This past weekend, many have some new found optimisim for the Cyclones basketball team which is nice. To give credit, the guys played their hearts out and gave one of the best teams in the country a run for their money.
So naturally guys are expecting the Cyclone Men to have some swagger when they roll into Manhattan tomorrow night. Many think this has the potential to be a great game, and the Cyclones could pick up their first Big XII road win since February 28th, 2007 (that isn't a typo).
Tip Off: 7pm CST, ABC Affilliate in Central Iowa, ESPN Fullcourt outside of Iowa.
So what do we know about the Wildcats?
- They are on a roll. After starting their Big XII schedule with losses to Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, and Baylor they have won 3 straight with wins against Colorado, Missouri, and Texas.
- They have a dangerous backcourt. Denis Clemente, a junior guard, scored 44 points in an overtime victory at Texas. He's their leading scorer averaging just less than 15 points per game. Pullen isn't a bad scorer either averaging about the same number of points as Clemente. Pullen destroyed us last year...
- They average about 77 points per game to our 65 points per game
- They average 39 rebounds per game to our 35
- Their rebounding margin is 2nd in the conference at +6.5
- They shoot 45% from the field vs our 44%
- They shoot 37% to our 35% from 3
- They force turnovers, averaging a little over 7 steals per game
So what's going to happen?
I have no clue. The theme for ISU has been trying to get balanced scoring, taking care of the ball, and playing good defense. If we do all three of the above, we have a great chance to win. If it turns into the Craig Brackins show with no support, we will lose.
I honestly believe if we take care of those fundamental things, and hope that DG, Lucca, Petey, and others can score a good amount of points we will be just fine.
It will be a crazy atmosphere (at least by KSU's standards) as they will likely have a sold out stadium coming off of a huge road win against Texas. If this game was 2 weeks ago, I'd figure ISU would win easily. Now you don't really know what you're going to get as both teams have been inconsistent on the year.
Other "fun" facts:
- KSU is one of two Big XII North Teams we haven't defeated since McD has been coach
- KSU is 7-0 against ISU at home the past 7 years
- Bryan Peterson is two 3 pointers away from tying Curtis Stinson and Terry woods for 11th all time at ISU. 11 more on the season and he will have passed Ron Bayless for 10th all time...
- ISU is 11-29 in the Big XII under McDermott
- ISU is 6-24 on the Road under McDermott
- ISU is 8-0 when shooting over 50% from the field under McDermott
- ISU is 2-28 when opponents score over 70 under McDermott
Bottom Line: We have to score 10 more points than what we average and KSU has to score 10 less points than what they're averaging. I think ISU can win, and I hope they do.
Check back tomorrow night around tip off and follow along as we provide some in-game commentary!