No. 20 Iowa State looks to remain hot against Baylor
Fresh off a takedown of then-No. 5 Kansas that vaulted Iowa State into the Top 25 at No. 20, the Cyclones are setting out to prove they should stay among the nation's elite.
Their first stop is Waco, Texas and a Tuesday night date with Baylor (8-5, 0-1 Big 12), who, according to coach Scott Drew, have already failed one test against the type of offense the Cyclones (12-0, 2-0) bring to town, an 85-81 loss at Texas Christian University on Saturday.
And the problem, Drew says, is that Iowa State does it even better.
TCU guard Alex Robinson feasted on penetrating the Bears' defense, and when he wasn't scoring, he was finding the open man for field goals, and sometimes 3-pointers.
"That's the tough thing. When you have good teams, it's pick your poison," Drew told reporters on Monday, saying the defenders have to decide whether to leave their man to double-team Robinson.
"If you help off of them, great, Alex gets rid of the ball, but the bad thing is, Alex was responsible for 43 points. He (scored) 18, but he had 25 in assists (including 3-pointers)."
The challenge the Cyclones bring is that they're "a lot more diverse as far as they have multiple guys that will get to the paint, similar to us, rather than one dominant guy."
The biggest threat for Iowa State is senior guard Marial Shayok, who is averaging 20.1 points and 5.6 rebounds in nearly 31 minutes a game.
Shayok scored a game-high 24 points, hitting all five of his 3-point attempts as he shot 9 of 12 from the field overall, in the 77-60 win over Kansas in Ames, Iowa.
Michael Jacobson and Talen Horton-Tucker, two more guards in coach Steve Prohm's four-guard offense, are averaging 14.1 and 12.9 points respectively, with Jacobson adding 6.5 rebounds a game.
Iowa State is averaging 82.1 points a game, and has topped 100 points twice.
The coaching staff has been preaching the need to keep an even keel, despite the increased attention that Saturday's win and the poll ranking is bringing, Prohm told reporters on Monday.
"We just finished the first week of the regular season. It was Game 2, and so, they all count the same. We need to play with the same focus and effort like everybody's Kansas, 'cause they're all Kansas, they all count the same," Prohm said.
Prohm said the Bears "bring a lot of challenges with their physicality and their size upfront, tremendous rebounding team, that's going to be a huge key to the game."
Baylor is holding opponents to 39.6 percent from the field, including 32 percent from 3-point range.
Forward Tristan Clark leads the Bears in scoring (14.5) and rebounding (6.5) and gets help on the boards from a fellow sophomore in guard Mario Kegler, who is averaging 6.0 rebounds to go with 9.0 points a game.
In the Bears' four-guard scheme, Makai Mason is averaging 14.1 points a game, and King McClure is adding 10.5 points.
--Field Level Media
Updated January 7, 2019