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Kansas State Basketball: Iowa State Preview

A quick and dirty (not dirty like that) look at the Cyclones before tip.

Texas Tech v Kansas State Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images

#5 Kansas State (17-2, Big12 6-1) vs #12 Iowa State(14-4, Big12 5-2)

Iowa State on Offense

*all stats via KenPom, all rankings ( ) national rankings.


Avg Possession Length: 18.4 seconds (286th) - Slow


Offensive Rebounding: 34% (35th)

Adjusted Efficiency: 109.8 (67th)


2 Point%: 50.8 (146th)

Free Throw Shooting: 66.9% (301st)

Key Players


Jaren Holmes: 12.9PPG, 36% 3pt, 3.3 AST

Recent Form: Hit and Miss - 8 vs OK State, 21 vs Texas, 7 vs KU

Shooting 13/35 overall in the last 3 games.

Gabe Kalscheur: 12.8 PPG, 36% 3pt, 42% FG%

Recent Form: Red Hot - 14 vs OK State, 16 vs Texas, 23 vs KU

Hit 9/22 from 3 over the last 3 games.


Osun Osunniyi: 8.9 PPG, 33% 3pt, 56.2 FG%

Recent Form: Hot - 15 vs OK Stat4e, 11 vs Texas, 14 vs KU

Hit 19/31 from the field over the last 3 games


Iowa State wins when both Holmes and Kalscheur have it going on the same night. In their loss to Oklahoma State, Holmes was cold (8pts), Kalscheur was good, not great (14pts), and they lost. Against Texas, Holmes was hot(22pts), Kalscheur was hot(16pts) and they won. Against KU, Holmes was cold(7pts), Kalscheur was hot(23) and they lost.

Those two are too good, and too experienced to both be off on the same night, especially at home. Kansas State must put the clamps on at least one of them tonight if they plan on winning. Holmes has been streaky this season, making him the obvious player to limit again tonight. Kalscheur is on a heater from deep, making it imperative for the Wildcats to not over help on drives and give him open looks. He’s the type of shooter that only needs to see one go down to go on a personal 9-0 run in 2 minutes.

On the inside, Osun Osunniyi is playing his best ball of the season right now, scoring in double figures over the last 3 games. He’s great when he’s on the court, but fouls have been an issue. He’s hitting an absurd percentage of shots around the rim over the last 3 games, but he’s foul prone. He fouled out of the KU game in 19 minutes and committed 4 fouls against Texas in 25 minutes. It’s in K-State’s best interest to attack the rim early on defense, get Osun in foul trouble early, and keep him on the bench. The good news is, at 6’10”, 218, he’s not the type of ultra big-big that has giving the Wildcats trouble this season.

Iowa State On Defense


Avg Possession Length: 17.6 (201) Average


Adjusted Efficiency: 88.9 (7th)

Turnover%: 28.4 (1st)

3Pt%: 30.4 (44th)

Block%: 12.1 (44th)

Steal%: 14.8 (4th)

Non-Steal TO%: 13.6 (1st)

Key Players


Tamin Lipsey: Steal% - 4.2 (41st)

Gabe Kalscheur: Steal% - 3.2 (166th)


Osun Osunniyi: Block% - 9.6 (24th)

Robert Jones: Block% - 3.4 (305th)


If Iowa State wins this game, it’s because Kansas State turns the ball over and doesn’t hit outside shots. The Cyclones are one of the best teams in the nation in creating turnovers. They harass guards with their pressure, making everything in the offense uncomfortable. When they do get broken down off the dribble, Osunniyi and Jones are mistake erasers on the back end.

Kansas State can’t pass up good looks, because better looks may not become available. They knocked off TCU by forcing 18 turnovers. Markquis and Keyontae have to be secure with the ball, because I expect it to be in their hands most of the game. Keontae in particular, needs to keep his turnover rate below his season average of 20.8.

Getting Osunniyi in foul trouble early, even if it means getting a few shots blocked, should be the goal. Jones is also a good shot blocker, but nowhere near as good Osunniyi.



Iowa State - 69

Kansas State - 63


Kansas State - 65

Iowa State - 60

I’m not sure if this is what is going to happen, or what needs to happen for Kansas State. The Cyclones have lost 4 games, in those games they’ve scored 53 (UConn), 56 (Iowa), 60 (Kansas), 59 (Oklahoma St). Their defense has been consistently good, and they play at a pace that makes it difficult to put runs together. The Wildcats MUST VALUE THE BASKETBALL! Iowa State struggles to score, and K-State can’t give up any free points in transition, because those are hard to make up on the other end. I’m taking the ‘Cats, but my confidence level isn’t super high.