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Game Preview: Texas vs. Iowa State

The Longhorns look to continue their upward trajectory as they travel to Ames to take on No. 20 Iowa State

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Amy Contras, USA TODAY Sports

After a big win against No. 11 Kansas, the 12-9 Longhorns are looking to capitalize on another ranked opponent in Iowa State this Saturday. After a 6-game skid of going 1-5, the Longhorns’ huge win against Kansas will help their résumé for the NCAA tournament. With a road record of 1-4, Texas has the perfect opportunity to make a statement to the entire conference. For the Texas offense, the key will be getting more inside penetration from Dylan Osetkowski and Jaxson Hayes, as well as better looks for Kerwin Roach. For the defense, they will have to figure out how to stop the Cyclones’ hot hand of Lindell Wigginton as well as G Marial Shayok.

A likely matchup to watch will be between Dylan Osetkowski and Michael Jacobson. Rebounding leaders for their respective teams, Osetkowski averages 1.8 more rebounds per game than Jacobson. With that being said, the Iowa State only has 5 more total rebounds on the season than Texas, so the rebound game will be a great matchup to watch. Another matchup to watch will be between the two highest scorers on both respective teams, Kerwin Roach and Marial Shayok. Shayok averages over 5 points more per game, so this could be a difficult defensive matchup for Roach. The matchup between ISU’s sharp shooter Lindell Wigginton and UT’s Matt Coleman III could cause a lot of issues for Texas, as Wigginton has been a hot hand as of late. Last game against West Virginia, he put up 28 points in only 25 minutes of play. Keeping Wigginton in check should be an essential point in Smart’s game plan. The style of each team looks different, as Texas tends to use their forwards in their offense more, and ISU uses their guards heavily. This may cause for Jase Febres, Courtney Ramey, and Elijah Mitrou-Long to play bigger roles in this matchup, especially when it comes to containing ISU’s offensive schemes.

 Three Things to Watch

1. How Texas handles Iowa State’s well-balanced team

Iowa State was named one of the five most well-balanced teams in college basketball in an article released by NCAA.com today. With the 14th-best offense and 22nd-best defense, Texas will not be able to make mistakes and recover.

2. Turnovers

The bane to every team’s success. The team with more turnovers almost always loses in most sports. Iowa State averages 11 per game, while Texas averages 11.6. Keep a watch on ISU’s Tyrese Haliburton and Texas’ Dylan Osetkowski, team leaders in steals.

3. Lindell Wigginton

He seems to be the X-Factor for ISU. A product of Oak Hill Academy and Canada’s top-ranked player from the class of 2017, the sophomore is a threat to any team. In the last meeting between these two teams, Wigginton put up 20 points and 8 assists, and Iowa State only lost by 4.

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