NCAA Tournament Breakdownbility: OSU vs ISU

Written March 23rd, 2013 by Ken


Not sure how a cardinal got mixed in with a cyclone, but whatever..

School: Iowa State University
Location: Ames, IA
Founded: 1858
School Type: Public, Land Grant
Student Population: 31,040 total, 25,553 undergrad
Stadium: Hilton Coliseum
Seating: 14,356
Opened: 1971
Head Coach: Fred Hoiberg
Experience: 3rd year


After easily dispatching Iona College in the round of 64, Ohio State moves on to the tougher challenge of  the Cyclones of Iowa State University. The Cyclones looked to be the far better club than Notre Dame on Friday. Iowa State shot 52% from the field, and 43% from 3-point range, so clearly they are proficient at putting the ball in the hoop efficiently.

The Cyclones,  seeded 10th, currently sit at (23-11, 11-7). This game will be similar to the Iona game in that ISU scores a lot of points (80 per game) yet freely gives up points (71 per game). This is quite the contrast to OSU’s defensive average of 58 ppg, while having given up 71 or more seven times this year.
Meanwhile, Ohio State rolls into their next NCAA game after beating Iona College, running their winning streak to 9 games. Winning streaks are good, particularly in tournament play. The players are coming together as a team in the respect that with the recent emergence of Sam Thompson (20 points, 10 rebounds vs Iona) and the resurgence of Evan Ravenal (11 points, 4 rebounds, 3 blocks). The Buckeyes are more effective by presenting additional, reliable scoring options.

Although I think that Iowa State is a very talented team, they may be in for a shock. After all, Iowa beat them.. This is a team of contrasts in that ISU is at or near the top of Big 12 scoring, yet at or near the bottom of Big 12 defense. Again, similar profile to Iona and consistent with Big 12 approach to football and basketball defenses.. meh.

Below is the usual set of tables with relevant performance information will be pulled from the excellent site at Statsheet.
Iowa State
The Cyclones outfought the Fighting Irish to get to this point. ISU will start Chris Babb (G, 6‘7“), Will Clyburn (G,6’7”) , Korey Lucious (G, 5‘11“), Melvin Ejim (F, 6’6”) and Georges Niang (F, 6’7”). If Korey Lucious sounds familiar,  prior to playing for Iowa State, he played for three years for Tom Izzo at Michigan State. Chris Babb as well; he spent a couple years at Penn State. Key stats for starters:

#2 C. Babb 31 33.5 9.3 40.9 74.5 37.8 3.4 2.3 1.0
#21 W. Clyburn 33 31.4 15.0 44.7 76.3 31.5 7.1 2.1 2.7
#13 K. Lucious 33 31.0 9.9 36.6 81.0 34.7 1.8 5.7 3.3
#3 M. Ejim 33 27.1 11.2 51.3 69.7 35.5 9.3 1.3 1.8
#31 G. Niang 33 24.7 12.0 50.7 70.1 38.9 4.5 1.8 1.5

Ohio State
For your reviewing pleasure, your OSU starters; Aaron Craft (G, 6’2”), Lenzelle Smith, Jr. (G, 6’4”), DeShaun Thomas (F, 6’7”), Sam Thompson (F,6’7”) and Amir Williams (C, 6’11”). Seeing significant playing time will be Shannon Scott (G, 6’1”), Evan Ravenal (C/F, 6’8”) and LaQuinton Ross (F, 6’8”). Key stats for starters:

#1 D. Thomas 33 35.3 19.5 43.7 83.6 33.7 6.2 1.3 1.3
#4 A. Craft 33 34.1 9.9 43.3 79.3 29.6 3.6 4.6 1.9
#32 L. Smith Jr. 33 27.5 9.5 43.6 67.7 37.3 4.9 1.5 1.3
#12 S. Thompson 33 24.3 7.4 50.3 64.9 40.8 3.2 0.9 0.9
#23 A. Williams 33 16.8 3.8 57.6 55.8 0.0 4.0 0.1 0.8

The below table has the comparative Four Factors as well as possessions per game (PPP), points per possession – offense (PPP-O) and points allowed per possession (PPP-D).

    eFG%      TO%    Off Reb    FT Rate    PPG   PPP (O)   PPP (D)
Iowa State 53.6% 18.6% 34.6% 33.1% 71 1.12 1.00
Ohio State 50.8% 16.6% 32.3% 34.2% 64 1.09 0.91

Thad demonstrating proper NCAA etiquette.

Fred Hoiberg’s team presents an interesting challenge in that aside from Korey Lucious, everyone else is 6’6” or 6’7”. This makes for a tall’ish backcourt and a short’ish frontcourt. Craft, Smith and Scott will need to play sound, position defense on ISU’s guards, as well as expect some frontline help on defense if the OSU guards get posted. Iowa State is a very strong, athletic team, with a lot more versatility in scoring (inside, 3-point) than Iona showed on Friday.

On the other hand, OSU is far more athletic than Notre Dame. The Buckeyes will bring a more formidable defense and won’t throw the ball away as the Irish did. Thad still again needs to get his charges out to a solid start. OSU needs to continue to play the same type of tenacious, sound positioning with their perimeter defense. Iowa State doesn’t seem to do a whole lot well, that just do everything pretty decently. If OSU does that, and runs an offense with sensible shot selection, OSU will get enough points for the win. Iowa State will give up the points. The Buckeyes really needs to play efficient ball at this point.
Tip-off is Sunday, March 24th at 12:15 PM (EST). The game will be aired on CBS. The live Game Chat will begin 15 minutes prior to tip-off. Please join us.

Comment On Article