From the Balcony

Last week I was trying to shed some light into this year's men's basketball season by showing some statistical categories that these Cyclones are excelling in.

Last week I was trying to shed some light into this year's men's basketball season by showing some statistical categories that these Cyclones are excelling in.

 

Well, that is all for not as this team truly has more weaknesses than strengths and it clearly showed last weekend allowing the Baylor Bears to look like an NIT team and sending Iowa State fans into a frenzy.

 

I did not want to end the season ripping the Cyclones and was only wanting, hoping and praying for a turnaround so we have something to cheer for. As patient and loyal fans we have out there, they can only take so much and losing to Baylor in their transitional period is no excuse. Especially the way the game played out. Coach Morgan, I would have rather had Jeff Bergstrom, Chris Caeser, Mike Evanovich, Mark Currie and Dustin Streff, if he were not injured, finish the game as the Cyclones who were playing that game Saturday appeared for most of the game like they were in a hurry to get back on the plane to go back to Ames. Floyd & Larry wouldn't have allowed that team to finish the game after seeing the lack of basic fundamental basketball.

 

Some notable things you see watching a disastrous game on video that you play back time and time is you actually realize this is not much of a "team". New players have not grasped the concept of their roles to the team. Foolish fouls have plagued the Cyclones as almost every team in the Big 12 has taken advantage at the free throw line. The ability to "block out" other opponents for rebounding is terrible. Too many times players are looking at the ball instead of getting a body on another player to shield them from the ball making them work for the rebound because you really don't know on some three point shots where the ball will be landing. Too many times this team rushes their three point shots with no one, and I mean no one, under the basket for rebounding. The lack of our big guys learning how to draw contact to get to the line or create space with fakes and fades to be able to get a shot off needs vast improvement because I'm not sure if I've seen an Iowa State team in the past get so many shots blocked before in one season. How does this team game in game out have fewer turnovers that the other and still end up losing?

 

My "little birdie" told me that this team plays defense with their hands, not their feet. Gene Hackman's character in the movie Hoosiers would've made them shuffle side to side all year! Is there still something to achieve this year, well yes and no? Pride is something very important to a young inexperienced team but this team isn't the youngest in the Big 12.

 

Tuesday night will be that last game at home during the regular season for Seniors John Neal, who hasn't even shot a free throw all year, and Anthony Davis. Davis who appeared might be a force while playing in last summer's Capital City League found himself gaining splinters as he was not the same player from last year even with a bummed shoulder. Who knows, there may be two even three others who might also be playing their last regular season game Tuesday night.

 

All be said, when this season is over and the dust settles, many players and coaches are needing to step back and find out what went wrong. Sure we haven't had our share of calls and it seems that some games no matter what Curtis and Will do, the opponent is allowed to bump them more and we get called for ticky tack reach ins. Sometimes I wonder if there is a conspiracy against Iowa State much like the lack of luck against us in football. Can these players, as all but two are Seniors, come back next year bound and determined to wipe away this forgettable season and show the rest of the conference and the nation that Cyclone basketball should be one of the top 25 programs in the nation as our fans would agree.

 

Before next season begins, finish out this season with dignity and leave it all on the court. There still is an automatic berth at stake, I'm afraid starting in the #11 or #12 seed will be too much of a hill to climb.

Iowa State will travel to Bradley in the first round of the NIT.

 

Rankings heading into the final week

1) Texas (12-2) ( 3/1@A&M, 3/5-OU)-Bounced back last week showing they are the best team in the conference and will be the only team with a shot at Elite 8.

2) Kansas (11-3) (3/1-Colorado, 3/4@KST)- What a run for the Jayhawks. Can they do this in the NCAA and make it to the sweet 16? Rush & Wright to the NBA?

3) Oklahoma (10-4) (2/27-OSU, 3/5@Texas)- Sooners have won last three games by one point each! Good coaching or good luck? If Michael Neal keeps hitting the three could go further than expected in the NCAA.

4) Texas A&M (8-6) (3/1-Texas, 3/4 @Tech)- Gillispie is becoming one of the best coaches in this league. Have a solid inside/out game. Played hard enough to be in the NCAA tournament. If this was Okie St. in this spot no one would say don't deserve to go.

5) Colorado (8-6) (3/1@Kansas, 3/4 ISU)- Buffs were almost a lock for NCAA a week ago. Once again, playing their way out. Win two this week and one in Big 12 tourney should put them on solid ground.

6) Nebraska (7-7) (3/1-KST, 3/5@Missouri)- Huskers too playing themselves out of the Big Dance. Winning these two games this week really does nothing for SOS. Have to win two in the Big 12 tournament to make it.

7) Texas Tech (6-8) (3/1@Baylor, 3/4-Texas A&M)- Bobby Knight getting much more out of Red Raiders than what is there. Does Jarrius Jackson go pro? Right now I would.

8) Kansas State (5-9) (3/1@Nebr, 3/4-Kansas)- Wildcats have played tough in about every game. If they only had a consistence third option, they would've won more games.

9) Oklahoma State (5-9) (2/27@OU, 3/4-Baylor)- Cowboys are a team to watch out for next year. Too many turnovers plagued them in the guard court. Could pull off couple upsets in the post season)

10) Iowa State (5-9) (2/28-Missu, 3/4@Colorado)- Not many would've guess finish in this spot. Many the Cyclones want another shot at Texas Tech and Kansas. Lose two this week and they will drop to 12th.

11) Missouri (4-10) (2/28@ISU, 3/5-Nebraska)- Most say the coach at George Washington or at UAB could come to Columbia. Whoever it is, next year will be tougher than this year.

12) Baylor (3-11) (3/1-Tech, 3/4 @OSU)- Pounding the Cyclones is just what this program needed to head into next year. Life. Bears have talent, there's no question about that and beating ISU will carry over to a win against Texas Tech.             


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