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Iowa State at No. 18 Iowa
When and Where: Thursday, Dec. 6, Carver-Hawkeye Arena, Iowa City, 8 p.m. EST.
Coming off a rough start to Big Ten play, 18th-ranked Iowa will get no pity from in-state rival Iowa State on Thursday night when the Cyclones go for their eighth win in the last 10 meetings between the schools on the hardwood.
Cyclones get deeper with return of Lard and Talley
Iowa State (7-1) has reeled off four straight victories since its loss to Arizona in the first round of the Maui Invitational. In an 81-59 romp over North Dakota State on Monday night, forwards Cameron Lard and Zoran Talley made their season debuts after serving month-long suspensions.
Lard had two points in 10 minutes while Talley had four and two assists in 16 for the Cyclones as coach Steve Prohm had been going with an eight-man rotation that featured four freshmen.
Iowa State is also still without injured guard and last season’s leading scorer Lindell Wigginton, who averaged 16.7 points and is out with a foot injury. Despite getting back Lard, who averaged 12.6 points and a team-high 8.1 rebounds in 2017-18, Prohm is not going to stray from his four-guard lineup that got him this far.
“We don’t have any tricks up our sleeve,” Prohm told the Ames Tribune. “We’re comfortable with what we’re doing right now. It’s been really good for us.”
What has been good is Marial Shayok, who has become Iowa State’s go-to scorer after sitting out last season following his transfer from Virginia. He is averaging 19.4 points and 6.0 rebounds while shooting 50.9 percent and scored 20 in the win over the Bison.
Another strong performance for Shayok tonight.
— Cyclone Basketball (@CycloneMBB) December 4, 2018
Michael Jacobson, who also sat out last season after transferring from Nebraska, is contributing 16.18points and 8.0 rebounds per contest and is looking for a third straight double-double after finishing with 15 and 10 Monday night. Freshman guard Talen Horten-Tucker rounds out the double-digit scorers at 14.5 points per game despite shooting 37.3 percent.
Despite the thin bench and lack of size, the Cyclones held their own on the glass without Lard and Talley and are outrebounding opponents by 7.4 per contest. They are also holding opponents to 37.4 percent shooting and 61.9 points per game.
Hawkeyes face tough challenge in avoiding three-game skid
It may have been too much, too soon for Iowa (6-2), which was thrust into the AP Top 25 after wins over then-No. 13 Oregon and Connecticut in New York as part of the 2K Classic.
The Hawkeyes opened their Big Ten slate with a home loss to previously ranked No. 22 Wisconsin before being run out of the Breslin Center by No. 10 Michigan State 90-68 on Monday night. Tyler Cook scored 15 points and Isaiah Moss added 13 for Iowa, which allowed the Spartans to shoot 51.7 percent, grab 16 offensive rebounds that led to 14 second-chance points, and outscore the Hawkeyes 48-20 in the paint.
Somebody tell @JordanBo_3 that he can take a couple of steps forward next time. 😱
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) December 3, 2018
To add injury to insult, forward Joe Wieskamp suffered an ankle injury in the second half. Wieskamp, who finished with eight points and four rebounds in 23 minutes, is averaging 10.5 points and 5.9 rebounds while shooting 41.4 percent (12 for 29) from 3-point range.
Hawkeyes coach Fran McCaffrey did not rule out the freshman, saying the injury was getting better, but his concern was “there isn’t a lot of time between games. If Wieskamp cannot go, Nicholas Baer would likely get the start.
Despite finishing with only 11 points on 4-of-12 shooting, McCaffrey thinks Jordan Bohannon is ready to have a breakout game at an opportune time.
I think with him, he started a little banged up, started the season — he had that injury, wasn’t himself. I mean, you could tell he’s more like himself now,” McCaffrey said at his news conference. I thought he came out aggressively the other night, hit the three early and hit another one later. I think he’s looking for shots that are good shots. I don’t think he’s putting up bad shots.
“He’s also running the point, moving for the off guard position a little bit now that we have Connor. That’s been helpful to him at times.”
Cook leads the Hawkeyes in scoring at 15.4 points per game, joining Luka Garza (13.0 ppg) and Bohannon (10.3) in double figures. Iowa is averaging 80.8 points and getting to the foul line consistently — McCaffrey’s team is attempting 32.4 free throws per game while connecting at a 76.9 percent clip.
Iowa has split its last four home games versus Iowa State.
- 6-13 ATS in its last 19 games vs. above-.500 teams.
- 5-14-2 ATS in its last 21 games as an underdog.
- 3-7-2 ATS in its last 12 games as an underdog between 0.5 and 6.5 points.
- The over is 10-1 in its last 11 games vs. above-.500 teams.
- The over is 5-1 in its last six home games vs. Iowa State.
- The over is 13-5 in its last 18 home games.
Iowa State is:
- 22-6 ATS in its last 28 road games following three or more consecutive home games.
- 4-1-3 ATS in its last eight games as a favorite.
- 3-0-1 ATS in its last four games.
- The over is 7-0 in its last seven games vs. above-.500 teams.
- The over is 9-1 in its last 10 games vs. Iowa.
- The over is 15-5-1 in its last 21 games vs. Big Ten teams.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Originally, this pick was for Iowa, but with Wieskamp’s status murky and definitely not 100 percent, it is hard to see where the Hawkeyes cope with the quickness of the Cyclones and their current four-guard set-up. Additionally, Prohm now has the flexibility to match his five with any five Iowa throws out there, and it may prove too much for the Hawkeyes to overcome.
Prediction: Pick: Iowa State -2.5
Full-Game Total Pick
Though Iowa State is one of the better defensive teams in the country, these teams have not lacked for points in their recent matchups. They have totaled 162 or more points in four of their last six meetings, and only one team has been held below 70 in those games.
Prediction: Pick: OVER 152.5 points
Half-Time Side Pick
Iowa State has led at halftime in seven of its eight games and led by nine or more points in six of those games. The Hawkeyes were either tied or trailing in their last three games, with two of those coming at home.
Prediction: Pick: Iowa State -1
Half-Time Total Bet
The expectation is Iowa State is going to be able to speed up this game, and these teams have historically played high-scoring games. All of the last six meetings have totaled at least 71 first-half points and topped 75 or more on four occasions.
Prediction: Pick: OVER 73.5 points