Last Time Out
Iowa State fell in its quarterfinal game at the Big 12 Championships to Texas Tech. The Cyclones could not get anything to fall shooting just 31% from the floor as Texas Tech mopped the floor with Iowa State 72-41. Tyrese Hunter led the Cyclones with nine points and Izaiah Brockington chipped in seven points of his own.
Believe it or not, this will be the first-ever meeting between LSU and Iowa State on the basketball court. It just so happens to come off the heels of LSU firing their Head Coach Will Wade and Assistant Coach Bill Armstrong for cause due to serious NCAA violations that will be coming. Kevin Nickleberry will be the Tiger’s interim coach for the NCAA Tournament.
LSU presents a similar style to what Iowa State has seen all season and it is one that they struggle with. I call it Texas Tech lite. The Tigers are the 5th best team in the country in defensive efficiency according to KenPom. Not only that, they are one of the best teams in the country in forcing turnovers. For a team such as Iowa State that struggles to score and hold on to the ball. It smells like trouble city.
Fortunately, Iowa State is just as good defensively and LSU sits 90th in the country in adjusted offensive efficiency. Can you say slugfest? What the Tigers do well though offensively is give themselves second-chance points. Their offensive rebound rate is 23rd in the country and Iowa State is going to have to avoid allowing second chances with their ability to score as of late.
Player To Watch
I am going down low for this one. Iowa State has struggled a bit this season with opponents post players who can score at a big clip. LSU has one in Tati Eason. The sophomore forward is leading the team in scoring with just under 17 points a game while pulling down 7 rebounds a game as well. It’s going to be a tough assignment for George Conditt and others.
1- Izaiah Brockington scores 25
2- One of the Cyclone big men will foul out
3- Iowa State stays under 15 turnovers
What Will Happen
Unfortunately for our eyes, this will be another one of those, grind it out defensive battles. Iowa State will struggle to score against this LSU defense that comes with size and athleticism. Thankfully Iowa State’s defense is good enough to keep the Cyclones in this one. Shot selection and rebounding are going to be huge in this one. Against Texas Tech, Iowa State’s shot selection was the worst it had been all season. Rebounding at times this season has been a problem but they have shown spurts of doing good enough. Keeping LSU off the offensive glass will be the major factor here.
If Iowa State can be patient and not make silly turnovers that plagued them against Texas Tech, I think Iowa State has a fighter’s chance in this one. The problem is we need to see them do it. The Cyclones have shown they can play with anyone but in the same night, they can be as bad as you can be as a basketball team. I hope the really good team shows up. Until they do, give me the Tigers close.
LSU - 56
Iowa State - 52