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Basketball Preview: We’re Talkin’ Drake

We’re on to the last ever, Hy-vee Classic.

NCAA Basketball: Iowa State at Iowa Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Iowa State will be down in Des Moines for the final Hy-vee Classic at Wells Fargo Arena. Since there have been some scheduling changes made to the Big Ten schedule, Iowa would no longer be able to fulfill their end of the basketball event, so for the final time. Here we go.

Last Time Out

The Cyclones eclipsed the 100 point mark for the first time this season by defeating Southern 101-65, and improving to 8-2 on the season. Marial Shayok lead the way with 26 points on 11 of 15 shooting. Tyrese Haliburton also added in 15 points as well. Haliburton added in 17 assists breaking Eric Heft’s school record in the process. Talen Horton-Tucker added in 17 points of his own. Overall, the Cyclones shot 70% from the field and 48% from 3.

Southern did put up a bit off a fight but in the end their horrid defense just allowed Iowa State to do as they wanted. Cameron Lard also made valuable strides in getting back to game shape and working well with the team.

About Drake

Drake is 6-1 on the season, last defeating UW-Milwaukee 75-61 last Thursday. Their only loss on the season is at Colorado. Nick McGlynn led the Bulldogs with 15 points on 5 of 10 shooting while Nick Norton came right behind with 14 points on 5 of 8 shooting with 4 threes. Brady Ellingson added 11 points on 4 of 7 shooting with 3 threes and a team-high 5 assists and 3 steals to round out the trio of double-digit scorers for the Bulldogs in the win. Liam Robbins chipped in 9 points and a team-high 12 rebounds as well in the victory for Drake.

This will be the 175th meeting between Iowa State and Drake on the hardwood and Iowa State holds the all-time series 109-65 and the Cyclones have won the last three games. Iowa State last beat Drake inside Wells Fargo Arena 97-80.

As a team, Drake is averaging 80.4 points per game on 46.9% shooting from the field, 34.9% from the 3-point line and 71.2% from the foul line this season.

Opponent Player To Watch

Nick Norton, the graduate transfer from UAB is one of the Bulldogs top scorers on the year. Norton averages 15 points per game and is the teams best 3pt shooter as well, hitting 45% of his attempts from deep. Norton happened to be on the UAB team that upset Iowa State in the 2015 NCAA Tournament. He played 13 minutes in that game but did not score.

What Will Happen

This one may be closer than most thing, Drake is a solid basketball team and they will be playing with a chip on their shoulder. Considering the fact that this will be the last time they get a crack at Iowa State for a bit, there will be some extra motivation in that. Drake is an average offense according to KenPom and they also boast a below average defense. Iowa State will have their opportunities to win this game outright and do everything offensively at will but I think Drake will do just enough to cover the 13 point spread Vegas is giving them.

Iowa State- 86 Drake- 75

Pick Three

1-Cameron Lard plays more, finally.

2- Tyrese Haliburton has more than 10 assists

3- Iowa State hits 8 or more threes

Game Notes

The Matchup: Iowa State (8-2, 0-0 Big 12) vs. Drake (6-1, 0-0 MVC)

Where: Des Moines, Iowa - Wells Fargo Arena (15,124)

When: Saturday, Dec. 15, 3:30 p.m. (CST)

Radio: Cyclone Radio Network/TuneIn RadioTalent: John Walters (PxP), Eric Heft (Analyst)

TV: Mediacom Connections 22Talent: Brent Blum (PxP), Adam Emmenecker (Analyst)

Webcast: Cyclones.tv

Sirius/XM/Internet: 111/199/953 (internet)

Live Stats: Cyclonestats.com