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Basketball

The Breakdown: MVSU @ Iowa State

The Iowa State men’s basketball team will host Mississippi Valley this afternoon at 1 p.m. in Hilton Coliseum.

Will the Cyclones start off the 2009/2010 season with a record of 4-0? Let’s break this thing down.

Breaking Down Mississippi Valley State The Delta Devils made a trip to Ames last year. The Cyclones didn’t have much of a problem downing Mississippi Valley State 77-59 in that contest. Mississippi Valley State has started off this season with a 1-2 record, most recently routing Champion Baptist, 102-56. MVSU’s two losses came to high major teams, in Washington State and Gonzaga.

This team can score a lot of points. The Delta Devils have averaged 80.7 points per game. The problem is that they are sketchy on defense, giving up 80.7 points per game.

Shannon Behling is the guy to watch for Mississippi Valley State. Behling is a 6-foot-7 junior, who scored 21 points against the Cyclones a year ago, while knocking down four 3-pointers.

Mississippi Valley State loves shooting the 3-ball. They are 32-90 from behind the arch this season, averaging over 10 long balls per game as a team.

In an interesting side note, the Delta Devils are coached by a familiar name in the college basketball world. Remember Sean Woods? He was a premier player at Kentucky from 1989-92.

Keep an eye on Delta Devil junior D’Angelo Jackson as well. He’s a Milwaukee native who graduated the same year as Diante Garrett (also from Milwaukee) and Scott Christopherson (LaCrosse). All three players graduated the same year and have seen each other on the hardwood before.

MVSU’s Probable Starting Lineup (according to cyclones.com)

Jason Holmes: 6-9, 225-pound So. forward – 9.3 PPG, 4.7 RPG Shannon Behling: 6-7, 200-pound Jr. forward – 9.3 PPG, 4.7 RPG Kevin Burwell: 5-10, 185-pound Jr. guard – 4.3 APG Tashan Newsome: 6-4, 185-pound So. guard – 11.3 PPG, 5.3 RPG Julius Cheeks: 6-2, 190-pound Sr. guard – 9.7 PPG

Breaking Down the Cyclones

Iowa State has cruised through their first three opponents in 2009 and this game shouldn’t be any different. The Cyclones last win was against Drake on Tuesday night by a score of 90-70.

The Cyclones have shot 51.1 percent from the field this season while going 55.6 percent from behind the arch. A lot of the reason that number is so high is due to Lucca Staiger’s record-breaking performance against the Bulldogs. Staiger went 10-of-16 from 3-point range to score a career-high 32 points. He currently leads the Big 12 in 3-pointers, averaging exactly five a game.

The explosive Cyclone offense has certainly been the hot topic so far but Iowa State’s defensive efforts have been strong this year too. Iowa State has held their three opponents to 62.7 points per game. Cyclone foes are shooting 38.5 percent from the field.

Did You Know

– Diante Garrett has started 35-straight games at Iowa State. That’s the longest streak on the team. – In his last 38 games, Craig Brackins has scored in double-figures in 36 of them.

– Scott Christopherson is currently the Big 12’s seventh best 3-point shooter with a 63.6 competition percentage.

– Marquis Gilstrap is averaging 10 rebounds per game.

– Jamie Vanderbeken hasn’t missed a shot this season. He’s 6-for-6 from the floor.

Prediction

Something crazy would have to happen for Iowa State to lose this basketball game. The talent level isn’t even close between the two teams. Plus, Iowa State has never lost to a Southwestern Athletic Conference team, as they are 13-0 against teams from that league in program history.

The Pick

Iowa State 95, MVSU 68

C

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