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Open Thread: #7 Texas Hosts Iowa State in Big XII Opener

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Iowa State (11-4, 0-0) at #7 Texas (11-3, 0-0)

Frank Erwin Center (16,755)

Austin, TX

Tip Time 3 pm

TV: Big XII Network (formerly ESPN Plus) KNVA Cable Ch. 12 in Austin

Texas Sports.com Preview shows Texas a perfect 10-0 in Big XII home openers under Rick Barnes and 11-1 in Big XII openers all-time.

Austin American Statesman reports Connor Atchley is expected to return to the court after suffering a split tongue against Appalachian State and missing the Arkansas game.

Kem Pomeroy Texas Scouting Report

Kem Pomeroy Iowa State Scouting Report

Keys to the Game:
1. Make Enough Perimeter Jumpers to Keep ISU Defense Honest. Against Arkansas, Texas got almost all its scoring from the paint or from the free throw line. While this Texas team does need to play inside-out, they must also prove they can make a few mid-range and long-range jumpers. If they don't, it is going to be a long season of sagging 2-3 zones.

2. Protect the Basketball. This is not just a key for the Texas guards. The Longhorn big men must value possessions as well. Against Arkansas, Texas coughed up the ball 15 times, which is not bad for an entire game, but Gary Johnson had four turnovers, Dexter Pittman had two, and Damion James added two more. That is way too many for players who are not primary ball handlers.

3. Contain Craig Brackins. The 6-10 sophomore forward is leading the Cyclones in scoring (18.5) and rebounding (8.5) while shooting nearly 50% from the floor. Texas would be wise to double Brackins on the catch and force another ISU player to beat them.

Heading to the Drum...Hook 'em.

Update (GhostofBigRoy): Since it's not on the front page any more, thought I would add that Cross Cyed from Clone Chronicles was nice enough to stop by and drop an Iowa State preview on us. Trips Right also has a preview over at Barking Carnival.