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#16 Auburn vs Iowa State Game Preview and Open Thread

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It’s Bagels with Bruce as the Tigers host another 11AM Game!

NCAA Basketball: South Carolina at Auburn John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

Date: Saturday January 25th

Opponent: Iowa State Cyclones

Location: Auburn Arena

Time: 11AM

Network: ESPNU, Auburn Radio Network

2 weeks ago, Biscuits with Bruce was a rousing success! Today, the hope is Bagels with Bruce will do the same. Don’t have a clue what I’m talking about, well...

Anyways, food aside, the Tigers will play another 11AM home game, this time as part of the SEC/Big 12 Challenge, as they welcome Iowa State to Auburn. This will be the Cyclones first ever trip to Auburn.

Auburn is 1-2 all-time against the Cyclones. Auburn’s lone win came back in 1986 in El Paso, Texas. Auburn lost to Iowa State in the 2000 NCAA Tournament and in the 1st year of the SEC/Big 12 Challenge, a game played in Ames.

Get to Know Iowa State

The Cyclones have had a tough season, coming into Auburn 9-9 on the year. They had several players graduate and move on to the NBA after last season and seemingly haven’t found their footing this season. As a team, they average 76.2 PPG while giving up 72.1 PPG.

Sophomore Guard Tyrese Haliburton (#22) - 15.9 PPG, 7.4 APG, 5.9 RPG

Haliburton is one of the few guys that elected to return to Ames that could have gone to the NBA. He’s shooting 50% from the field and 41.1% from 3-point range. While he’s a great shooter, he’s also one of the best passing guards in the country and the numbers show that. Haliburton averages almost 37 minutes a game too so unless he gets into foul trouble, you’ll see #22 out there for pretty much the entire game. I’m excited to see the likes of Okoro and Doughty go up against Haliburton.

Sophomore Guard Rasir Bolton (#45) - 14.7 PPG

At the other guard spot, Rasir Bolton has had a nice season for Iowa State. This is Bolton’s first season in Ames as he transferred in from Penn State. He’s 2nd on the team with 26 made 3-pointers and averages 32.9% from distance. Bolton plays a lot of minutes as well as he played all 40 in the team’s last game against Oklahoma State, accounting for 21 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists.

Junior Forward Solomon Young (#33) - 8.9 PPG

Young comes into Auburn with a lot of confidence after a career-high 27 points, along with 9 rebounds against the Cowboys. He started the team’s first 14 games but has been coming off the bench in Big 12 play. He has struggled with injuries throughout his career but has been healthy this year and a big boost to Iowa State’s frontcourt.

Sophomore Forward George Conditt IV (#4) - 8.9 PPG

Conditt has started the last 4 games for Iowa State after spending all of non-conference play coming off the bench. But in the last 3 games, he’s struggled with foul trouble and has averaged just 5.2 PPG in his 4 starts. Conditt is 6’10” and will be a challenge for Auburn’s bigs in the paint.

Senior Guard Prentiss Nixon (#11) - 8.6 PPG

The other starting guard for Iowa State, Nixon has struggled from 3-point range this year shooting just 22.7% from 3. (Which means he’ll probably hit 4 today).

Senior Forward Michael Jacobsen (#12) - 7.6 PPG, 5.6 RPG

The other starting forward for Iowa State, Jacobsen is 10-30 from 3 and is the team’s 2nd leading rebounder behind Haliburton.

Keys for Auburn

How does Devan Cambridge follow up Wednesday night’s performance? That’s what I’m most curious to see happen today. Cambridge gave Auburn a much needed offensive spark scoring 26 points in just 21 minutes of action off the bench Wednesday. He hit 6 of Auburn’s 10 3-pointers Wednesday night.

Isaac Okoro played well on both sides of the ball, but was especially good as a distributor against South Carolina. He was able to set up several plays made by Cambridge. I still want to see him be more aggressive offensively but Auburn seemed to function well on Wednesday with the ball in Okoro’s hands with him getting the ball going towards the basket to either try and finish or pass to a teammate for an open shot.

Samir Doughty had a rough first half but scored 11 in the 2nd half. Perhaps Samir was able to find his groove and he’ll get back to his non-conference ways as Auburn returns to non-conference play for the final time this regular season.

Austin Wiley had 25 points the last time he played, (and Auburn for that matter) in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge. It was his best game of his freshman year in a win at TCU. Wiley will look to replicate his good fortune in this event today.

Prediction

Auburn will look to finish non-conference play a perfect 13-0. That’s what’s at stake today. Auburn responded well to an 11AM start a couple weeks ago against Georgia and the expectation is they’ll do it again. It’s been 4 years since Auburn has hosted the SEC/Big 12 Challenge and first time in it overall since 2017 when they won at TCU. Auburn needs to take care of business today and I think they will.

Auburn 79 Iowa State 67