LAST TIME OUT.
The Cyclones dropped a tough one in Allen Fieldhouse on Saturday, falling 62-60.
Gabe Kalscheur led the Cyclones once again with 23 points, shooting 4-8 from 3 point range. Osun Osunniyi played far and away his best game of the season, scoring 14 points on 7-10 shooting with 6 boards and 3 blocks. The Cyclones played great defense, stayed out of foul trouble, out-rebounded Kansas, and matched KU in nearly every statistical category.
In all, though, it was an incredibly positive performance from the Cyclones. As WRNLs smddee said it in his extended recap article: “This team, this group of players whom no one could put a finger on how this year would go, was a possession away from doing something no Iowa State team had done in a long long time: Start conference play 5-0.”
Despite all the uncertainty swirling around this program, they have responded on the court. Texas capped off the week going 2-0, which included surviving a huge deficit against TCU and hanging on to overcome a strong challenge from Texas Tech. The Longhorns have actually won 3 in a row, with their last loss being the 116-103 rout against Kansas State.
Texas is being led by some veterans, with Minnesota transfer Marcus Carr scoring 17.5 points per game. Senior Timmy Allen is their main man inside, scoring 10 points per game and averaging 5.5 rebounds. Aside from Sir’Jabari Rice off the bench, not much production is coming from the rest of the roster, as the Longhorns have a host of players averaging between 4-8 points.
Opponent Player to Watch
Marcus Carr has to be the player to watch here, as he has been driving the bus for the Longhorns. He is shooting over 40% from deep and is scoring with regularity, and is a crafty veteran player that must be accounted for. Texas is not as big in the paint as they have been in years past, and Iowa State should be able to handle their bigs.
The obvious elephant in the room here is the traitor Tyrese Hunter. Lately, Hunter has struggled to score, seeing his shooting percentages and point numbers dip. Will he be motivated to have a huge night? We’ll see, but with the Hilton crowd against him, he’ll have to overcome a lot to get there.
- Tyrese Hunter scores fewer than 12 points and gets some loud F*** Hunter chants from the students
- Robert Jones bounces back and scores 10 points to go with 5 boards
- Iowa State makes 10 three pointers
What Will Happen
This is a good spot for Iowa State. Despite the close loss against Kansas, the Cyclones actually moved up in the metrics, solidifying the notion that this team is for real. Caleb Grill scored 3 points on the road and you still had a final shot to win against what is probably the overall #1 seed if the tournament was played tomorrow.
The Longhorns have played a few really tight, crazy games in a row, and have to travel to a Hilton Coliseum that will be packed and astronomically angry. Iowa State will be happy to welcome their students back as well, and with the Chris Beard situation lingering over this program, they will have no shortage of ammunition.
Marcus Carr is a great player, and Texas is getting solid contributions from Allen and Rice consistently, with Hunter contributing most nights. Iowa State should match up with Texas well, with Gabe guarding Carr and Lipsey on Hunter. The bigs will once again be key, as the Longhorns are great as finishing around the rim. With as well as our guards rebound, the Cyclones should be able to control the glass once again.
Give me the Cyclones by a final score of 72-66.
The Matchup: #14 Iowa State (13-3, 4-1 Big 12) vs. # 10 Texas (10-5, 0-3 Big 12)
Where: Hilton Coliseum, Ames, IA
When: Tuesday, January 17th 7:00pm
Spread: Iowa State -2 | O/U 131.5
Radio: Cyclone Radio Network/Varsity Radio App Talent: John Walters (PxP), Eric Heft (Analyst)
TV: Big 12 Now/ESPN+
Live Stats: Cyclonestats.com