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The Citadel leads the nation in tempo, but that’s no reason to fear the Bulldogs

Nov 11, 2016; Ames, IA, USA; Iowa State Cyclones guard Nazareth Mitrou-Long (15) drives past Savannah State Tigers guard Kamil Williams (50) at James H. Hilton Coliseum. The Cyclones beat the Tigers 113-71.  Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

The nation’s fastest basketball team is set to visit Hilton Coliseum on Sunday.

Iowa State will host The Citadel Bulldogs at 1 p.m. (Cyclones.tv) in a clash between two of the top-25 highest tempo teams in college basketball. In fact, the Bulldogs enter the game as the team with the fastest tempo in the country, per KenPom.

Don’t let the Bulldogs’ gaudy tempo number fool you though.

This is the same team that ranks 268th nationally in adjusted offense and 349th (out of 351 teams) in adjusted defense. They’ve been the benefit of an early schedule that included games against the NCCAA’s (Not NCAA, but NCCAA, as in the National Christian College Athletic Association.) Johnson University Florida and NAIA’s Truett McConnell.

In the only game The Citadel has played against a Division I opponent, they lost 81-68 to College of Charleston. The Bulldogs shot 29.9 percent from the floor on 67 shots.

In fact, The Citadel hasn’t really shot well the whole season. Sure, they shot 44.3 percent in the win over Johnson University, but they also took 106 shots. They took 85 shots, including 48 (!!!) 3-pointers, in the win over Truett McConnell.

I don’t really know what The Citadel does to put themselves in position to get this many shots. They could be a hardcore pressing team that’s looking to force a lot of turnovers and speed the opponent up — which would make sense considering they forced more than 30 turnovers (!!!!) in both wins.

Here’s what I think is the case: The Citadel played two really, really bad teams — even for The Citadel’s standards. The team rolling into Hilton Coliseum doesn’t scare me into thinking they’ll play with Iowa State for 40 minutes. They scare me into thinking Sunday’s game could be a very, very sloppy one.

Jared Stansbury


Jared a native of Clarinda, Iowa, started as the Cyclone Fanatic intern in August 2013, primarily working as a videographer until starting on the women’s basketball beat prior to the 2014-15 season. Upon earning his Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Iowa State in May 2016, Jared was hired as the site’s full-time staff writer, taking over as the primary day-to-day reporter on football and men’s basketball. He was elevated to the position of managing editor in January 2020. He is a regular contributor on 1460 KXNO in Des Moines and makes regular guest appearances on radio stations across the Midwest. Jared resides in Ankeny with his four-year-old puggle, Lolo.