Curtis Stinson Q&A

Eager to erase the memory of Saturday's collapse at Missouri, Iowa State is preparing to meet the second-ranked Kansas Jayhawks Wednesday night at Hilton Coliseum. Sophomore guard Curtis Stinson hit on a variety of issues Monday afternoon in a question-and-answer session with

CN: Is playing the second-ranked team at home just what this team needs?

Curtis Stinson: It's what any team needs that don't have the publicity that they need. This will be a great challenge for us. They're a great basketball team playing well without Wayne Simien. We've got to come out here and give it our all. They're going to come and try to take it from us, like they did on Sunday against Kentucky. They're a great, well-coached team.

CN: What would it mean to knock off the country's #2 team at home?

Stinson: We could get back on track by beating them, but first we need to take care of our business. We'll have the crowd behind us Wednesday, and hopefully we'll get our confidence back.

CN: What about the home-court advantage, and how much a role it could play?

Stinson: I think that's what we needed. It would give us a nice confidence booster going into Oklahoma State – two top-10 teams like that. Beating Kansas would help us a lot. We played pretty well on the road (against Missouri). I think we'll be alright.

CN: What are some areas of the Jayhawk team that concerns you?

Stinson: I think the guard play. They've got seniors over there that have been through a whole lot.

CN: How is Kansas a different team with and without Simien?

Stinson: With him they've got the inside game, and it's so strong. He draws so much attention and people double team him. He's a double-double every night. It's just an inside-outside game, and you get Keith Langford and J.R. Giddens free, and Aaron Miles able to penetrate. It makes the game a lot easier. Without him, the guards have to do a lot more like creating and penetrating. They need to be more aggressive. But they've also got great role players. They're a great team.

CN: Did you watch KU's game against Kentucky?

Stinson: Yes, I watched the whole game. It impressed me that a lot of their players stepped up. Alex Galindo stepped up and made big baskets. They showed a lot of character and played as hard as they could on another team's floor in front of 24,000 people. They came out with a win and that impressed me.

CN: What do you learn from the end of the Missouri game?

Stinson: You just learn that the game is never over until all the zeros are on the clock and you're walking off the court. When the end of the game comes, you've got to be able to take care of the ball. I never put it past Missouri that they wouldn't be able to come back, and I never thought we had that great of a cushion. We've just got to play more defense at the end.

CN: Are you starting to notice a different defensive game plan against Jared Homan, and how has he handled that?

Stinson: Teams are just playing aggressive, and probably need to do that against all good big men like Jared. They do it to Wayne Simien, too. They've double-teamed Jared to the point to where he can't get anything. They realize that if he gets underneath the basket, it's over, so they try to push him out of the paint.

Jared is doing well with it, and has to keep playing. The time will come when he busts open and be back on track. I don't think he's getting that much frustrated with it. I think he will be fine.

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