Before I get into the preview, there's been a lot of internet drama regarding LaRon Dendy. Apparently he left town to deal with some personal issues, but he will be back in time for the Bradley game, so no worries. A lot of people were concerned about LaRon skipping town and being done with the team, and with the way things have been going it I can see the skepticism. To be honest, I had some as well, but wanted to wait it out to say anything until I knew more about the situation. I am just glad that apparently it's going to be fine, and there's nothing for the fans to be worried about.
I know that the team will need Dendy to do anything signficant this year. He's one of my favorite guys on the team, and I think when he's 100% healthy and back with his conditioning, he will be logging major minutes. He's one of the few guys who can play inside, rebound, and block shots. All things that this team desperatley needs more of.
Continuing with the injury theme, apparently Diante Garrett has sprained his pinky toe, but is expected to play. Also, I believe it was sometime in past week or so, but Vanderbeken sprained his ankle slipping on the ice outside. He's had a lot of bad luck with injuries, and hopefully he can get back into his normal form by the time we get to Duke and conference play.
On the next page, I'll breakdown this matchup tomorrow.
Heading into this game, ISU is coming off a win against Iowa. Bradley is coming into Ames with a 2 game losing streak, losing to both Western Carolina and Loyola (Chicago). At the same time, McDermott does have his 2-8 record against The Valley going against him as well. If Iowa State is going to start to make some strides to try to put themselves in a position to compete against Duke and the Big 12, it's a game they will need to have a confident win.
Let's how the Cyclones stack up against the Braves:
|Off Efficiency||1.12 points/poss||1.002 points/poss||ISU|
|Def Efficiency||.93 points/poss||.991 points/poss||ISU|
When I'm looking at this matchup, the turnover battle is going to be big. It's likely that whoever wins that battle, will win the game. There is no excuse for ISU to give up a lot of offensive rebounds to Bradley, as Bradley is one of the worst teams in the nation in offensive rebounding.
What I am looking for as a fan is how Iowa State starts this game, and how they finish it. It seems that it often times takes them a while to get going, and if they build up a lead they put their foot off the gas pedal. The inside game needs to look better, and they will have that opportunity, as this is a smaller team.
Honestly, I want to go into Hilton and watch a beatdown. Not a partial beatdown where we let them off the hook, but a 40 minute, complete, "whoop the team up and send them home for the holidays thinking about getting whooped", kind of loss. A guy can dream right?