By Chris Williams, CycloneFanatic.com Publisher
Iowa State (6-2) vs. SE Missouri St. (0-8)
Monday, Dec. 6 * Hilton Coliseum @ 7 p.m.
Mediacom/ESPN3/ESPN Full Court – Cyclone Radio Network
BREAKING DOWN THE CYCLONES
Iowa State’s probable starters
G: Diante Garrett, 6-4 Sr. – 16.6 PPG, 6.0 APG
G: Jake Anderson, 6-2 Sr. – 13.1 PPG, 8.5 RPG
G: Scott Christopherson, 6-3 Jr. – 15.4 PPG, 3.1 RPG
F: Melvin Ejim, 6-6 Fr. – 13.1 PPG, 6.3 RPG
F: Jamie Vanderbeken, 10.3 PPG, 4.6 RPG
After Saturday’s 76-73 loss to California, the Cyclones need a win in a desperate way. Iowa State has lost two straight basketball games and with an inexperienced roster, confidence could become an issue if this thing isn’t nipped in the bud right away.
Luckily, a really bad Southeast Missouri State (0-8) team will travel to Hilton tonight. I’ll break down the Redhawks momentarily.
Here’s what I’m looking for from Iowa State tonight.
– Clean it up fellas. The Cyclones committed 17 turnovers vs. Cal on Saturday. Iowa State’s starting backcourt consisting of Garrett, Christohperson and Anderson combined for 13 of those.
– I expect freshman Melvin Ejim to have a big game tonight. Ejim has been in a bit of a slump over the past two games, scoring only seven and four points against UNI and Cal. In those games, for the first time in his career, Ejim has gone up against bigger, stronger frontcourt players. The competition will drop significantly tonight and I believe that he’ll strive because of it.
– Scott Christopherson is on a heck of a shooting roll right now. On Saturday, Christopheron hit a career-high seven 3-pointers. He’s currently Iowa State’s all-time career leader in 3-point accuracy at 47.7 percent. He’s made 58.7 percent of his threes from long range this season. That leads the Big 12 and is fourth nationally.
– I want to see Iowa State play a complete basketball game tonight. In Saturday’s loss, the Cyclones began the second half by going 1-of-10 from the field. After the game, Jake Anderson commented on the Cyclones needing to develop a “killer instinct.” You can’t really learn that in a game against SEMO, but practice does make perfect right? Iowa State needs to put this game away early and not let up.
BREAKING DOWN THE REDHAWKS
SE Missouri State’s probable starters
G: Anthony Allison, 5-11 Sr. – 11.5 PPG, 2.8 RPG
G: Lucas Nutt, 6-1 Fr. – 7.4 PPG, 2.8 APG
G: Nate Schulte, 6-5 So. – 4.6 PPG, 4.3 RPG
F: Leon Powell, 6-7 Jr. – 15.3 PPG, 7.3 RPG
C: Zach House, 7-0 Jr. – 3.0 PPG, 4.8 RPG
Southeast Missouri State hasn’t won a game this season. They’re 0-8, but on the bright side, the Redhawks have shown the ability to compete in a number of their games. SEMO only lost to Arkansas by 10 back on Nov. 24. The Redhawks took Grambling State to overtime on Nov. 22 and only lost a road game to UMKC by eight.
You’re not impressed? Well, at least I tried to make this game somewhat interesting.
Forward Leon Powell is SEMO’s best player. The 6-foot-7 junior is averaging 15.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. Powell is familiar with the state of Iowa, as he played the last two seasons at Indian Hills C. C. in Ottumwa.
– DeMarcus Phillips’ status with the Iowa State basketball program is still up in the air. After Saturday’s loss, Fred Hoiberg told media members that he was going to meet with Phillips on Sunday. I expect that we’ll learn how that meeting went after tonight’s game.
– Iowa State and SEMO will meet for the second time tonight. The two schools played back on Dec. 23, 2006, when Iowa State pulled out the 87-71 win. Mike Taylor led the way for Iowa State with 18 points.
– Remember the name Marcus Brister? SEMO’s guard was actually on Iowa State’s roster for a brief time during the 2007-08 season. He then decided to transfer for personal reasons.
– Vegas has Iowa State listed as a 23 point favorite in this game.
I think that the Cyclones will shake off the rust in this one to get ready for Friday night’s showdown with Iowa. I think we’ll see big bounce back games out of Melvin Ejim and Diante Garrett as the Cyclones cruise to a comfortable 25-point victory.
Iowa State 85, SEMO 60