The Cyclones are getting the welcomes out of the way early by playing both new teams in the Big 12 this week. While they hope to notch another victory and win their third straight game, they’ll try to get out to a better start and defend the perimeter better than the second half of their previous game. On the other side, the Horned Frogs will attempt to win their first conference game after losing their first four Big 12 games.
Iowa State (12-4, 2-1) started off with five turnovers and trailing 11-3 against West Virginia, but hitting their 3-point shots kept them in the game until Will Clyburn ignited the offense with two dunks early on. Outside of scoring on transition and offensive rebounds, the Mountaineers couldn’t do a thing until they went 9-12 from the 3-point line after missing their first 12 attempts. The Cyclones would hold on to prevail thanks to a late wide-open layup by Georges Niang, and they’ll be ready to face TCU (9-8, 0-4) who provides a similar style of offense.
The Horned Frogs got pounded early in their last game, getting outscored by Kansas State 38-25 in the first half at home and finishing with just 37.5 percent from the field. That’s been a problem for them all season, ranking dead last in the conference in scoring (55.1 per game) and eighth field goal percentage (.423).
What’s triggering the bad offense is not moving the ball around. They only average 10.3 assists a game, ranked 316th in the league. Sophomore guard Kyan Anderson has been the shining point of the season, averaging 11.9 points and 3.47 assists per game. But much of the others need to step it up on the offensive end to compete on the board.
Unfortunately, that will be hard when there’s such a mismatch on rebounding. The Horned Frogs can’t rebound on the offensive end while the Cyclones are first in the conference, averaging nearly 10 more rebounds per game than TCU.
All signs point to a game that Iowa State can get a large lead in, but this time they need to prove that they can finish a game, and it’s nice to get some play on a true road game despite TCU not exactly having a crazy college basketball atmosphere. Tipoff at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum is at 12:45 p.m. CT and the game will be broadcast regionally on Big 12 Network (WOI-TV in the Des Moines, Iowa, area).
Brian Spaen is the lead editor of Clones Confidential. Get more Cyclones coverage by following us on Twitter.