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Iowa State Basketball: 2011 Drake Preview

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Even though it's 2010, I'm calling everything involved with basketball this year 2011, because in a little over a month, it will be 2011.

Anyhow, tonight Iowa State tries to snap their 2 game home losing streak to Drake. Here are the basics:

Tipoff: 7pm CST, Tonight (Wednesday November 17, 2010)
Location: Hilton Coliseum
TV: Mediacom/ Fullcourt
Lines: Vegas-> Iowa State -8.5, Pomeroy -> Iowa State -5, Sagarin -> Iowa State -10

Drake's Starting 5 And Key Contributors:

Below is what Drake went with as starters for the first game:

G Ryan Wedel, 5th Sr, #10
G Frank Wiseler, Jr, #13
G Rayvonte Rice, Fr, #24
F Jordan Clarke, RSo, #1
C Seth VanDeest, So, #45
F Aaron Hawley, So, #2
F Ben Simons, So, #34

Wedel and VanDeest started for Drake last year, while Wiseler was a role player off the bench last year. Also, Rayvonte Rice was the 2010 Gatorade Player of the year in Illinois. He's 6'4, 220, and sounds like he's a physical player who plays good D and can finish around the basket. He did struggle a bit in his first game, only going 2 of 7, but it's hard to tell whether Rice just had a bad game, or whether he's just struggling a bit from the get-go as he adjusts to college basketball. I guess we will see for ourselves tonight.

Also, if you watched or attended the game from last year, other than "he who shall not be named" dropping bombs last year for Iowa State, you may remember Ben Simons (#34) from Drake going 8-11, 4-6 from beyond the arc, and leading the way for Drake with 24 points. Well, he's still on the team but came off the bench in the first game.  I'd be curious to see if he starts or sees more minutes based on how he did against ISU last year... I guess on the other hand, we have more newcomers than returning players, so maybe that doesn't matter.

Keys To The Game:

These teams are pretty even in terms of their makeup.. Iowa State needs to improve with the turnovers, as the team has looked sloppy based on what I've seen and from what people who went to the games have told me. Also, Iowa State needs to continue to shoot well. Drake has a couple guys who can shoot lights out when they are on, and the only way to weather that storm is to shoot well also. If Iowa State can shoot in that upper 40% mark like they have the first couple of games, it's going to be a good outcome for the Cyclones. Diante Garrett, Jamie Vanderbeken, and Scott Christopherson need to knock down shots all day.  If they go cold, I'm not sure if they can play the kind of D or to force the kind of turnovers needed to try to overcome that, but we will see.

Prediction:  Iowa State 72, Drake 67.