Hoops Preview: ISU
Date: Tuesday, February 7
Time: 8:00 pm Central
Big 12 Rematch Game: ISU won the first matchup in Ames, 79-70. You can find the full ISU preview here.
Texas will look to continue their recent strong play at home when the Iowa State Cyclones come to Austin just three days after knocking off the Jayhawks in Lawrence, KS.
Texas Keys: Offense
Cleare and Allen turnovers. In Ames, Shaq and Jarrett combined for 8 turnovers and only 8 made field goals. That’s…well, that’s not going to cut it considering how much Texas relies on their big men for efficient offense. Expect the double teams to come quickly and from all over. How Allen and Cleare handle them will be important because run out opportunities for Iowa State lead to their own best offense…transition threes. Texas needs to limit that and much of that will start with their big men taking care of the ball.
Three point makes. In Big 12 play, ISU has been held under 70 points only once. This is true to their nature as an offensively driven team. For Texas to win, they’re likely going to have to be in the 75+ range for points. That will only happen if they can hit threes. In Texas’ three league wins, they’ve shot 40% from deep. In their seven losses, that number has dropped to 28%. One of those numbers means a likely win. The other one…
Texas Keys: Defense
Answer the Burton conundrum. Burton’s hot and cold nature as a player has resembled his team’s comparable personality. Win at Kansas (Burton went for 29, 8 and 6 steals). Lose at TCU (Burton went for 5 points and 5 rebounds on 1-10 shooting). In the first game at Hilton Coliseum, Burton was hot and exploited every matchup Texas threw at him. If he does that again, ISU has as much offensive firepower as anybody in the country with their three-headed perimeter snake of Morris, Thomas and Long. Texas has to play as well on those three as they did in Ames and find some way to effectively guard Burton or they’ll suffer the same fate that did a month ago.
Rebounding want to. In the loss at TCU, Saturday, the Longhorns found themselves in the proper rebounding position more often than not. They simply didn’t come up with the boards. With only one natural rebounder (Allen), the rest of the Texas team has to make up for that deficiency with an aggressive mindset. This will be especially important considering the amount of long rebounds that are possible when playing a team that shoots from deep as often as the Cyclones do.
The up and down nature of both teams gives me hope that this is a winnable game for Texas. As does the fact that ISU hasn’t won very often in Austin.
But ISU’s coming off a huge win and is still fighting for a chance at second place in the conference.
A Texas win wouldn’t surprise me (even a convincing one, at that), but I can’t predict it at this point.
Prediction: ISU 77 – Texas 71
Projected Starting Lineup