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Basketball Preview: We’re Talkin’ TCU

The Horned Frogs are coming to Ames.

NCAA Basketball: Iowa State at Oklahoma Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports

Iowa State continues to sit right in the middle of the battle for the Big 12 crown. The pressure will only grow with each game,and Iowa State has one right in front of them that they can’t afford to lose. Let’s take a look at the matchup against TCU.

Last Time Out

Iowa State overcame a halftime deficit and was able to get past Oklahoma, 75-74 on Monday in Norman. The Cyclones had five players in double figures, led by Lindell Wigginton with 18 points, and Marial Shayok with 16 of his own. Shayok also had eight rebounds and a career-high-matching five assists. Tyrese Haliburton scored 11 points and was in double figures for the first time since January 5th against Kansas. The Cyclones were +5 on the glass, outrebounding its first Big 12 opponent in the last six games.

About TCU

On the season, TCU is averaging 75 points per game. They are the 36th ranked adjusted offense in the country according to KenPom. As a team, the Horned Frogs shoot 46% from the floor, including 35% from 3pt range.

Defensively, TCU allows 68 points per game, which is good for 93rd in the country. According to KenPom, TCU has the 57th ranked adjusted defense. The Horned Frogs are solid rebounders, averaging 36 per game In a stat Iowa State tends to struggle in each game.

The Cyclones lead the all-time series 11-8, including 6-2 in games played at Hilton Coliseum. Cameron Lard and Lindell Wigginton both average a team-high 15 points against the Horned Frogs, and Steve Prohm is 4-3 against TCU and 2-3 against Jamie Dixon.

Opponent Player To Watch

The junior guard Desmond Bane. Bane is TCU’s leading scorer on the season and has taken the bulk of the guard responsibilities alongside Alex Robinson after the departure of Jaylen Fisher. Bane averages 15 points per contest on 50% shooting from the field. On Wednesday, Bane scored 26 points against Oklahoma State on 9-17 shooting from the floor and 6-9 from 3pt range.

What Will Happen

After a grueling stretch of games that finished with 2 games in 3 days against Texas and Oklahoma, the schedule lightens up a bit, with the good guys playing just two games over a 12 day span. The Cyclones need this one after some other Big 12 games during the week have fallen their way opened up the door on a regular season title just a little bit wider. Now, Iowa State is chasing down Kansas State, who now sits atop the Big 12, with Iowa State travellig to Manhattan next week.

TCU has struggled on the road in Big 12 play, where they have yet to win a true road game. I don’t see how that is going to change this week. Iowa State will have their oppurtunities all game long and will need to get out to their usual game to keep this one comfortable. TCU certainly has the players and the coach to keep them in this game, but I think Iowa State will prove to be too much. I expect Marial Shayok to have a big game after semi breaking out of his recent funk against Oklahoma. Clones win by 10, setting up a pivotal matchup against Kansas State.

The Pick: Iowa State-76 TCU-66

Pick Three

1-Marial Shayok drops 25 points

2- Cameron Lard tears down another rim

3- Iowa State allows an uncomfortable amount of three pointers

Game Notes

The Matchup: No. 17 Iowa State (18-5, 7-3 Big 12) vs. TCU (16-6, 4-5 Big 12)

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

When: Saturday, Feb. 9, 1 p.m. (CST)

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

TV: ESPNU Talent: Clay Matvick (PxP), Reid Gettys (Analyst)

Webcast: WatchESPN

Sirius/XM/Internet: 135/199/953 (internet)

Live Stats: Cyclonestats.com