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Men's College Basketball
Preview
Drake vs Iowa St.
When: 5:00 PM ET, Saturday, December 20, 2014
Where: Wells-Fargo Arena, Tempe, Arizona

At 8-1 and ranked 13th nationally, Iowa State is in strong shape as it enters its final three non-conference tune-ups. Still, the Cyclones are getting an early Christmas gift Saturday when highly touted junior college transfer (by way of Marquette) Jameel McKay becomes eligible and is expected to play against Drake. The game is part of the annual Hy-Vee Big Four Classic and will be played at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.

McKay is a 6-9 center with a 7-4 wingspan who averaged 16.2 points and 8.9 rebounds in two seasons at Indian Hills Community College in Marshalltown, Iowa, while garnering back-to-back first-team All-NJCAA All-America honors. He originally transferred to play for hometown Marquette in 2013 but soon decided it wasn’t the best of fits and decided to join former Indian Hills teammate Dustin Hogue at Iowa State. “I think we need to be a little patient with (McKay) because he's been out for a year and a half,” Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg told the Associated Press. “But he's one of those kids who will impact the game with his energy.”

TV: 5 p.m. ET, no TV

ABOUT DRAKE (2-8): The Missouri Valley Conference Bulldogs snapped a five-game losing skid and won for the first time since Nov. 25 in beating Jackson State 76-66 on Monday. Freshman guard Reed Timmer (11 points per game) had a team-high 19 points in the win and joins senior backcourt mate Gary Ricks Jr. (11.7 points) in averaging double digits, while 7-footer Jacob Envold Jensen is averaging 7.3 and a team-high six rebounds. Drake’s shooting percentages – 47.3 from the field, 40.5 from 3-point range and 76.3 from the free-throw stripe – are deceptively strong for a 2-8 team, but the Bulldogs have a minus-3.3 rebounding margin and are averaging 15.7 turnovers per outing.

ABOUT IOWA STATE (8-1): Since falling to Maryland on Nov. 25, the Cyclones have reeled off five straight wins – all by double digits – and are shooting 53.4 percent from the field during that run. Iowa State is leading the Big 12 in scoring at 84.8 points per game, and has two of the conference’s top-three point-producers in Georges Niang (No. 1 with 17.8 points per game) and UNLV graduate transfer Bryce Dejean-Jones (third with 17.3). Naz Long (12.8 points), Hogue (11.6) and Monte Morris (11.2) are also scoring in double figures, while Dejean-Jones is pacing the team with 6.8 rebounds per game and Morris is averaging a Big 12-best 5.8 assists.

TIP-INS

1. Iowa State owns a 107-65 series lead against Drake and last season marked the first since 1937-38 that they didn’t play.

2. The Cyclones have won four in a row against in-state foes and are 2-0 in the Big Four Classic.

3. Iowa State ranks third nationally in free-throw accuracy at 77.5 percent through Wednesday's games while Drake’s 76.3 success rate ranks 13th.

PREDICTION: Iowa State 78, Drake 58

Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Neutral Day Night Conf
Drake 2-8 W1 2-2 0-3 0-3 0-7 2-1 0-0
Iowa St. 8-1 W5 6-0 1-0 1-1 1-0 7-1 0-0
Last Meeting
Drake Iowa St.
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
12/15/12 DRKE 77 ISU 86 77 28 43.5 86 44 44.1
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Drake S. VanDeest 18 80.0 2
Iowa St. M. Ejim 21 50.0 11
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Drake J. Clarke 7 2 5
Iowa St. M. Ejim 11 2 9
Assists Player  
Drake R. Carter 4
Iowa St. M. Ejim 4
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Drake R. Timmer 110 41.1 28
Iowa St. G. Niang 160 50.5 42
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Drake J. Enevold Jensen 60 15 45
Iowa St. G. Niang 55 10 45
Assists Player  
Drake R. Timmer 29
Iowa St. M. Morris 52
Quickchart Matchup
Drake Off vs  Iowa St. Defense
61.8 Points For
70.1 Points Against
47.3 FG%
42.7 FG%
23.7 Reb
29.1 Reb
Iowa St. Off vs  Drake Defense
84.8 Points For
70.6 Points Against
50.2 FG%
47.8 FG%
29.1 Reb
26.8 Reb