MBB Preview: Storm at Coe, 1/21/17

Brook Thompson and the Storm travel to Coe on Saturday, Jan. 21.
Brook Thompson and the Storm travel to Coe on Saturday, Jan. 21.

The Simpson men's basketball team looks to continue its winning ways when it travels to Cedar Rapids to play the Coe Kohawks for the second time in seven days on Saturday, Jan. 21. Coe beat Simpson 80-70 in the first meeting on Jan. 14 in Indianola. The game will air on KNIA 1320 AM/95.3 FM and online at KNIAKRLS.com. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m.

GAME SETUP
Matchup: Simpson (10-6, 3-4 IIAC) at Coe (8-9, 4-4 IIAC)
Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa • Eby Fieldhouse
Time: Saturday, Jan. 21 • 4 p.m.
Last Time Out: Simpson beat Central 64-63
Radio: KNIA 1320 AM/95.3 FM
Live Audio: www.kniakrls.com
Live Video/Stats: www.CoeAthletics.com
Series: Coe leads 48-38

THE OPPONENT
Coe is 0-2 since reigning IIAC Player of the Week Marshall Shedeck and his teammates beat the Storm 80-70 last Saturday, losing to Loras 88-75 on Monday and to Buena Vista 62-61 in a buzzer-beat on Wednesday. Shedeck and Matt Vonderhaar are the team's leading scorers, going for 19 and 10, respectively, the last time the two teams met. Simpson will see a new face on the floor in point guard Trevor Haaland, who did not play in the first meeting. The sophomore is tied for the league lead with 71 assists and his 2.4 assist-to-turnover ratio is tops in the league, ahead of Austin Turner's 2.1. Head coach Bryan Martin is now 8-1 against his alma mater since taking over at Coe in 2012-13.

THE SERIES
Simpson and Coe meet for the 87th time in a series that dates back to 1911-12. Coe leads the series 48-38 and is 14-11 against the Storm in Eby Fieldhouse. Coe beat Simpson 80-70 in this season's first meeting after the Storm earned a sweep last season. Simpson has won just once in its last seven trips to Cedar Rapids.

STORM STORYLINES
1 -- Simpson trailed by 12 in the second half before coming back to beat Central 64-63 on Wednesday night, marking the first time this season the Storm have overcome a deficit of more than four points to win. The comeback ties Simpson's largest since coming back from 16 down to beat Graceland on Dec. 4, 2012. Simpson came back from 12 down to win twice last season, at Central on Jan. 27 and at Luther on Feb. 10.

2 -- Wednesday night's hero, Austin Turner has been making an impact as of late not because of his scoring, but his ability to take care of the basketball. The senior point guard ranks second in the IIAC with a 2.1 assist-to-turnover ratio and has committed just two turnovers in the last three games. He had just one assist against Central but didn't commit a turnover, as the Storm committed just seven for the game. 

3 -- Junior forward Sam Amsbaugh -- one of the top scorers and rebounders in the IIAC -- is on pace to become the 20th member of Simpson's 1,000-point club and first since 2014-15. He has 847 points entering Saturday's game and is averaging a career-high 20.8 this season. He has now reached double figures in 18 straight games dating back to last season.

4 -- Simpson's bench got outscored in 10 of the first 14 games of the season, but came up big in Wednesday's win over Central. The Storm's bench outscored Coe's and Central's 49-34 over the last two games primarily due to the contributions of Nick Noah and Cody Good. The duo has combined for 31 points over the last two games, with Noah providing 16 and Good 15. Simpson is 5-1 this season when outscoring the opponent's bench.

5 -- DJ Dafney has made a career out of doing the dirty work. Despite standing just 6-foot-2, Dafney is the Storm's leading rebounder this season with 8.1 per game, fourth in the IIAC. For his career he has 459 rebounds, 109 assists and is just one steal shy of the century mark. He is looking to become just the 14th player in school history with 100 steals and needs to average 4.6 rebounds to reach 500 by the end of the regular season. If he can do that, he would be just the second player in school history with 500 rebounds and 100 steals, joining Tim Dunlavy (647 rebounds, 104 steals from 2006-10).