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Basketball Preview: We’re Talking Emporia State

Emporia State? Who the $%&# is that?

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round-Iowa State vs Nevada James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

When you are a football school like Iowa State, fans sometimes need to be reminded that basketball season has arrived. Cyclone fans, here is your season starts TONIGHT!

While tonight’s game won’t count toward Iowa State’s record or season-long resume, it is the first time many of these Cyclones will get to play inside Hilton Coliseum with thousands of semi-interested fans present.

Exhibition games aren’t typically noteworthy, but this might be one of the most intriguing exhibitions in recent years due to the gigantic roster turnover Iowa State experienced this off-season.

Unfortunately, Iowa State will be playing without two freshman this evening against Emporia State.

Both freshman were expected to have large roles this season and Iowa State fans can only hope this is a short lived discipline decision.

Last Time Out

If yesterday’s loss in football wasn’t painful enough today’s game brings back memories of Iowa State’s last basketball game, a 80-76 loss to Purdue in the second round of the NCAA basketball tournament.

Much like yesterday’s football game, Iowa State found themselves in a large hole early before storming back in the second half only to fall just short.

Iowa State was led in that game by Deonte Burton, Matt Thomas, Naz Long and Monte Morris. Four guys that hung up their Cyclone uniform for the last time following that game.

In other words, the team on the floor tonight will be very, very different.

About Emporia State

Iowa State has had recent success against teams from Kansas and will look to continue that trend against Emporia State who hails from Emporia, Kansas. The Hornets stumble into Hilton Coliseum following a 77-44 loss to Kansas State University in their first exhibition game of the season.

Emporia State struggled mightily against the Wildcats from the field (29%), the three-point line (20%) and on the glass getting out-rebounded 23-37.

The Hornets are led by Garin Vandiver who paced the team with 15 points Friday evening while taking 15 shots from the floor. No other player tallied double figures for the Division II team from the MIAA conference.

Players to Watch

Typically we’d spend this section keying in on the players to note for the opposition. For today’s exhibition it is just as important to look at some of the newcomer’s for Iowa State.

Lindell Wigginton, one of the most decorated recruits in Iowa State basketball history, will make his first appearance inside Hilton Coliseum. Playing alongside Donovan Jackson, look for Wigginton to shoulder more of a scoring load for the team this season than his predecessor Monte Morris did last season. If he can’t, Iowa State will be in for a long year.

During the secret scrimmage against Nebraska Zoran Talley did not make an appearance, but he will give it a go against Emporia State.

The absence is a little troubling considering he was dismissed from his previous team at Old Dominion. Regardless, if Iowa State is going to do anything positive this season on the basketball court Talley will most likely have to play a significant role for the Cyclones.

Jeff Beverly, another graduate transfer from UTSA, will most likely get his first start Sunday against the Hornets. Beverly didn’t get the level of hype graduate transfers of the past may have received but he comes in posting solid numbers last season with over 15 points per game to go along with just over 5 rebounds a contest. How will he play alongside Solomon Young?

Hans Brace, who may contend for a starting spot, is questionable to play Sunday while recovering from an injury. Should he play, he is definitely someone Iowa State will look to lean on from long range and add some size on the defensive end.

What to Expect

While this might not be a train wreck, it probably isn’t going to be masterpiece. Exhibitions are ugly and with as many moving parts as Steve Prohm has on his roster getting a win will be considered a success.

With Lard and Lewis out, it will be even harder to gauge just where this Cyclone team is at this point in the year. Fair warning: don’t cement any assumptions about this team from this meaningless game in November.

I don’t think Iowa State will give up many points, and I don’t think they will set the world on fire offensively.

This performance will most likely be one that only a mother could love.

Iowa State- 71 Emporia State- 51

Pick 3

  1. Solomon Young connects on at least one three point shot
  2. Lindell Wigginton goes for 15 or more points
  3. Iowa State commits at least 13 turnovers.

Game Notes

Game Time: Sunday November 5th, 5:00 PM

Line: N/A (Although I’d set it at Iowa State -21)

TV: Cylones.TV Game Notes: available here.