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Men’s Basketball Preview: We’re Talking Oklahoma State Again

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

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Cyclones’ Last Time Out

Iowa State gutted out a one-point victory on the road at Kansas State to even that season series and extend the winning streak to four, as well as all but lock the Cyclones into the NCAA Tournament.

Izaiah Brockington led the Cyclones in scoring once again with 26 points, but Tyrese may have been the bigger star of the game. The freshman scored 22 of his own points while racking up 10 assists and just two turnovers on the way to his first career double-double.

Oklahoma State’s Last Time Out

The Cowboys dropped a close one in overtime in Norman by a score of 66-62. Avery Anderson led the contest in scoring with 25 points, but none of his teammates broke into double figures. The loss dropped Oklahoma State to 13-15 on the season.

Player To Watch

Oklahoma State has a few different players capable of putting up big scoring nights, but Avery Anderson leads the way for the Cowboys. He plays the second-most minutes on the team besides Isaac Likekele, and accounts for the greatest usage rate on the team.

Anderson can be a bit turnover-prone, but is a solid on-ball defender and a good enough three point shooter that you have to respect his outside shot and keep track of him on the perimeter. He’s also partiuclarly adept at getting to the free throw line, which will probably worry some Cyclone fans.

Pick 3

1 - Tyrese Hunter nearly finishes with another double-double, but falls just short on assists.

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2 - Brockington leads the scoring again with another 25+ point performance.

3 - Iowa State loses the free throw margin by at least 10 attempts.

What Will Happen

The first matchup between these two teams in Stillwater went to overtime, with Iowa State gutting out a win at the end. Brockington finished with 29 points, and impressive feat, but the aforementioned Avery Anderson piled in 35 of his own, including going 11-of-13 from the free throw line.

The Cyclones have looked like a much better offensive basketball team in recent weeks as Tyrese Hunter has matured before our eyes and guys are starting to take better shots. However, one major issue that still hasn’t been resolved is the free throw disparity. Iowa State has made a habit of shooting a lot fewer free throws than their opponents. Oklahoma State shot 13 more free throws than the Cyclones in the first matchup.

Fouls have been a huge issue this season for Otz’s crew, and regularly shooting so many fewer free throws than your opponent makes games difficult to win. Gifting your opponent an extra six to ten points at the line every single is a difficult hole to dig out of. Oklahoma State is good at getting to the line, and Iowa State is good at putting people on the line. If the Pokes knock down their free throws this will probably be another close game.

However, this is senior night in Hilton Coliseum, and we should see a ton of defensive intensity and a very loud crowd to power on the good guys.

Iowa State - 76

Oklahoma State - 71