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Basketball Preview: We’re Talking Tulsa

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Golden Hurricane. Cyclones. This game is sure to be a disaster.

NCAA Basketball: Puerto Rico Tip-Off-Iowa State vs Appalachian State Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Last Time Out

Iowa State won themselves a basketball game, and earned several lucky fans some free tacos, or one can only assume after scoring over 100 points Thursday afternoon in a 104-98 win over the Appalachian State Mountaineers. The offensive performance was quite the sight for sore eyes. The defense? It was hard to assess as we didn’t see much of it in this matchup.

Cyclone fans and Iowa State head coach “Jeff” Prohm should be extremely pleased with the performance of Cameron Lard in his first game as a Cyclone. The freshman recorded a double-double and blocked three shots coming off the bench.

Nick Weiler-Babb excelled playing point guard dishing out seven assists to go along with his career-high 23 points and seven rebounds. Donovan Jackson got back into his groove by tallying a career high of his own with 26 points.

Tulsa held on for 81-74 victory over Western Michigan in their first round matchup of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off. Curran Scott paced the Golden Hurricane with 17 points while shooting 7-8 from the free throw line.

About Tulsa

Tulsa enters the game with a record of 2-1. The American Athletic Conference school is coached by former University of Miami and Missouri head coach Frank Haith. Haith took over the program when Danny Manning left for Wake Forest. Tulsa would not reply to our requests asking if his bag men also made the move to Oklahoma with him.

The Golden Hurricane finished 15-17 last season and enters the game 94th in Ken Pomeroy’s ratings. They opened the season with a 74-67 loss to Lamar. No relation to Kendrick we are told.

Players to Watch

Sterling Taplin has seen a significant uptick in usage this year after averaging just under 10 points per game last season. Taplin is effective from deep and on the charity stripe shooting over 40% and 84% respectively last season.

Junior Etou, who is actually a senior (go figure), will most likely be the leading scorer on the Tulsa team this season. Averaging a tick over 12 points per game last season, the senior has generated more offense so far this season and has a usage rate over 30%. He is incredibly effective from deep for a big man, connecting on over 42% of his three point attempts last season. The senior, named Junior, scored 15 points Thursday evening.

Curran Scott, a transfer from Charlotte, was KenPom’s game MVP in their matchup against Western Michigan. Scott has done most of his damage from long range this year taking 13 three point attempts to just five attempts from two point range. The sophomore connected on 43.9% of his limited attempts from three in his freshman season at Charlotte.

What to Expect

This game won’t go over the 200 point total we saw Thursday afternoon. Tulsa does not like to run as much as Appalachian State did, but Iowa State will still like to push the tempo.

The good news for Iowa State is there is no one named Shabazz on this Golden Hurricane team. Between Shabazz Napier and Ronshadd Shabazz, you certainly won’t be seeing any Shabazz’s pop up in Ames nine months from now. Lard’s? Well that is a different story.

In a severe case of recency bias I feel comfortable picking Iowa State to advance to the championship in this one. The additions of Cameron Lard and Hans Brase as well as the move to Nick Weiler-Babb at point guard seemed to solidify some roles on this team. Lard is a difference maker inside and will quickly become a fan favorite should he stay out of Jeff Prohm’s dog house.

KenPom has this game predicted as 79-75 victory for Iowa State. The Golden Hurricane will be the second toughest opponent Iowa State has faced to date and it will be interesting to see whether the Cyclones truly found something offensively or whether the Mountaineers were just that bad.

You could see Iowa State has some talent to work with Thursday evening. While they won’t score over 100 points again Friday evening, they will sustain some success. Tulsa will score a nice amount but it won’t be nice enough as the Golden Hurricane will be sent to their golden shower with their second loss of the year.

Iowa State- 78 Tulsa- 69.

Pick 3

  1. Cameron Lard records his second straight double-double
  2. Lindell Wigginton scores a career high in points
  3. Hans Brase hits his first three point basket at Iowa State

Game Notes

Game Time: Friday, November 17th, 6 PM (20 minutes following conclusion of App St./Western Michigan)

Line Iowa State (-3)

TV: ESPNU