The Kansas game basically verifies everything we’ve thought about this team since they went down to Florida for the Advocare Invitational. When shots are falling, they can play with anyone and when they’re not — well, they can lose to almost anyone. The important thing for Iowa State is to take better shots to maximize their scoring chances. Settling for long 2s is a recipe for disaster.
Saturday was one of, if not the best win of the Steve Prohm era for Iowa State. Iowa State was 18/34 from deep, where they only managed 10/26 against West Virginia. Think about that. There’s a 24-point swing there thanks largely in part to Deonte Burton’s standout 7/9 performance from beyond the arc. Prior to that game, Burton had gone three games without a made 3 and hadn’t canned one since the Cyclones’ victory in Norman on Jan. 21st.
There’s another statistic that comes to mind. Iowa State shot 10/28 inside the arc on non-layups against WVU. That’s way too many jumpers in difficult spots. The Cyclones only shot 6/18 on those same situations against KU, but the big difference was they were able to cut down on 10 of those. In addition, Iowa State was able to get 8 more layup attempts against the Jayhawks than they did against the Mountaineers. The Cyclones are best when they get to the rim and shoot 3s. Even being undersized, good things happen when they aggressively take the ball to the rim. Let’s see if they can continue that this evening.
Last Time Out
There isn’t much more to say about Saturday’s win at the Phog, but Iowa State got a much-needed signature win in Lawrence. Meanwhile, in Fort Worth, TCU used a second half run to pull away from Texas, completing a season sweep of the Longhorns.
In the first matchup exactly one month ago, Iowa State got out to an early lead and, for the most part, kept Texas at arms length in a matchup where the Longhorns shot 20% better from deep than their season average. While Iowa State held a lead for most of the game, the win was not comfortable for fans, as Texas closed the gap to four with less than six minutes left.
Matchups and Players to Watch
Kerwin Roach went off in Ames for 21 points on 4-4 shooting beyond the arc. Iowa State may throw a bunch of different defenders at Roach depending on lineups, but I would expect to see Naz Mitrou-Long on him to start. Roach also dropped five dimes on the Clones in the first meeting because he was able to penetrate and dish to bigs or kick out to shooters, which is also where the Cyclones struggled against West Virginia.
If Iowa State is able to keep guards out of the lane, the Texas offense could stagnate. TCU used a very effective 2-3 zone against Texas on Saturday, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Iowa State go to it from time to time as well.
On the interior, Jarrett Allen dropped 11 points and 8 boards on the Cyclones a month ago. Merrill Holden did not play in that game and Solomon Young only recorded six minutes. Prohm said yesterday that Young could be first off the bench for Iowa State, but either way, Allen should be getting different looks defensively than he saw in the first go around.
Texas does have other players capable of scoring, but stopping Roach and Allen will be imperative to slowing down the Longhorns.
A Word and a GIF Summary
Today’s Word: Consistency
When was the last time we saw Iowa State come out and put together solid back-to-back halves, let alone games? This team has shown an inability at times to handle success, and now they must do so away from the friendly confines of Hilton Coliseum if they want to improve their seeding for the big dance.
A loss here doesn’t end the season, but it certainly dampens the effect of the win in Lawrence. Can the Cyclones get consistent minutes from their front court players? Can they consistently make open shots, which has been an issue at times? Can they consistently run in transition and take advantage of turnovers? Can they play consistent defense to prevent the big run which home teams are often prone to?
- Texas shoots above their season average from 3-point range.
- Iowa State gets double-digit steals.
- Iowa State outrebounds Texas.
Iowa State — 78; Texas — 74
Game Time: Tuesday, Feb. 7th, 8 p.m. CST
Line Open: Iowa State (-3); O/U (140)
TV/Webcast: ESPN2/WatchESPN (Jon Sciambi, Miles Simon)
Radio: Cyclone Radio Network/TuneIn Radio App (John Walters, Eric Heft)
Cyclones.com Game Notes: Available here