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Cyclones Basketball: UNI Preview

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Tonight, UNI comes to town, and we better stomp 'em. It's not going to be easy though. As you probably know, UNI is the favorite to win the Missouri Valley Conference this year.

If you recall, we played a tough game up there against them last year at their place where we won in overtime. Pretty much their whole team is back, so you know they're going to be motivated to try to return the favor this year.

If you can't make it to Hilton, it should be on Mediacom Connections in Central Iowa, and also on ESPN360 and ESPN Fullcourt.

Here's a statistical comparison of how the teams stack up:

ISU UNI Adv.
Records (6-1) (4-1)
Pomeroy Rank 44 76
Sagarin Rank (Predictor) 47 101
Vegas Line -6 +6
Sagarin Line -9 +9
Off. Efficiency 109.5 109.4
Def. Efficiency 90.7 96.0
eFG% 57.2% 50.4% ISU
TOV% 19.8% 16.8% UNI
OREB% 38% 32.7% ISU
FT Rate 31.7% 46.6% UNI

 

I think this game comes down to 3 point shooting. Both teams average about 17 3 point attempts per game. ISU's hitting at a higher percentage than UNI on the year (49.6% vs. 34.8%), but for just 1 game, anything can happen. I'd love to see Brackins and Gilstrap take it strong inside and have ISU not rely on the 3 point shot, but with the way Lucca, Christopherson, and JVB have been shooting the 3, if they're wide open they gotta take those shots.

As far as players to watch, Ahelegbe, Koch, Eglseder, and Farokhmanesh are all back again this year, and they represent almost 80% of UNI's scoring. Other than Ahelegbe, the other three are Seniors, so this is the last time we will see these guys play against us.

I'm really looking forward to the game tonight. Should be a lot of fun, and hopefully we pick up a W before we head out West. I'm hoping for a respectible crowd as this is going to be a good game between two solid teams.