By Chris Williams, CycloneFanatic.com Publisher
I’m not sure if Bill Fennelly invented the concept, but he sure does utter it quite often after a tough loss. The wise ball coach is known for preaching to never let a team beat you twice. Now there’s no doubt that Iowa State was at a disadvantage in just about every way imaginable on Saturday night in Columbia. One thing was clear during Iowa State’s Monday morning media session though. If indeed it existed, the Oklahoma State hangover was more of a mental problem than physical.
“That and the Nebraska game were huge games that we had in our hands and we kind of dropped the ball on them,” said junior guard Scott Christopherson. “It is tough but at this point, it is something that everybody has to move on from. I don’t know if that affected our play on Saturday or not but judging from our performance, maybe it did bother the guys.”
The whole scenario was a giant recipe for disaster. Iowa State was coming off of a heartbreaking loss. Missouri’s previous game resulted in a Monday night win over Kansas State. Due to weather-related travel issues, that same Monday was the last evening that Iowa State’s players got to sleep in their own beds.
“Adversity hit us last week,” said head coach Fred Hoiberg. “We gave one away and obviously got our butts kicked against Missouri.”
“Two things can happen when adversity hits a team. One, everybody can splinter off and start worrying about themselves as individuals. Or two, you regroup, you come together as a team and go out and do the things that made yourselves successful with the wins that we have had. I am confident that this group will do that.”
What now? Hoiberg’s Monday message was simple. The Cyclones will go back to the basics in practice this week, leading up to Wednesday night’s date with Texas Tech, who is currently 1-4 in conference play.
“It is a huge week for us,” Hoiberg said. “We have two games at home, where we have played very well this year. The support from our crowd has been off the charts, especially sense we started league play. We need to come out with a great effort.”
The schedule couldn’t set up any better for Iowa State. Texas Tech and Oklahoma (ISU’s next two home opponents) have been beyond bad on the road this year. The two teams combine for an 0-15 record in games played outside of their home arenas.
“You have to find a way to regroup and come back home,” Hoiberg said. We’ve got to go out and take care of business.”