Now that the opener is out of the way and Iowa State has survived a gritty Colorado squad, the Cyclones return to Ames for their home opener against the Chicago State Cougars. Monday night's game will mark the first official game in Hilton Coliseum for Steve Prohm as the #7 Cyclones look to move to 2-0.
According to Cyclones.com, Iowa State has won 27-straight non-conference home games and has also been victorious in 17-straight home openers.
About Chicago State
In their opener, the Cougars routed Illinois Tech (a Division 3 school mind you) by a count of 137-59. Chicago State didn't exactly call off the dogs, outscoring the Scarlet Hawks 71-17 in the second half.
So how exactly does Iowa State stop this offensive juggernaut you might be asking? For starters, it would probably help if the Cyclones held onto the ball. Chicago State forced 35 turnovers and recorded 26 steals in their blowout win on Friday night. Forcing turnovers has been a big part of head coach Tracy Dildy's program as the Cougars forced opponents into turning the ball over on 22.3% of their possessions a season ago, good for 21st in the country. Their steal rate of 12.1% ranked them 17th nationally last year.
The Cougar roster is filled with unknowns as they had six players transfer out of the program and lost their top two scorers from last year's team. Trayvon Palmer is the top returning player and he led Chicago State in the opener with 17 points and 13 rebounds.
I'm not going to pretend to know the first thing about Chicago State basketball beyond what the numbers suggest, but Monday night could be one of the rare match ups on the year where Iowa State actually has a size advantage. A quick glance at the roster shows that the Cougars have only two players that stand 6'8" or taller.
So How Much Does Iowa State Win By?
Iowa State is going to win this game...by a lot. Chicago State was picked to finish last in the WAC by both the coaches and the media in the pre-season poll. Once a very good mid-major league, the WAC very well might be the worst conference in the D1 ranks.
Prohm elected to only play 7 guys against Colorado on Friday night, but this contest will allow us our first extended look at Iowa State's post depth. It remains to be seen if Prohm will redshirt Brady Ernst, but we'll likely know soon enough. Simeon Carter figures to see the first minutes off the bench and I wouldn't be shocked to see Prohm work him into the action in the first half to get a better idea of what Carter can do when playing with the first unit. Hallice Cooke also looks like a strong candidate to log 20+ minutes after seeing only 13 minutes against the Buffs.
With Chicago State's pressure-style of defense, it could be another relatively quiet night on the perimeter for Iowa State, as there figures to be ample opportunities to break the Cougar's traps with back-cuts and open driving lanes.
Kenpom.com is predicting an 84-56 win for Iowa State and gives the Cyclones a 99% win probability. To be honest, that sounds a little low to me. Look for Iowa State to keep their total team turnovers to single digits and to at least double up the Cougars on points in the paint.
#7 Iowa State 91 - Chicago State 50
Game Time: Monday, November 16th at 7 PM CST
Radio: Cyclone Radio Network
Cyclones.com Game Notes: Available here