South Carolina vs. Iowa State basketball: Game preview and prediction


Iowa State returns to New York nine months after falling to Connecticut at Madison Square Garden in the NCAA tournament. This time around, they’ll be at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn to take on South Carolina, who’s had a good start in Frank Martin’s third year.

(9)Iowa State Cyclones vs. South Carolina Gamecocks

Barclay’s Center | Brooklyn, NY
Saturday, January 3rd, 2014 | Tipoff – 5:00 PM CT
TV: CBS Sports Network | Stream: None

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The Cyclones (10-1) could have been playing the Gamecocks (8-3) for the second consecutive season, but they ended up not meeting each other in the Diamond Head Classic at Hawaii last Christmas. Last year’s squad under Martin didn’t fare too well. While they did go 2-1 in Hawaii, they lost to teams like Manhattan and USC Upstate. They kicked off the SEC slate losing their first six games and nine of their first 10.

This year’s USC team is already six wins away from their total last year. While the defense has always been good, they’re significantly improved on offense averaging 74.5 points, 16.4 assists, and 41.5 rebounds per game. Martin focused on defense during his tenure with Kansas State, so you know that side of the ball will always be good. But they’ll be very dangerous if the offense gets a good rhythm.

Series history

Iowa State and South Carolina will meet for the first time. The Cyclones have a 108-173 record against current teams in the SEC.

What to watch for

Dustin Hogue has family that lives in the New York area, and you can expect them to be piling in to support their kid once again. Hogue absolutely crushed UConn’s interior defense and carried the Cyclones when they really needed him. We’ll see if he can get that same production on offense once again.

Also, how good is the USC defense? They’re close to being 2-0 against the Big 12 after just losing to Baylor 69-65 and blowing away Oklahoma State 68-45. They held a decent Charlotte offense, who averages 75.6 points per game, to 65. The Gamecocks only scored 63 and did lose that game, but more often than not their offense has answered the bell.

Sophomore guards Duane Notice and Sindarius Thornwell have been the jumpstarters on offense averaging 13.2 and 11.4 ppg, respectively. They both play roughly 27 minutes per contest. For big guys, 6-foot-11 junior forward Laimonas Chatkevicius is the biggest task as he’s the third player that averages in double figures, shoots 59 percent from the field, and averages 6.1 rebounds per game.

Don’t overlook Shamiek Sheppard either. The 6-foot-6 hybrid freshman made his debut in their last game out. Iowa State hasn’t been shutting down teams on the defensive end, so they have to score over 70 points against a team that only gives up 57.9 points per game to feel comfortable.


This is going to be a tougher game than we all expect. South Carolina’s held their last five opponents to under 60 points in each contest and come in with a six-game winning streak. If Iowa State’s looking ahead to Tuesday night’s conference opener, they’ll find themselves on the losing end of this game.

Luckily, the Cyclones have mojo of their own with a seven-game winning streak. Fred Hoiberg is also a master at exploiting matchups and second-half adjustments. Expect it to be very tough and close until ISU makes that second half run to take control and hold on to a victory.

Iowa State 76, South Carolina 68

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