The Providence Friars kick off their first of two games in South Padre Island by facing off against the Iowa State Cyclones. PC’s undefeated record is on the line, and the neutral site game will be a great test for Ed Cooley’s young and thin squad. The Cyclones were picked to finish 8th in the BIG 12 in preseason polls, but their offense has been efficient early on in the season.
The Friars have never played Iowa State before, but opposing coach Fred Hoiberg defeated Keno Davis in the first round of the “Shots from the Heart” Free Throw Contest last year (which Hoiberg went on to win the whole thing), which benefited the American Heart Association. Hey, at least Keno went to some tournament in the last two seasons. Even though the guy ran the program into the ground, let’s get him some payback!
WHAT TO: KNOW
Game Time: 8:30PM EST
Opponent: Iowa State (3-1)
Location: South Padre Island Convention Center
Spread: Iowa State -2
ESPN Accuscore: Not yet posted
CBSSports Daily Picks: Iowa State 78, Providence 70
Iowa State Game Stats
Hit up the rest of the preview after the jump.
WHAT TO: LOOK FOR
Friars First Defense Test: Iowa State comes into South Padre Island with some hot shooting. Their ridiculous 60.2% effective field goal percentage is currently 5th in the nation. On two point shots, the team is shooting a great 54.4%, but outside shooting has really fueled their 3 wins so far. In each of three games Iowa State connected on at 10 or more threes, including a team record 16 from downtown in their win against Northern Colorado. Overall, they are shooting 45.3% from behind the arc, which is 15th in the nation.
Royce White: Do the Friars have any front court players that will be able to contain Royce White? Brice Kofane might see some extra time for his defensive capabilities, but is he quick enough? Remember when Bilal Dixon would get almost two blocks a game? Despite his big overall numbers, White isn’t as efficient (106.2 offensive efficiency rating) and has a high 27% turnover percentage.
Gameplan against Friars: PC couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn in their last game, but Southern did a great job neutralizing the Providence guards, noteably Bryce Cotton. Will Cotton make adjustments, or will someone in the front court step up offensively?
Don’t Rely on the Line: The Friars have taken a staggering 93 foul shots over the past two games (Gerard Coleman has 28 attempts). Despite only making 61 of them, it’s a dangerous weapon when your regular shots aren’t falling. Providence may not get to the line as frequently as they have been. The Cyclones 23.4% Free Throw Rate (FTM/FGA) is currently ranked #20 in the nation.
WHAT TO: READ
Friars.com: Gamenotes [PDF]
The Cyclones have posted a 3-1 record overall. In the team’s most recent game, the Cyclones defeated Northern Colorado, 90-82. The team is led by redshirt sophomore Royce White. White is leading the team in points with 18.3 points per game and 10 rebounds a game. The Cyclones were picked to finish 12th in the Big 12 Preseason Coaches’ Poll.
Cyclones.com: Iowa State Prepares For South Padre Island Invite
- Iowa State has played in two regular-season tournaments in the state of Texas, both in El Paso: 1986 Sun Bowl Classic; 1993 Sierra Medical Sun Classic…ISU went 2-2 in those tournaments.
- Iowa State has played in two NCAA Tournaments in Texas: 1996 Midwest Regional (Dallas); 1997 Midwest Regional Finals (San Antonio).
“Stuff at (Minnesota) kind of set me back as far as how I felt about the game,” said White, who pleaded guilty to three misdemeanor criminal charges while a Gopher freshman. “Now I’m back at a place where I’m working hard and whatever comes, comes. Everything right now is about winning — and winning a lot. Winning the biggest prize there is.”
Des Moines Register: Men’s basketball: Cyclones and Panthers make trip to South Padre
Iowa State is off to a 3-1 start thanks to some flashy offense, but there are some alarming numbers hidden in that success.
Opponents have scored an average of 73 points on 47-percent shooting, while turning the ball over only 13 times per game. For a team with this much athleticism, coach Fred Hoiberg knows this must improve and fast. The Big 12 is no place for the faint of heart.
It would be surprising if Iowa State finished at the bottom of the Big 12 again this season. Unlike last year, the Cyclones are decidedly not the least talented team in the conference. Actually, their combination of size, talent and experience is as good as at least half the teams in the league.
The only issue is, these guys are coming from all over the place — high school, junior colleges, other D-I schools, returning players — and they have never played together as a unit.
WHAT TO: WATCH
Royce White dunk Iowa State vs Northern Colorado 11-22-11
Royce White’s 2nd block Iowa State vs Northern Colorado 11-22-11
Iowa State made a school-record 16 3-pointers and Chris Allen poured in a career-high 23 points, as the Cyclones held off Northern Colorado, 90-82
Watch Iowa State men’s basketball highlights vs. Western Carolina
Drake Defeats Iowa State, 74-65
Iowa State Men’s Basketball Highlights vs. Lehigh
WHERE TO: FOLLOW
Twitter.com: I’ll probably be live tweeting the game @friarblog. Also be sure to follow the #pcbb hashtag as always.
WHERE TO: WATCH
The game is being televised on COX locally, but there are no reported free video streams.
WHERE TO: LISTEN