The Bearcats are back in the Queen City, fresh off of a victory against VCU on Saturday. Cincinnati was able to outlast the Rams tough effort as they departed from Richmond, Virginia with a 69-63 road win added to their resume. Today, UC has a tremendous opportunity to make that resume look a little bit stronger as they are prepared to square off against a Top 15 team tonight.
Meet The Opponent
Making their way to Clifton from Ames, Iowa will be head coach Steve Prohm and his Cyclones squad. On the season, Iowa State carries a 9-1 record and a No. 11 ranking in the AP Poll. Surely the Cyclones were expecting to bring an even more impressive ranking into Fifth Third Arena, but they dropped the ball in their most recent game against Northern Iowa this past Saturday, as they fell short by just two points.
For now, Iowa State is still trying to find themselves after losing Naz Mitrou-Long for the season due to a hip injury. Despite the loss of the 12.0 PPG scorer, the Cyclones are still deadly on offense, even if they've shown a regression after the injury. Leading the way is Georges Niang, a senior forward that is averaging close to 19 points per night. Iowa State also features Jameel McKay who scores over 15 per night with 10.6 boards and Monte Morris, a 15.3 PPG scorer and one of the best assist man in the country. Not to be forgotten, you'll see Abdel Nader, Matt Thomas, and Deonte Burton -- one of the guys who hopes to step up with the absence of Long -- also give the Cyclones a boost offensively.
Numbers To Know:
If the Bearcats want to walk off of their home floor with a win tonight, they will have to get it done on the defensive end of the floor. Cincinnati is 13th in the country in points allowed as their opponents average just 59.4 points per game. However, Iowa State is a whole different animal compared to others that UC has went up against thus far. The Cyclones are a Top 25 team in the points per game column and they are very efficient as well, shooting over 51% this year as a team.
One way Cincinnati can slow down the offense of Iowa State is to not allow Monte Morris to create for his teammates. The junior guard currently averages 7.7 dimes per night and plays a huge role in the Cyclones ability to be such a threat offensively. Morris, coming into tonight, is fifth in the country in assists. Impressively enough, he's also only averaging 2.2 turnovers per game as well.
Rebounding is a phase of the game that UC should be able to take advantage of in this one. On the season, the Bearcats have a +8.3 rebounding margin and against Iowa State, it wouldn't at all be surprising to see a similar theme. The Cyclones are tied for 102nd in the country for rebounds per game and while McKay himself is doing damage on the boards, the opportunity is available for the Bearcats' Gary Clark, Coreontae DeBerry, and Octavius Ellis to make their mark on the glass in this one.
How To Watch:
Game Time: 7:00 PM EST