Mississippi Valley State vs. Iowa State basketball: Five players to watch


Welcome back, fellow Iowa State basketball fans, from the Christmas-induced food comas. You are right on time to catch Iowa State as they take on Mississippi Valley State on New Year’s Eve. Let’s take a look at the potential players for each team.

Mississippi Valley State

Jordan Washington (#2, G, 5-foot-10, 174 lbs., So)

The MVSU Delta Devils are led by the sophomore guard who currently averages 14.8 points and 1.5 steals per game — both tops for the team. He doesn’t shoot particularly well (only 40 percent from the field overall so far), so he’s much more of a volume shooter than an accurate one. Monte Morris will be the one primarily responsible for locking him down.

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DeAngelo Priar (#1, G, 6-foot-3, 182 lbs., Sr)

Priar is the other Delta Devil I am pegging for the game. He averages 10.6 ppg, 3.5 rpg, and 1.4 spg. He shoots only 34 percent from the field, so he is also not much of a threat in terms of getting hot. Naz Long and Matt Thomas should be all over Priar in the game.

Iowa State

Matt Thomas (#21, G, 6-foot-4, 195 lbs., So)

For the Cyclones, I am putting Thomas squarely in the spotlight. He has not shot well for several games and isn’t breaking out like I had thought he would this season. An opponent like MVSU is a prime opportunity to break out of his slump and get ready for the conference season.

Dec 20, 2014; Des Moines, IA, USA; Iowa State Cyclones guard Matt Thomas (21) with a rebound against the Drake Bulldogs at Wells Fargo Arena. Iowa State beat Drake 83-54. Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

Jameel McKay (#1, F, 6-foot-9, 215 lbs., Jr)

Next is McKay. After his debut against Drake, in which he occasionally looked winded but still very capable and ready. This is another great game to get his legs settled even more and dominate a squad without anything resembling a post threat.

Georgios Tsalmpouris (#34, F/C, 7-foot-1 227 lbs., Fr)

Finally, I’m going with the Colossus. He hasn’t played much, which was to be expected, but he has shown a decent shooting touch from distance when he gets on the court. Given MVSU’s lack of height, Tsalmpouris could play big minutes with a lead and take the stretch-forward position while McKay plays the middle.

This should be a game where ISU crushes Mississippi Valley State. The opponent doesn’t have a key contributor standing taller than 6-foot-4, and has lost big to nearly every opponent with a pulse. Be sure to tune in December 31st to watch ISU spread the playing time around and prepare for conference play.

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