Iowa State will begin its quest to return to the national rankings when it hosts Western Michigan on Sunday in Ames, Iowa.
The Cyclones (8-2) fell out of the Top 25 last week after dropping a 75-56 decision at Iowa on Dec. 8. They rebounded with a 77-40 victory over McNeese last Sunday.
Jaren Holmes is averaging a team-high 14.2 points, followed by Caleb Grill (9.6) and top reserve Gabe Kalscheur (9.4). Aljaz Kunc has recorded a club-best 6.2 rebounds to go along with 8.9 points.
Coach T.J. Otzelberger said this week he wants to see the Cyclones play more aggressively.
“When you’re the more aggressive team, defense seems to lead to the aggressive offense,” Otzelberger said. “So when we’re generating turnovers, whether it’s a live ball or charges or they’re (the other team) throwing it out of bounds, it gives us an aggressive mentality to come down and attack.”
The game could include the Cyclones’ debut of forward Tre King, who sat out last season after transferring from Eastern Kentucky.
“We want to get Tre into the game, and I don’t know when exactly that will come,” Otzelberger said. “Getting him in and getting him comfortable and being part of it will be important.”
The Broncos (3-7) are coming off a 62-56 home loss to Illinois-Chicago.
Lamar Norman Jr. is averaging 18.6 points despite being held to five against the Flames.
Titus Wright (7.9 points, 5.3 rebounds per game) Tafari Simms (7.9, 3.9) and Markeese Hastings (6.9, 8.6) helped Western Michigan outscore Illinois-Chicago 36-22 in the paint.
“We have been emphasizing paint touches more, whether it be off post-ups or off of driving the ball,” coach Dwayne Stephens said.
Tray Maddox Jr. (10.7 points, 4.2 rebounds per game) started the past two games after having come off the bench during his first four games.
This will be the teams’ first meeting.
–Field Level Media