Ames, IA (SportsNetwork.com) - A pair of teams off to 2-0 starts get together on Sunday evening, as the seventh-ranked Michigan Wolverines pay a visit to the Iowa State Cyclones.
Michigan has had an easy time of it in its first two games, logging lopsided home wins over UMass Lowell (69-42) and South Carolina State (93-59). This bout certainly marks a step up in competition, which will serve the team well as it looks ahead to games with Florida State, Duke and Arizona prior to opening Big Ten Conference play at Minnesota on Jan. 2, 2014.
This meeting also marks the first of four straight Michigan will play away from home over the next eight days.
Iowa State's road to early perfection has also come without breaking much of a sweat, as the team has beaten up on visitors, UNC-Wilmington (95-62) and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (80-50). In addition to this clash, the Cyclones still have games against BYU, Auburn and Iowa before kicking off their Big 12 Conference slate at Texas Tech on Jan. 4, 2014.
ISU has won its last 15 non-conference home games -- the last loss coming against Northern Iowa on Nov. 30, 2011.
Michigan owns a 5-4 lead in the all-time series with Iowa State, and the most recent encounter went to the Wolverines in a 76-66 final in Ann Arbor on Dec. 2, 2011.
Having barely been tested during the first week, the Wolverines are averaging 30.5 points more than the opposition, and they are hitting 44.7 percent of their field goal attempts, shooting nearly as well from 3-point range (.435). The team boasts three players scoring in double figures, led by Caris LeVert with his 20.5 ppg. A near-60 percent shooter overall, LeVert has drained 7- of-10 3-point tries and all but one of his nine foul shots. Nik Stauskas (16.0 ppg) and Glenn Robinson III (14.0 ppg) are also off to fast starts, and the former joined LeVert in combining for 11 3-pointers in the recent rout of SC State. In all, the Wolverines nailed 15 treys, just one shy of the school record. LeVert finished with 24 points, Stauskas 23, and both Robinson III (13 points, nine rebounds) and Jon Horford (nine points, 15 rebounds) came close to logging double-doubles. UM shot 50.8 percent from the field, while holding the Bulldogs to 35.6 percent. A resounding 43-30 rebounding advantage also played an integral role in the lopsided outcome.
As dominant as Michigan has been, Iowa State has been even more so in beating its first two opponents by 31.5 ppg. The Cyclones are also winning the battle on the boards by 10 rpg, but they are actually in the red with regard to turnover margin (-2.0). A total of six players are averaging double digits in the scoring column, led by Naz Long (15.5 ppg). DeAndre Kane (14.0 ppg, 9.0 rpg) has the potential to be a double-double machine, and he is also the team's primary playmaker with 11 assists. ISU has played strong defense in limiting the opposition to 29.1 percent field goal efficiency, which includes a 28.9 percent showing from beyond the arc. Kane led five players in double figures in the 30-point win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Tuesday, as Iowa State made good on 52.8 percent of its total shots, compared to just 28.6 percent for the Islanders.