Last Time Out
The Iowa State Cyclones suffered a road defeat in Manhattan, Kansas their last time out, falling to Kansas State by a final score of 61-55. It was a tightly contested game, with Iowa State carrying an eight point lead into to halftime only to have Marquis Nowell go nuts in the second half to carry the Wildcats. Cold shooting is really what doomed the Cyclones on Saturday, shooting 30.6% and 18.5% from the floor and from deep, respectively.
The Longhorns have been playing great basketball, there is no doubt about it. They have recent wins over Baylor and Kansas State, and narrow road loss to Kansas. However, they have been up and down as of late, with a road loss to Texas Tech and overtime required to beat Oklahoma at home. In general, this is still the same team that we saw in Hilton Coliseum. They are still fairly inconsistent from deep, but very lethal shooting from two point range.
Player to Watch
While Marcus Carr obviously gets the headlines, a different player has been much better for them lately. Dylan Disu has been a steady presence for them the last three games, averaging around 10 per game. While he doesn’t normally shoot from range, he did can two threes against Texas Tech. The 6’9” senior averages 10 and 4, and is a bit of a garbage man inside. You can hold Carr and Allen in-check, but Texas is deep enough to beat you with contributions from players like Disu.
- Jaren Holmes rebounds and scores 20+ points
- Osun goes for 10 and 7
- ISU forces 15 turnovers
What Will Happen
If it isn’t obvious by my pick three, I am hoping to manifest win here. Let’s be clear, this is not a game they have any business winning. This is a big game for Texas, who is trying to hold, serve in the conference race, but it is also a big game for Iowa State, who is trying to steal one on the road.
While it may seem like Iowa State needs to force a ton of turnovers to win basketball games, sometimes that isn’t true. When they beat Texas in Hilton in Coliseum, they only forced 12. Texas, in their two most recent losses, had 15 turnovers. If the Cyclones can get to that number again, it bodes well for their chances to win.
Osun, provided he stays out of foul trouble, should pose a matchup problem inside. Lipsey and Kalscheur match up with Hunter and Carr well, and Jazz gives you another body to guard their undersized bigs/wings with. The Cyclones just match up well with this Texas team, especially if they can force them into long contested twos.
Obviously, the elephant in the room is the way the offense has performed. Will it be better? Will Caleb Grill play? Those things are yet to be determined. But if the offense returns to average, Iowa State can win this game.
Iowa State 74-71.