The Beyond Section: Previewing Iowa State at Kansas

– Posted by Zurg –

DeAndre Kane and the Cyclones of Iowa State head to Allen Fieldhouse to take on Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid & the rest of the Kansas Jayhawks.

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Iowa State (AP: 16, Coaches: 18, KenPom: 20) followed a three-game losing streak with a win at home against Kansas State last Saturday. The Cyclones have the 26th most efficient offense in the country this season – but it is rated only 8th in the Big 12 during conference play. With the 132nd ranked non-conference strength of schedule, Iowa State has dealt with some doubters since its 14-0 start.

Kansas (AP: 6, Coaches: 7, KenPom: 10), on the other hand, has come on strong recently. Since a 9-4 start, including losses to Villanova, Florida & San Diego State, Kansas is 6-0 in Big 12 play. It has the best offense and 4th best defense in conference play – but its weak point has been ball handling. In Big 12 play, Kansas has the conference’s worst turnover percentage. Its sharp shooting more than makes up for it, however, with the conference’s best effective Field Goal Percentage, Free Throw Rate (FT/FGA), 2 Point Percentage, and 3 Point Percentage. On the other side of the ball, Kansas allows the second least offensive rebounds in the conference, as well as having the best defensive 2 Point Percentage.

KEY STATISTIC: TURNOVER PERCENTAGE

As noted above, Kansas has a problem when it comes to turning the ball over. Kansas has the 275th rated national Turnover Percentage. Overall this season, Iowa State’s defense has just the 257th rated forced Turnover Percentage – but in Big 12 play, Iowa State’s defense has the second highest forced Turnover Percentage. For Iowa State to have a chance tonight, its defense will have to capitalize on Kansas’s tendency to turn the ball over this season.

FACT OF THE GAME:

Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid are looking to become the first pair of freshmen teammates to average over 11 points and 6 rebounds per game since Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Anthony Davis at Kentucky in 2011-12 – and only the second pair of freshmen teammates to accomplish this feat since Lance Williams, Quentin Richardson and Bobby Simmons all did it for DePaul in 1998-99.

PREDICTION:

Kansas is only getting better – and it has not lost at home in conference play since February 2 last year vs. Oklahoma State. Expect Kansas to take care of business in this one.

Kansas 79, Iowa State 70

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