My review of last nights double overtime thriller at Mizzou and a look ahead to brighter days.

Juice blogs » The Cyclones

Jagged Little Pill by Jerry Hales
:: March 6th, 2008 :: 10:36 am

The double overtime loss in Columbia last night tasted much like the song the nerdy little junior high kids (in their Andre Woolridge jerseys) and Alanis Morrissette used to sing back in the day, a jagged little pill. It was painful to lose, and looking back on all the chances we had to win this game would make me weep openly right now, and since I still have a good 5 hours of work left I don’t need anybody to see me like that. (If you’re reading this Boss, I swear I typed this up last night, honest!) Instead I’m going to leave the negative part of the game at that: we blew some good chances to get a nice road win in the Big 12.

Despite blowing a 12 point lead in the second half, I was actually amazed at the resilience of the team. Diante Garrett put them on his back at times and refused to let the game slip away. In nearly every other game this year, when we’ve given up the lead we’ve wilted and let the opponents close it out. This time we actually fought and clawed our way back at the end of regulation and overtime both. As hope springs eternal, I choose to believe we turned a bit of a corner last night and that there is a bright light at the end of the tunnel.
The future looks very bright if Garrett and fellow freshman Craig Brackins continue to improve the way they have the past few games. As Travis commented, throw in a healthy Wesley Johnson (who shot baskets like I kick a soccer ball (very poorly)last night by the way) and we are looking good. Not to mention we’ll have Lucca Staiger in the rotation with a few able bodies freshman that can hopefully mature pretty quickly, and I think we’ve got a good shot at the upper half of the conference.

The big question mark remains in the post game for next year. Brackins, while possessing the potential to be a fire-breathing man-eating beast-thing, is also not a thick body in the post. Alex Thompson should be solid, but isn’t going to likely be lighting up the scoreboard on offense either. Cory Johnson has been serviceable and works his tail (I use the word tail as a figure of speech there, not a real tail like my buddy DS had to have surgically removed) off every day, so hopefully he will continue to improve and give us some minutes. Clinton Mann is coming in as a probable 4 man, and he has done well against other Big 12 recruits this season, but is still an unknown commodity. Justin Hamilton is one of the most improved big men in the country by most accounts, but could still be unprepared to play for another year. Rumors have swirled about potential JUCO big men that we are recruiting, and hopefully we can get a physical presence to protect the paint and rebound hard, because that really looks like the only ingredient missing for next year.

As it is this year, it would be great to go out with a flourish beating KSU at home on Senior Day Saturday. The game starts at 3:00, and I truly hope that Cyclone fans come out in droves to send Rahshon Clark and Jiri Hubalek off in style. While the past two years have likely not been as successful as they would have hoped, they were the only ones that stuck with the program when McDermott came on board and they deserve a rousing farewell day complete with an appearance by Hilton Magic. I will be posting next week with my “Walk through the Big 12 Tournament Preview”. Until then, get painted up for the game and get your butts in the seats on Saturday to send off our seniors Cyclone Style!