Friday, December 9, 2005

Friday, December 9th Preview

Prediction Record: 81-44

Iowa at Iowa State- This game is for the state of Iowa bragging rights, after Iowa State beat Northern Iowa, and then Northern Iowa came back to defeat Iowa. If Iowa wins, they grab a share of the state title. That is not the most important thing at stake in this Friday night dandy. Iowa State has lost two home games to Fresno State and Iona, both blowouts. On the other hand, Iowa needs to bounce back from their loss to the Panthers. The Hawkeyes have a win over Kentucky under their belt, but that win is looking worse and worse as the season goes on. Both teams need a win. Iowa is led by one of the top trios in the country in guards Jeff Horner and Adam Haluska and forward Greg Brunner. However, Horner is out until January with an injury. Replacing him in the starting lineup will be Tony Freeman, who has produced decent numbers coming off the bench so far this season. Haluska is a super scorer that light up any team that he faces. He is averaging more than 14 points per game this season. Also starting on the perimeter is Doug Henderson. He is known as a very good defender that is a solid scorer and rebounder. Up front, Brunner leads the way. He is one of the best big men in the country, yet is vastly underrated. He is a threat to get a double-double every night out. Joining him down low is Erek Hansen. He is not a very productive scorer and rebounder, but is one of the best shot blockers in the Big Ten, if not the nation. Superb rebounder Doug Thomas and athletic forward Alex Thompson come off the bench in the frontcourt, as does productive big man Seth Gorney. Carlton Reed will get the majority of the minutes in the backcourt. Iowa State counters with an extremely good backcourt and a subpar frontcourt. Curtis Stinson is one of the best all-around guards in the country. He is nearly impossible to stop one on one and can get to the basket against anyone. He is also a very good rebounder and an excellent passer. Will Blalock is his underrated sidekick. He is a phenomenal distributor and can also score very well (over 13 points per game). Also seeing extended minutes and splitting starts at the third perimeter spot are Anthony Davis and Tasheed Carr. Both are solid scorers. Up front, Rahshon Clark leads the way. He is undersized for the post at 6-6, but his athleticism enables him to be a productive scorer and rebounder. Shawn Taggert is the best true post player ISU has, but he comes off the bench to average 9 points per game in only 17 minutes. Ross Marsden and Jiri Hubalek split time at the center spot. Neither are tremendously impressive or talented, although both have their stretches when they are decent scorers and rebounders. This should be a very good game between two teams that need a win. The difference in this game could be the fact that Jeff Horner is going to be injured. With him in the lineup, Hawkeyes would have a backcourt to match Stinson and Blalock. Without him, I don't see Iowa winning this game on the road. Prediction: Iowa State by 5

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