The Cowboys are back on their home court Saturday as they look to take on the Iowa State Cyclones. I have no doubt that Head Coach Mike Boynton will have this team ready to play and the game at Norman will be a distant memory. They will be ready to be back in front their home crowd.
Let’s get to the preview.
Who: Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. Iowa State Cyclones
Where: Gallagher Iba Arena, Stillwater, OK
When: Jan. 6 , 2018 —3 p.m. CT
Radio: Cowboy Radio Network
Live Stats: okstate.statbroadcast.com
After starting conference play 0-2, the Cowboys will look to get some momentum going as the Cyclones come to town. They come in 10-4 on the season and look better and better every game in my opinion. They’re playing great defense They’re currently averaging 80 points per game and are shooting just below 50 percent (.447). The first round of Bedlam was a bit of an anomaly for the Cowboys, as Trae Young and the Sooners became the first team to eclipse the 100-point mark against the OSU defense.
The Sooners utilized their speed and depth to drown the Cowboys. Only playing nine, Coach Boynton’s squad was exhausted midway through the second half, while Lon Kruger’s 15-man rotation was able to stay fresh and ready to go. This disparity led to a lot of easy baskets and helped OU win by 20 points, while showcasing the highest-scoring offense in America.
Look for the Cowboys to have practiced this a lot this week and those issues to be corrected. Boynton has been preaching defense for the entire season (much like his predecessor) and the team seems to respond.
The Cowboys may be without Lindy Waters again as he’s questionable while he recovers from a concussion.
The Cyclones come into this game at 9-4 and an 0-2 conference record. However they don’t have the teams on their schedule that Oklahoma State has. They haven’t played anyone inside the Top 25, and have a bad loss to Milwaukee by 18 points at the beginning of the season.
But this was all expected. After last season, Iowa State lost lost four of its top scorers from last season in Monte Morris, Nazareth Mitrou-Long, Deonte Burton and Matt Thomas. This is a rebuilding year for Head Coach Steve Prohm and the Cyclones. Believe it or not, the Cyclones are No. 94 in the KenPom rankings - dead last among Big 12 teams. The next closest is the Cowboys at No. 52.
Iowa State is currently averaging 75.1 points per game and have a .441 field goal percentage. They don’t turn the ball over very much with 11.5 turnovers per game, and keep opponents off the free-throw line, as they only commit 15.5 fouls per contest.
Player to watch: Nick Weiler-Babb
Babb has 12.3 points per game with a 45.3 field goal percentage. He’s averaging 74 percent from the charity stripe. Babb can score some points for the Cyclones. He’s also got 7.2 assists per game. Defensively he is averaging more than a steal per game and hauls down nearly 6.5 defensive rebounds per contest. His 97 rebounds on the season (7.5 per game) lead the team by 20 total. If the Cowboys can stop the 6’5” Babb from getting the rebounds and force the rest of the Cyclones to secure rebounds, it would be advantageous to their cause.
The junior guard is averaging 38.1 of the total 40 minutes per game, and is looking to help lead the Cyclone rebuilding charge. Look for him to make a big impact in GIA later today.
I think that while this is going to be a pretty close game, both teams are pretty evenly matched, The Pokes come out on top. Defensively I think they’ll be able to pull out the win. 85-75 Cowboys.