Oh boy. Iowa State is reeling after two very tough losses, and things aren’t going to get any easier. #3 Kansas is the beginning of a four game stretch against three top 25 teams for the Cyclones, and two of them are away games (#4 Baylor and #22 Texas Tech). It’s gut check time, and the panic button has been pushed.
PSA: Before you freak out on Twitter tonight, remember this season was going to be a bubble team at best. Also, remember Kansas could win a national title. And NEVER EVER @ a player or a coach. Players go on Twitter, and recruits are on Twitter, and some fans shouldn’t be on Twitter right after a loss.
Last Time Out
As mentioned, the last game brought out the ugliest parts of Cyclone fans. Prohm is on record to saying he told his team to foul up three with eight seconds left. George Conditt stayed back while his man set a screen past half court and before Conditt could foul, TCU’s RJ Nembhard was already dialing up a 40-foot banked three point shot.
Also, this forced overtime and technically didn’t end the game, but it also very much ended the game. Overtime is about 80% momentum and 20% basketball, and TCU was better at both in the final period.
On the bright side? Tyrese Halliburton is averaging a triple-double in conference play? Halliburton’s 22-12-10 was confirmation that the sprained wrist was a one-off and doesn’t appear to be a nagging injury.
Conditt, minus his confounding defense on the last possession of regulation, played well, racking up 19 points and 6 rebounds in 31 minutes. Even if Conditt doesn’t start he got 10 more minutes than any other big man for the Cyclones. Prom goes to the small ball lineup of Conditt and four guards when the pressure is on. Hopefully, that lineup makes a starting appearance sooner rather than later.
This team, per usual, is good. They lost under achieving Quentin Grimes who transferred to Houston, but returned both Devon Dotson and Udoka Azubuike. Azubuike is a matchup nightmare for the Cyclones. He’s big, mean, crafty, and a dominant force on the low block.
Kansas is 2nd in adjusted defense in the nation, and they could clamp down on a struggling Cyclone offense. Other stats that stand out, they’re a bad free throw shooting team shooting 65% as a team. Also, Kansas is 3rd in 2-pt field goal percentage at 58% due to the post play of Azubuike and Silvia De Sousa.
Opponent Player to Watch
I know you know that some guy is going to shoot 5-7 from the 3-point line and drop a season high in points against Iowa State. Dotson and Azubuike will be the lightning and thunder 1-2 punch for the Jayhawks all year, BUT, Isaiah Moss has been that ‘who the hell is this guy?’ before and he could do it again.
Last time Moss played Iowa State was in Iowa City when he was still a Hawkeye. He shot 4-5 from 3 on his way to 20 points against the Cyclones. This year Moss is about middle of the road for a three point specialist. He’s shooting 37% from three on 17-46 shooting. However, with the focus on Azubuike and Dotson, he’ll have his fair share of open looks tonight as he’s had all season.
I hope I’m wrong, but if someone is going to have a career game for Kansas tonight, it’ll be him.
What Will Happen
I mean, I think I’ll just cut to the chase and say Kansas is going to win. Kansas isn’t a young team. Their best players are upperclassmen, and are a year stronger and closer than they were last year. Hilton didn’t scare Florida A&M, and I don’t see any ‘magic’ in the forecast tonight.
Kansas is a national title contender. The Cyclones need to turn it around, but I don’t think that happens tonight.
Iowa State- 62
Tyrese gets 25
Azubuike gets 20-15
Moss goes 5-6 from three.
It’s $5, for some great content all year. I have it I recommend it. Go ahead and buy it and tune in tonight.
The Matchup: Iowa State (7-6, 0-1 Big 12) vs. KU (11-2, 1-0 Big 12)
Where: Hilton Coliseum - Ames, IA (14,356)
When: Wednesday, January 8, 2020; Tip 7:00pm
Radio: Cyclone Radio Network/TuneIn Radio Talent: John Walters (PxP), Eric Heft (Analyst)
Betting Lines: KU -4.5
Live Stats: Cyclonestats.com