Time to at least end the season on an upswing
I give a general overview of our recent Big 12 play and look ahead to the next few games in this blog entry.
Cyclones Head to Mizzou Wednesday Night by Jerry Hales
:: March 4th, 2008 :: 12:36 pm
Iowa State will have one last chance to get that elusive first road win of the season when they head down to Columbia Wednesday night to take on the Tigers. Just being in 40 minutes of a competitive game would be a step in the right direction at this point for the Clones, as our only 2 road games closer than a dozen were Nebraska and Baylor (8 and 7 point losses). What really makes it difficult is that you can see some progress in a lot of different things throughout the program, but it just isn’t translating into any wins yet. I think that this one is more winnable than the Colorado game was simply because we normally play better down there and Missouri is struggling with some chemistry still at this point in the season.
While Jiri Hubalek has been playing great lately, I would rather see some younger guys stepping up and carrying some of the load for us. The transformation in Jiri over the last year and a half has been remarkable, which gives us hope for young guys like Craig Brackins, Cory Johnson, and our incoming post players to develop. There is also the possibility of Wesley Johnson moving back down to the block next year, which could give us a very athletic lineup.
In the backcourt, Diante Garrett has really started to blossom the last several games, playing under control, limiting turnovers, and creating some opportunities for himself and his teammates. Sean Haluska has also been a bright spot for the Clones, finding his shot and giving us a scoring punch off the bench while still providing steady defense. It will hurt to lose Rahshon Clark next season, but Lucca Staiger will be a big upgrade offensively if he can lock down on defense at least serviceably. Bryan Petersen and Cameron Lee should provide some good minutes as well, and hopefully one or two of the incoming guards will be able to become an early contributor.
Overall, it would be really nice to go into the off-season on a bit of an upswing. If we can pull off a slight upset at Missouri tomorrow night, I think we have a decent chance to beat Kansas State at home on Saturday. Lately they couldn’t fight their way out of a wet paper sack on the road, and being senior night I’m expecting to get a big boost from the crowd. If both of those games go our way we could be set up to have a chance at playing on Friday or even Saturday down in Kansas City. My final prediction for Wednesday: ISU 71 Mizzou 67
“I’m just glad I have Homan as my bodyguard,” Eustachy joked. “If I ever make it real big and get to drive a limo everyday, he’ll be driving it. I thought he came off the bench like somebody was stealing his cow or something.”