Perimeter shooting & White getting lots of credit, but defensive surge is delivering the victories.

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The Iowa State men’s basketball team has started receiving some recognition and most of it centers around its group of long-range shooters and the presence of 6-8 facilitator Royce White.

Shooting and White make for good copy.

What adds to the victory total, however, is playing defense. The Cyclones have held their last eight opponents to 70 points or fewer. Six of those games were wins.

For the total season, ISU is 14-3 when limiting opponents to 70 points or fewer. The mark is 4-4 when foes score 71 or more. In Big 12 play, the record is 7-2 when the other teams scores 70 or less and 1-2 when it tallies 71 or more.

Sometimes, it’s an attitude as much as anything that translates to good defense. Chris Babb has delivered that attitude all year. He is assigned the other team’s best scorer most nights and, generally, held them in check.

“It all starts with Chris Babb on the perimeter,” Coach Fred Hoiberg said Saturday after his team limited Texas A&M to 46 points. “(Then) our whole team then got locked in and we took them out of what they wanted to do.”

Baylor is next. They are big and they score a lot. It will be a different challenge for the Cyclones tonight, but they’ll bring a defensive mindset to Waco if recent results are any indication.

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

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