As we lead up to the Big 12’s announcement of the conference schedule, here is a quick look at Iowa State’s nonconference slate.
Nov. 10 – UNC-Wilmington (10-20, 5-13 CAA)
Iowa State, which has won 13 straight nonconference home games, opens the season against the Seahawks. UNC-Wilmington is coached by Buzz Peterson, a member of North Carolina’s 1982 NCAA Championship team and roommate of Michael Jordan. Peterson is in his fourth season as head coach at UNCW. The Seahawks will play at Iowa on Nov. 8 before the game at Hilton Coliseum. The top-returning scorer for UNC-Wilmington is guard Chris Dixon (9.8 ppg).
All-Time Series: First Meeting
Nov. 12 – Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (6-23, 5-13 Southland)
The Islanders won just six games last season but return their entire lineup in head coach Willis Wilson’s third season. 6-6 forward Will Nelson averaged 13.6 points to lead TAMU-CC, while guard Jonathan Jordan chipped in 12.8 points as the only other player in double figures. Jordan also averaged 5.5 assists per game, which was second in the Southland Conference.
All-Time Series: ISU leads, 1-0
Last Meeting: Dec. 22, 1999 – ISU 86-64 at Hilton Coliseum
Nov. 17 – Michigan (31-8, 12-6 Big Ten)
This one has been on the radars of Cyclone fans since ISU went to Ann Arbor in 2011. The Wolverines advanced to the title game last season before falling to Louisville. Michigan will have to replace first-round picks Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway, Jr. but there is plenty of talent to pick from. Guard Nik Stauskas and forward Glenn Robinson III return after averaging 11 points as sophomores. Another forward returns in Mitch McGary, who had a breakout NCAA Tournament, earning Final Four All-Tournament Team and All-South Region honors. The Wolverines also had the No. 12 recruiting class (ESPN.com), which includes No. 6 small forward Zak Irvin and No. 8 point guard Derrick Walton, Jr.
The Cyclones and Wolverines most memorable meeting was in the NCAA Tournament in 1986 when ISU held off a late rally to beat the nation’s fifth-ranked team. Cyclone coach Johnny Orr, a former Michigan coach, termed it his “greatest victory ever as a coach.”
Hilton Coliseum should be rocking for this one.
All-Time Series: Michigan leads, 5-4
Last Meeting: Dec. 2, 2011 – Michigan 76-66 in Ann Arbor
Nov. 20 – at BYU (24-12, 10-6 West Coast)
BYU returns one of the nation’s best scorers in Tyler Haws. The 6-5 guard averaged 21.7 ppg, good for seventh nationally in scoring. The Cyclones held Haws to just nine points on 4-of-13 shooting. Most impressive, however, may have been keeping the 87.7 percent free-throw shooter (17th) off the line. Junior guard Matt Carlino also averaged double figures with 11.5 points per game. The game will likely be a track meet as it will feature the up tempo offenses of the Cyclones (79.4 ppg) and Cougars (77.1 ppg), which ranked third and 12th in the nation, respectively. Like Michigan, BYU had a nice year on the recruiting trail with the 14th-ranked class. No. 3 center Eric Mika (6-9) adds to an already big frontcourt, albeit relatively inexperienced, rotation that already included junior Nate Austin (6-11) and sophomore Ian Harward (6-11).
Add to this the fact that the game will be played at the Marriott Center in Provo where BYU averaged 15,986 fans and went 15-3 last season and it is clear the game will provide a second-straight tough test for the Cyclones.
All-Time Series: ISU leads, 5-0
Last Meeting: Dec. 1, 2012 – ISU 83-62 at Hilton Coliseum
Nov. 25 – UMKC (8-24, 5-11 Summit League)
UMKC moves to the WAC after going 5-11 in the Summit League and 8-24 overall. As they head into the new league they do so with new head coach Kareem Richardson, a Rick Pitino disciple. The Cyclones beat UMKC, 76-61, last season in Kansas City. Nelson Kirksey and Fred Chatmon are the top returning scorers after averaging 7.4 points each last season.
All-Time Series: ISU leads, 2-0
Last Meeting: Dec. 19, 2012 – ISU 76-61 in Kansas City
Dec. 2 – Auburn (9-23, 3-15 SEC)
This year’s Big 12/SEC Challenge pits Auburn as the Iowa State opponent. The Tigers were just 9-23 a season ago, but add guard KT Harrell, a transfer from Virginia, as well as six freshman so there will be a new look in Auburn this winter. Guard Chris Denson returns for his senior campaign after averaging 11.9 points in 24.9 minutes last season.
The schools do have a history. In 2000, Iowa State was on the winning end of a 79-60 final score at the Metrodome in Minneapolis. The win sent the Cyclones to the Sweet 16. Marcus Fizer had 22 points and Stevie Johnson equaled his career-high with 21 points.
All-Time Series: Series tied, 1-1
Last Meeting: March 18, 2000 – ISU 79-60 in Minneapolis
Dec. 7 – vs. UNI (21-15, 11-7 MVC) – Hy-Vee Big Four Classic – Des Moines
The Cyclones and Panthers meet at a neutral site for just the second time in series history (UNI won a 1964 meeting in Waterloo). The Cyclones are 2-2 all-time at Wells Fargo Arena. Forward Seth Tuttle averaged 11.4 points per game as a sophomore, hitting 55.6 percent of his field-goal attempts. Tuttle will be relied on heavily as UNI replaces three of its top four scorers. The Cyclones are looking to end a three-game skid against the Panthers.
All-Time Series: ISU leads, 35-12
Last Meeting: Nov. 30, 2011 – UNI 69-62 at Hilton Coliseum
Dec. 13 – Iowa (25-13, 9-9 Big Ten)
Meeting for the 67th time, both Iowa State and Iowa come into this season’s meeting with high hopes. The Hawkeyes return the majority of their lineup, while also adding key Wisconsin transfer Jarrod Uthoff. Roy Devyn Marble (15.0 ppg) and Aaron White (12.8 ppg) were the top scorers for the Hawkeyes last season, which ended in a trip to the NIT Championship Game where they fell to Baylor. Iowa State has won the last five meetings at home and is 14-8 all-time at Hilton Coliseum against the Hawkeyes.
In last season’s Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series game, an 80-71 Hawkeye win, ISU got 14 points from Percy Gibson and 13 from Georges Niang but were unable to overcome 19 turnovers.
All-Time Series: Iowa leads, 43-23
Last Meeting: Dec. 7, 2012 – Iowa 80-71 in Iowa City
Dec. 22, 23, 25 – Diamond Head Classic – Honolulu, Hawaii
Iowa State returns to Hawaii for the eighth time in school history. The Cyclones are 12-7 all-time in the nation’s 50th state. Iowa State opens the tournament against George Mason (22-16, 10-8 CAA), which returns leading scorer Sherrod Wright, who averaged 16.6 points per game as a junior.
In the second game, ISU will play either Oregon State (14-18, 4-14 Pac-12) or Akron (26-7, 14-2 MAC). Akron played in the NIT last season. The other half of the bracket includes Boise State (21-11, 9-7 MWC), Hawaii (17-15, 10-8 Big West), Saint Mary’s (28-7, 14-2 West Coast) and South Carolina (14-18, 4-14 SEC).
If you are interested in the Cyclones extensive history in Hawaii, check out the blog I wrote earlier this summer.
All-Time Series vs. George Mason: First Meeting
Dec. 31 – Northern Illinois (5-25, 3-13 MAC)
The final Big 12 tuneup comes on New Year’s Eve Day against Northern Illinois. The Cyclones and Huskies will meet for the sixth time, but just second since 1971. Northern Illinois’ top scorer from a year ago will be on the other bench for this one, redshirting for the Cyclones as a transfer. Abdel Nader scored 13.1 points per game before heading West to Ames to play his final two years of eligibility. Guard Aksel Bolin is the top returning scorer at 7.4 points per game for NIU, which averaged just 54 points per game last season.
All-Time Series: ISU leads, 3-2
Last Meeting: Jan. 3, 2011 – ISU 72-63 at Hilton Coliseum