The Essentials: UNC-Pembroke

The Iowa State men’s basketball team will be back in action this evening. UNC-Pembroke will enter Hilton Coliseum to wrap up the exhibition portion of Iowa State’s 2009 season.

The Cyclones defeated Black Hills State on Monday night by a final score of 96-47.

Here’s what you need to know about tonight’s opponent, UNC-Pembroke.

– UNCP’s team has a lot of local flavor to it. Here’s the story. Ben Miller is UNCP’s head coach. Miller graduated high school from Cedar Falls in 1999. He then attended college at Northern Iowa, where his father, Eldon Miller was the head basketball coach. Iowa State head coach Greg McDermott played for Eldon Miller for the 1986-87 and 1978-88 seasons.

– UNCP is a Division II basketball program. The campus is located in Pembroke, N.C.

– The Braves finished 3-17 in their conferences last year. They return two starters from that team that finished 6-21 overall.

– The man to watch for UNCP is Brandon Thomas. Thomas is a 6-foot-6, 215-pound forward who averaged 12.7 points and 7.6 rebounds a season ago.

Other Notes: – Jamie Vanderbeken, Antwon Oliver and L.A. Pomlee all missed Monday’s win over Black Hills State due to injuries. Oliver and Pomlee should play tonight but Vanderbeken is still listed as questionable according to an Iowa State press release. Vanderbeken is still battling a foot injury. Pomlee tweaked his knee and Oliver has been sick.

– The Cyclones are 41-4 in exhibition games dating back to 1983.

– The only way you can watch the game and not be in Hilton is by tuning in on the Clone Zone. For more information on that, visit


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