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Basketball

The Breakdown: Iowa State vs. Alabama State

By Chris Williams, CycloneFanatic.com Publisher

Iowa State vs. Alabama State
Sunday, Nov. 14 @ 1 p.m. – Hilton Coliseum
Mediacom – Cyclone Radio Network

Iowa State’s probable starters

G: Diante Garrett, 6-foot-4 Sr. – 19 ppg.
G: Jake Anderson, 6-foot-2 Sr. – 15 ppg.
G: Scott Christopherson, 6-foot-3 Jr. – 5 ppg.
F: Melvin Ejim, 6-foot-6 Fr. – 10 ppg.
F: Jamie Vanderbeken, 6-foot-11 Sr. 23 ppg.

Alabama State’s probable starters

G: Kenderek Washington, 6-foot-4 Jr. – 9 ppg.
G: A.J. Spender, 6-foot-2 Sr. – 2 ppg.
F: Ivory White, 6-foot-4 Jr. – 8 ppg.
F: Robert Sanders, 6-foot-6 Sr. – 7 ppg.
C: Patrick Davis, 6-foot-10 Jr. – 2 ppg.

THE BREAKDOWN

The college basketball world is a small one. Get this.

Last March, Greg McDermott walked away from Iowa State’s basketball program to take the head coaching job at Creighton. Fred Hoiberg was hired by Iowa State.

Fred Hoiberg’s first game as the head man in Ames was against Northern Arizona. Greg McDermott’s first game at Creighton was against Alabama State. Hoiberg’s second game is against Alabama State. McDermott’s second game is against Nothern Arizona.

Hoiberg, McDermott, the Cyclones and the Blue Jays will meet up in Des Moines next Sunday. All parties are a part of the Global Sports Hy-Vee Challenge.

Iowa State’s season-opening 78-64 win over Northern Arizona was a pleasant surprise. Leading up to it, I never actually thought that Iowa State would lose to the Lumberjacks. But still, NAU’s bulk of experience did put a kink in my confidence toward the Cyclones’ chances.

I had Iowa State pegged for a five-point win heading into Friday night’s competition. You can read more about that game by CLICKING HERE.

All signs point to Alabama State being less of an opponent for Iowa State than Northern Arizona was. The Hornets return two starters from last year’s team that went 15-16 overall. They did however finish third in the SWAC, going 12-6 in league play.

On Friday, Creighton only led Alabama State by three at the half. The Blue Jays outscored the Hornets 38-27 in the second period and ultimately won the game 71-57.

What was odd about Alabama State’s opener was the fact that not one Hornet reached double figures in scoring. Junior guard Kenderek Washington led the way for the Hornets with nine points. Junior forward Ivory White had eight points and eight rebounds.

Expect Alabama State to live and die by the 3-pointer against the Cyclones. The Hornets fired off 25 3’s in their loss to Creighton. They made nine of them.

TOP CYCLONE STORYLINES

–       Will Scott Christopherson get back on track? Christopherson was 1-of-10 from the field in Friday night’s win. Shooters like that don’t stay cold for long.

–       After playing only three minutes in the first half against Northern Arizona, freshman Melvin Ejim scored 10 points in the second period for the Cyclones and also recorded four rebounds. If Ejim stays out of foul trouble, he could have a big day against a backcourt oriented basketball team in Alabama State.

–        Iowa State’s three seniors Jamie Vanderbeken, Diante Garrett and Jake Anderson combined for 57 of Iowa State’s 78 points in the opener. Is this a trend? Will that trio keep it up?

NOTEBOOK

–       According to Iowa State’s official release, junior guard DeMarcus Phillips is listed as doubtful for Sunday’s game. Expect Phillips to possibly make his debut sometime next week. Phillips has been out with a broken bone in his non-shooting hand.

–       Diante Garrett started his 65th consecutive game against Northern Arizona. Garrett currently has 99 steals in his career so he is approaching the century milestone in that category.

–       This will mark the first time that Iowa State and Alabama State have played. The Cyclones are 14-0 all-time against Southwestern Athletic Conference programs.

–       Like Fred Hoiberg, Alabama State head coach Lewis Jackson is coaching at his alma mater.

–       Alabama State junior Patrick Davis is a product of Milwaukee. Iowa State’s DeMarucus Phillips and Davis are close friends.

FINAL PREDICTION

It will be difficult for Iowa State’s duo of Diante Garrett and Jamie Vanderbeken to duplicate their first half performance against Northern Arizona. The Cyclones might not have a 15-point lead at halftime in this one but I am fully expecting a safe, double-digit victory for Iowa State.

THE PICK

Iowa State 84, Alabama State 64

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