Sutton Track Record Demands Respect

Iowa State head coach Larry Eustachy spoke with the Big 12 media Monday morning via teleconference about his team's preparation for Wednesday night's game at Oklahoma State.

On Eddie Sutton's successful run as a head coach:

"It's his longevity. He's had some very difficult jobs. Kentucky is probably the most difficult job in the country, as far as pressure. You look at what he did at Arkansas. He has stood the test of time and has gotten better and better. He's a better coach now than he ever has been. I don't think you can say that about many people."

On affect Tim Barnes' game against Nebraska could have in future:

"We were just talking about that as a staff. I hope he plays that way every night. I think he'll be up and down. We've got so many new guys. You've got to be really special to not be up and down. He's gaining confidence and we've worked hard to meet with him every day. He's a real receptive guy and is getting tougher.

"It only helps to have the type of game he had. Hopefully it will carry over as we move along in league. But now we jump into playing Oklahoma State on Wednesday night. It's going to be tough to keep your confidence in that one."

On preparing team to play in arena like Gallagher-Iba:

"It's like the free throw during practice – it's not like the game. You really can't create that atmosphere. You have to go through it. We've been at Iowa and Missouri this year. It's not like going to Oklahoma State, though. That's the toughest place to play in the league, much like I think our place is tough when we really get it going.

"There's really not much you can do, except for use timeouts. When these runs start hitting, slow then down and be confident with them. The last thing you need to be over there is negative with them, because it can really cave in."

On Oklahoma State's surge in recent weeks:

"It goes back to Coach Sutton again. He does a great job. He doesn't have the kind of job like a North Carolina, where you can select who you want and recruit to your system. He changes his systems from time to time, depending on his players. He figures out the strengths of his team, which are quickness, hardness and physicalness.

"He's really got them guarding. They're probably the best defensive team in the country that I've seen. They have improved on their defense. Great defense leads to some easy baskets. I just think they've made a lot of progress in a lot of areas. A lot of players have stepped up and gotten better."

How Cowboys rate with other conference teams:

"I was telling somebody that our fifth-place team could win the Big 10, in my opinion. Like when Oklahoma played Oklahoma State, I think there is going to be a lot of luck involved with the clock or a shot. Texas Tech thinks they've got Oklahoma beat and Hollis Price throws one in.

"There is certainly nobody above Oklahoma State's level right now. Now it's just a matter of a little luck and a few breaks. There is not a better team. Oklahoma is right there with them and so is Texas. Then you've got Texas Tech and Missouri."

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