West Virginia vs Iowa State basketball: Five players to watch


Iowa State basketball heads to West Virginia on Saturday. Let’s take a look at the matchup with five key players to watch, such as the battle of the point guards in Juwan Staten and Monte Morris.

West Virginia

Juwan Staten (#3, Sr G, 6-foot-1, 190 lbs.)

First for WVU is the electric senior guard. He is the team’s current scoring leader at 16.1 points per game. Interestingly enough, his scoring, assists, and rebounds are all down from 2013-2014, but is still doing well enough to have the Mountaineers ranked 14th in the country. Monte Morris will likely be the primary defender on Staten most of the night.

The next are the two best rebounding players in Williams and Holton. At 6-foot-9 and 6-foot-7, respectively, they are currently averaging around 10.5 ppg each. Williams contributes 7.2 rebounds per game, while Holton produces 6.6 per contest. They aren’t spectacular rim protectors, so it will be an interesting battle between them and the ISU frontcourt defenders in Dustin Hogue, Jameel McKay, and Georges Niang.

Iowa State

Monte Morris (#11, So G, 6-foot-2, 170 lbs.)

On the ISU side, watch Morris. He’ll likely be squaring off against Staten most of the evening, a battle that features two of the top point guards in the Big 12, if not the nation. This matchup could decide the entire game, so keep your eyes glued to the two as the evening goes on.

Bryce Dejean-Jones (#13, Sr G, 6-foot-6, 210 lbs.)

The other ISU player to watch is BDJ. He has played pretty mediocre basketball against South Carolina and Oklahoma State and needs a good game to stave off Matt Thomas or Jameel McKay for the starting gig. He continues to rebound well, but his scoring has dropped off. Given that WVU doesn’t appear to have dynamite wings, this game is a solid opportunity to get back on track.

Couple initial observations on West Virginia: They average 78.8 ppg, which is good for 23rd in the country. But haven’t played any team (outside of Big 12 play) rated in the top 50 for team field goal defense. Their field goal percentage is also only 43 percent, which is good for 202nd in the country. They do get 13 steals per game as a team, so they largely win by taking lots of shots and getting into the passing lanes. ISU should win if they take care of the ball and play to their strengths.

There will be a more complete preview of the game before tip-off, so return to Clones Confidential for more news on all things Iowa State.

More from Clones Confidential