Next up for Illini in Maui: Iowa State

Next up for Illini in Maui: Iowa State

Beat writer Scott Richey breaks down today's second round matchup between the Illini and Cyclones in the Maui InvitationalIllinois vs. Iowa State

4 p.m. today

Lineups

Illinois (1-2)

Starters

P Name Yr. Ht. PPG Hometown

G Trent Frazier So. 6-1 19.5 Wellington, Fla.

G Ayo Dosunmu Fr. 6-5 16.3 Chicago

G Aaron Jordan Sr. 6-5 9.3 Plainfield

F Kipper Nichols R-Jr. 6-6 9.3 Cleveland

F Giorgi Bezhanishvili Fr. 6-9 12.0 Rustavi, Georgia

FYI: Nichols played just 9 minutes, 14 seconds in Illinois' Maui opener against No. 3 Gonzaga because of foul trouble that started when he picked up his first two in the first 4 1/2 minutes of the game.

Off the bench

P Name Yr. Ht. PPG Hometown

G Da'Monte Williams So. 6-3 7.3 Peoria

G Andres Feliz Jr. 6-2 10.3 Guachupita, D.R.

G Alan Griffin Fr. 6-5 5.0 Ossining, N.Y.

Iowa State (3-1)

Starters

P Name Yr. Ht. PPG Hometown

G Nick Weiler-Babb Sr. 6-5 11.8 Arlington, Texas

G Tyrese Haliburton Fr. 6-5 6.3 Oshkosh, Wis.

G Talen Horton-Tucker Fr. 6-4 15.0 Chicago

F Marial Shayok R-Sr. 6-6 19.8 Ottawa, Ont.

F Michael Jacobson R-Jr. 6-9 16.0 Waukee, Iowa

FYI: Weiler-Babb's healthy return this season has been key for the Cyclones with sophomore point guard Lindell Wigginton out with a strained left foot. Running the point, Weiler-Babb is also averaging six rebounds and 4.8 assists.

Off the bench

P Name Yr. Ht. PPG Hometown

F Zion Griffin Fr. 6-6 2.0 Darien

F George Conditt IV Fr. 6-10 1.7 Chicago

F Terrence Lewis So. 6-6 1.3 Milwaukee, Wis.

Details

Site: Lahaina Civic Center (2,400), Lahaina, Hawaii.

Radio: Brian Barnhart (play-by-play) and former Illini Deon Thomas (analysis) will have the call on the Illini Sports Network on WDWS 1400-AM, WHMS 97.5-FM, WDAN 1490-AM, WDNL 102.1-FM and WPXN 104.9-FM.

TV: ESPN2.

Series history: Illinois leads 11-2.

Last meeting: Iowa State won 85-73 on Nov. 28, 2015, in Niceville, Fla.

FYI: The last matchup between Illinois and Iowa State also came during the Thanksgiving week. The Illini hung with the No. 4 Cyclones in the first half — trailing by just one point — before Georges Niang and Co. pulled away in the second half. Malcolm Hill had a team-high 20 points for Illinois, but it was also the game the Illini lost center Mike Thorne for the rest of the season (save for one January game against Indiana).

Scott Richey storylines

RECOGNIZE THOSE GUYS?

Anyone that follows Illinois basketball recruiting closely — or maybe even not that closely — will recognize several players on the Iowa State roster. In fact, former Illini recruiting targets make up half of the Cyclones' eight available scholarship players. The big one? Pretty obvious that it's former Simeon standout and nearly Illini Talen Horton-Tucker. The 17-year-old freshman guard has been in Iowa State's starting lineup from game one and had a breakout 26-point performance in the Cyclones' pre-Maui win against Texas Southern. Iowa State coach Steve Prohm dipped heavily into the Chicagoland area in the 2018 class, also adding Corliss big man George Conditt IV and Hinsdale South wing Zion Griffin. The Cyclones also have a former John Groce era Illini recruiting target in sophomore wing Terrence Lewis, who "beat" Illinois freshman Giorgi Bezhanishvili in a dance contest leading up to the tournament.

PRESSURE DEFENSE

Illinois forced 22 Gonzaga turnovers in its Maui opener. Most notable among those 22? Bulldogs' veteran point guard Josh Perkins coughing it up seven times, which more than doubled his total turnovers from the three previous games. "I'll take that every single night," Illinois coach Brad Underwood said. "We were turning a high major, elite point guard on a top five team over seven times. Now he got his. He got his assists (nine for the game), but the thing was that number became half their team assists (16 total), and that's something that we strive for a lot."

BOMBS AWAY

Iowa State is going to put up three-pointers. The Cyclones shot 24 of them in their first-round loss to Arizona. The problem? They made just four. Only Nick Weiler-Babb shot better than 25 percent, making 2 of 4 shots from deep. Marial Shayok might have put up 19 points for Iowa State against the Wildcats, but he was 1 of 5 from three-point range. Horton-Tucker missed all four of his attempts. "I bet a third of them we didn't need," Prohm said. "Too many quick, contested threes, I thought, to where I thought when we really got good ball movement — we really opened up gaps — I thought we got really good things. ... But it was just too many contested, too many quick shots, and then we were back on defense. We have got to be more fundamentally sound offensively."

Prediction: Illinois 83, Iowa State 77 

The Illini face a seriously short turnaround for today's game after finishing up against Gonzaga about 9 p.m. Monday night local time and having to play again at noon in Lahaina. But the momentum from nearly knocking off a top three team in the country — the opportunity was there down two with less than 1 minute to play — could well carry over against the Cyclones. (N-G prediction record: 2-1)

 

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