Game 14: No. 5 Kansas at Iowa State – Preview and Prediction

The Jayhawks are 1-0 in conference play after defeating Oklahoma on Wednesday. Now, however, Kansas will travel to Ames for their first Big 12 road game of the season. Iowa State is coming off a 69-63 win over Oklahoma State to improve to a record of 11-2. With Lindell Wigginton and Solomon Young returning to action for the first time since November, Iowa State will look to push Kansas to their limit.

AUDIO PREVIEW: LINK (go to 73:15 mark of podcast)

Game Info and Notes:

  • Saturday, January 5th, 2019 at 4:00 PM CDT
  • Hilton Coliseum, Ames, Iowa
  • ESPN2
  • This will be the 166th meeting between Kansas and Iowa State, with KU leading the all-time series 117-48. Kansas was able to sweep ISU last season, but before that Iowa State, had won at least one game each year against Kansas since the 2013-14 season.
  • In the Bill Self era, the Jayhawks have never lost their first Big 12 road game. Another ridiculous Bill Self stat.
  • Since he became a consistent minutes contributor in his sophomore year, Lagerald Vick has averaged 10 points per game against Iowa State. Look for that number to go up this year.
About the Cyclones

Iowa State’s best player is sophomore guard Lindell Wigginton. Due to injury, though, he’s only played in three games this season. In his absence, Virginia transfer Marial Shayok has averaged nearly 20 points per game. Other than Shayok, the Cyclones have two players averaging 10 or more points per game. Junior forward Micheal Jacobson averages 14.5 points, and freshman guard Talen Horton-Tucker averages 13.6.

Iowa State isn’t a very tall team, with only one player at 6’10” or taller. However, they have five players that shoot at least 33% from three, and given that Kansas gives up a lot of open looks from three, that could be a problem.

Cyclones to Watch

Lindell Wigginton – Sophomore, Guard, 6’2″

It’s hard to preview Wigginton because he’s only played in three games. In those three games, though, Wigginton has scored 13, 15, and 17 points. He’s one of the best players in the Big 12 when healthy. It seemed like he was going to leave for the NBA after last season, but opted to return to school after a trip to the NBA combine.

Wigginton is very athletic and an excellent shooter. Devon Dotson and Marcus Garrett will probably take turns guarding him throughout the game. It’s a tough assignment, as Wigginton is the type of player that can put up 20 points in a heart beat.

Marial Shayok – Senior, Guard, 6’6″

Shayok has had an impressive start to the season, averaging 19.8 points, and 5.6 rebounds per game. He doesn’t have as much flash in his game as Wigginton, but his stats are still impressive. Shayok is shooting 50% from the floor, 34% from three, and 87% from the line. 34% from three isn’t fantastic, but as Kansas fans we’d love for a couple of our players to shoot 34% from the behind the arc (I’m looking at you Quentin Grimes, and you too Marcus Garrett).

Prediction

Kansas 84 – Iowa State 81

Iowa State is going to hit a few threes, no doubt about it. Hilton Coliseum will be rocking. But I think Kansas gets a few threes of their own though as this game will be a little bit of a track meet.

This feels like a game where Lagerald Vick hits five or six threes and drops 26 points. Quentin Grimes had a decent game against Oklahoma, and I think he will have a similar output in Ames. Once again, Kansas should have the advantage down low with Dedric Lawson and Udoka Azubuike. Look for Dotson to have a huge night as he’ll get a lot of transition opportunities to get easy buckets and assists.

The Cyclones are one of the best teams in the Big 12 and will give Kansas everything they have. This was my favorite road game to watch every year in the Georges Niang and Monte Morris years, and ever since, this has been the best rivalry in the Big 12. Kansas wins this one in another classic in Ames.


Landen Fields

I’m a junior in high school. I’m also homeschooled, which gives me the ability to watch ESPN all day. I love the Jayhawks, and I love to write about them. I’m also a huge fan of Star Wars, Marvel, and action/sci-fi movies. I hope to have a career in sports media one day, and I am grateful for this first step into a larger world.