The Texas Tech men’s basketball team will be in Ames, Iowa to take on Iowa State at 5 p.m. on Saturday following its seven-point win over Kansas State on Wednesday.
The Cyclones are coming into this game following a 20-point loss to No. 3 Kansas on Monday. They will be without their best player and potential top-5 pick in the NBA Draft, according to ESPN, Tyrese Haliburton due to a fractured his left wrist Feb. 8 against Kansas State.
Before injuring his wrist, Haliburton led the team in points, rebounds and assists per game averaging 15 points, six rebounds and 6.5 assists. He was also the team's top three-point shooter, hitting around 42 percent of his shots from behind the arc while averaged close to 37 minutes a game.
Despite those numbers, Haliburton was held to a rather pedestrian stat line last time he faced the Red Raiders. He still led the Cyclones in scoring with 13 points but shot just 20 percent from the three-point line and had three turnovers to his two assists.
Sophomore guard Rasir Bolton is Iowa State's second-leading scorer putting up around 14.5 points per game and has started all 26 games this season. Although Bolton is not the shooter Haliburton is, he can knock down threes, shooting 33 percent from behind the arc this season. Bolton was held to seven points on 3-9 shooting while turning the ball over four times in his last matchup with Tech.
Tech's sophomore guard Kyler Edwards, who is coming off a 14-point performance against Kansas State, had one of the best games of his career last time out in Tech’s 72-52 victory over Iowa State back on Jan. 18. He led the team with 22 points, shot 5-6 from the three-point line and added four rebounds and two blocks to his stat line.
Following close behind Edwards was junior guard Davide Moretti who put up 17 points against the Cyclones while shooting 6-9 from the field and hitting three three-pointers. Freshman guard Kevin McCullar, who saw his role increase against Kansas State as he earned his first career start, struggled a bit against Iowa State in their last matchup.
McCullar played 16 minutes and turned the ball over three times. He also recorded two points and a steal. In a career-high 33 minutes played on Wednesday against Kansas State, McCullar showed his true potential scoring nine points, shooting 50 percent from the field and leading the team in rebounds, with six, and steals, with four.
Although the Cyclones are 11-15 (4-9 Big 12) this season, they have the second highest-scoring offense in the Big 12 behind Kansas, according to the Big 12. Iowa State is averaging 73.7 points a game and Tech is right behind them posting 73.2 points per game. The defensive end is another story.
Iowa State has the lowest-rated defense in the Big 12, giving up around 72.6 points per game, according to Big 12 stats. Tech, on the other hand, is fourth in the league in defense giving up around 63.2 pointers per game.
Tech will look to improve upon its 17-9 (8-5 Big 12) record against Iowa State.