Cyclones Play Host To Albany
IOWA STATE (7-5, 0-0) VS. ALBANY (5-6, 0-0)
Dec. 30, 2007 • 7 p.m.• Ames, Iowa • Hilton Coliseum (14,376)
Radio: Cyclone Radio Network/Learfield
Talent: John Walters (pxp); Eric Heft (color)
Talent: B.J. Schaben (pxp); TBA (color)
The Iowa State-Albany game will be carried live on Mediacom. The game will also be webcasted through a Clone Zone subscription on cyclones.com.
-Iowa State (7-5) returns home to play host to Albany (5-6) in the first of three consecutive home non-conference contests before beginning Big 12 play.
-ISU, winners of four of its last five games, has won three consecutive non-conference home games.
-The Cyclones are coming off a successful run in the 2007 Findlay Toyota Las Vegas Classic, finishing second in the eight-team field with wins over Bethune-Cookman (80-57), Texas Southern (79-55) and Purdue (83-80)...ISU fell to Alabama (83-68) in the championship game.
-The win over Purdue gave ISU a 2-1 mark against Big Ten teams this season...ISU head coach Greg McDermott is 6-6 all-time against Big Ten teams as a head coach in his career.
-Offensively, the Cyclones have been a different team in their last four games...through its first eight games, ISU was ranked 318 out of 328 NCAA Division I teams in scoring offense at 57.2 ppg...in its last four games, ISU is averaging 77.5 ppg to raise its season scoring average to 64.0 ppg.
-ISU has shot above 50 percent in three of its last four games, averaging 49.8 percent from the field in that span.
Last Time Out
-Iowa State split its last two games in the Findlay Toyota Las Vegas Classic, defeating Purdue (83-80) and falling to Alabama (83-68) in the championship game.
-In the Purdue win, ISU shot 54.0 percent from the field and had five players score in double figures for the first time this season.
-Jiri Hubalek tallied 16 of his 18 points in the first five minutes of the second half, scoring the first 16 points of the half for the Cyclones.
-Diante Garrett tallied a career-high 14 points and handed out five assists in the win.
-After Purdue took its first lead of the second half at 69-67 with 4:32 left, Wesley Johnson scored seven-straight points to propel ISU to victory, as ISU made nine-of-its-last-12 shots at the free-throw line to ice the game...Johnson finished with 15 points.
-ISU outrebounded Purdue, 34-31 to outboard its third-straight opponent.
-In the Alabama game, ISU could not overcome the Crimson Tide’s hot shooting...UA shot 54.4 percent from the field and 64.7 percent from 3-point range (11-17 3FG).
-ISU fought hard early, shooting 51.7 percent in the first half to go into halftime at 40-40...but ISU shot just 36.7 percent in the second half.
-Wesley Johnson led ISU against Alabama, tallying a season-high 20 points, his second career 20-point outing...Johnson and Bryan Petersen each had three treys in the first half vs. the Crimson Tide.
-Rahshon Clark, who averaged 10.0 points and shot 75.0 percent from the floor in the two Las Vegas games, and Jiri Hubalek were named to the all-tournament team.
-Bryan Petersen continued his efficiency at the point guard position...Petersen ended his four-game streak of not having a turnover against Alabama...he now has 21 assists to just on turnover in his last five games.
-Along with reserve point guard Diante Garrett, the pair have combined for 35 assists and just seven turnovers in their last five games.
-ISU has had more assists than turnovers in seven of its last nine games.
-Craig Brackins tallied a block against Purdue and Alabama, keeping his streak alive of swatting a shot in every game this season...Brackins and Clark are tied for sixth in the Big 12 in blocked shots, averaging 1.5 bpg.
-In ISU’s last four games, the Cyclones have been an entirely different team offensively...ISU is averaging 77.5 points, shooting 49.8 percent from the field and 74.7 percent from the free-throw line in its last four contests.
Cyclone-Great Dane Quick Facts
-Iowa State and Albany will meet for the first time on Sunday.
-Albany is a member of the America East Conference, where it won the conference tournament title to gain an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament the past two seasons.
-ISU has a 2-0 record against schools in the America East Conference, defeating Hartford, 83-54 on Nov. 19, 2001 and Binghamton, 86-56 on Dec. 7, 2002.
-Two of Albany’s players will have a homecoming on Sunday in seniors Brian Lillis and Brent Wilson.
-Lillis, a native of Urbandale, prepped at Dowling High School in West Des Moines, earning second team Class 4A all-state honors as a senior.
-Wilson was as a first team Class 4A all-state honoree as a senior at Cedar Rapids Prairie High School.
-Lillis and Wilson both played on the same AAU Team (Martin Brothers) along with Cyclone forward Alex Thompson.
A Closer Look At Albany (5-6)
-Albany comes to Ames with a 5-6 mark after falling at home to Boise State, 74-68 on Dec. 22...the Great Danes, who won four of their first five games, have lost five of their last six contests.
-Two of Albany’s top players are native Iowans in seniors Brian Lillis and Brent Wilson...Lillis, a native of Urbandale, leads the team in scoring at 13.4 ppg.
-Wilson, who prepped at Cedar Rapids Prairie, is averaging 9.2 points and 5.4 rebounds per game...Wilson leads the team in 3-pointers (23) and assists (31).
-Freshman guard Tim Ambrose is averaging 9.3 ppg...Ambrose is shooting a team-high 54.0 percent from the field...Ambrose led the Great Danes against Duke, scoring a season-high 24 points.
-The Great Danes are an outstanding rebounding team, owning a +8.3 advantage over their opponents on the boards.
-Albany has five players averaging between 8.6-13.4 ppg.
-The Great Danes are shooting 69.2 percent from the free-throw line and 43.6 percent from the field.
-Albany has made the NCAA Tournament the last two seasons.
-Iowa State has a number of players on its roster with ties to the NBA.
-Freshman Charles Boozer and junior Sean Haluska have brothers who are on current NBA rosters. Boozer’s brother, Carlos, is one of the top post players in the NBA, making the 2006-07 All-Star team. Boozer averaged 20.9 points and 11.7 rebounds in 2006-07, leading the Utah Jazz to the Western Conference Finals. He is also a member of the USA Basketball Select team that will compete for a Gold medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
-Haluska’s brother, Adam, who played one year at Iowa State (2002-03) before transferring to Iowa, is a rookie with the New Orleans Hornets. Haluska led the Big Ten in scoring last year, averaging 20.5 ppg while earning first-team all-Big Ten honors.
-Freshman Diante Garrett also has outstanding basketball roots. His father, Dick, played five seasons in the NBA for the Los Angeles Lakers, Buffalo Braves, New York Knicks and Milwaukee Bucks, averaging 10.3 ppg. Garrett played in the 1970 NBA Finals for the Lakers against the Knicks.
70 Is The Magic Number
-Keeping the opposition from getting into a high-scoring game increases ISU’s chances of winning...in the McDermott era, ISU is 20-9 when its opponents score under 70 points...ISU has given up 70 points 14 times to its opponents since McDermott took over, going 2-12.
-ISU has two members of its team who graduated in December and are currently enrolled in graduate classes in seniors Jiri Hubalek and Mark Currie.
-Hubalek earned a degree in liberal arts and sciences and Currie graduated in civil engineering.
Assists Are Up; Turnovers Are Down
-ISU has done a remarkable job in fixing its early season distribution and turnover problems...in its first three games, ISU dished out only 38 assists (12.6 apg) and committed 56 turnovers (18.7 tpg).
-Since then, the Cyclones have handed out 124 assists (13.8 apg) and committed just 101 turnovers (11.2 tpg) in their last nine games...ISU has committed 10 or less turnovers in five of its last eight games and is averaging just 9.4 turnovers per game in its last five contests.
-Junior point guard Bryan Petersen has had a hand in the turnaround...Petersen has 21 assists and 1 turnover in the last five games...combined with reserve point guard Diante Garrett, the pair have 35 assists and just seven turnovers in the last five games.
-To say the Iowa State offense has been on its mark in its last four games is an understatement...the Cyclones struggled in the early part of the season primarily because three of its top scorers were battling injuries.
-With the Cyclones finally getting through their injury bug, the ISU lineup has been running on all cylinders.
-In its last four games, the Cyclones are averaging 77.5 points, shooting 49.8 percent from the field (111-223 FG), hitting 74.7 percent (62-83 FT) of its free-throws and making 35.6 percent (26-73 3FG) of its shots from downtown.
-Through eight games this season, the Cyclones were averaging 57.2 ppg, which ranked 318 of 328 Division I teams in scoring average...ISU has now moved its scoring average total to 64.0 ppg this season.
-Below is a comparison between ISU’s offensive numbers through its first eight games and its last four games.
First Eight Games:
Record Scoring Avg. FG-FGA (%) FT-FTA (%) 3FG-FGA (%)
4-4 57.2 170-415 (41.0) 84-127 (66.1) 34-131 (26.0)
Last Four Games:
Record Scoring Avg. FG-FGA (%) FT-FTA (%) 3FG-FGA (%)
3-1 77.5 111-223 (49.8) 62-83 (74.7) 26-73 (35.6)
-ISU has been a solid free-throw shooting team all season, making 69.5 percent of its shots from the charity stripe.
-The Cyclones have improved dramatically in recent games, connecting on 78.5 percent (51-65 FT) of their shots at the foul line in the last three games.
-ISU’s starting five (Bryan Petersen, Wesley Johnson, Rahshon Clark, Craig Brackins, Jiri Hubalek) are all hitting at 74.4 percent or above on the season for a combined 75.7 percentage (103-136 FT) at the charity stripe.
-ISU has been successful at limiting its opponents from successful shooting nights...the Cyclones are holding their opponents to 40.1 percent shooting from the floor...only five teams this season (Bradley, Drake, Bethune-Cookman, Purdue, Alabama) have shot above 43.0 percent against the Cyclones.
-The Cyclones have held two teams (Winston-Salem State; Oregon State) to below 30 percent shooting from the field.
Defense In The Mac Era
-ISU head coach Greg McDermott has always been a proponent of sound defense and his teams have responded to his coaching...in his second year at the helm, ISU has held 19 teams to below 40 percent shooting, including five this season.
-ISU has held its opponents to under 60 points 13 times in the Mac era.
Clark Finishing Up Outstanding Career
-Senior Rahshon Clark is in his fourth season as a starter for the Cyclones and is no question one of the team leaders...Clark has started 90 career games and in 44 consecutive games.
-Clark is the only four-year player left on the ISU roster and stuck with Coach McDermott when most of his teammates left after former coach Wayne Morgan was relieved of his duties.
-Clark is one of the most athletic and dynamic players in the Big 12...possessing a 39-inch vertical step jump, Clark’s high-flying dunks have excited the Hilton crowd since 2004-05...Clark has 66 career dunks.
-Clark has jumped out to a fantastic start to 2007-08, averaging 10.7 points and 5.5 rebounds...he is shooting 55.4 percent from the floor (46-83 FG)...he has been above 50 percent from the field in nine of 12 games this season.
-Clark is closing in on an unique mark in Cyclone history...he needs five steals to become the first player in school history to rank in the career top-10 in steals (13th-129), blocks (6th-91) and 3-pointers (9th-92).
-Clark earned all-tournament honors at the Las Vegas Classic.
-Clark needs 55 points (945) to become the 26th member of the 1,000-point club.
-Clark has established himself as one of the top shot blockers in the Big 12 this season (T-6th-1.5 bpg)...Clark is tied for the team lead with 18 swats.
Brackins Making Solid Debut
-Heralded rookie sensation Craig Brackins, a 6-10 freshman from Palmdale, Calif., has been impressive in his inaugural season...Brackins, who has started every game so far, was outstanding in his first career game, recording a double-double vs. Winston-Salem State, the first Cyclone freshman to record double-digits in both points (13) and rebounds (10) in their first game.
-Brackins is first on the team in scoring at 11.8 ppg...there have been just four freshmen in ISU history to lead the team in scoring in their rookie season (Ray Wehde/1942-43, 7.8 ppg; Dean Uthoff/1976-77, 11.3 ppg; Marcus Fizer/1997-98, 14.9; Curtis Stinson/2003-04, 16.2 ppg).
-Brackins has scored in double figures in seven of 12 games this season...he posted a career-high 23 points vs. Minnesota, tying for the 16th-best scoring output by a freshman in school history...Brackins had 17 of his 23 points in the first half vs. the Gophers.
-He equaled his scoring standard with 23 points against Oregon State, becoming just the sixth freshman in school history to have multiple games of 23 points or more.
-Brackins is trying to become just the third rookie in ISU history to start every game of their first season: Ron Harris (27-27, 1980-81) and Adam Haluska (31-31, 2002-03).
-He is T-6th in the Big 12 in blocks (1.5 bpg) and has a block in every game.
-Jiri Hubalek, a senior center from Prague, Czech Republic, has been a man on a mission in his last five games.
-Hubalek had been slowed all season by a broken foot that occurred in the preseason and is now just hitting his stride.
-Hubalek always has been a slow starter...he averaged 7.3 points and 4.8 rebounds in his first six games last year, but responded by averaging 12.4 points and 7.4 rebounds in his last 19 games a year ago.
-This year, Hubalek averaged 7.8 points and shot 40 percent (22-55 FG) in his first seven games...however, Hubalek is averaging 16.0 points (80) and is shooting 56.7 percent (30-53 FG) in his last five games.
-Hubalek has led ISU in rebounding in nine of 12 games this season and currently ranks sixth in the Big 12 on the boards with a 7.8 rpg average...his rebounding numbers are even more significant when you take into consideration he is averaging just 22.9 minutes per game.
-Hubalek opened the second half vs. Purdue by scoring ISU’s first 16 points in just over a five-minute span...he ended the game with 18 points to help him earn all-tournament honors at the Las Vegas Classic.
Wesley Johnson On The Mend
-ISU’s top returning scorer from last season Wesley Johnson got off to a slow start because of injuries...Johnson missed the first four games of the season while nursing a bone bruise in his left foot.
-Although not at 100 percent, Johnson’s progress is a positive sign for the Cyclones...Johnson is averaging 11.5 points and has 12 3-pointers in eight games.
-Johnson ranked third in the Big 12 in rebounding last season (7.9 rpg) but has moved out to the wing position after playing power forward a year ago...although his rebounding numbers are down (2.9 rpg), he is looking much more comfortable with his jumpshot, providing ISU with its best threat from the perimeter.
-In his last two games, Johnson is averaging 17.5 points behind a 13-of-26 effort (50 percent) from the field...he tallied his second 20-point outing of his career with 20 points vs. Alabama.
-Johnson has five double figure scoring games and has led ISU in scoring four of eight games played this year.
Garrett Fitting In
-ISU’s improved play has a direct correlation with freshman reserve point guard Diante Garrett’s emergence as a leader on the team.
-Garrett is ISU’s best dribble penetrator and his ability to get into the paint in recent games as made ISU a much more potent offense.
-Garrett averages 6.7 ppg, 2.3 apg and leads the team with 15 steals.
-Garrett is averaging 8.3 points and 3.3 assists in his last four games, including a career-high 14 points to help ISU defeat Purdue.
-Garrett is shooting 34.2 percent from the field this season, but has connected on 44.0 percent (11-25 FG) in his last four games.
-Iowa State’s inside presence is its strength...three of the top four scorers on the Cyclone team (Craig Brackins, 12.5 ppg, Jiri Hubalek, 10.9 ppg and Rahshon Clark, 10.8 ppg) are frontcourt players.
-484 of ISU’s 768 points scored this season have come from its forwards and centers, which is responsible for 63.0 percent of its scoring.
-63 of ISU’s 71 points scored in the win over Oregon State came from its frontcourt.
-62 of ISU’s 79 points in the win over Texas Southern were from the frontcourt.
Iowa State Team Quick Facts
-Iowa State is celebrating 100 years of men's hoops this season...ISU announced a 15-player All-Century team in the summer and will play host to a centennial celebration on Feb. 15-16, inviting back all former letterwinners and coaches for a two-day celebration.
-Iowa State failed to make a 3-pointer in its opening game vs. Winston-Salem State (0-for-12), ending a 63-game streak of consecutive games with a 3-pointer.
-ISU ended a 26-game streak of not reaching an above-50 percent outing from the field vs. Centenary...ISU shot 57.1 percent vs. the Gents.
-ISU held Winston-Salem State to a 25.4 percentage from the floor in the first game...that total ranks 12th on ISU’s opponent field goal percentage game lows chart.
-ISU is 6-0 when shooting better than its opponent and 1-5 when shoots worse than its opponent.
-ISU is 6-0 when outrebounding its opponents and 1-5 when getting outrebounded or tying with its opponent on the boards.
-Usually in a basketball game the team that reaches 40 points first is in the drivers seat to win...ISU has reached 40 points first in 10 of 12 games this season, going 7-3 in those games.
-ISU recorded the 400th win in Hilton Coliseum on Dec. 8 against Iowa (56-47).
-Hilton Coliseum has long been considered one of the toughest places to play in college basketball...built in 1971 and playing in its 37th season, ISU has recorded a 74.3 percent winning mark, compiling a 402-139 record.
-ISU has recorded four undefeated seasons at home since Hilton was erected (1985-86, 1992-93, 1999-00, 2000-01).
-ISU ranked 25th nationally in attendance in 2006-07 (12,489).
-ISU broke the record for most season tickets sold this year with over 10,000 season tickets purchased.
-Fans voted Iowa State and Hilton Coliseum as the nation’s No. 1 team in regards to school spirit in a poll during ESPN’s “student spirit” week in 2006-07.
Cyclones Sign Four
-Iowa State head coach Greg McDermott picked up four players who signed letters of intent to play basketball at Iowa State next season:
Dominique Buckley, G, 6-2, 190, Fr., Detroit, Mich. (Romulus)
Wes Eikmeier, G, 6-3, 175, Fr., Fremont, Neb. (Bergan)
Justin Hamilton, C, 6-11, 220, Fr., Alpine, Utah (Lone Peak)
Clinton Mann, F, 6-7, 220, Fr., Overland Park, Kan. (St. Thomas Aquinas)