Jan 5, 2019; Ames, IA, USA; Iowa State Cyclones guard Tyrese Haliburton (22) reacts during the second half against the Kansas Jayhawks at Hilton Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
Time: 8:00 p.m.
Location: Lawrence, KS
KenPom Prediction: 74-70, Kansas
1 – Dialing In
There is little doubt Kansas will be as focused as ever Monday night coming off its 65-64 loss to West Virginia on Saturday. Add in the fact Iowa State kicked the Jayhawks’ butts earlier this month and you know Bill Self will have his team ready to play.
“Them coming off a loss, I told our guys, you know they’re going to be as dialed in as ever,” Iowa State head coach Steve Prohm said. “They’re going to be laser focused and razor sharp. We’re going to have to respond and be able to handle all the adversity.”
2 – Pushing Them Out
The biggest key to facing this Kansas team remains to force them to shoot from deep. The Jayhawks have combined to go 11-of-36 from 3-point range in their two Big 12 losses this season.
They are No. 121 nationally in team 3-point percentage and remain wildly inconsistent as an offense when their shots aren’t falling. While they generally tend to shoot better at home, the Cyclones need to keep the Jayhawks on the perimeter and not allow them to get comfortable looks inside the paint.
Iowa State had a great deal of success with that in the first meeting between the teams, including forcing Dedric Lawson into six of the team’s 24 turnovers, but it will be a whole new test with the power of Allen Fieldhouse behind them.
Which brings me to…
3 – Entering The Phog
Big Monday on ESPN. First-place in the Big 12 on the line. Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kan.
This will be college basketball at its finest and will be the biggest road challenge Iowa State’s roster has faced so far this season. Sure, Texas Tech last week was formidable, but anyone who has been to a game in the Phog knows this is a different beast.
“It is their first game back with students, the crowd, it was great going to Tech because we got a good taste of it,” Prohm said. “But at Kansas, it will be even louder.”
This is what every young basketball player dreams about growing up. A hostile environment against one of the nation’s top teams with championship-level stakes.
If the Jayhawks are able to get out on runs, there will be moments of deafening noise. If the Cyclones can stay composed in those moments, they’ll have a good opportunity to quiet the Phog.
“Man, it will be a lot of fun,” Prohm said. “I can’t wait.”