Iowa State wrapped up the exhibition portion of their 2009 men’s basketball season on Friday night with another blowout victory. This 106-54 rout came at the expense of UNC-Pembroke, a Division II team out of North Carolina.
Iowa State won their two exhibition games by a combined score of 202-99.
Four Cyclones scored in double figures on Friday night. Craig Brackins led the way with 17. Diante Garrett scored 16. Charles Boozer went 4-for-5 from the field to score 11 points while true freshman Chris Colvin dropped 10.
The key word describing tonight’s game? Pressure. Iowa State’s defense suffocated the Braves forcing 14 steals.
“Our pressure was more intelligent. We weren’t gambling like we did against Black Hills State,” said Iowa State head coach Greg McDermott after the game.” “It’s a totally different team. Last year, we didn’t have the personnel to go out and pressure, nor did we have the depth. This is at totally different animal that we’re dealing with now. When they get tired, we’ve got another guy who can go do the same thing.”
“We’ve been working on that in practice a lot lately,” point guard Diante Garrett added.
Chris’ Takes: – Tonight’s game might have been the most bizarre sporting event I have ever covered. People paid to see basketball. They got a total sideshow, in addition to the exhibition. It was no secret to anyone that Harrison Barnes was in the arena. The Iowa State student sections took notice as well. Chants of “Harrison Barnes” echoed throughout Hilton randomly all night long. Towards the end of the first half, watching Barnes’ interaction with the crowd became more entertaining than the contest.
– You know who deserves some serious props? That’s Diante Garrett. He hasn’t put up huge numbers in the two exhibitions but DG is doing the little things so much better than he did a year ago. He’s making the extra pass. He’s passing up shots to get his teammates involved. For the first time in his career here, he looks like a real point guard. If Garrett keeps this up, he could be one of the top point guards in the Big 12. I truly believe that. Garrett ended the evening with 16 points and four assists while going 5-for-6 from the field. That last stat is the impressive one.
– I have a feeling that LaRon Dendy is going to do some really positive things for Iowa State this year on the defensive end. I also have a feeling that he’ll be one of those guys that gives you a frequent headache while on offense. Dendy had nine points and nine rebounds in the win while going 3-for-7 shooting.
– Lucca Staiger looks a lot more athletic to me this year. He made a move late in the first half that I have never seen out of him before. Maybe that’s because he’s actually healthy for once.
“It’s a whole new world, playing healthy with my knee and stuff. It’s so much more fun,” Staiger said after the game. “It’s so much fun to play with the guys. Everybody is playing so hard. We’re getting a lot of pressure and forcing turnovers. It’s fun.”
Other Notes: – McDermott told reporters after the game that no official decisions have been made on red-shirts at this time. The likely suspects are Antwon Oliver, Bubu Palo and Alex Dorr.
– Speaking of Oliver, the freshman played five minutes tonight. During that short period of time, he went 3-of-4 from the field and scored seven points.
– Surprisingly, Jamie Vanderbeeken played nine minutes tonight for Iowa State. Vanderbeekend has been nursing a foot injury since late this summer.