When Iowa State hosts South Dakota State on Wednesday, the Cyclones will play a Jackrabbits' team that already has faced a formidable schedule just one week into the 2020-21 season.
South Dakota State (1-2) dropped games to West Virginia -- Iowa State's Big 12 counterpart -- and perennial West Coast Conference contender Saint Mary's at last week's Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic in Sioux Falls, S.D. In between the two games, the Jackrabbits routed Utah State, winner of last March's Mountain West Tournament.
"I loved our [ability to] compete," South Dakota State coach Eric Henderson told the Argus Leader. "Nobody really cares how well you played the day before; you just have to bring it that day. I think we'll learn from some of those tough moments and hopefully mature from when we've faced adversity. That's what we'll hopefully take from this tournament."
The Jackrabbits get their second opportunity against Big 12 competition against an Iowa State team that won its opener on Sunday, but not without a struggle.
The Cyclones (1-0) routed Arkansas-Pine Bluff 80-63 but had to rally from a 37-34 halftime deficit.
"Tough start; glad with the way the guys responded," Iowa State coach Steve Prohm said in his postgame press conference. "[We] knew the zone [defense] would bother us a bit. Need to know where we need to be and where to attack the zone."
Iowa State shot a dismal 4 of 18 from 3-point range in the first half, forced to take long-range shots against the zone. While the Cyclones improved dramatically after halftime, going 8 of 14, their final tally of seven free throws attempted reflected Iowa State's offense extending away from the rim.
Last season, 29.6 percent of Iowa State's offense came from behind the 3-point line per KenPom.com metrics. Against Arkansas-Pine Bluff, that number jumped to 37.5 percent. Leading scorers Jalen Coleman-Lands, Rasir Bolton and Tyler Harris combined to make nine shots from beyond the arc.
South Dakota State boasted one of the nation's best 3-point defenses in 2019-20, holding opponents to just 30.7 percent. In Sioux Falls, teams shot 31.5 percent against the Jackrabbits.
Behind Baylor Scheierman and Noah Freidel, who combined for 15 made 3-pointers in last week's tournament, South Dakota State is shooting 41.4 percent from beyond the arc this season.
That effective long-range offense contributes to the scoring efficiency likely to be on display Wednesday.
--Field Level Media
|South Dakota State||1-2||L1||0-0||0-0||1-2||0-1||1-1||0-0|
|South Dakota State||Iowa State|
|12/23/08||SDST 65||ISU 58||65||34||42.6||58||32||37.7|
|South Dakota State||C. Sargent||18||42.9||3|
|Iowa State||C. Brackins||18||41.7||8|
|South Dakota State||C. Sargent||10||0||10|
|Iowa State||D. Garrett||7||2||5|
|South Dakota State||C. Sargent||4|
|Iowa State||D. Garrett||5|
|South Dakota State Off vs Iowa State Defense|
71.0 Points For
63.0 Points Against
|Iowa State Off vs South Dakota State Defense|
80.0 Points For
70.0 Points Against