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Basketball Preview: We’re Talking Miami

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Iowa State won ugly in round one but faces a much stiffer task in the semifinals of the Advocare Invitational.

NCAA Basketball: Citadel at Iowa State Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

Well the first round of the Advocare Invitational is now officially in the books. Miami, Florida, Gonzaga and your Iowa State Cyclones were victorious, while Indiana State, Quinnipiac, Seton Hall and Stanford will now do battle in the loser’s bracket.

It was never an aesthetically pleasing first round performance from the Cyclones, but they did enough (somehow) to get past the Sycamores and earn their toughest test of this young season against the Miami Hurricanes. Iowa State shot record low percentages for the Prohm era and still managed to pull out a win through defensive stops and offensive rebounding in the waning moments.

Last Time Out

It should be extremely fresh in your mind, but if you missed any of Iowa State’s lackluster opening round win, you can check out all the happenings here. If you’d like to recap how Miami systematically dismantled Stanford, you can do so here.

About Miami

This is going to be an extremely tough test for the Cyclones as the Hurricanes tout both an offensive and defensive efficiency in Kenpom’s top 25. Iowa State was able to steal a win with bubble gum and paper clips yesterday, but beating Miami will require deliberative offense and solid, sustainable defense.

Defensively Miami turns the opposition over quite a bit and are extremely adept at moving their feet and defending without fouling. We will see Iowa State challenged for the first time this season by superior height and length. Miami is one of the 20 tallest teams in the country, and with much of the offense early in the season driven by cutting and driving, it’ll be interesting to see how Iowa State is able to finish in traffic or adjust the offense to get more open looks on the perimeter (read: not mid range). Iowa State has been awful from the perimeter through four games (31.4%; 240th), and at some point, fans should start to be concerned if it’s a trend or a trait.

Offensively, the Canes are very good at getting to the bucket and working the ball into guys like Dewan Huell and Kamari Murphy to either score or get the ball to cutters or spot shooters. They feature an extremely balanced scoring attack, and Monte Morris will be tested by 6’2” junior Ja’Quan Newton who has either led the team in scoring or been second in each of the Canes’ four games so far this season. He threw in a 20 piece in the Canes’ win over Stanford yesterday.

What to Expect

I’ve been trying to find some comparable games from recent ISU memory to liken this to and a few come to mind. I have a strange feeling that this game will resemble the Baylor games of the last few years. Take away the weird zone, and their profiles almost look the exact same. Miami has the length and athleticism to completely frustrate the Cyclones offensively, which doesn’t bode well for Iowa State after yesterday’s performance. The best way for Iowa State to succeed is to work outside-in, with which they have had little success to this point in the season.

For the Canes, they will definitely have the advantage in the post. Even if those guys don’t score, simply moving the ball through the post will take advantage of poor defensive rotations and leave guys open for baskets that leave fans scratching their heads. I have a very bad feeling that this game and subsequent tournament performance as a whole will leave Iowa State fans with a lot of questions as the Cyclones return to Iowa.

Defensively, the guards will need to check down to the post and make their bigs uncomfortable, and force them to make passes into tight areas. I would look for Iowa State’s guards to sag off the perimeter and try to force Miami to beat them from long range where Dejan Vasiljevic and Davon Reed are their biggest threats. Of course, this would leave the Cyclonse susceptible to giving up offensive rebounds.

So really, Prohm has his work cut out for him with an undermanned, undersized squad. Not having Solomon Young will be a hinderance, but at the end of the day, this is November, and it’s far more important that he’s ready for conference play. The guards, and more specifically the senior guards, are really going to have to carry this team today.

#21 Iowa State - 60; (Somehow unranked) Miami - 74

Pick 3

  1. First to 70 wins
  2. One of the graduate transfers fouls out
  3. Deonte Burton leads the team in scoring (seriously)

Game Notes

Game Time: Friday, Nov. 25th, 10 a.m. CST

Line: Unavailable

TV/Webcast: ESPN2/WatchESPN (Roy Philpott, Tim Welsh)

Radio: Cyclone Radio Network/TuneIn Radio App (Chris Williams, Brent Blum)

Cyclones.com Game Notes: Unavailable