Iowa State prepares for high-scoring affair against Chattanooga

Monté Morris, junior guard, helped ISU with 14 points and eight assists on Nov. 16 against Chicago State. ISU won 106-64.

Chris Wolff

Chattanooga is coming to Ames on Monday night for a basketball game, but what takes place in Hilton Coliseum might look more like a track meet.

The offensive abilities of Iowa State (2-0, 0-0 Big 12) are well known, but Chattanooga (3-0, 0-0 SoCon) also has the ability to light up the scoreboard.

The Mocs, who come into the contest with early season wins of Georgia and Illinois, have put up 92, 94 and 81 points in the first three games of the season.

“They’ll be ready to play,” said Jameel McKay, who is coming off a career-high 25 points in his last outing. “They play up-tempo. They play fast. It’ll be a fun game.”

Iowa State also likes to play fast, putting up 106 points in its previous game. Chattanooga comes out of the Southern Conference, but wins against SEC’s Georgia and the Big 10’s Illinois prove this team can play against the big boys.

After a week that saw numerous top-25 teams fall, the Cyclones have made a conscious effort not to overlook the Mocs.

“We’re not taking them lightly at all,” said Georges Niang. “We’re ready for them to come in and [to] give them a good game.”

Niang said last Thursday that the Cyclones had already begun game planning against Chattanooga, despite it being a Monday game.

“I think the game plan that Coach Prohm has drawn up is going to be pretty successful,” Niang said. “We’re taking this extremely serious.”

Iowa State has become notorious in recent years for creating and exploiting mismatches on the offensive end, but Chattanooga’s style of play is aimed at creating mismatches as well.

“They press a lot,” Niang said. “They have one true big man [and] they play four guards. They’re going to be all over the place, that’s going to try to cause us matchup problems on defense.”

Chattanooga is led by a mismatch machine in Casey Jones, a 6-foot-5-inch guard who can play the three or four position. 

As a junior, Jones led the Mocs in scoring and rebounding last season at 14.2 points per game and seven rebounds per game, making him a tough matchup. Jones is one of five players averaging double-figures for Chattanooga.

Prohm is familiar with the program after going to high school about 20 minutes away from the school. He remembers watching them while he was in college when Chattanooga made a Sweet 16 run.

“Know a lot about them,” Prohm said. “Had a great year last year [and they] bring a lot of guys back.

“It’ll be a good test for us.”