MBB: Preview/Prediction – Iowa vs. Iowa State

December 10, 2010

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By Justin VanLaere
Iowa looks to make it three wins in a row as they take in-state rival, Iowa State, during a battle within the war for the Cy-Hawk trophy.  With a win, Iowa will be one step closer to the mythical state championship after already beating UNI.

Game Info

Iowa State Cyclones (7-2, 0-0) vs Iowa Hawkeyes (5-4, 0-0)
POMEROY RATINGS: ISU – 65 , Iowa 81
RPI:  ISU – 140, Iowa – 250
Tip Off:  Tuesday, December 10th, 2010; 7:36 PM CST
Iowa City, IA – Carver-Hawkeye Arena (15,550)
TV: Big Ten Network (HD)  RADIO: AM-600, AM-800, AM-1040
SERIES: Iowa leads series 42-21, including 26-5 at home.

LIVE CHAT LINK HERE!

Probable Starters

IOWA
PG – Bryce Cartwright, 6’1”, 180 lb, JR
G – Matt Gatens, 6’5”, 215 lb, JR
F – Eric May, 6’5”, 225 lb, SO
F – Melsahn Basabe, 6’7”, 225 lb, FR
C – Jarryd Cole, 6’7”, 250 lb, SR

ISU
G – Diante Garrett, 6’4”, 190 lb, SR
G – Jake Anderson, 6’2”, 205 lb, SR
G – Scott Christopherson, 6’3”, 195 lb, JR
F – Melvin Ejim, 6’6”, 215 lb, FR
F – Jamie Vanderbeken, 6‘11”, 240 lb, SR

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VanLaere’s Analysis

Iowa has a winning record for the first time since February 22nd, 2009 (thanks to 1977Hawkeye for that tidbit).  Doing the math, that’s a span of over 650 days with a sub-.500 record, a pretty somber thought for sure.

Iowa State has played just one true road game this year, losing by 6 points to UNI in Cedar Falls.  The Cyclones have lost 2 out of their last 3 after starting the season 6-0.  Iowa, on the other hand, is 4-1 at home and winners of 3 of their last 4 (their loss being on the road by 3 points to Wake Forest).  While the Clones have hit a little rough spot lately, Iowa has been steadily improving every single game this season.

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I really like the match-up tonight we will see between the two freshman forwards for the two teams – Basabe vs. Ejim.  Both are super athletic guys who have very similar games.  This will be a fun battle between the two – it will be interesting to see who has the more mature game at this point in the season.

KEYS TO GAME FOR IOWA:

–          Guard the Perimeter. This could be a potential matchup problem for Iowa on the defensive side of the ball.  While Cole, Brommer, Archie, and Basabe should be able to post up Vanderbeken on the offensive end, their perimeter defense is something to left to be desired.  If you watch Iowa’s bigs on hedges, they sometimes overplay it too much and are too aggressive.  The last thing Iowa needs to allow Vanderbeken to find his groove again. I expect McCaffery to continue to use a zone D, similar to what they did in the UNI game.  Christopherson is one of the best shooters in the Big 12, if not the nation.  Iowa cannot afford to lose track of him behind the arc.  UNI’s inability to hit the three pointer gave Iowa the advantage, if the Cyclones start stroking it from the outside, it could be a long night.
–          Get Up and Down the Court but Do It Under Control. ISU doesn’t turn the ball over much, so Iowa cannot be giving the ball up on a consistent basis.  That said, they still need to push the ball. The Clones are far from a deep team.  Fatigue could be a factor in this one, even with the plethora of timeouts in college basketball.  Getting up and down the court will force more substitutions and Iowa’s bench is far superior to ISU’s.  They’ll need to step in this one too.
–           Wear Black.  The students and fans were pivotal in the win vs. UNI.  The players noticed the support and appreciated it.  Here’s to another game with an active crowd and one where Iowa gets the home court advantage.

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PREDICTION

I like Iowa in this one.  I think the Hawkeyes have the better team (Iowa‘s top 8 are more talented than ISU‘s top 8), the better coaching staff (Iowa has a seasoned coaching staff, ISU has an Ames celebrity and former player), and the home court advantage (not much yet, but it helps not playing in Hilton).  The Cyclones haven’t beaten a team with a Pomeroy rating under 100, Iowa won’t be the first.  FINAL SCORE:  Iowa 75, ISU 68

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