It’s been a long hiatus for Iowa State basketball, but they finally return to the court hosting Mississippi Valley State. MVSU’s won as many games as they’ve played at home this season — one.
MVSU Delta Devils vs. (9)Iowa State Cyclones
James H. Hilton Coliseum | Ames, Iowa
Wednesday, December 31st, 2014 | Tipoff – 6:00 PM CT
TV/Stream: Cyclones.tv (also on Mediacom)
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Cyclones (9-1) head coach Fred Hoiberg is on the verge of being the fastest head coach to reach 100 wins in school history. Unless an epic collapse is in store against the Delta Devils (1-11), or the entire men’s basketball team heads to the bars early to celebrate New Year’s and forgets about the game, Hoiberg will reach the milestone on the anniversary of Johnny Orr’s death.
Orr currently has the second-fastest record to 100 wins with 192 games. Larry Eustachy has the record at 157 and Hoiberg has coached 147 games heading into Wednesday night’s game. Another milestone will be looking for the team’s 500th win in Hilton Coliseum. Iowa State is an astonishing 499-166 in the building since 1971.
Iowa State is 4-0 all-time against Mississippi Valley State and 21-0 against the SWAC. However, the last time the Cyclones met the Delta Devils was when Royce White was sick with the flu back in 2011. ISU scraped by in a 67-65 victory on New Year’s Eve.
What to watch for
Dec 20, 2014; Des Moines, IA, USA; Iowa State Cyclones guard Naz Long (15) brings the ball up the floor against the Drake Bulldogs at Wells Fargo Arena. Iowa State beat Drake 83-54. Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports
Unless MVSU remains competitive in the contest, this should be a night that we see more reserves on the court. During the Cyclones’ six-game winning streak, the team has been nearly perfect on offense shooting 53.6 percent from the field and averaging 21.2 assists per game.
Some notable starters to keep an eye on while they’re out there are Dustin Hogue, Naz Long, and Monte Morris. Hogue has improved since his slow start and is averaging 11.3 points per game and over eight rebounds per contest in his last three outings. As expected, Long currently holds the team lead for 3-pointers made (29) and Morris has a conference-best 5.6 assists per game and a national best +6.2 assist-turnover ratio.
MVSU doesn’t have an advantage in any aspect of the game. Like other smaller schools, the Delta Devils have only played one game at home so far this season and generally spend most of the non-conference heading to bigger schools to collect paychecks.
The offense is bad enough averaging just 58.2 points per game, but their defensive numbers are even worse. MVSU gives up 86.3 points, 17.2 assists, and 46.3 rebounds (!!!) per game. Opponents AVERAGE over 50 percent shooting against them. To put that in a national perspective, those numbers rank around 350th or worse. Fun fact: There are 351 total Division I men’s basketball programs this season.
Three years ago, the Delta Devils actually competed and could have won the game. This time around, Iowa State may score their 67-point total from 2011 before halftime and may even break the century mark if they put together a complete performance from front to back.
Iowa State 104, Mississippi Valley State 61