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Basketball

Williams Blog: A microcosm

By Chris Williams, CycloneFanatic.com Publisher

Over the course of the past 12 hours, inside of my mind, I’ve broken down, dissected, analyzed and picked to pieces Iowa State’s 69-64 loss to Oklahoma State.

The more I think about it, the more confident I am in knowing that it was without a doubt, Iowa State’s most deflating loss of the season.

This one was weird too. Going into last night, we all knew that the NCAA Tournament was the longest of longshots. So it isn’t like last night’s defeat will keep the team out of the Big Dance or anything like that.

It’s just that to me, the Oklahoma State game was total microcosm of this entire season. Here’s how it went. Tell me if you’ve read this book before.

1) Get down early. (OSU led by as much as 20 in the first half)

2) Make a nice little run to get back into the game. (ISU closed out the first half on a 14-1 run)

3) One random player goes off for the other team. (Obi Muonelo scored 25 points in the second half a lone and 31 total)

4) Have a chance to win at the end. (ISU was down by three, with the ball, with 20 seconds to go)

5) Not have enough gas in the tank. (ISU is now 2-9 in the Big 12)

When Chris Colvin threw that pass through Craig Brackins’ legs with 20 seconds on the clock, I thought to myself, “I should have expected something like that to happen.”

Because that is the thing. This team doesn’t get breaks. They haven’t all year. They probably won’t the rest of the way. There is no reason for anybody associated with Iowa State in any form to expect a break to come their way this season. The word cursed is probably too strong…but you get my point as to how the 2010 campaign has gone.

For a minute, let’s rehash just exactly what this year’s team has gone through.

1) Lucca Staiger’s departure
2) Charles Boozer’s injury
3) Jamie Vanderbeken’s injury
4) L.A. Pomlee booted
5) Scott Christopherson’s mono
6) The life and times of LaRon Dendy
7) Chris Colvin’s suspension
8 ) Etc. etc. etc.

From Greg McDermott and Craig Brackins to the guy sitting at the top-corner of the upper deck in Hilton Coliseum with his six-year old daughter who is owning a Clone Cone, this has been an absolutely cruel season for everybody involved. Last night was the proverbial cherry on top of the hot fudge sundae that is Iowa State basketball.

The technical foul heard around the state

Well…it finally happened. Are you happy now Fanatics? Greg McDermott got a technical foul (his second in his Iowa State career) last night (with 10:28 to go) and he nearly got ejected from the basketball game. Now, do you finally believe that he “cares” about winning and Iowa State basketball?

For the record, I agree with McDermott. That was maybe the worst non-call I have ever seen in 25 years of life. But we don’t need to get into that right now do we?

Back to McDermott, in my mind, hoping that a guy gets a technical foul to make fans feel better is simply ridiculous. A man shouldn’t have to verbally assault an official to prove anything to anyone. When last night’s official slapped that T on McDermott, the crowd went wild. The Cyclone faithful got giddy and then, Oklahoma State went on a 7-0 run. Talk about sucking the life out of that “pick up a technical to prove that you care” argument huh?

To anybody who reads CycloneFanatic.com on a consistent basis, it should be no secret to you that I really like Greg McDermott. From the bottom of my heart, I know that he is a great basketball coach. He has an intense passion for Iowa State basketball and a burning desire to win here. And you all know that he’s an incredible human being, second to none in my opinion.

I’m trying to find the right word to describe Coach McDermott during post game interviews last night (watch the video above). Defeated is the only word that comes to my mind.

Has he given up? I guarantee that isn’t the case.

Will he give up? Heck no. That’s not him at all.

But after yet another gut wrenching loss, if you’re a player, a coach, a fan, a cheerleader or whatever, it is awfully hard to get up from that one.

Finally…

Take your athletic director’s cap off for a moment Fanatics. Forget about the future for just one minute. I don’t know about you, but I felt awfully bad for those Iowa State players after last night’s game.

This is a team that has produced one gutty performance after another over the past three weeks. They’re undermanned, they’re beaten down, but they constantly show up.

I guess that for a moment last night, I actually felt like something good might happen to that resilient group of young men.

But once again, it just wasn’t meant to be.

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