Iowa State hoping their disruptive defense can help them beat a disciplined Miami team
CHICAGO, Illinois (KCRG) - In their upset win over Wisconsin, Iowa State forced 17 turnovers. It was uncharacteristic for the Badgers, who lead the country in fewest turnovers allowed per game.
Iowa State is hoping to break a similar trend again. Their next opponent, Miami, only coughed the ball up 9.2 times per game this season, ranking sixth in the nation.
“They’re a team that want a flow and a pace offensively to generate the open court,” said head coach T.J. Otzelberger. “We’re a team that prides itself on being a very gritty, half court defensive team who pressure the basketball and dictates what we want to do.”
Otzelberger said the team that wins the turnover battle will punch their ticket to the Elite Eight on Friday.
“(They’re a) team that can really turn you over and we need to do a great job of having toughness with the basketball, because those turnovers turn into points for them really quickly on the other end,” Otzelberger said.
The Cyclones know they will have to be sound on defense, which is why their first 15 minutes of practice at the United Center, were dedicated to getting into the defensive mindset.
“We play trying to turn over teams. Try and make them speed up on the offensive end,” said senior Gabe Kalscheur. “Just be in the gaps, being active with our hands and communication is key.”
The Cyclones said they believe playing in the Big 12 has prepared them for their Miami meeting. Their 7-11 record in conference play is a testament to how Big 12 teams grind it out defensively.
“The Big 12 is one of the most dominant defensive leagues in the country and that’s something we showcase on a daily basis when we go out and play nonconference teams,” said freshman Tyrese Hunter. “When we are playing in the Big 12, you know it’s physical every night.”
This will mark the two programs’ second all-time meeting. The last was in 2016 where the Cyclones won that meeting. ISU hopes to do it again on Friday night.
The game is set for 9:00 P.M.
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