Iowa State Cyclones vs. Florida A&M Rattlers Pick & Prediction DECEMBER 17th 2023

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One of the hottest offenses in college basketball looks to continue to run through their non-conference schedule as Iowa State hosts Florida A&M on Sunday in Ames, Iowa.

While the Cyclones (8-2) dropped tough battles to Virginia Tech and Texas A&M to end November, they reeled off three straight lopsided wins to begin December. Iowa State has defeated opponents by 50 points or more three times this season, including beating both Lindenwood and Grambling by 55 last month.

In five of their eight wins, Iowa State reached the 90-point mark. Junior guard Keshon Gilbert, who has scored at least 20 points in each contest during the three-game win streak, averages a team-best 16.3 points per game this season.

Head coach T.J. Otzelberger said getting the team prepared around this time of year with student finals and winter break looming can be challenging.

“We understand that young people can be easily distracted,” Otzelberger said. “It’s important to us that (the players) do well on their finals … yet when we have that hour-and-a-half to two hours for practice, that we’re accomplishing things and building on our habits.”

The Rattlers (2-6) are coming in a little worse for wear. They are less than 24 hours removed from losing 88-52 to Iowa on Saturday.

Florida A&M lost its first five games of the season during a daunting stretch to the schedule that included games against Creighton, Nebraska, Florida and Oregon. The Rattlers finally scratched their way into the win column on Dec. 6 by beating Presbyterian. The Rattlers followed that up with a 30-point victory over LeMoyne-Owen on Dec. 9.

While the Rattlers have been led mainly by upperclassmen, freshman K’Jei Parker has made a name for himself by becoming just one of three players to average over 10 points per game (10.3). Teammate Roderick Coffee III said Parker’s performances have not gone unnoticed.

“Kj is a very unselfish type of guy,” Coffee told The Famuan, the campus newspaper. “He’s always looking out for others but at the same time, he’s going to get his. He’s humble, confident, and honest.”

–Field Level Media

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