Will Iowa State be missing one of their big men against Iowa on Friday night? Not of Jamie Vanderbeken has anything to say about it. Vanderbeken went down with a knee injury in the second half against Northern Iowa last week. After missing the California game, Vanderbeken recently told CycloneFanatic.com that his knee is improving but he’s still questionable against the Hawkeyes. Here’s the entire Q&A that took place on Monday afternoon from Iowa State’s basketball practice facility.
What is your status?
JV: I am guessing day-by-day. I’m not sure exactly what my actual status is. I am going to do some non-contact stuff today to see how it feels. I’ll try to get ready for Friday.
Has it made progress since you went down?
JV: It’s not as sore. I can walk on it, pretty much normal with a little bit of soreness. I was limping pretty hard late last week. It is getting there.
What exactly happened?
JV: My leg was straight and somebody rolled into it. It was kind of like what happened with LaRon and Craig. It bent in. When it originally happened, I thought “oh crap.” The ligaments came out nice and tight. That’s good. It’s just a sprain I guess.
What’s the confidence level of this team right now?
JV: We are a little rattled right now but we just have to have a good week of practiced and get focused again, get energized. The team has what it takes to do a lot of things. We’ve just got to stay confident with what we do, keep playing our game and doing what we do well. It’s still early in the season so it’s not time to go crazy or anything like that. No panic. But a three game losing streak, there’s no fun in having that.
What is morale like with the younger guys?
JV: They seem a little shaken but that comes with age. That comes with maturity. I’ve been around long enough to know that there’s nothing to worry about quite yet. Later in the season, if this happens, it will be time to panic. For them, right now, they’re handling it pretty well. The older guys are telling them that it is okay. It’s not time to have a meltdown yet.
Have you seen much of Iowa? If so, what are your thoughts on them?
JV: I haven’t seen a lot of them yet. We’ll probably watch some films today and get some films. They are different from last year. I know that they are going to be competitive. They are going to play us hard like they did last year. Hopefully we can come out with a win.
They are going to try to slow you down. How do you counteract that?
JV: Just doing our offense and playing our offense through. We like to get out and run. If they are going to stop us, we have to be able to execute in the half court.