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Iowa State Men’s Basketball Preview: We’re Talkin’ Grambling

We played Green Bay, now we play their logo

NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament - First Round - Greensboro Photo by Grant Halverson/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

Last Time Out

Iowa State had their first ‘bad’ shooting night and won by 31. Need I say more? Tre King was the scoring engine early in the game. Keshon Gilbert had a big second half, finishing with 16 points, tying King as co-leading scorers.

Milan Momcilovic had his third straight game with double digit points, and I’m guessing that could be the norm for his freshman season.

The defense was aggressive and turned the Bengals over 24 times. Tre King, Robert Jones, and Tamin Lipsey all had 3+ steals.

About Grambling

The Grambling Tigers of Louisiana have two wins on the year, watch out. Those wins coming against the mighty North Texas-Dallas Trailblazers and Champion Christian. The Tigers also played Colorado earlier this season and lost 95-63.

Now in all seriousness, Grambling is projected to finish 2nd in this upcoming season, and they finished 2nd in conference last season as well. This is an experienced starting lineup with 4 seniors and 1 junior and Grambling is probably the best defense Iowa State has played thus far.

Player to Watch

The preseason SWAC defensive player of the year Jourdan Smith. He’s averaging 14 points, 6 rebounds, and a steal and block per game. Some of those stats are a little inflated with playing two very small schools, but pretty good stats, nonetheless.

He’s a 6’7 junior that could guard a whole variety of Cyclones on Sunday. He might just rotate on to whoever has the hot hand. He also can handle the ball on offense and get to the basket by driving or cutting.

Pick 3

  1. Milan Momcilovic continues his double-digit scoring streak.
  2. Grambling has more turnovers than made field goals.
  3. Hason Ward poster.

Final Analysis

This might be the best team Iowa State has played all season but that’s a low bar. I think we might see a bit of a slug fest in the first half of a Sunday matinee game. Iowa State’s talent, depth, and athleticism will help them pull away in the second.

I really want to see the Cyclone’s defensive intensity continue, especially if offense isn’t coming as easily. Hit the glass, get out in transition, and play fast. If Iowa State is shooting a high clip from 3 too, this one could get ugly.

Score Prediction

Iowa State - 84

Grambling - 52