It wasn’t a dominating victory, but Iowa State (1-0) got the job done over Oakland in the season opener on Friday night. They’ll have to play a lot better if they want to get past Georgia State (1-0), who won the Sun Belt last year and looks even stronger heading into this season.
Georgia State Panthers vs. Iowa State Cyclones
James H. Hilton Colisuem | Ames, Iowa
Monday, November 17th, 2014 | Tipoff – 8:00 PM CT
TV: ESPNU | Web: WatchESPN
- TV announcers: Clay Matvick (play-by-play), Reid Gettys (analyst)
- Radio announcers: John Walters (play-by-play), Eric Heft (analyst)
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Meet Georgia State’s backcourt: R.J. Hunter, Ryan Harrow, and Kevin Ware. Hunter was named the Sun Belt’s player of the year, Harrow joined him on the All-Sun Belt first team, and of course we all know Ware as the transfer from Louisville that suffered the brutal leg injury in the NCAA tournament a couple years ago.
Last week, the Panthers did beat Tennessee Temple by 60 points, but it’s hard to take that into consideration when it’s an equivalent to Iowa State playing Viterbo. GSU made 13 3-pointers and they forced 25 turnovers.
An interesting nugget heading into this game is GSU head coach Ron Hunter, who played is final college basketball game against Iowa State in a loss during the 1986 NCAA Tournament. He scored 12 points, but the Johnny Orr coached Cyclones squad was too much for Miami (Ohio), winning by two points (81-79).
This is the first meeting between both teams. Iowa State is 7-0 all time against the Sun Belt Conference.
Nov 14, 2014; Ames, IA, USA; Iowa State Cyclones guard Monte Morris (11) drives against Oakland University Golden Grizzlies guard Kahlil Feider (20) in the second half at James H. Hilton Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Paul Halfacre-USA TODAY Sports
Projected starting lineups
What to watch for
Iowa State has to play a lot smoother than they did on Friday night, and this team is fully capable of doing that. Despite not playing great, they were still able to reach over 90 points. They continued to attack inside and the 3-pointers finally fell in the second half.
Georges Niang has to be as dominant inside. Georgia State has a lot of great players, but their weakness is inside. They do have four experienced forwards, but the talent level Iowa State has is stronger. Using the same game plan against Oakland may be a good idea, and this could be Dustin Hogue’s big moment to shine.
Firing a better rate at the free throw line and getting off to a quicker start at the perimeter would be ideal. Also, will Iowa State just be led by the starters? Only four points were accumulated by the bench against the Golden Grizzlies last Friday night.
As of Monday morning, Iowa State is favored to win by 10 points and the total points is set at 156 points.
Georgia State can’t be taken lightly despite not being well known. It’s a sneaky good test in a non-conference slate that’s pretty easy. However, having to play in a jam-packed Hilton Coliseum will be too much. Expect the Cyclones to play a cleaner game and to be tested throughout the game until they finish it off in the final eight minutes.
Iowa State 96, Georgia State 81