Hoiberg’s “style” has included a salty defense

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When Fred Hoiberg took the reins of the Iowa State men’s basketball program, he talked about implementing a "style" as one of his first-year program goals.

Hoiberg said that was the advice his college coach (Johnny Orr) gave him. Many observers probably started dreaming of Orr’s fast-breaking, high-scoring teams of the past

Coach Orr’s last seven teams averaged 84.1 points per game. Recent vintage (since ’07) Cyclone clubs scored an average of 66.3 points per game.

Iowa State’s 77.7 current scoring average is fifth in the Big 12 and marks a significant improvement. The Cyclones climbed from 12th to 11th to 10th to 9th in league scoring from 2007-10.

In addition to the offensive improvement, Iowa State has developed a salty defensive reputation during its pre-league schedule under Hoiberg. ISU opponents are making just 36.1 percent of their field goals.

"Defense," Hoiberg said Monday night after the win over Northern Illinois, "has kept us in games all year when the shots aren’t falling."

The Cyclones have held 12 of their 15 opponents to a worse field goal percentage than their season average. The exceptions were Creighton, California and Chicago State. Three foes — Alabama State (.271), Drake (.224) and Dartmouth (.296) — connected on fewer than 30 percent of their attempts vs. ISU.

Hoiberg has, indeed, brought a faster tempo to Hilton Coliseum. But, it’s probably the defensive tenacity that has produced a 13-win pre-Big 12 record.

Reader feedback is welcome at 2minutetimeout@iastate.edu. You can also follow me on Twitter at: twitter.com/SteveMalchow

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