AMES, Iowa (AP) — Senior point guard Korie Lucious was supposed to bring stability to Iowa State after transferring from Michigan State.
Instead, he has been as inconsistent as any player on Iowa State's roster this season. And so has his team.
Lucious has committed 41 turnovers in 10 games, more than any other player from a major-conference school in the country. Though Lucious turned it over just once in Sunday's easy win over Nebraska-Omaha, the lasting image of his weekend came Friday night at Iowa.
Lucious committed seven turnovers — six more than his freshman counterpart, Iowa's Anthony Clemmons — in an 80-71 loss.
Third-year coach Fred Hoiberg has put control of his offense in the hands of Lucious and he isn't about to bail on his senior now.
"I'm confident in Korie. We weren't ourselves in that game over in Iowa City," he said. "You learn from those types of things. It's a painful lesson to learn."
Lucious has never had as much control of a team as he has this season with the Cyclones (7-3), who face Drake on Saturday as part of the Big Four Classic in Des Moines.
He's still adjusting to all that responsibility.
Lucious was mostly a key reserve for Michigan State's back-to-back Final Four teams in 2009 and 2010, although he nailed the game-winning basket in the round of 32 against Maryland in '09 and started the next three games after Kalin Lucas ruptured his Achilles tendon. After being suspended by the Spartans in January 2011, Lucious wasn't able to do anything but practice for nearly two years.
His first season as a full-time starter has been more up and down than many expected.
Lucious is shooting only 34 percent from the field and has just nine assists against 15 turnovers in Iowa State's three losses. His assist-to-turnover ratio of roughly 1.3-to-1, far below where the Cyclones want it to be.
There are signs of progress after a head-scratching November.
Lucious is scoring more, averaging 13 points per game in his last four outings. Lucious has also dished out 29 in that time, and even in losing at Iowa he scored 14 points with seven assists.
Hoiberg also said he noticed improvement from Lucious in Sunday's win over Nebraska-Omaha, which came after a practice that focused on correcting what went wrong with the Hawkeyes. Lucious had nine points, four assists and just one turnover in 26 easy minutes against the overmatched Mavericks.
"I think he took a big step in the right direction (Sunday). And I blame myself for some of the things that happened in the Iowa game, for not getting us into different sets," Hoiberg said. "Our flow was much better. Our spacing was much better. Our just overall purpose, in getting to our spots, was a lot better."
Lucious is hardly the only new piece for the Cyclones, who've again shuffled their roster extensively.
Fellow transfer Will Clyburn is Iowa State's leading scorer at 14 points per game, and had been mostly exceptional before the Hawkeyes held him scoreless. Hoiberg also shuffled the lineup in the wake of the loss at Iowa, starting freshman Georges Niang and sophomore Percy Gibson in place of senior Anthony Booker and junior Melvin Ejim.
Iowa State will likely tinker with its rotation ahead of the Big 12 season, which starts in just under a month at Kansas.
But the Cyclones are counting on Lucious to run the offense with whoever is in there with him.
"I definitely think that, for a lot of the new guys coming in, it was a learning experience at the beginning of the season," Ejim said. "Korie is getting more comfortable now and he's playing better basketball. And that's just because he knows who he's playing with. He knows where guys are going to be. He knows the offense."
Top 25 Men
Porter scores 22, No. 15 Georgetown tops Longwood
WASHINGTON (AP) — Otto Porter scored a career-high 22 points, added seven assists and four rebounds and returned after taking an apparent hit to the head during the second half of No. 15 Georgetown's 89-53 win over Longwood on Monday night.
Porter went to the bench with 13:46 left, holding his hand to his face. He took a hit to the head during the Hoyas' season-opening win over Duquesne and missed the next game with "symptoms indicative of a mild concussion." But unlike against Duquesne, Porter didn't leave the court area, and fans gave him a noticeable ovation when he returned a few minutes later.
Before Porter left the game, Georgetown (8-1) had already built a sizable lead over Longwood (2-8).
Markel Starks was 4 for 5 from 3-point range and had 17 points for the Hoyas while Greg Whittington had eight points.
AP poll: Indiana, Duke 1-2 on top of same top 25
Indiana is No. 1 for a sixth straight week in The Associated Press college basketball poll.
The Hoosiers are again followed in the Top 25 by Duke, Michigan and Syracuse. The only changes in Monday's poll is the order, not who's ranked.
The Hoosiers (9-0) received 44 first-place votes from the 64-member national media panel. Duke (9-0) again drew the other No. 1 votes.
Florida and Louisville switched places at fifth and sixth. They were followed by Ohio State, Arizona, Kansas and Illinois. The Illini (10-0) beat fellow unbeaten Gonzaga on Saturday, moving into the top 10 for the first time since the next-to-last poll of 2005-06. Gonzaga dropped to 14th.
The Big Ten has the most ranked teams with six. The Big East has five and the Atlantic Coast Conference and Mountain West three each.
The top 25 teams in The Associated Press' college basketball poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through Dec. 9, total points based on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 25th-place vote and last week's ranking:
|1. Indiana (44)||9-0||1,580||1|
|2. Duke (20)||9-0||1,551||2|
|7. Ohio St.||6-1||1,211||7|
|17. New Mexico||10-0||512||18|
|18. San Diego St.||7-1||491||17|
|19. Michigan St.||8-2||328||19|
|21. North Carolina||7-2||298||20|
|22. Notre Dame||8-1||283||22|
|23. Wichita St.||9-0||280||24|
|24. Oklahoma St.||7-1||251||23|
|25. NC State||6-2||213||25|
Others receiving votes: Oregon 177, Pittsburgh 177, Kentucky 44, Wyoming 15, UConn 10, Marquette 8, VCU 6, Butler 5, Maryland 5, Murray St. 4, Alabama 3, Miami 3, Virginia Tech 3, LSU 1.
USA Today/ESPN Top 25 Poll
The top 25 teams in the USA Today-ESPN men's college basketball poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through Dec. 9, points based on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 25th-place vote and last week's ranking:
|1. Indiana (25)||9-0||769||1|
|2. Duke (6)||9-0||749||2|
|7. Ohio State||6-1||586||7|
|15. San Diego State||7-1||292||15|
|18. North Carolina||7-2||222||16|
|19. Michigan State||8-2||213||17|
|20. New Mexico||10-0||207||20|
|23. Oklahoma State||7-1||116||22|
|24. Notre Dame||8-1||110||25|
|25. N.C. State||6-2||93||24|
Others receiving votes: Wichita State 88, Pittsburgh 74, Oregon 32, UConn 10, Murray State 10, Wyoming 8, Butler 4, Mississippi 2, VCU 2.
Top 25 Women
Stanford still No. 1 in women's basketball poll
Stanford remains No. 1 in The Associated Press women's basketball poll, narrowly ahead of Connecticut.
The Cardinal had 22 first-place votes Monday, while UConn received 16. Baylor got the other two. Stanford had the week off for exams, while the Huskies beat Maryland and Penn State by 15 points each. The Lady Bears topped Notre Dame by 12 in a rematch of last season's NCAA championship game.
Duke and Notre Dame remain fourth and fifth.
The Irish are followed by Georgia, Kentucky, Louisville and Maryland. California and Penn State swapped places. Texas A&M, South Carolina and West Virginia entered the poll in the final three spots.
Nebraska, Florida State and Iowa State all dropped out.
It's a light schedule this week with most schools in exams.
Oral Roberts women to face No. 3 Baylor in hoops
TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Oral Roberts' women's basketball team is preparing for its most difficult game so far this season when it takes on No. 3 Baylor.
The teams play at 6 p.m. CST Wednesday at Waco.
Oral Roberts is 3-3 and coming off a 86-34 victory over Evangel. Baylor comes in at 7-1, with its only loss coming to top-ranked Stanford.
The top 25 teams in the The Associated Press' women's college basketball poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through Dec. 9, total points based on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 25th-place vote and last week's ranking:
|1. Stanford (22)||8-0||978||1|
|2. UConn (16)||8-0||968||2|
|3. Baylor (2)||7-1||930||3|
|5. Notre Dame||6-1||806||5|
|11. Penn St.||7-2||564||10|
|16. Oklahoma St.||6-0||392||16|
|19. North Carolina||8-1||230||21|
|20. Ohio St.||6-2||223||20|
|23. Texas A&M||5-3||83||—|
|24. South Carolina||10-0||75||—|
|25. West Virginia||6-2||73||—|
Others receiving votes: Florida St. 64, Arkansas 58, Nebraska 55, Iowa St. 53, Delaware 15, Chattanooga 6, St. John's 6, Duquesne 4, Syracuse 4, Iowa 3, Michigan St. 2, Colorado 1, Gonzaga 1.
Other Women's News
UW forward named Mountain West player of week
LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming forward Chaundra Sewell has been named the Mountain West Conference women's player of the week.
It is the first conference weekly award in Sewell's career, and the first such award this season for a Cowgirls player.
Sewell led the Cowgirls to a 2-0 record last week with road wins at Montana and Montana State.
Sewell scored 14 points and grabbed seven rebounds against Montana. She also dished out five assists, blocked two shots.
At Montana State, Sewell recorded her third double-double of the season with 16 points and 11 rebounds. She also had two blocked shots and two steals.