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Basketball Preview: We’re Talking Alcorn State

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The Cyclones should have no issue rolling to their seventh straight victory

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

Last Time Out

One of the keys to making the NCAA tournament is keeping bad losses off your resume. Iowa State did just that on Thursday evening as they beat their Big Ten rival on the eastern side of the state by a score of 84-78.

Cyclone Alley provided a hostile environment while harassing Cordell Pemsl and his teammates all evening. It was enough to force 18 turnovers for the team out east as well as a 1-8 performance from the free throw line.

An object (or team) in motion tends to stay in motion unless compelled to change its state by an external force. Iowa State limited their turnovers to eight, and allowed their opponent’s season to continue spiraling out of control, watching them lose for the sixth time in their last seven games.

Iowa State used their incredible depth at the guard position to outscore Fran McCaffery’s 11 man rotation. Jack Nunge, an out-of-state recruit, paced his team with 16 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists.

The Cyclones have not lost to their in-state rival inside Hilton Coliseum since 2003. With another win in the Cy-Hawk series, Steve Prohm moved into a tie with Fran McCaffery with two career wins in the in-state rivalry.

About Alcorn State

Alcorn State shook off Rust their last time out with an 89-50 win.

For the Braves it was their second win on the season although both of them have come against NAIA opponents. Montez Robinson’s SWAC squad has faced the 7th toughest schedule in the nation to date according to KenPom.com.

They come into the game ranked 339th on KenPom and have both an adjusted offensive and defensive efficiency rating outside the top 300. They will look to do most of their damage from long range as 42.3% of their shots have come from behind the arc. The good news for Iowa State is the Braves are hitting on just 27.5% of those attempts.

This team will look to force the issue and gamble on defense. They force a steal on 10% of their opponents’ possessions. Most of the time their gambles don’t pay off which has contributed to opponents posting an effective field goal percentage above 60%!

Lorman, Mississipi, home of the Braves, is just a short 14 hour, 900 mile bus trip, from Ames, Iowa.

Players to Watch

Reginal Johnson takes almost 30% of his teams shots when he is on the floor. They occasionally find the bottom of the net.

AJ Mosby has had a little more success while scoring 12.1 points per game. The senior guard has the highest offensive efficiency rating on the team. In fact he is the only Brave to post a rating over 100 at 124.8 coming into the contest.

Dante Sterling, no relation to Donald Sterling (or the other Donald for that matter), has the most three point attempts on the team with 35. He has converted 11 of them on the year en route to averaging 9.8 points per game, good for third on the team.

What to Expect

A seventh straight victory. This should turn into a laugher early and Jakolby Long and Terrence Lewis should get a chance to be on the floor for extended minutes in the second half. Prohm surely won’t tinker with his starting lineup before this game, but many have been wondering if Cameron Lard would get a shot. Hans Brase continues to earn extended minutes and might be a better option at the moment to replace Jeff Beverly in the starting five should Prohm decide to make a change.

Alcorn State will score a nice amount, but it won’t be nice enough as we get our first palindrome final of the year.

Iowa State- 96 Alcorn State- 69

Pick 3

1. Alcorn State will make more than one free throw.

2. Steve Prohm will keep his tie on the entire game.

3. Jeff Beverly will attempt a three-pointer...and inevitably miss it.

Game Notes

Game Time: Sunday, December 10th, 5 PM

Line: N/A

TV: Cyclones.Tv