Tonight, the Cyclones back in Ames, finishing up this Global Sports Challenge in playing the final team of the round robin, Kennesaw State. A lot was made of Kennesaw State earlier in the year because they beat Georgia Tech. I'm not exactly sure what happened, because although Georgia Tech is going to be towards the bottom of the ACC this year, they are probably better than that. I guess I'll chalk it up to Georgia Tech playing on the road. Kennesaw State has followed that win up with losses to Alabama State and Northern Arizona, teams that Iowa State took care of, so they are kind of a mixed bag.
Kennesaw State goes with basically 4 forwards and a guard for its line up, and its a young team as well:
G Spencer Dixon, 6'0, JR #5
F Markeith Cummings, 6'7, SO, #2
F Aaron Anderson, 6'7, SO #21
F LaDarius Green, 6'9, SO #15
F Andrew Osemhen, 6'9, FR # 45
Dixon and Cummings each average about 17-18 points per game. Anderson and Green are the key rebounders on this team, but offensively Anderson plays more inside while Green likes to step out and shoot some 3s. Osemhen is a good rebounder, but has only been playing about 15 minutes/game. Kennesaw likes to start with 4 forwards and 1 guard, but it looks like they play more with 2 guards and 3 forwards. Not really sure what the reasoning is with that, but we will see today.
G Kelvin McConnell, 6'0, SR #3
G Mirza Sabic, 6'6, SO #23
They have a few other guys who have played a little, but not in all of their games. McConnell plays about 26 minutes a game, so we're going to see him quite a bit on the floor. Sabic seems to come in in spots, as he averages only about 7 minutes a game.
Keys To The Game:
Really it comes down to shooting. In the key areas to the game, Iowa State has been shooting the ball better. Turnovers and rebounding are about equal, and actually Kennesaw State has done a better job of getting to the line. With Kennesaw State's size advantage, I worry about Iowa State's ability to get rebounds, particularly offensive rebounds, and I am concerned about Kennesaw State's size advantage getting them some foul calls and getting to the line. I also wonder what coming off an emotional win just before a holiday will do for our team. Iowa State is the better team, but the matchups are intriguing.
Iowa State may not play their best game of the year, but they ought to be good enough to score 80. Iowa State may be a little smaller, but hopefully they are more quick. Having guys like Ejim and Anderson, along with an improving Scott Christopherson and DG, having guys who can play off the dribble ought to help quite a bit. I think we start slow, and finish strong, making it a nail biter most of the way: Iowa State 75, Kennesaw State 68