Iowa State vs Akron men’s basketball: Game preview and prediction


Iowa State (9-0) played exactly like a team that looked like it was off for nine days, and came back with a double-digit victory over George Mason after starting off sluggish. Akron (6-2) came through with a big victory over Oregon State, and they’ll present a balanced challenge for the Cyclones.

Dec 22, 2013; Honolulu, HI, USA; Iowa State forward Dustin Hogue (22), center, makes a basket while being guarded by George Mason guard Patrick Holloway (3), left, and George Mason forward/center Erik Copes (4) at Stan Sheriff Center. Mandatory Credit: Marco Garcia-USA TODAY Sports

(14)Iowa State Cyclones vs Akron Zips

Stan Sheriff Center | Honolulu, HI
Diamond Head Classic | Semifinal (Game 1)
Tip-off: Approx. 4:00 PM CT | TV: ESPNU

How Akron defeated Oregon State

Zips senior forward Demetrius Treadwell couldn’t be stopped, scoring 24 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in a dominant effort. He went 7-10 from the field and made 10 of 13 free throw shots.

Akron dominated from the perimeter, taking 16 more 3-point shots than Oregon State and making eight more than them. That 24-point difference overcame a foul-filled game that the Beavers capitalized on, making 27 of 32 free throw shots. Both teams combined for 49 fouls.

What to watch for

Iowa State started off slowly, but Dustin Hogue and Melvin Ejim came out on fire. Hogue had double-digit points in the first half while Ejim controlled the boards early; GMU simply didn’t have an answer for the senior foward that had his 24th career double-double (14 points, 11 rebounds).

Eventually, four players finished with double-digit scoring. Georges Niang had a beautiful 2nd half and finished with 22 points. Niang now has recorded 22 or more points in his last three games. Don’t forget about DeAndre Kane, who quietly had a complete game with 13 points, eight assists, and seven rebounds.

With a better second half, all of these players will provide a significant challenge to Akron, who are 344th nationally in defensive rebounds (179), 341st nationally in total rebounds (284), and a negative assist-to-turnover ratio (98 assists to 111 TOs).

Akron junior guard Nyles Evans went 5 of 7 from 3-point range, accounting for all five shots he made from the field. Overall, the Zips hit on 38.6 percent of their shots from the perimeter (54th nationally) and went into the game against the Beavers firing at will.

They’ll likely do the same against Iowa State, and the Cyclones will need to answer by not leaving their opponents with open shots.

Dec 22, 2013; Honolulu, HI, USA; Akron forward Demetrius Treadwell (1) grabs a rebound over Oregon State guard Challe Barton (4) during the first half of the game at the Stan Sheriff Center. Mandatory Credit: Marco Garcia-USA TODAY Sports


Akron came into the game against Oregon State with the right gameplan to attack from the 3-point line and they capitalized. They were uncharacteristic in 3-point attempts but reached their assist average (13) while preventing to turn the ball over (seven turnovers).

If the Zips come into this game with that mindset and have the same success, they’ll be a threat all game long. But one thing they couldn’t do was pull away from the Beavers – they kept them in the game by committing 25 fouls. If they can’t handle Iowa State’s big men, then the quartet of Hogue, Niang, Ejim, and Kane should get multiple chances at the line.

Iowa State can’t afford another slow start – with long layoffs, they’ve had to come back against their in-state rivals and the Patriots. With them consistently playing games, expect a better start. Treadwell will be a bear against the Cyclones, but it’s more about the Zips can do to stop Iowa State’s offensive attack.

Akron is decent defensively, giving up just 30.3 rebounds and 9.9 assists per game, but it’s going to be a huge task to keep the Cyclones under those numbers.

If Iowa State can get to the foul line and come out with efficient shooting, they should be able to keep Akron at bay and not look back to move on to the Diamond Head Classic championship.

IAST 82, AKR 71 (Odds: IAST -6.5, O151.5)