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What you need to Know: BYU vs Iowa State (Basketball Edition)

In a match-up of two up-tempo teams, the 21st ranked Cyclones of Iowa State will visit BYU on Wednesday night. The Cyclones are coming of a shocking upset of the #7 ranked Michigan Wolverines and are looking to beat BYU in their first road game.

Nate Austin pulls down a rebound against Baylor
Nate Austin pulls down a rebound against Baylor

The History

BYU has played Iowa State five times in the history of the two programs. The first game was played in 1931 and the latest took place in 2012. All five games have ended the same way, with a BYU loss. BYU is looking to change their luck against the 21st ranked Cyclones on Wednesday in the Marriott Center.

Ames, IA 2012 (0-5)

In the first true road game of the season, the Cougars traveled to Ames to take on a very strong Cyclones team. The game started off close with the Cougars taking the lead 22-20 on a Nate Austin three-point field goal but a couple of runs put the Cyclones up by 11, 48-37, at the half. Even with a stellar performance by Brandon Davies, the Cougars lost the game in the second half. With another 10-4 run to start the second half the Cyclones took a 17 point lead and the Cougars were unable to pull any closer than 12 points in the second half. Davies ended up with 20 points and Matt Carlino added 12 points. No other Cougar had double-digit scoring. Iowa State senior guard Will Clyburn ended with a career high 32 points and hit 9-16 shots. He was joined by junior Melvin Ejim (13) and senior Korie Lucious (12) in double digits.

The Outlook

After a 4-0 start on the year, the Cougars are looking to reach their fifth win on the year when they welcome the Cyclones onto their court. The Cougars have wins against Weber State and Stanford and look to increase their resume before WCC play starts in late December. The Cougars have played well in their games this year but still have a number of things to work on before they play the tougher teams on the schedule.

The Positives

The Cougars offense hit their stride against Stanford and Mount St. Mary's as they topped 100 points both time. The team was sharing the ball and their shots were falling. Against Colorado Mesa the Cougars scored 84 points while only being credited with making one three-point shot. If the team continues to share the ball, and allow everyone to play to their strengths, the Cougars could be unstoppable. In the last two games, the Cougars have had six players score in double digits while Tyler Haws has been out with a strained abdominal.

One of the aspects that has been overlooked is the number of assists credited to the Cougars. Against Mount St. Mary's the Cougars assisted on 26 of their 41 field goals. Against Colorado Mesa BYU recorded an assist on 14 of the 26 made field goals. As the team continues to make the extra pass, the defenses will find it harder to stay with the shooters and this will continue to open up the offense for the Cougars.

The Negatives

Just like the first four games, missed free throws continue to plague the Cougars. Through four games the Cougars are only shooting 67 percent from the charity stripe and Haws, their top free throw shooter, has only connected on 72 percent of his free throws. Up to now this has not cost them a game but as they face stronger teams, this will cause problems and they could drop games that would otherwise be wins if they don't clean this up.

Thanks in part to a 4.8 three-point shooting percentage night against Colorado Mesa, the Cougars are only hitting 32 percent of their three-point shots on the year. The only saving factor is that they are also keeping their opponents to 33 percent from the arc. The Cougars had improved in the first couple games, but they need Matt Carlino to shoot a higher percentage than the current 20 percent he is currently shooting from three-point land.

The Match-ups

This game was circled before the season but become even more interesting with the Cyclones shocking win over the seventh ranked Wolverines of Michigan. Iowa State is loaded with talent that will make up for some of the size that they will give up to the Cougars' big men. With the game being played in Provo, the fans have a chance to make a difference if they come ready to cheer loud. Iowa State built themselves a platform to stand on Sunday night and now it is up to BYU to knock them off and take their place.

The Keys to Watch

When Iowa State as the ball: Look for the Cyclones to get the ball into the hands of their guard DeAndre Kane. Although he is averaging more than 14 points a game, the most important stat is his 5.5 assists. He will distribute the ball to the Cyclones star Melvin Ejim who is coming of an injury but still put up 22 points on the seventh ranked Michigan Wolverines. The Cougars' defense will have problems guarding Ejim, but if they have success slowing him down they will still have guard Naz Long to keep an eye on.

When BYU has the ball: Look for the Cougars to continue to share the ball and try to control the tempo of the game. BYU struggled when Colorado Mesa slowed the pace of the game. When the Cougars were able to speed up the game, the offense opened up and they pulled away. Look for the Cyclones to keep the pace slower so that they can defend the shooters. Until other players prove they will hit shots, look for the defense to focus on Haws, if he is able to play. If not look for them to take Carlino out of the game and make the other Cougars win it.

Interesting Tidbit

Iowa State head coach Fred Hoiberg started off his Cyclone career as a young ball boy. In 1986, he was thrust onto the scene when star ISU star Jeff Hornacek landed on Hoiberg and sprained his ankle, missing the rest of the game. Later in his career he was quoted as saying, "[i]njuring the best player in school history wasn't how I wanted to be remembered." For a full profile on Coach Hoiber, click here.

The Broadcasting Details

Time: 7:30 PM MST

Where: Marriott Center-Provo, Utah


Internet: WatchESPN

Radio (BYU): KSL 1160 AM/102.7 FM, BYU Radio-Sirius XM 143

Listen Live via Internet (KSL): Click Here