is the beginning of end a game against Missouri. A game that in theory would be exciting. I would sure love to be pumped about playing a team from a neighboring state. But let's face it: Mizzou is a better team, and we'll be fortunate to find ourselves in a close one with them tomorrow.
On paper, this looks like an even matchup: Both teams shoot are close in terms of the "four factors". Missouri does a better job of ball handling and rebounding, while we actually do better at shooting and getting to the foul line.
But, the game isn't played on paper. Missouri likes to pressure the ball handler. They have 6 guys that average over 1 steal per game, half of which overage over 1.5 steals per game. We have seen ISU get in situations where they have had TOV% of amounts in the 30 percent range, and the Colorado game was a perfect example of how turnovers almost cost the Cyclones a victory.
For Missouri, the guys to watch offensively are the Sophomore Trio of English, Denmon, and Bowers. Missouri is also deep, as they have 10 guys in their regular rotation. They are going to try and throw bodies at us, try to force turnovers, and likely wear us out.
The keys to the game for the Cyclones are to take care of the ball and rebound. If they can do both of those things, they should be able to play the game at a more manageable pace, and limit the transition baskets Missouri likes to score. It's going to be much easier said than done, as turning the ball over has been an issue, and quite frankly, our guys are very uncomfortable when they are being defended with energy.
There is a strong chance that this game will be reminiscent of our 31 point blowout loss at Missouri last year. The spread is currently set to ISU +11.5, and I'd still take Missouri to cover.
Game tips at 6:30pm CST, on WOI in Central Iowa and ESPN360 and ESPN Fullcourt for those of you who do not have a Cyclone Television Network Affiliate.
Tomorrow, I try to come up with a plan to make this game entertaining for those of us who plan on watching.