The NCAA Tournament field was released on Sunday afternoon, and Iowa State learned they would be playing Nevada in the Midwest Regional 5/12 matchup. We wanted to give Cyclone fans a quick scouting report on the Cubs, who finished their season with a 15-8 record competing in the Heart of Iowa Conference.
As a team, Nevada finished with the second best overall record of all HOIC teams (South Hamilton, Jewell was 22-3). The Cubs connect on 45.8% of their field goals and shoot 36% from 3-point range. As a team they struggle from the free throw line at 54.8%, meaning the classic “hack-a-Cub” strategy could be one Steve Prohm has his team implement if the game on Thursday is close in the second half.
The leading scorer for Nevada this season is Trent Stahl, a 5-foot-9 guard who was named 1st Team All-Conference in his junior season after averaging 14.1 points per game to go along with 93 total assists.
Down low, the leading rebounder for the Cubs is Luke Merfeld, who stands at 6-foot-6 and hauled in 6.1 boards per game. Merfeld is also the tallest player on Nevada’s roster, meaning Iowa State will possess a noticeable size advantage when these two teams take the court.
ISU needs to be careful to not overlook the Cubs. After starting their season losing four out of six games, Nevada finished 13-4 and is easily one of the hottest teams entering the Tournament.
WRNL was able to catch up with Cubs head coach Chris Hinson to get a few of his thoughts ahead of the matchup with Iowa State.
“Uh, guys, I think you have the wrong team,” Coach Hinson wrongly suggested. “Leave me alone. How’d you even find my house? I’m calling the police.”
Stay tuned for more coverage from WRNL leading up to Thursday’s game between the Cyclones and Cubs.