As far as basketball is concerned, the Lloyd Noble Center continues to be one of the most difficult stops on the Big XII circuit. Sure, the Oklahoma Sooners have dropped a conference game in front of a home crowd this season. However, Buddy Hield and the gang posted an average win margin of 22.75 points against conference foes in Norman. Now, the Iowa State Cyclones come to town hoping to buck the trend. Can Coach Fred Hoiberg and Georges Niang become the second team to walk away from Norman with a win in their pocket? Here are three questions the Cyclones must answer if they plan on securing a win.
Can Iowa State Consistently Get Stops?
The Cyclones have the ability to score in bunches. Behind go to type players like Georges Niang and Bryce Dejean-Jones the group averages a league high 79.9 points per game while shooting 48.9% from the floor ranking 11th in the nation in both categories. But, the script flips when it comes to defense. Giving up a conference worst 68.1 points each outing, the Cyclones must rely on their ability to outscore their opponent. On the road in a hostile environment against a team that possesses Buddy Hield, that may prove difficult to do.
Will the Cyclones Be Able To Contend With Oklahoma's Rebounders?
By no stretch are the Sooners the best rebounding team in the conference. However, with the undersized duo of Ryan Spangler and TaShawn Thomas, Oklahoma proved they have the skill set to get the job done. Not only do rebounds spring OU into their transition offense but it also allows for second chance point opportunities making the Sooners extremely difficult to defeat.
Against the more physical teams in the Big XII, ISU has lost the battle on the boards leading to an eventual slip up.
Can Fred Hoiberg Pick Up A Big Conference Road Win?
After a playing a single true road game in the non-conference portion of the schedule, Iowa State added another four to their resume. Of those four league road contest, the Cyclones have lost three including one to cellar dweller Texas Tech. The lone win comes against a ranked West Virginia squad. However, Hoiberg desire to unseat Bill Self and the Jayhawks, the Cyclones need to prove that win wasn't a fluke. With another opportunity to secure a conference win on the road, will ISU seize the moment?