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Texas Longhorns Hoops @ Iowa St. Cyclones: Preview & Open Thread

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Texas seeks its first conference victory.

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Cooper Neill

The Texas Longhorns (8-7, 0-2) head northbound to Ames to battle the Iowa St. Cyclones (10-4, 0-1). In their first conference game, the Cyclones almost upset Kansas at The Phog, but lost a doozy in overtime.

Predictably, Iowa St. is still trying to figure out how to thrive without all-everything All-American Royce White. Senior wing Will Clyburn has put on his best White impression, averaging a team-leading 14.2 PPG along with 7.4 RPG. Clyburn is one of the representatives of "Transfer U", as he came from Utah.

At point guard, one time Michigan Stater Korie Lucious leads the team with 5.1 APG. Next to him is fellow senior Chris Babb, formerly of Penn State. A fourth senior, Tyrus McGee, plays significant minutes off the bench. Iowa St. is a balanced scoring bunch. Five players average double-figures in scoring. That includes all the above players except Babb, who is close with 9.3 PPG.

Junior forward Melvin Ejim is a grinder and a good facsimile of what Texas fans hope Jonathan Holmes turns out to be. Ejim leads the team with 9.3 RPG and will be a tough matchup for Holmes. Freshman Georges Niang rounds out the starting lineup. He's a heralded Top 100 recruit, and played at the same high school with Kentucky freshman Nerlens Noel and future Jayhawk Wayne Selden. Sophomore center Percy Gibson will check in for a strong post presence.

Even without White, the Cyclones have a good team. They shoot the ball well and are elite rebounders. Iowa State has missed out on a couple chances to score a signature win (most notably losing against Cincinnati and at Kansas), but have the profile of an NCAA Tournament team.

Before the inevitable demise, check out the good folks at WRNL and their open letter to Texas.

LINEUP

PROJECTED STARTERS

Texas: G - Javan Felix (#3 - Fr.) | G - Julien Lewis (#14 - So.) | G - Sheldon McClellan (#1 - So.) | F - Jonathan Holmes (#10 - So.) | C - Cameron Ridley (#55 - Fr.)

Iowa St.: G - Korie Lucious (#13 - Sr.) | G - Chris Babb (#2 - Sr.) | G - Will Clyburn (#21 - Sr.) | F - Melvin Ejim (#3 - Jr.) | F - Georges Niang (#31 - Fr.)

BENCH

Texas: G - DeMarcus Holland (#2 - Fr.) | F - Ioannis Papapetrou (#33 - Fr.) | F - Jaylen Bond (#5 - So.) | F - Connor Lammert (#21 - Fr.) | C - Prince Ibeh (#44 - Fr.)

Iowa St.: G - Tyrus McGee (#25 - Sr.) | G - Naz Long (#15 - Fr.) | | F - Anthony Booker (#22 - Sr.) | C - Percy Gibson (#24 - So.)

INJURIES/ISSUES

Texas: G - Myck Kabongo (#1 - So. - Out Until Feb - NCAA Eligibility)

Iowa St.: N/A

TEXASSPORTS.COM MEDIA/NOTES

TEXAS (8-7, 0-2)
at Iowa State (10-4, 0-1)
Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013 • 1 p.m. CT
Ames, Iowa • Hilton Coliseum (14,356)


TV: ESPNU | WatchESPN.com
Brad Sham (play-by-play), Bob Valvano (analyst).
Radio: Longhorn IMG Radio Network
Craig Way (play-by-play); Eddie Oran (analyst).
Satellite Radio: XM 202 / Sirius 216
Streaming Audio: TexasSports.com
Live Stats: GameTracker