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  1. #1
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    The January Thaw

    Not sure if it's hidden in another thread but saw this on ESPN.

    Game Plan: The January thaw - ESPN

    For the first 10 weeks of the 2013-14 college basketball season, Wisconsin and Iowa State shared much in common.
    They were two of the sport’s most enjoyable “surprise” stories, scare-quotes intended, because the word surprise works only if you note that both were expected to be good, and wound up even better. Both programs subvert traditional offensive dogma, both rely on players with label-allergic skill sets; both take advantage of interchangeable parts. Both programs are more sheer fun to watch than ever before -- the Cylcones have pushed their typical high pace under Fred Hoiberg to new versatile lengths, while the Badgers are, for them, playing at breakneck speed (for them, anyway -- 65 possessions per game). For the first 10 weeks of the season, both remained among the nation’s ever-shrinking group of unbeaten teams. Last week, both lost that status.

    Did they ever. Ten days ago, Iowa State was in the thick of a three-team Big 12 title race. The Cyclones lost at Oklahoma Jan. 11, then at home to Kansas two days later, and then, finally, at Texas Saturday. Wisconsin, for its part, played uncharacteristically awful transition defense at Indiana on Jan. 14, falling to a shaky group whose next game was a 54-47 home loss to Northwestern. (Yep.) Just as surprising was Wisconsin’s failure to recover over the weekend, when it managed 70 points in 68 possessions in a home loss to Michigan. It’s now been nearly two weeks since either team won a game.This is what makes January so fascinating: It is an exercise in transition. Teams are more frequently and more rigorously tested. Fatigue and attrition come into play. Certain teams begin to take fearsome shape; others reveal their shortcomings. Outliers regress to the mean. We go from shaky impressions formed from disparate nonconference schedules to solid ideas based on less noisy data (and more of it), and all in the matter of a month. And by the time it’s all over, we’re already slotting people onto seedlines. It happens fast.
    So: What about Iowa State and Wisconsin? How much should perceptions change? Neither team was without its flaws even when it was undefeated, but those flaws were hidden behind close wins and scheduling luck. (Iowa State got the “Is Mitch McGary OK or not?” edition of Michigan at home; Wisconsin played Florida in the Kohl Center when the Gators had, like, six dudes on the team.) A few losses, sudden and stacked though they may be, won’t send either team plummeting to the NIT. They’re more like gentle reminders of the work ahead.
    These are the kinds of things that get figured out in January, in this first great surge of conference clarity. It’s when the nitpicking -- and the fun-- truly begin.


    2015 CF Avatar of the Year winner.

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    Re: The January Thaw

    Perspective.



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    Re: The January Thaw

    They’re more like gentle reminders of the work ahead.
    These are the kinds of things that get figured out in January, in this first great surge of conference clarity. It’s when the nitpicking -- and the fun-- truly begin.
    ^This.


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    Re: The January Thaw

    I'm pretty sure that guy is wrong. Now is the time to PANIC!!!!!



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    Re: The January Thaw

    I never bought that ISU was a top 10 team. I really don't know how good/bad this team is. Probably only as good as their shooting will take them and most of us thought it wouldn't be a great shooting team. Maybe they are and it's just a slump or maybe it's an average shooting team. I think it's a team with average shooters at each position instead of any great shooters in the guard court. We really need Matt to start knocking some shots down, frankly.

    If we lose Saturday the NCAA tournament starts to come into doubt. I think we take care of business but if we don't...


    Last edited by Cydkar; 01-20-2014 at 09:30 AM.

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    Re: The January Thaw

    Quote Originally Posted by bawbie View Post
    I'm pretty sure that guy is wrong. Now is the time to PANIC!!!!!


    ***Official Unofficial Spokesman of Cyclone Fanatic.***


    ​Least favorite poster: JHUNSY


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    Re: The January Thaw

    I'm not sure our three losses are even in the same category as Wisconsin's. Come selection time, their losses to Indiana and Northwestern will be considered bad losses. I don't see any of ISU's losses considered bad. Both teams need a turnaround, but I think ISU's problems are more from better competition where Wisconsin is just playing really bad.



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    Re: The January Thaw

    Quote Originally Posted by Cydkar View Post
    I never bought that ISU was a top 10 team. I really don't know how good/bad this team is. Probably only as good as their shooting will take them and most of us thought it wouldn't be a great shooting team. Maybe they are and it's just a slump or maybe it's an average shooting team. I think it's a team with average shooters at each position instead of any great shooters in the guard court. We really need Matt to start knocking some shots down, frankly.

    If we lose Saturday the NCAA tournament starts to come into doubt. I think we take care of business but if we don't...

    I think we forget this sometimes. We graduated a ton of our points. What this team did was win with making smart plays and chemistry.



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    Re: The January Thaw

    Quote Originally Posted by Clonehomer View Post
    I'm not sure our three losses are even in the same category as Wisconsin's. Come selection time, their losses to Indiana and Northwestern will be considered bad losses. I don't see any of ISU's losses considered bad. Both teams need a turnaround, but I think ISU's problems are more from better competition where Wisconsin is just playing really bad.
    Wisconsin didn't lose to Northwestern, they lost to Indiana and Michigan. But you're right about us not having any bad losses, two road losses to solid teams and a home lost against possibly the most talented team in the country. We just need to hold serve at home against KSU this weekend and weather the first half of our schedule and we'll be fine. Our schedule sets up great for a really strong conference finish.



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    Re: The January Thaw

    Quote Originally Posted by bos View Post
    I think we forget this sometimes. We graduated a ton of our points. What this team did was win with making smart plays and chemistry.
    Exactly on the chemistry-smart play. That version of this team taking 3's in the flow of offense can beat anybody. The stand-and-watch/drive-and-chuck version would have about a 9-8 record right now.



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    Re: The January Thaw

    Quote Originally Posted by Cydkar View Post
    I never bought that ISU was a top 10 team. I really don't know how good/bad this team is. Probably only as good as their shooting will take them and most of us thought it wouldn't be a great shooting team. Maybe they are and it's just a slump or maybe it's an average shooting team. I think it's a team with average shooters at each position instead of any great shooters in the guard court. We really need Matt to start knocking some shots down, frankly.

    If we lose Saturday the NCAA tournament starts to come into doubt. I think we take care of business but if we don't...
    We still wouldn't have a "bad loss" on our resume but yeah it would start to look like a Minnesota/Illinois meltdown that they had last year after their big starts. I think we take control of the entire game Saturday and right the ship but it would be very concerning if we lost at home



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    Re: The January Thaw

    Quote Originally Posted by Clonehomer View Post
    I'm not sure our three losses are even in the same category as Wisconsin's. Come selection time, their losses to Indiana and Northwestern will be considered bad losses. I don't see any of ISU's losses considered bad. Both teams need a turnaround, but I think ISU's problems are more from better competition where Wisconsin is just playing really bad.
    This. We got brought to reality and then thrown into the meat grinder of the Big 12. We aren't playing great but we have played top competion and were in each game.



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    Re: The January Thaw

    Quote Originally Posted by Clonehomer View Post
    I'm not sure our three losses are even in the same category as Wisconsin's. Come selection time, their losses to Indiana and Northwestern will be considered bad losses. I don't see any of ISU's losses considered bad. Both teams need a turnaround, but I think ISU's problems are more from better competition where Wisconsin is just playing really bad.
    We are playing poorly as well, but yes our schedule is brutal right now. The last loss goes 100% on Hoiberg. He is getting countered. It's time to adjust strategy.



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    Re: The January Thaw

    Of course this strategy is better implemented at home but it's pretty obvious that opponents are trying (and to a point succeeding) to push the highly emotional Kane out of his comfort zone.

    I'm not sure LeBron gets the beating that Kane took on Saturday.



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    Re: The January Thaw

    Quote Originally Posted by Clonehomer View Post
    I'm not sure our three losses are even in the same category as Wisconsin's. Come selection time, their losses to Indiana and Northwestern will be considered bad losses. I don't see any of ISU's losses considered bad. Both teams need a turnaround, but I think ISU's problems are more from better competition where Wisconsin is just playing really bad.
    Exactly, and discounting the Michigan game, one that MCGARY ACTUALLY PLAYED AND PLAYED WELL IN, is just stupid.



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