clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Men’s Basketball Preview: We’re Talkin’ #21 Texas

Back to the friendly confines of Hilton for another ranked conference clash.

NCAA Basketball: Iowa State at Kansas Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Cyclone’s Last Time Out

As much as it needs to be rehashed, let's do it. Iowa State lead Kansas at halftime before a big, early 2nd half run by the Jayhawks kept a 6-8 point lead for most of the game. However, Iowa State brought it all the way back and grabbed a controversial lead in the final minute. A frenetic back-and-forth with the lead trading hands 4 times in the final 40 seconds left Iowa State on the wrong end of a 62-61 score. This, despite a missed goaltend and a controversial replay review of Caleb Grill’s 3 to take the lead. Izaiah Brockington lead the Clones with 17 points and 8 rebounds, while Gabe Kalscheur’s offensive slump broke a little bit with 14 points and 4 made 3s.

Longhorns’ Last Time Out/About Texas

The future SEC cash cow (pun intended) beat up on their traitorous brethren Oklahoma 66-52 in Austin. Andrew Jones provided basically all of the offense with 22 points. Chris Beard’s squad has been oddly quiet this season for carrying in a top 5 preseason ranking. They’ve beaten a whole lot of nobodies (298th ranked SOS in the country) and lost to arguably the 3 best teams they’ve played this year (Gonzaga, Seton Hall, Oklahoma State) - all on the road. The key there is the road losses. They haven’t played great away from home yet. Chris Beard has his team playing tenacious defense just like his Texas Tech squads did. Their defense ranks 8th in the country on Kenpom, and they play disgustingly slow (354th ranked tempo). They will hound our perimeter players to keep them out of the lane and grind out as many buckets as they need to win the game.

Player to Watch

I’m going to double-dip here. Watch out for Texas’ two lead guards that have been in the program for more than 6 months, Andrew Jones and Courtney Ramey. Jones is 2nd on the team in scoring, for whatever that’s worth as they have about 8 guys within 4 points of each other. He had 22 points on Tuesday against Oklahoma and was red hot from outside. Ramey is their top volume 3 point shooter at 38%. Both of these guys have played inside Hilton Coliseum before, both when it was rocking and when it’s been dead silent. If Texas is going to come out with a victory today, that experience will have to play a difference.

Pick 3

  1. Izaiah Brockington leads the way in points and rebounds.
  2. Both teams have a 5-minute scoring drought.
  3. Texas shoots under 40% from the field.

What Will Happen?

This game is going to be an absolute grind. It will probably be tough to watch for any non-Cyclone or Longhorn fans as both of these teams bring in the best defenses in the country. A return home with a possibly overconfident opponent is exactly what this scrappy, underdog Cyclone team needs. Expect a raucous, sold-out crowd, and a close game throughout. Iowa State takes a 5 point lead in the final 5 minutes and manages to string together just enough stops to pull out a victory.

Iowa State - 59

Texas - 56

Game Notes

The Matchup: #21 Texas (13-3, 3-1 Big 12) at #15 Iowa State (13-3, 1-3 Big 12)

Where: Ames, Iowa - Hilton Coliseum (14,267)

When: Saturday, January 15th 1:00pm

The Line: Texas -2.5, O/U 121

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

TV: Big 12 Now on ESPN+ Talent: Mark Neely (PxP), Lance Blanks (Analyst)

Webcast: Big 12 Now on ESPN+

Live Stats: Cyclonestats.com