CSR Breakdown: Craig Brackins

Iowa State assistant coach T.J. Otzelberger provides his insight on Cyclone star Craig Brackins exclusively with Cyclone Sports Report.

Cyclone Sports Report: How has Craig gotten better since last season?

Coach Otzelberger: The first thing would be his physical strength. He has gone from about 213 pounds to close to 233 pounds and I think people will notice that right away. He really committed himself to getting stronger and it's showing in his game. He has also improved his perimeter skills in that his ballhandling and passing skills are a lot better. I don't know if we need him to use those skills as much as he will likely use them in the future but it just continues to make him so hard to guard anywhere on the court. I also think he's showing more attention to detail because he realizes that it's go-time considering this is likely his last year at Iowa State. His urgency is greater and he is showing it and he's also making a concerted effort to make his teammates better.

Cyclone Sports Report: What part of his game still needs improvement?

Coach Otzelberger: Offensively he needs to be stronger on the glass. He was second in the league in defensive rebounding last year but not even in the top ten on the offensive glass. We also want him creating more contact this year and getting to the line on a more consistent basis. He needs to go from about 5-6 a game to a minimum of 8 this season.

Cyclone Sports Report: Will his role change much from last season?

Coach Otzelberger: His role doesn't change in that he is still our go-to guy and our best scorer but it does change in other ways. He needs to continue to show more leadership skills and to show more consistency in regards to taking what the defense gives him. Last season he had to force the action at times but now he doesn't need to do that each night. He has to realize that some teams will take the attitude that we are not going to let Craig Brackins beat us so he has to become more of a passer some nights to where he may need to have five or six assists by halftime in order to help the team.

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