Iowa State and Drake meet for the 167th time in Des Moines on tonight. The Cyclones are 3-3 after a 71-64 overtime win at Oregon State last Friday night while the Bulldogs are 5-1 after beating Duquense in the championship game of their own tournament.
ISU coach Greg McDermott says this is a very good Drake team who’s only loss is to St. Mary’s and he says they’ll have their hands full. McDermott says a key for his team will be the assist-turnover ratio, as he says Drake does a great job of forcing turnovers and making you play the way you don’t want to play. Drake swept all of the in-state competition a year ago enroute to the mythical state title.
Bulldog coach Keno Davis says those wins helped bring credibility to the program. Davis says it was an incredible boost and he says they probably won’t understand how important those games were for the program until years down the road. Davis says young kids who saw those games will have a different outlook on Drake then they might’ve in the past.
Davis says the success last season against in-state foes and the program’s first winning season in two decades has been a boost. He says they may look back three or four years down the road and say it was a year that started everything.
A big part of Drake’s success has been the play of senior guard Leonard Houston who is averaging better than 17 points per game. Davis says Houston would get in games in the past and try so hard that he would make mistakes. He says Houston has worked and developed his game to where he can drive and shoot, and that makes him tough to guard. These teams have met ever year since 1908 and the Cyclones lead the all-time series 104-62.