AMES - The Florida Gulf Coast men's basketball team is off to the best start in the program's six-year NCAA Division I history, bringing a 6-3 record into tonight's game at Iowa State.
Looks like the Cyclones won't be able to overlook them in favor of Friday's trip to in-state rival Iowa.
The Cyclones (5-2) have won 12 straight home games and currently rank 14th in the nation with an 82.4 scoring average, thanks lately to leading point-getter Will Clyburn.
The senior guard dropped in a career-best 32 points in Saturday's win over BYU and on Monday was named the Big 12's Rookie of the Week. Clyburn, a former Marshalltown Community College standout, is averaging 17.3 points and 8.6 rebounds after transferring in from Utah.
Clyburn is one of four Cyclones scoring in double figures for a team that hasn't scored below 70 points all season. ISU lost to ranked Cincinnati and UNLV clubs during the Global Sports Classic over Thanksgiving weekend in Las Vegas, rebounding with the victory against BYU in the tournament finale.
FGCU boasts the top-scoring tandem in the Atlantic Sun. Guards Sherwood Brown and Bernard Thompson both are averaging 15.2 points per game for the Eagles, who on Monday appeared as vote-getters in CollegeInsider.com's Mid-Major poll for the first time ever. They essentially rank 27th coming off a win over the poll's 21st-ranked team from Loyola (Md.).
Florida Gulf Coast (6-3) at Iowa State (5-2)
Tonight, 7 p.m.
At Hilton Coliseum, Ames
South Dakota (4-4) at Iowa (6-2)
Tonight, 7:05 p.m.
At Carver-Hawkeye Arena, Iowa City
Florida Gulf Coast boasts one win over a BCS opponent - a 63-51 triumph over Miami (Fla.) - in front of the Eagles' school-record crowd of 4,552 fans.
Hilton Coliseum seats 14,356, though not all of the Eagles will be new to the surroundings. Eric McKnight, a 6-foot-9 starting redshirt sophomore, used to call Ames his home. McKnight transferred out after one season with Iowa State. Now the Raleigh, N.C., native is averaging 7.9 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game for FGCU.
Iowa State and the Eagles have never met on the court. The Cyclones are 10-1 all-time against Atlantic Sun opponents.
South Dakota at Iowa
IOWA CITY - South Dakota will try its luck for the first time in 48 years when the Coyotes take on the Iowa men's basketball team tonight at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
The Coyotes (4-4) have an 0-10 all-time series record against the Hawkeyes, with all 10 games having been played in Iowa City. Tonight's will be the first since Dec. 1, 1964.
Iowa (6-2) has won 10 of its last 11 home games and does not leave the state until Jan. 6, 2013. The Hawkeyes host Iowa State on Friday.
This also marks Iowa's final game to not be televised this season.
South Dakota's starting lineup includes freshman Casey Kasperbauer, a freshman from Carroll averaging 8.9 points.