are they seventh in the nation in scoring, but the Cyclone also rank seventh in rebounding – something Hoiberg points out is important to his high-scoring offense.
“It starts with getting the rebound,” he said. “If you can control the glass, that gives you that opportunity to get out in transition.”
While controlling the boards has not been an issue so far this year for Iowa State, Hoiberg knows it will be a point of emphasis against West Virginia.
“There’s no doubt about it: (West Virginia) will be the most physical team we play all year,” said Hoiberg. “We got to do a great job on the glass. They do as good a job as any team in the country at getting their own miss.”
That may sound like coach-speak, but Hoiberg is no stranger to Mountaineer head coach Bob Huggins. He’s followed the future Hall-of-Famer over the years and even took in some of Huggins’ practices when the WVU alum was still at Cincinnati.
“It’s a team that you know is going to be prepared,” said Hoiberg. “(I have) so much respect for Bob Huggins and the way he runs his program, and the way those guys play for him. It’s going to be a great test for our guys.”