Minnesota-Iowa State BB Preview

Minnesota hopes to improve to 3–0 as they face Iowa State (4-0) Tuesday night at Williams Arena. The Cyclones last faced Minnesota in the 2005 NCAA Tournament as they defeated the Gophers 64-53 on March 18th. Amazingly, only three players (Rahshon Clark of Iowa State and Dan Coleman and Spencer Tollackson of Minnesota) have participated in that contest will play Tuesday night.

Iowa State is coached by Greg McDermott, who replaced Wayne Morgan. McDermott previously coached at Northern Iowa, where he led the Panthers to three consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. The Cyclones have won four home games by an average of nine points over UC Riverside, Louisiana-Monroe, Eastern Illinois and Norfolk State. The Gophers are 2-0 after wins last week over North Dakota State and Long Island.

Minnesota leads 17-10 in the all-time series, 13-3 in Minneapolis. Iowa State won the last meeting in Minneapolis in 1992, 76-73.

The Cyclones lost their top two scorers from last year when Curtis Stinson and Will Blalock decided to turn pro early. They return four of their top ten scorers and welcome four JC transfers and five freshmen (including one redshirt).

The Cyclones are led by 6-foot-2 guard Michael Taylor, who was offered a scholarship by Minnesota. Taylor has scored in double figures in his first three games. However, he has been turnover-prone as he has 14 assists compared to his 28 miscues. He had eight turnovers in the opener and eleven in their last game versus Norfolk State. Taylor is an athletic guard who is averaging a team-best 14.8 points per game.

Wesley Johnson, a 6-foot-7 freshman forward has posted a double-double in two of his first four games and scored double figures three times. He is an outstanding athlete with a 41-inch vertical. Johnson is averaging eleven points and nine rebounds per game.

Point guard Corey McIntosh is the other JC transfer in the starting lineup. He was the 2006 California Junior College Player of the Year. McIntosh is averaging 7.8 points and 2.5 assists per game.

Rahshon Clark is a three-year starter who is averaging a team-best 9.3 rebounds and 7.3 points per game.

Duluth East standout Cory Johnson is averaging 6.8 points and 3.3 rebounds per game. He is shooting 61.5% from the field and 83.3% from the line. Johnson received recruiting interest from Minnesota, bit decided to ink with Iowa State when the Gophers failed to extend a scholarship offer.

The Cyclones have struggled with their shooting all season as they are making just 41.1% from the field and 27.4% from beyond the arc. They have 64 turnovers compared to 43 assists.

They have done a good job on the defensive end as they have limited teams to 35.6% shooting from the field and 21.4% from three-point range.

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