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Basketball Preview: We’re Talking Talking TCU Pt. 1

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It can’t get any worse, right?

NCAA Basketball: Air Force at Texas Christian Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Congratulations, you’ve blinked and it’s already 2020. With the new year and the new decade, comes Big 12 play. Iowa State kicks off conference action playing in Fort Worth against TCU, a place that hasn’t been friendly to Iowa State and Steve Prohm. The Cyclones are on a three game skid playing at TCU and Coach Prohm has yet to beat the Horned Frogs at their home.

In matter of fact, Iowa State has lost to TCU in their last four meetings. The Cyclones haven’t won in this match up since the 2017 Big 12 Tournament semifinal. For a program as mediocre as TCU, it’s puzzling why they have the Cyclones number, but they do.

Last Time Out

The Cyclones closed out the 2010s, one of the greatest decades in Iowa State basketball history with a horrific, awful, terrible loss at home to Florida A&M. The Rattlers came into Hilton Coliseum and punked the Cyclones while killing Hilton Coliseum.

Future NBA Draft lottery pick, Tyrese Haliburton was out with a sprained wrist but it doesn’t matter, losing games to teams the level of my alma mater, Simpson College, is completely unacceptable.

Rasir Bolton scored 29 point for the Cyclones, George Conditt had 12 off of the bench, and Terrence Lewis clocked in with 10, but the remaining six players who played score a combined total of 17 points. Iowa State shot 46% from the field and 40% from three but they Rattlers to have a split of 50% from the field and 57% from three. Yuck.

About TCU

The Horned Frogs ended conference play at 9-3 without any real quality wins. But TCU’s three losses all came to a Power 5 opponents. Clemson, Xavier, and USC aren’t world beaters but they aren’t anywhere close to a poor loss.

If I’m being honest, I haven’t gotten the chance to catch TCU at all this season but if they are similar to past teams, they play solid defense with streaky three-point shooting. They are the 36th ranked team in adjusted defensive efficiency on Kenpom.com while ranking 90th on offense.

They shoot just 35.8% from three, but Jaire Grayer is hitting at 49% from beyond the arc and Desmond Bane is connecting at a 41% clip.

This TCU team will be a bubble team come March, and it’ll be a challenging game to kick off Big 12 play.

Opponent Player to Watch

Desmond Bane is one of the best players in the Big 12. He’s averaging 17.1 points per game this season while dishing out 3.5 assists and grabbing 7.0 boards. His shooting splits are .478/.411/.808, making him one of the most efficient guards in the country.

Bane kills defenders with his elite first step and quickness while getting to the basket. Bane will have no problem slicing through the Cyclone defense and getting his own or kicking it out to wide open shooters.

Bane scored 16 and 17 points in his two matchups against ISU last season, respectively. Without Alex Robinson, I’d expect Bane to score a lot.

What Will Happen

Iowa State is playing at an all time low in confidence right now, but we know that this team has the talent to play well. They beat Seton Hall earlier this season and competed against Michigan. Something just isn’t clicking and hopefully they figure it out.

Tyrese Haliburton should play after missing last game and that should help open up the offense and tighten up the defense, but I don’t think it will be enough.

TCU is a good team with an elite player and a good coach, coming off of a loss to the pre-Willie Mays Hayes Cleveland Indians, Iowa State will hopefully be pissed off and ready to compete. I think that will happen, but TCU will be too much for Iowa State.

TCU- 81

Iowa State- 67

Pick Three

1- Tyrese Haliburton scores 30

2- Desmond Bane goes for 30/10

3-Michael Jacobsen goes 0/5 from three

Game Notes

The Matchup: Iowa State (7-5, 0-0 Big 12) vs. TCU (9-3, 0-0 Big 12)

Where: Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena - Fort Worth, TX (8,500)

When: Saturday, January 5th, 2020; Tip 5:00pm

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

TV: ESPN+

Betting Lines:

Live Stats: Cyclonestats.com