AMES, Iowa -- Iowa State had already planned on losing Georges Niang, perhaps the best player in school history, to graduation. The Cyclones were left to hope that star point guard Monte Morris wouldnt follow Niang to the NBA.The surprising return of Morris , a senior, should keep Iowa State in Big 12 contention and beyond in 2016-17.The Cyclones wont have as much sheer talent at the top of its rotation as it did a year ago, when it was led by Niang and his 20.5 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game.But Iowa States depth, a major concern last season, should be markedly improved this year.Beyond Morris, the Big 12 preseason player of the year, the Cyclones return shooting guard Naz Mitrou-Long from season-ending injuries and swing man Matt Thomas, who blossomed into a high-level Big 12 starter in 2015-16. A pair of 6-foot-8, one-and-done senior transfers, Merrill Holden (Louisiana Tech) and Darrell Bowie (Northern Illinois), replace Jameel McKay at center.Junior forward Deonte Burton is expected to take a big step forward in his first full season in Ames, and second-year coach Steve Prohm said newly-eligible guard Nick Weiler-Babb has the most NBA potential of anyone on the roster. Even the expected loss of Morris turned out to be a blessing for Iowa State. It recruited junior college standout Donovan Jackson to replace Morris and now has both.Morris has been terrific. He had a great summer. He got bigger. He got stronger. He understands he has to be a leader on this team, Prohm said.Here are some of the story lines to follow as Iowa State looks to make its sixth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance this March.MORRISS ROLEProhm built a reputation for developing lead guard-type players while at Murray State, so itll be interesting to see how Morriss role develops in 2016-17. Morris has always been happy to dish out assists, setting the NCAA record for assist-to-turnover ratio as a freshman and a sophomore. But last season Morris began to look for his own shot more than ever, finishing with a career-high 13.8 points per game.NAZ IS BACKMitrou-Longs decision to seek a medical redshirt after just eight games in 2015-16 robbed the Cyclones of some much-needed depth. But his return should make Iowa State better than expected in 2016-17. Mitrou-Long, a fifth-year senior that Prohm said is among the best leaders hes ever coached, has promised to be the Cyclones glue guy this season. Mitrou-Long averaged 12 points a game a year ago.BEAST OF BURTONBurton, at 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds, is a unique player in that he can mix it up in the post and take the ball down court for high-flying dunks. But Burton was inconsistent last season, dominating one night and disappearing the next. Prohm said he wants Burton, who scored 9.7 points a game with 3.9 rebounds in his Iowa State debut, to average a double-double this season. His work ethic has been exceptional, Prohm said.HOLDEN AND BOWIEIowa State likely wont need either of them to play like stars. In the Cyclones small-ball system, Holden and Bowie will be asked to provide a front-court presence, gets as many rebounds as they can and fling it up the court so that Morris and the backcourt can exploit matchups in transition. Holden had 8.1 points with five rebounds a game for Tech last season. Bowie was averaging 13 and seven for the Huskies before a shoulder injury set him back.THE SCHEDULEProhm must have figured that the Big 12 round-robin was tough enough, because Iowa States non-conference schedule is far from daunting. A home date with Cincinnati and a road game at Iowa are the highlights, although the Cyclones could get Miami in a tournament game the day after Thanksgiving.---Online: www.collegebasketball.ap.org Fake Shoes From China .875,000, avoiding arbitration. Clippards deal Monday means all eight Nationals players who filed for arbitration wound up settling before a hearing. Fake Yeezy . Spiller left Week 3s 27-20 loss to the New York Jets with a thigh injury, but fully practiced with the team all week and expects to be ready to go on Sunday. https://www.fakeshoes.net/ . The 31-year-old Spain midfielder hasnt played since Madrid lost in the Copa del Rey final to Atletico Madrid in May due to back and foot injuries. Fake Shoes For Sale .J. -- Marty Brodeur beat the Pittsburgh Penguins yet again. Discount Fake Shoes . Most important, perhaps, it went off without a hitch. Organizers poked a little fun at the now-infamous opening ceremony gaffe that saw only four out of five snowflakes open up into rings, leaving the Olympics logo one ring short. One of the most enduring draws of any competitive sporting event is its unpredictability. Whether its No. 14 seed Mercer upsetting No. 3 Duke in the round of 64 at the 2014 NCAA tournament, or 5,000-to-1 underdogs Leicester City winning the English Premier League title, sports fans live for the unexpected.At the same time, theres also the allure of an established, shared narrative -- jokes and stories that are communal, based on a history weve all witnessed together. The Patriots are cheaters, the Lions will never make a Super Bowl, the Sixers are a mess, the Yankees are the evil empire and Andy Reid cant manage the clock. Even if you dont always agree with the jokes, you always get the punchlines.Sports fans understand that the way things have been will often inform the way things will be -- at least for a while.So what to make of the Cavaliers winning the NBA title? Cleveland, the most bedeviled of all sports cities, finally got a trophy and a parade, putting an end to its 52-year drought. And not only did the citys basketball team defeat the winningest team in the history of the game to claim the championship, the citys baseball team is white hot, as well. The Indians just went unbeaten at home?in June, ran off a 14-game win streak and look to be a favorite for the Fall Classic.Are we really ready to live in a world where Cleveland sports are ... good?No one could begrudge Cleveland fans their right to a little good fortune. After years of disappointment (see: The Catch, The Drive, The Fumble, The Decision), loyal Ohioans finally get to be on top. And yet, theres a feeling of mourning for the rest of the sports world in saying goodbye to our favorite sad story. The annual ribbing (and occasional torment) of the fine folks of Clevelandd was a given.dddddddddddd Add another year to the drought, another heartbreak to the list, and try again next year.Now we all have to accept that Cleveland is no longer the doormat of sports cities and no longer tops on the Sports Misery Index.What on earth will happen when the Chicago Cubs finally win a title? What is their identity? Who are they, if not the longest-running lovable losers in sport? You can forget about those monologue jokes, late-night talk-show hosts. Youll have to find another globally recognized symbol of futility.In the end, I know that change is good -- particularly for those stuck rooting for perennial duds. So with Cleveland finally enjoying a victory, I guess well move on to mocking long-time losers Buffalo or San Diego, though it wont feel the same.Thank God well always have the Browns.***This weeks Thats What She Said podcast features a man whos more than happy to say goodbye to losing traditions. Longtime Cleveland sports fan Jay Crawford, who anchors the 11 a.m. ET edition of SportsCenter, was in his home state to witness the Cavaliers win the NBA title in June. We talk about his nerves heading into an all-or-nothing Game 7, the thrill of watching the victory with his son and the atmosphere in Cleveland when the drought finally ended.Crawford also shares his thoughts on balancing fandom with professionalism, connecting with viewers in the age of social media and new technology, crafting and understanding your personal brand and learning to work with a variety of on-air teammates.Thanks, as always, for listening, and check back every week for a new edition of Thats What She Said. 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