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Basketball

Williams Blog: One wild Saturday

Happy Sunday Fanatics. Yesterday was….well….it was an interesting day inside of Ames’ beautiful Hilton Coliseum.

Let’s start with when all of this drama started to go down.

On Friday night, the Iowa State basketball program sent out a release to members of the media stating that L.A. Pomlee had been dismissed from the team. Losing a player is never good news, but when a guy who is averaging 0.9 points per game gets let go, it’s certainly no reason to wet your pants. That was just the start of what turned out to be a very eventful weekend.

So I got to Hilton about an hour and a half before Iowa State’s match-up with North Dakota State and bing bang boom, about 10 thousand stories broke at once. Actually, only two stories broke but both were huge for this program. First was the news that freshman point guard Chris Colvin had been suspended from the team. At this point, we had no idea for how long. We were told that we’d find out after the game. The second piece of information might not have seemed big at the time, but proved to be major as starting center Justin Hamilton had a concussion and was going to miss the NDSU game.

At that point, I knew that it was going to be a wild day. Here are my takes on both stories.

On Colvin Greg McDermott was 100 percent correct with his decision to suspend the freshman until the month of February. You simply cannot let a freshman run wild over your basketball team and McDermott took a stance yesterday. It was a stance that I respect.

“I got in this profession because I love to coach basketball and I love to help young people grow,” McDermott told media members after the game. “If winning every gets in the way of that, then I’ve got to get out of it. This young man needs to grow up and if it costs me a couple of wins along the way, then so be it. He is going to be better and I am going to sleep better because of that.”

I’ve seen the argument all over our forums that McDermott came down too hard on Colvin.

“Here comes another Wes Johnson situation,” several Fanatics have written.

Read the above quote again. It is about more than just winning with McDermott. Criticize the program for not getting W’s all you want. That is fair. But ripping a guy for disciplining a problem player is not, especially when you don’t know all of the details.

I was part of a group of reporters that interviewed Colvin shortly after the game and I was surprised at what I saw. I guess I didn’t really know what to expect. What I saw was a young man who genuinely appeared to be sorry for his actions. There was no hesitation when answering our questions. He looked us in the eye and seemed apologetic. Let’s hope that’s the case because after watching McDermott’s press conference up close, I can guarantee you one thing. The guy means business in this situation.

Hope for Hamilton on Wednesday North Dakota State scored 30 points in the paint against Iowa State yesterday. The Bison also outrebounded the Cyclones 47 to 39 in the game.

So to that portion of the fan base who love to bag on Justin Hamilton, I’ll speak on behalf of the big man for a minute.

How do you like me now?

Iowa State desperately missed Hamilton on Saturday and Iowa State fans better pray he’s back on Wednesday when Texas comes to town. Ever heard of Dexter Pittman? Iowa State needs as many bodies available for that one as they can get.

Boozer shouldn’t start All sorts of Fanatics are on the Charles Boozer bandwagon today and rightfully so. Boozer scored a career-high 19 points for Iowa State yesterday and looked awesome while doing it. But I see that a lot of you out there want Boozer to start on Wednesday against Texas?

While Boozer blew me and everyone else away yesterday, he shouldn’t be a starter, yet at least. Boozer is great in the role of being that sparkplug off of the bench. That’s what he’s good at. He thrives off of that. Boozer probably plays with more energy than anybody on Iowa State’s roster. Coming off of the bench and supplying that extra “umph” is what he does well. In my opinion, you don’t want to change that. Yes, he should be playing more, and he will. But keep him coming off the bench.

Wild, Wacky, Big 12 basketball Here are the scores from opening day in Big 12 men’s basketball yesterday followed by my initial thought.

Texas 103, Colorado 86 – Ut oh.

Missouri 74, Kansas State 68 – I thought Missouri was supposed to be down this year?

Texas A&M 64, Nebraska 53 – The Huskers hung around in this one. They’re better than advertised unfortunately.

Baylor 91, Oklahoma 60 – Seriously Oklahoma. Are you really that bad? Maybe that’s a road game that Iowa State can win. Seriously.

Oklahoma State 91, Texas Tech 52 – Now that is the Texas Tech I expected to see this year.

Women’s defensive effort was awesome Bill Fennelly’s Iowa State women’s basketball team played hard enough to give 12th ranked Nebraska a real scare last night, but ended up losing to the Huskers 57-49.

While the offenses were terrible last night, I was blown away with Iowa State’s defensive effort. Fennelly said after the game that Nebraska averages near 80 points per game. Not a bad job by the Cyclones. Now, Iowa State just needs to score some points. Alison Lacey scored 23 points compared to the 26 recorded by the rest of her teammates combined!

In another basketball note, the fans who attend the women’s games are insane. No offense. You just are. And it’s awesome. I totally mean this in a good way. During halftime of the women’s game last night, I got into a conversation with another journalist about how much more intense the atmosphere was during the women’s game compared to the men. It makes sense. The ladies were taking on a top 15 conference rival. The men…not so much. But the women’s team really plays hard. They dive for loose balls. They show all sorts of emotion.

We’ve seen the men’s team do that before this year, but not consistently. If the guys can’t get jacked up for second-ranked Texas on Wednesday, they probably never will.

Have a great Sunday Fanatics. We’ll have a lot of good stuff for you tomorrow, as it is press conference day in Ames.