Iowa State’s Javan Johnson (13) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Oklahoma in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Feb. 6, 2021. (AP Photo/Garett Fisbeck)
- Struggling Big 12 teams TCU and Iowa State will meet Tuesday in Fort Worth, Texas, at 9pm ET
- Iowa State has lost seven in row; TCU broke a five-game losing streak with a victory over No. 23 Oklahoma State last Wednesday
- Check the odds, analysis and betting predictions below
TCU (10-7, 3-5 Big 12) will play host to Iowa State (2-11, 0-8) at 9pm ET Monday in a game featuring two of the bottom-feeders in the highly regarded Big 12, which placed six teams in the AP Top 25 this week, including five in the top 14. The Cyclones are the only winless team in the Big 12.
Iowa State vs TCU picks and odds
|Iowa State Cyclones||N/A||+5.5 (-110)||Ov 142.5 (-110)|
|TCU Horned Frogs||N/A||-5.5 (-110)||Un 142.5 (-100)|
*Odds from Feb 8
TCU and Iowa State are a combined 0-11 against ranked teams, although Iowa State has covered the spread as a double-digit underdog against in its last two. The Cyclones have not won since beating Jackson State 60-45 on Dec. 20.
Iowa State Among Most COVID-Affected
The Cyclones have played four fewer games than any team in the Big 12, and they went 16 days between games after three in mid-January were postponed because of COVID-19 issues within the program.
After a 91-64 home loss to No. 7 Texas Tech on Jan. 9, Iowa State ceased basketball activities a few days later and did not resume play until an 81-60 home loss to No. 23 Oklahoma State on Jan. 25, its fourth loss in the current seven-game slide.
Iowa State went a month without its full complement of scholarship players after nominal starters Javan Johnson, Solomon Young and Jalen Coleman-Lands and reserve Tre Jackson were intermittently sidelined while observing virus protocols. Johnson, the last to return, had 11 points points and five rebounds in a 79-72 loss at No. 9 Oklahoma on Saturday.
Coach Steve Prohm has used a different starting lineup in each of the last three games and in five of the last seven. Nine players have stated at least two games. TCU also has had three games postponed by the virus, including last Saturday’s scheduled game against No. 2 Baylor.
TCU Looking For Right Combination
With one of the youngest teams in NCAA Division I, Horned Frogs coach Jamie Dixon also has mixed and matched. He has started nine different combinations, while looking to blend highly recruited freshman, 6-foot-2 point guard Mike Miles and USC junior transfer forward Chuck O’Bannon — he of the renowned UCLA O’Bannons.
TCU has five freshman, and its players have an average of 1.14 years of playing experience according to KenPom, ranking 319th in NCAA Division I.
Miles has started the last 12 games and is average 14.8 points per game, second to 6-5 junior guard RJ Nembhard (16.9). Miles is shooting 42.7% from three-point range and has made 13 of his last 28 threes over five games. O’Bannon has 39 points in 78 minutes while starting the last three.
Miles and Nembhard rank in the top 10 in Big 12 scoring. Nembhard has six 20-point games and has scored in double figures in 14 straight. He leads the team with 4.1 assists per game. Miles is 11th in scoring among Division I freshmen.
Kevin Samuel, their 6-foot-11 center, has a school-record 195 career blocked shots and leads the Big 12 with 1.9 blocks per game. He is second in the Big 12 with 8.6 rebounds per game and first with 3.4 offensive rebounds per game.
By The Numbers
While Iowa State has lost 11 of 12 since a season-opening victory over Arkansas-Pine Bluff, it has remained competitive. The Cyclones are 5-4 against the spread both in Big 12 play and as an underdog, and they are 3-0 as a road underdog in league play.
They Cyclones have covered their last two games, both as a double-digit underdog — a 76-72 home loss to current No. 14 West Virginia last Tuesday and a 79-72 loss at No. 12 Oklahoma last Saturday. The Cyclones are 5-2 as double-digit underdog.
It has not helped that Iowa State has played the 11th-most difficult scheduled in Division I, according to the KenPom, and has played seven Top-25 teams. Four of the Cyclones’ five road games have been against Top-10 teams.
from Tommy Birch: Iowa State transfer Rasir Bolton honors late friend’s memory with new jersey number https://t.co/kdtJTauAxH via @DMRegister
— Randy Peterson (@RandyPete) October 16, 2019
Iowa State is one of the worst rebounding teams in Division I with a minus-8.2 margin per game, which is 329th of 340 teams. The Cyclones have been out-rebounded in 12 of 13 games.
TCU is 10-3 against unranked teams this season, and six of its losses have come against teams with an NCAA Net ranking of 26 or better. TCU is 97th in the Net rankings this week. Iowa State is 227th.
The Horned Frogs are 2-7-1 ATS at home, although they covered as a four-point underdog in their an 81-78 victory over Oklahoma State on Wednesday. TCU has won five of the last six in the series and the last four in Fort Worth.
The Pick: Iowa State +5.5 (-110)
Jack has covered college and professional sports for various Arizona media outlets and has written for the AP, USA Today and Baseball America, among others. He staffed the 2015-17 World Series and has staffed four Super Bowls.