Iowa State at West Virginia men’s basketball: Three players to watch


Guard production will be the focus in the first meeting between the Iowa State Cyclones and West Virginia Mountaineers on Monday night.

Feb 8, 2014; Lawrence, KS, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers guard Juwan Staten (3) shoots the ball as Kansas Jayhawks center Joel Embiid (21) defends in the second half at Allen Fieldhouse. Kansas won 83 – 69. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

#3 Juwan Staten (WVU junior guard, 6-foot-1, 190 lbs.)

How has West Virginia surged in Big 12 play? It’s been led by Staten, who’s been unreal throughout the season. Look at his statline per game: 37.5 minutes, 18.2 points, 51.6 percent field goal shooting, and 5.9 assists and rebounds. He’s played 40 or more minutes in six Big 12 games and has scored 15 or more points in every conference game. He’s not a threat from 3-point range (just 5-of-14 from the season), meaning he’s likely to go off against Iowa State from the perimeter.

#10 Eron Harris (WVU sophomore guard, 6-foot-3, 195 lbs.)

Even though Staten shouldn’t be a threat from 3-point range, Harris is. He’s firing at a 42.1 percent clip from downtown, but has shown some struggles as of late. He hit 6-of-13 against Oklahoma, but is just 6-of-21 in three of his last four games. Unfortunately, the Sooners resemble more of Iowa State’s defensive woes, especially on perimeter shooting. The Cyclones can’t afford to see Harris have a big night.

#21 Matt Thomas (ISU freshman guard, 6-foot-3, 200 lbs.)

Iowa State can answer an opponent’s good shooting with 3-point shots of their own, and it would help if Thomas and Naz Long can come off the bench and get hot from downtown. Thomas has the edge off the bench, seeing more minutes and drilling at least one 3-point shot in the last five games (12-of-32 overall in that stretch).