Iowa Hawkeyes (4-5 SU, 1-4-1 ATS, 2-4 O/U) vs. Iowa State Cyclones (5-2 SU, 2-5 ATS, 3-4 O/U)
NCAAB: Thursday, December 7, 2017 at 8:00 p.m. EST
The Iowa State Cyclones have won five games in a row heading into a home date with the Iowa Hawkeyes at Hilton Coliseum on Thursday night. Iowa State dropped its first two contests of the season but most recently continued its fine form by defeating Northern Illinois on Monday. The Hawkeyes, on the other hand, have lost three straight against Virginia Tech, Penn State, and Indiana.
Plenty of depth
Iowa is currently No. 23 in the nation in bench minutes, with its reserves logging almost 40 percent of the team’s total minutes according to KenPom.com. That is nothing new under head coach Fran McCaffery, whose teams have been near the top of that aforementioned category for many years. A whopping 11 players on this season’s squad are seeing at least 12.6 minutes of court time per contest. Five are averaging more than 20 minutes, and a sixth (Luke Garza) comes in at 19.7 mpg. Five guys are producing between 8.2 and 14.6 points per game. In addition to depth, the Hawkeyes also have a lot of size. In fact, they feature eight regulars standing at least 6’8”–putting them in the top 10 in the country in terms of average height.
“It’s hard to scout when they play so many guys,” Iowa State junior Nick Weiler-Babb said of the Hawkeyes. “They’ve got some bigs in there that have been great. They’ve got shooters outside. It’s going to be a big thing. We’ve got to focus in on scout team and we’ve got to know what we’re going to do on the game plan.”
Freshman guard Lindell Wigginton has been making an instant impact for Iowa State. The Nova Scotia native is averaging 15.1 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game so far in his first college season. Wigginton was up to even more impressive tricks in Monday’s 94-80 win over Northern Illinois, scoring 15 points in the second half and finishing with 28. He has been especially effective since moving from point guard to shooting guard. Now able to attack the basket while looking to score more than distribute, Wigginton has scored 63 points in the last three games.
“He’s a talented kid,” head coach Steve Prohm said. “He can really score. I want to play him loose and free, but I want him sound and disciplined, as well. If he can do that and continue to get better, he can be a very good player here.”
The Iowa Hawkeyes are:
- 9-1 Over in their last 10 games against teams with winning records
- 9-3 Over in their last 12 games against the Big 12
- 4-1 Over in their last five games on Thursdays
The Iowa State Cyclones are:
- 21-8 Over in their last 29 overall
- 7-3 Over in their last 10 home games
- 16-5-1 Over in their last 22 games against the Big Ten
Although the Hawkeyes are big, they rank 249th nationally in defensive rebounding percentage. For the Cyclones, Wigginton had plenty of help in the recent win over Northern Illinois. Weiler-Babb had 12 points, Donovan Jackson poured in 24, and Cameron Lard contributed 14 points to go along with four blocks. Iowa State generally goes only eight deep, but Jakolby Long and Zoran Talley (both questionable for Thursday) are nearing returns. The over is 9-1 in the Hawkeyes’ last 10 against winning opponents and 9-3 in their last 12 against the Big 12. It is also 21-8 in the Cyclones’ last 29 overall, 7-3 in their last 10 at home, 4-1 in their last five at home against opponents with losing road records, 16-5-1 in their last 22 against the Big Ten, and 13-3 in their last 16 following a win. Additionally, the over is 8-1 in the last nine meetings between the two teams and 4-0 in Iowa’s last four trips to Iowa State. Look for this one to go over the total.