The Iowa State men’s basketball team is trying to answer one of its head coach’s pre-season questions.“It will always concern me how we compete on the glass,” Fred Hoiberg said at the team’s media day several weeks ago. The Cyclones opened the season with four wins and had rebound margins of +20 or higher in three of the games. But, the competition got a lot stiffer last week against Cincinnati and UNLV. When you think of the Bearcats and Running Rebels, you think of long athletes and ferocious rebounders. Cincinnati and UNLV currently rank 8th and 33rd nationally in rebound margin. The Cyclones competed admirably on the boards last week and outrebounded both opponents. “Our effort was outstanding,” Hoiberg said. “We were all over the glass.” Through five games, Iowa State is securing 48.0 rebounds per game (second nationally to Cincinnati at 49.2). “Our rebounding numbers are a surprise right now,” Hoiberg said. “I thought that might be a weakness of our team. But, we’ve gotten better in practice, especially since the exhibition game.” What was a pre-season concern has been a strong asset thus far. “If we can be that good of a rebounding team (all year), we’ll improve in other areas and that will make us a successful basketball team,” Hoiberg said.
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