Exploring Houston: Cyclones under the spotlight in top 10 matchup with Cougars – CycloneFanatic.com

Iowa State Cyclones forward Robert Jones (12) goes shooting as Houston Cougars guard Damien Dunn (11) defends during the first half against an NCAA College Basketball Conference Big-12 Conference showdown at Hilton Coliseum on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024, in Ames, Iowa. . © Nirmalindu Majumdar/Ames Tribune/USA Today Network

No. 6 Iowa State (20-5, 9-3) travels to Texas for a Super Monday matchup with No. 2 Houston (22-3, 9-3) inside the Fertitta Center (8:00 p.m., ESPN).

The Hurricanes took care of business on Saturday with an 82-74 win over Texas Tech. The team committed 16 turnovers and scored 28 points off those fouls.

The Cougars posted a dominating 82-61 win over the Texas Longhorns in
Saturday. With both programs tied for first place in conference play at 9-3, it is poised for one of the biggest college basketball games of the year between the top two teams in the Big 12 Conference.

About cougars

It's hard knowing this is Houston's first season in the Big 12. Coach Kelvin
Sampson
His team is tied for first place in the league and has a chance to take the lead with a win on Monday night.

The Cougars have been one of the most impressive teams in college basketball this season and a lot has to do with their style of play. Like Iowa State, Houston plays great, solid defense. They have only given up more than 70 points once this season.

On offense, Houston's strength lies in the paint. This is due to their ability to collect offensive rebounds well. In some cases, their best offense is to shoot and score on the offensive board.

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In a recent Bracketology report by ESPN's Joe Lunardi, Houston is projected to be the top seed in the South Conference. The Cyclones recently jumped into third place, and have a chance to jump the seed line with a win over the Cougars.

Sampson has a pair of guards who are up there with some of the best in the country. LJ Cryer He is the leader on the offensive end, averaging 15.3 points per game on 40.6 percent from the floor and 38.5 percent from three-point range. Cryer is the most dangerous three-point shooter on the Cougars roster and could get hot quickly.

The Cougars' other star guard is Jamal Shade. He has been the glue for his team this season, ranking second on the team's scoring charts with 12.8 points per game and the leader in both assists (5.8) and steals (2.3) per game.

Shead, along with Tamin Lipsey, is one of the best point guards in the Big 12. The point guard battle will be a key matchup throughout the game.

Student in red shirt Emanuel Sharp He is a sniper for Samson
a team. He's scoring 12.3 points and 4.0 rebounds per game on 37.6 percent shooting
Shooting from the field and 35.4 percent from behind the arc. In the first meeting with the Hurricanes, Sharp scored 20 points and grabbed 5 rebounds
6-12 shooting from the floor and 5-10 from behind the arc. Iowa State's guards will need to keep him off the 3-point line and force him to take contested mid-range shots.

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In the frontcourt, the Cougars have some of the most physical players in the area
nation. Jewan Roberts And Javier Francis Hold down the paint for Houston.

Roberts, a 6-foot-7 forward, is scoring 9.1 points per game and grabbing a team-high 7.1 rebounds. Francis, who stands 6-foot-8, scores just 6.0 points per game, but averages 5.4 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game. Iowa State will need to emphasize holding Houston to one possession and limit second-chance opportunities on the offensive end.

How does ISU get out of the way upset?

TJ Otzelberger and his team have a great opportunity Monday night to do just that
Establishing themselves as the top team in the conference.

In the first meeting between the schools, the Hurricanes forced 16 turnovers, most of them in the first half as they jumped out to a 14-0 lead. In the second half, the Cougars turned the ball over just three times and got back into the game to eventually take the lead late. Iowa State has to force Houston's guards into tough situations where they force passes that don't exist.

Lipsy insurance And Keyshawn Gilbert The key will be in converting those turnovers into points. The Hurricanes have done that all year and will have to do it again to give themselves a chance down the road.

Early this season, the Cyclones had trouble converting free throws
Opportunities. But in the last few games, that has been cleaned up. When on the road to play a top-5 team, the best way to score easy points is to get to the free throw line. Iowa State is the second-best team in the conference in getting to the free throw line, and Houston is the No. 1 team in the league in personal fouls reached per game at 18.0. If Iowa State can get to the line 15 to 20 times, it could be worth keeping itself in the game.

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High chance of hurricanes

Many people considered Monday night to be one of the biggest regular season games in program history for some time. The Hurricanes have a chance to take the top spot in the Big 12 Conference with five games remaining, which would be huge for a program that is four years removed from a 2-22 season.

Iowa State showed they can beat the Cougars and play their style
Basketball. The Cyclone program has not won a Big 12 regular season title since the 1999-2000 team. They have a great opportunity on Monday night to take another step closer to that goal.

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