USA Today

TEXAS HOOPS LOOKS TO SWEEP IOWA STATE

Saturday night in Ames, it will be Shaka Smart's first attempt to stuff the so-called "Hilton Magic." Smart is 2-0 lifetime vs Iowa State coach Steve Prohm, also in his first year, who was at Murray State when Smart's VCU team beat him.

* Texas hoops, which beat Iowa State in Austin, visits Hilton Coliseum tonight at 7:30 pm on ESPN

No. 24 Texas (16-8, 7-4 Big 12) at No. 14 Iowa State (17-7, 6-5 Big 12)

Iowa State has lost three of its last four and finds itself 6-5 in Big 12 play (17-7 overall) as it prepares for Texas (16-8, 7-4 B12). ISU, normally a bully at home, has already lost three home games - to Northern Iowa, Baylor and WVU.

And Prohm is coming off what appears to be a critical week within his own locker room.

I'm told Iowa State senior big man Jameel McKay, who usually plays well vs Texas, apparently just skipped practice last Friday and Prohm announced later that day McKay was "suspended indefinitely."

At 8:39 pm CT last Friday, McKay tweeted: 1 game

https://twitter.com/ShowTime_McKay/status/695799063275438080

But McKay not only missed a 64-59 win at Oklahoma State last Saturday, he ended up missing the Cyclones' 85-82 OT upset loss at Texas Tech Wednesday night. (ISU squandered an 8-point lead with 5:52 to go.)

Surprise, surprise ... McKay's suspension went from indefinite to 2 games. He's been cleared to return by Prohm and will be back on the floor vs the Longhorns. 

My guess is either ISU comes out totally together after the week of turmoil or starts to show signs the team may be unraveling.

And that would be a BIG surprise considering this is a veteran ISU team (with my favorite point guard in the league - Monte Morris) that always played together and unselfishly under "The Mayor" - Fred Hoiberg.

• SUCCESS AGAINST THE BEST: Texas is 4-2 this year against AP Top 20 opponents, including a 2-2 mark in true road games against AP Top 15 teams. The Horns also are 2-2 this season against AP Top 10 teams with wins against No. 3 North Carolina and at No. 6 West Virginia.

• IMPROVING DEFENSE: The Longhorns held No. 3/3 Oklahoma to a season-low 63 points on 40% FG shooting during Monday's loss in Norman. In Big 12 games only, UT leads the league in scoring defense (65.2 ppg), FG percentage defense (.402) and 3-point FG percentage defense (.314). 

• IBEH'S RECENT IMPROVEMENTSenior center Prince Ibeh has averaged 9.6 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.4 blocks in 25.4 minutes per game over the last five contests. He has recorded double figures in rebounds in three of those five games, including  a career-high-tying 11 (5 offensive) in Monday's loss at No. 3/3 Oklahoma.

 


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