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Basketball Preview: We’re Talking Alabama State

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Iowa State looks for a strong start to the 2018-2019 season

NCAA Basketball: Big 12 Conference Tournament-Texas vs Iowa State Amy Kontras-USA TODAY Sports

Needless to say, the 2017-18 season for Steve Prohm was a disappointment. The Cyclones failed to qualify for a postseason tournament for the first time in six years, and left a sour feeling in many Cyclone fans mouths.

Now we enter a new season. Prohm has retooled his line up with some new fresh faces in Marial Shayok, Michael Jacobsen, Talen Horton-Tucker, Zion Griffin, George Conditt and Tyrese Haliburton. Some familiar faces return as well that proved their skill as freshmen last year in Lindell Wigginton and Cameron Lard. Now it will be time for them to put it all together and see what they can do.

The Cyclones will kick off the season against Alabama State University from the SWAC Conference. Iowa State and Alabama State have met once before back in 2010 in Hilton Coliseum, Iowa State winning 74-47.

Last Time Out

The last time we saw the Cyclones men’s basketball team was at the Big 12 Tournament in Kansas City. Iowa State struggled to keep pace, and ultimately fell to Texas 68-64 in the opening round.

Lindell Wigginton led Iowa State in scoring with 20 and Cameron Lard added 14 that evening. Something from these two we will hopefully see much more of this coming season.

About Alabama State

The Hornets were picked to finish fifth in the Southwestern Athletic Conference and return eight players, including their top three scorers from a season ago. All eight players who return this season for the Hornets have seen time in the starting lineup at some point last season. the top three scorers, Reginald Gee, Jacoby Ross, and Branden Johnson, averaged 36 points combined last season.

Alabama State got a chance to practice for ten days while traveling on an international tour to the Bahamas this year. They enter the season with a few newcomers already getting game experience. The Hornets added Therrell Gosier II, Kevin Holston, AJ Farrar and Leon Daniels from the junior college ranks this season.

KenPom ranks Alabama State 321st overall in the initial preseason rankings and rank near the bottom in defense and offensive ratings. This team is good enough to compete in the SWAC, but it looks to be a nice game to get some new pieces working for Iowa State.

Player To Watch

Reginald Gee. He is their leading returning scorer. In 30 minutes per game, Gee averaged fifteen points, shooting 43% from field goal range and just over 40% from deep. The junior guard is the key to the ignition for Alabama State and if Steve Prohm wants to make it a quick nigh,t it would be best to limit Gee’s touches and force their new pieces to play in an uncomfortable environment in their first major college game.

What To Expect

Unlike last year, Iowa State won’t get tossed into the fire in their first game of the season. This will be one of those games where the fans might not like the way it looks initially, but it will allow the team to get their footing under themselves and figure out a few things.

Make no mistake about it, this team on paper is far better than last year’s, but it will still take some time to find the right recipe for the season.

Iowa State shouldn’t have much of an issue with this one, and I expect the Cyclones to completely take over late in the first half and put it completely away right away in the second half. Cyclones roll and set up a home tilt with Missouri on Friday night.

Iowa State-97 Alabama State-72

Pick Three

1- Lindell Wigginton Scores 20+

2- Iowa State has 8 or more made threes

3- Talen Horton Tucker makes the first basket

Game Notes

Where: Ames, Iowa - Hilton Coliseum (14,384)

When: Tuesday, Nov. 6, 7 p.m. (CST)

Radio: Cyclone Radio Network/TuneIn Radio Talent: John Walters (PxP), Eric Heft (Analyst) TV: Cyclones.tv Talent: John Walters (PxP), Eric Heft (Analyst) Webcast: Cyclones.tv Sirius/XM/Internet: NA/NA/990 (internet)

Live Stats: Cyclonestats.com

Line: None