Feb 1, 2014; Ames, IA, USA; Iowa State Cyclones forward Georges Niang (31) and guard Matt Thomas (21) celebrate during a timeout against the Oklahoma Sooners in the second half at James H. Hilton Coliseum. Iowa State beat Oklahoma 81-75. Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

Iowa State men’s basketball: Examining the non-conference schedule

The 2014-15 Iowa State men’s basketball non-conference schedule was announced this morning and it is a fun one.  The standard against Iowa is, of course, on there, as well as the SEC/Big 12 Challenge game against the Arkansas.

Some fans might look at it and see the lack of a Michigan or a BYU on the docket, but let’s look at some of the less-known opponents and the potential fun to be had.

Georgia State is the second game after the opening exhibition, which is against Wisconsin-based Viterbo.  The GSU Panthers currently play in the Sun Belt Conference, which they absolutely dominated last year, going 17-1 in conference play with an overall record of 25-9.  They return their top two scorers from last season (a combined 36.3 ppg) and add impact transfer Kevin Ware.

Fans will probably best remember Ware from his horrific injury during the 2013 NCAA Tournament.  This should be a fun game for the Cyclones as they prepare for the CBE Hall of Fame Classic in Kansas City. ISU will then have to play two of the following three teams: Alabama, Maryland, and Arizona State.

Southern is a game I want to check out.  They aren’t a superpower, but neither are they pushovers.  They went 19-13 last season and 15-3 in the SWAC.  They feature former Cyclone Calvin Godfrey as their leading scorer and rebounder, who will square off against Dustin Hogue and Jameel McKay in the post.

The Southeast Conference must really like Iowa State because we have not one, but two opponents from the esteemed SEC.  After the big showdown with Arkansas in early December, the team will square off against South Carolina.  The Gamecocks aren’t exactly world-beaters in the conference only going 5-13 and 14-20 overall.

However, they look to improve under former Kansas State coach Frank Martin.  Fans should get pumped up for this game because it will take place in Brooklyn, NY, close to where Hogue blew up for 34 points in the Big Dance against UConn.

We’ll be returning to discuss different games on the non-conference schedule later on, so don’t think I just decided to skip over the Iowa, Drake, or Arkansas.  Those games will be covered more in-depth in the future.

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Tags: Basketball Iowa State Cyclones

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