It's been nearly a week since the #13 Iowa State Cyclones (8-1) defeated the Southern Jaguars 88-78 in Hilton Coliseum. ISU put up its 88 points despite only hitting three shots from long range in the lackluster performance. The Jaguars scored their highest point total of the season in Hilton, which could be due to more offensive possessions, but is in part due to Iowa State's underwhelming effort on the defensive side of the ball. The next challenge for the Cyclones lies 30 minutes south of Ames in Wells Fargo Arena, where Iowa State will take on Drake in the opening game of the Big Four Classic.
The Opponent: Drake (2-8)
Tip: Saturday, 4 p.m. CST - Wells Fargo Arena - Des Moines, Iowa
TV/Webcast: Mediacom Connections (Channel 822 or 22) / Cyclones.tv
Radio: Cyclone Radio Network
This year's Bulldogs squad isn't nearly as scary to play as some of the teams in recent years. Drake has just two wins on the season, against IUPUI and Jackson State, who are a combined 4-18. The Bulldogs are only averaging 61.8 PPG versus Iowa State's 84.8 PPG, but are shooting a respectable 47.3% from the field. KenPom has Drake ranked 200th in the nation at adjusted offense, and a scary-bad 335th at adjusted defense. The Cyclones should be able to put up points without any problems today.
Five of the Bulldogs' top six scorers are listed as guards. Their starting lineup stands 6-foot-1, 6-foot-1, 6-foot-2, 6-foot-6 and 7-foot-0. The Cyclones will have the height advantage at every position until whoever guards seven footer Jacob Enevold Jensen, which will likely be Dustin Hogue, Georges Niang, or newly-eligible Jameel McKay. We've heard throughout the season that McKay can eat up the boards in a hurry in practice, so going up against a seven footer right off the bat will be a pretty good indicator of what we can expect from the transfer from Marquette.
To learn more about Drake, here is cylentbutdeadly's preview for this afternoon's game.
The main thing to watch today will be how Coach Hoiberg uses McKay in his first ever game of division 1 basketball. In all likelihood, McKay will come off the bench initially, but don't be surprised if the 6-foot-9 junior works his way into the starting rotation by the end of the year.
The Cyclones will likely have no trouble beating Drake today, but hopefully they can show a little more urgency on defense than they showed against Southern. McKay's ability to alter shots at the rim should help immediately.
Iowa State 82 - Drake 65
Bonus Hit Tape
And to commemorate Jameel McKay's debut here's a hit tape put together by our very own CyPike.
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Jameel McKay double doubles in his first game.
Georges Niang continuously blows kisses to the Hawkeye fans in attendance.
ISU beats Drake by 40+.
UNI beats Iowa.