Sports

Bubu Palo's return the least of slumping Iowa State's concerns

  • Iowa State's Georges Niang sits on the bench during the second half on an NCAA college basketball game against Texas, Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014, in Austin, Texas. Texas won 86-76. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

    Iowa State's Georges Niang sits on the bench during the second half on an NCAA college basketball game against Texas, Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014, in Austin, Texas. Texas won 86-76. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)  (The Associated Press)

  • Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg talks to his players during the second half on an NCAA college basketball game against Texas, Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014, in Austin, Texas. Texas won 86-76. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

    Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg talks to his players during the second half on an NCAA college basketball game against Texas, Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014, in Austin, Texas. Texas won 86-76. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)  (The Associated Press)

The potential distraction caused by the return of guard Bubu Palo appears to be the last thing Iowa State is worried about.

The slumping Cyclones have bigger issues to deal with.

Iowa State (14-3, 2-3 Big 12) has lost three straight for the first time in three years. The Cyclones have fallen 2 ½ games behind league-leading Kansas, and they dropped eight spots to No. 16 in this week's Top 25.

Iowa State started its weeklong preparation for Saturday's home game against No. 22 Kansas State with a players-only meeting. Forward Georges Niang says the Cyclones got a lot of things off their chest.