CN Courtside: Cyclones Escape

Will Blalock had his career high on Saturday night and the Cyclones needed it as the squeeked past Kansas State to start the Big 12 season. Iowa State won by a score of 72-70 as they look forward to hosting Texas on Monday. Read courtside notes here only at Cyclone Nation.

  • First things first, I am extremely impressed with tonight's crowd. I'm not just talking about the size of it, I'm talking about energy. This crowd is louder during the starting lineups than Carver Hawkeye was after Iowa upset the #6 team in the country.
  • The Clones came out of the gate about how I expected. On a scale of 1-10 the intensity I saw probably was around a 4. After the first four minutes they were still up 7-6. Stinson hit an early three which is always nice to see. If he can consistently knock that shot down his potential is scary.
  • Shawn Taggart has recently been saying that he's back to himself. He checked in with around 14 minutes on the clock and physically he looks the same to me. We'll see how he looks on the court.
  • Taggart just ripped down an offensive rebound with 13:19 on the clock. That was the most powerful move I've ever seen Taggart make here at ISU. So far his progress looks encouraging.
  • With 11:45 to go in the first half, Curtis Stinson has been called for two carries. I know that he's been warned about this a lot and the refs must be proving to him that it won't be tolerated. Let's see how this progresses.
  • He's had a rough year so far but every time I see him play, I get more impressed with Tasheed Carr's leadership ability. He is a real take charge type of guy and the players on the court seem to follow his lead. I love a player that plays with a ton of emotion and that's what Tasheed does.
  • With 8:38 on the clock, a KSU player completely grabbed Tasheed's jersey and pulled him to the ground. No call was made on the play. Needless to say, that emotion came out on that play.
  • When it comes to playing winning basketball, teams MUST stick to fundamentals. There was a span of the game where KSU had multiple possessions where I did not see one Cyclone box out a Wildcat. This went on for about a minutes. KSU got 4 offensive rebounds in one possession.
  • Shawn Taggart just knocked down his first field goal with 6:25 to go in the half. It was a jumper from the free throw line and he makes that shot look good. That dude has amazing touch. I still have faith that he'll be a Cyclone Great someday.
  • Is it me or does John Neal have a new hair color?
  • With 2:43 left in the half, the stadium crew put on a song while the pep band was playing. This crowd looked more confused than Elton John at a rap concert.
  • Just for anyone's information, our pep bands rendition of the song "Smooth Criminal" is money. I even saw Coach Morgan swing his hips.
  • With two minutes to go in the half, John Neal has knocked down two threes. It is so good to see this kid coming on strong with conference play beginning.


HALFTIME SCORE: Iowa State 39 Kansas State 27


At the half the Clones took a 39-27 lead to the locker room. I'll take a 12 point lead at halftime during any Big 12 game any season. The thing that keeps jumping into my head while watching this game is that Iowa State is shooting way too many threes. The Clones went 6-16 from behind the arch in the first half. That's a decent 37% but it's not our game. I'm interested to see how many they take in the 2nd half. I'm also still concerned with the interior defense being played. KSU has gotten way to many offensive rebounds in this game and that's why they're in this game. KSU has 18 points in the paint compared to Iowa State's 8 in the first half.


  • The Cyclones lead shrunk to eight points with 15:41 to go in the game. Rahshon Clark is 1-6 from the field and isn't having his greatest game of the year. John Neal just looks a thousand times more confident tonight as he's 3-3 from behind the arch.
  • With 14:08 to go in the game, emotions are high here in Hilton. I've repeatedly seen Curtis Stinson and Kansas State's Akeem Wright jawing back and forth.
  • I'm really impressed with what I just saw from Shawn Taggart. He absolutely got stuffed on a jump shot. Instead of hanging his head, the next possession Shawn took it up as strong as I've ever seen him and drew a foul. He went to the line and knocked down both free throws. He's getting better folks. I rarely see emotion out of Shawn be he actually looked mad on defense at certain points tonight. I even saw him push a guy when the ref wasn't looking.
  • Rahshon Clark is absolutely ridiculous. He just converted on an ally oop and I swear his vertical is like 80 or something.
  • Well I kept talking about how we're shooting too many threes, so what happens? Will Blalock tells me to shut my trap. Will knocked down two huge threes within the span of two minutes to put the Cyclones up 11 with 8:47 to go in the game.
  • Does anybody else feel like this team just can't put a team away? My biggest criticism of these guys is that they need to learn to throw salt in their opponent's wounds.
  • With 5:11 to go, this was all of the sudden a seven point game. Iowa State had a lot of careless shots and passes in the span of about a minute that let the Wildcats back in the game. It's time for Curtis Stinson and Will Blalock to take control of this game.
  • With 2:49 to go in the game, it was a six point game with a Kansas State team gaining confidence every possession.
  • With 1:39 to go in the game, Iowa State has completely lost control. It's now a two point game and Iowa State has the ball. It's Curtis Stinson time if I ever did see it.
  • Will Blalock went to the line with 1:19 to go and knocked down two huge free throws to put the Clones up by four.
  • With 32 seconds to go, Iowa State has a one point lead and KSU has the ball. I will say this now. These are the games that Iowa State MUST win in order to be a contender in the Big 12. There is absolutely no excuse for blowing this game.
  • HUGE traveling call with 16 seconds to go. Kansas State continued to foul Will Blalock on the inbound to put him at the line with 14 seconds to go. Will missed the front end of the one in one.
  • Curtis Stinson went to the line with 4.7 on the clock. Iowa State was up by one when Curtis hit two huge free throws to put the Clones up three. Stinson then went on to foul David Hoskins with 2.3 on the clock. Iowa State was up by 3.
  • After Iowa State won the game, Will Blalock went on to drop kick the basketball into the crowd. I've never seen anything like that.


FINAL SCORE: Iowa State 72 Kansas State 70


Notable Stats:


*Will Blalock had 24 points with 5 assists and 5 rebounds.

*Curtis Stinson had 17 points with 4 rebounds and 8 assists. Curtis also forced 6 turnovers on the game.

*John Neal had 9 points on the night. Neal was 3-3 from beyond the arch.

*Rahshon Clark had 9 points with three rebounds.

*Jiri Hubalek had 6 points and 7 rebounds.

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