Scouting Iowa State

News, notes and quotes on No. 3 KU's matchup against Iowa State tonight at 8:00 (CT) on ESPN2 in Ames at Hilton Coliseum while hoping the Jayhawks (15-0) start conference play with an impressive victory and win their 20th straight conference opener dating back to the 1991-92 season.

SCOUTING IOWA STATE

Iowa State (13-3, 0-1 in Big 12), which was picked last in the preseason coaches' Big 12 poll, has surprised people with its impressive start.

The Cyclones had won seven straight before falling at Nebraska, 63-62, on Saturday. ISU had the ball with the score tied at 62 with under 10 seconds left when NU's Lance Jeter stole the ball from Diante Garrett. Jeter was fouled and hit one free throw with  0:00.4 seconds left to win the game.

Iowa State, which is 10-1 at home this season, has such wins over Creighton, Iowa and Virginia, while losing at NU, Northern Iowa (60-54) on  Dec. 1 and to California at home (76-73) on Dec. 4.  In all three losses, the score was tied with less than a minute remaining in the game.

Garrett, a senior guard, leads five players in double figures with 17.1 points per game, while also pacing the team with 93 assists (5.8 apg leads Big 12) and 36 steals. He's followed in scoring by junior guard Scott Christopherson (14.3 ppg, team-high 48 threes and Big 12-best 50.5 three-point field goal percentage), freshman forward Melvin Ejim (12.7 ppg, 7.1 rpg), senior guard Jake Anderson (11.3 ppg, Big 12-best 8.5 rpg) and senior forward Jamie Vanderbeken (10.8 ppg, team-high 36 blocks).

Christopherson has been bothered by an injured right elbow. ISU's second-leading scorer had just six points on 2 of 7 shooting against Nebraska.

"It's trying to extend it as far as I can and a flick of the wrist at the end," Christopherson told gocyclones.com. "(The injury) makes it really hard to judge some of the shots."

ISU averages 76.7 points per game while allowing 59.4. The Cyclones are shooting 45.2 percent from the field, 38.8 percent from three-point range, and 68.5 percent at the free-throw line. They're holding opponents to 36.2 percent shooting and 28.2 percent from beyond the arc, while outrebounding foes 39.4 to 37.2 boards per game.

The Cyclones lead the Big 12 and rank 34th nationally in three-point percentage. They also lead the conference in three-point field goals made per game while ranking 16th in the nation. Iowa State ranks second in the Big 12 and fourth nationally in opponent field goal percentage. The Cyclones have held 12 opponents to below 40 percent shooting from the field.

ISU will be facing its biggest test of the season against KU.

"We are going to have to play almost a perfect game to give ourselves a chance to win," Iowa State head coach Fred Hoiberg told gocylcones.com. "They are big. They are strong. They are physical. They shoot the hell out of it, and they are fast, and they really run."

"THE MAYOR"

Hoiberg, nicknamed "The Mayor" during his ISU basketball career, is in his first year as head coach in Ames. He's the most popular Cyclones' player of all time who also had a 10-year career in the NBA. Hoiberg is just the third coach in school history to start his Cyclone career at 6-0.

The former guard averaged 17.4 points and 6.1 rebounds in nine games against KU in his ISU career, going 4-5 versus the Jayhawks. He exploded for 32 points, including 17 straight in the second half, to lead ISU to a 69-65 upset over No. 3 KU on Jan. 14, 1995 in Ames. He was 6 of 12 from three-point range.

HONORING JOHNNY ORR

Johnny Orr, the legendary former Cyclone coach, will be honored before the game. Iowa State will unveil a statue of Orr that will be permanently displayed on the outside of the donor area along with memorabilia of his coaching career. ISU will also have its grand opening of "Johnny's," a large sports bar-themed area for donors on the east concourse of Hilton Coliseum.

Orr is Iowa State's all-time winningest coach (218-200), leading the Cyclones to six NCAA tournament appearances and five 20-win seasons in his 14 years as head coach (1981-94).

Hoiberg played for Orr at Iowa State.

"The best memories I have about Johnny were after my playing days were over at Iowa State, playing golf with him," Hoiberg told gocyclones.com. "I was fortunate enough to go on a couple of speaking tours with Johnny around the state, just how much fun it was."

THE SERIES

Kansas leads the all-time series with Iowa State 168-58 dating back to 1908. KU has won the last 10 meetings. Kansas holds a 65-36 record against ISU in games played in Ames, including a 21-18 edge in Hilton Coliseum. The Jayhawks have beaten the Cyclones six-straight times in Hilton Coliseum dating back to 2005. KU's last loss in Hilton came in Self's first year at KU, 68-61, on Jan. 31, 2004.

BREWSTER ACADEMY REUNION

Ejim and Kansas sophomore Thomas Robinson were teammates at Brewster Academy in New Hampshire.

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