By Chris Williams, CycloneFanatic.com PublisherFollow Chris on Twitter @ChrisMWilliams
AMES — Iowa State gave Kansas a scare in Lawrence two weeks ago. The Cyclones beat the fifth-ranked Jayhawks on Saturday by a 72-64 final.
Both performances were more than enough to convince Kansas head coach Bill Self that the Cyclones will be a participant in the 2011/12 NCAA Tournament.
“I’ve said that all along. They are definitely a tournament team," said Self. "Fred (Hoiberg) has done a great job in a short amount of time. They have good players and they seem to play well together and like each other."
While Iowa State still has a heck of a lot of work left to do before Self’s praises become a reality, one thing has become extremely clear throughout the first month of the Big 12 basketball season. Iowa State and specifically Royce White is a brutal squad to try and match up with.
"They have a matchup that not too many people have," said Self of the Cyclones. "Fred has been around enough in the NBA and stuff that he probably coaches a bad matchup like that probably better than anybody in the country could because that is how they do it in the league. That’s a big bonus for Iowa State.”
It’s a big bonus for Iowa State and it’s a big compliment from one of the best coaches in all of college basketball.
TRASH TALK: Oh yeah. It happens all of the time. When Royce White went to the free throw line to shoot two with 1:47 to play in the game, Kansas’ Thomas Robinson took a friendly verbal jab at Iowa State’s sophomore who has recently struggled from the charity stripe.
White sunk both shots and then proceeded to make a gesture towards the rim.
“That was for Thomas because he said that I was going to miss them," said White in his postgame press conference. "That was for him.”
Boys will be boys…
White 6-for-8 from the free throw line in the second half and was crucial in Iowa State’s victory.
LOCKER ROOM: After the game, Hoiberg admitted that he’s "no Paul Rhoads" when it comes to postgame locker room speeches after a big win. And that’s okay. Paul Rhoads is one of a kind when it comes to this stuff. Fred is Fred, and that’s why he’s arguably the most popular figure in the history of Iowa State athletics. He doesn’t need to try and be anyone who he is not. He’s nicknamed "The Mayor." Need I say more? Anyway, here’s some postgame locker room video courtesy of our friends at Cyclones.com.
— Despite the loss, Bill Self is coaching his butt off this year in Lawrence. In my humble opinion, this is the least talented Kansas team that Self has had in a decade. Still, the Jayhawks are 7-1, ranked fifth in America and still the front-runners to win this league. Self is doing a hell of a job with this team that is somewhat limited offensively, with little to no bench at all.
— Having said that, after watching Iowa State blow a lead in Lawrence two weeks ago and combining that with today’s somewhat dominating effort, the Cyclones have Kansas’ number. The Jayhawks don’t match up well with Iowa State at all.
— Chris Allen is hurting in a bad way right now. The senior’s stat line was atrocious in Saturday’s win. After going 1-of-9 from the floor on Tuesday against Texas, Allen scored three points, recorded zero assists and turned the basketball over four times against the Jayhawks. What’s even more troublesome than all of that is the fact that he only attempted two shots in 22 minutes. Iowa State didn’t need more from him on Saturday to get the job done, but they will going forward.
— How big was Chris Babb’s 3-pointer with 56 seconds to play? The shot put the Cyclones up by eight and essentially iced the game. Babb was only 3-for-7 on the day, but that’s a hell of a way to come out of a slump is it not?