MBB Right on Kimball (1)

First place was at stake coming into the game. Iowa State is coming off of a high energy home win against Kansas and Kansas State came in with a four-game win streak. Vegas had the Wildcats as a ten-point underdog and from the looks of things early in the Big 12 season, had a lot of work if they were going to stay in this game, let alone win.

What I liked:

  • Great early start. Defensively, the Cyclones didn’t get too many buckets in transition early. Offensively, Nino was a monster hitting outside shots and finding the opening around the rim.
  • Defensive rebounding limited Iowa State’s second chances. That was a huge point of emphasis for me going in. It slowed a little going into the half, but overall good effort.
  • The effort and tenacity to come back and close out the first half. Down seven, Foster got hot and the defense buttoned up. Diving for the loose ball and calling a timeout didn’t result in a bucket to take the lead, but it did showed intensity that was lost in December.
  • I just mentioned how the Wildcats looked in December. You remember, walking through the motions and not really showing up. That’s what Iowa State looked like in this game and the Wildcats had the intensity the Cyclones had Saturday night.
  • A three second call with 1:43 left in the game against the home team.

What I didn’t Like:

  • Allowed too many easy buckets in the half court. Iowa State was able to find driving lanes and open guys around the bucket. I know it’s tough to defend when Niang is able to hook with his arms, but there was no help defense either.
  • Foster’s early shot selection. Nino was hitting. Justin Edwards was hitting. Marcus Foster was just firing. I noticed this at times last year. When his team mates are knocking down shots, Foster will start forcing a few to try to keep up. He did start hitting, but the selection was still forced.
  • Officiating. It appears as if Ames, Iowa is the new Lawrence, Kansas. The yellow jerseys could use their hands and arms to position defenders or stop the offensive players, but if the purple jerseys got close it’s a whistle.
  • Iowa State’s Boo Birds. They were nowhere to be found on Saturday night against KU, but just like Lawrence when the officiating becomes even the fans in Ames just can’t comprehend.
  • I hate how the game seemed to interrupt the Fred Hoiberg documentary that ESPN insisted on running. It was like I tuned in for a 30 for 30 and just happened upon the ball game. You would think that ESPN would be able to afford something more than a cell phone to shoot that with.
  • Not being able to get to the under eight time out in the second half. Gipson took a seat up four with about 8:30 left on the clock and Iowa State took advantage of his absence and the tiring Wildcats for the next two minutes tieing the game. Bruce did a good job of calling a time out and allowing for the under eight and under four to occur within two minutes.

In the end the Cyclones were able to take first place in the Big 12. The Wildcats just could not get the shots to fall and Iowa State made the free throws when they mattered. It came down to the fatigue that set in right before that under eight time out. Those two easy buckets tied the game and gave Iowa State the momentum they rode to victory.

About The Author

Ryan was born and raised around the “Little Apple”, and is a life-long Kansas State fan and 2007 graduate. He is also a lover of all things Tallgrass Brewing. Was once quoted on November 11, 2006 as saying, "If we beat Texas, I will get a Powercat tattooed on my ass!"

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