By Chris Williams, CycloneFanatic.com Publisher
I feel like I have written the exact same postgame blog six times this year. Iowa State coughed up another late lead on Saturday in losing to Kansas State by an 86-85 final. This time it was a six-point lead with 3:40 to play.
Here we go again.
Iowa State has had the lead going into the final minute of play six times this year, only to wind up on the losing end of things. To the naked eye, that stat is nasty. After all, you want to win right? That is correct. As Herm Edwards once put it, “you play to win the game.” But if you would have told me on Oct. 15 that this team would have a lead that late in six games at this point, I would have thought that was impossible. Moral victory? No…I think that this team is past that. But losing late leads is better than being blown out. At the very least, this team is making things interesting.
CF PLAYER OF THE GAME
Diante Garrett – If you listened to the CycloneFanatic.com/Wilson Toyota of Ames postgame show, you know my thoughts on this topic. Yes, Diante Garrett did miss another shot down the stretch that could have won Iowa State the game and yes, it does seem like we’re seeing the exact same thing, over and over again at the end of games. But DG had 23 points, eight assists and only three turnovers in this one. Once again, this isn’t even a game with out Garrett. During the Learfield postgame show, Fred Hoiberg told John Walters that he’s been getting more and more calls regarding Garrett from folks in the NBA. Scott Christopherson’s 8-for-11 day with 22 points earns him honorable mention, but DG is my player of the game.
Rebounding – Going into Saturday’s game, Kansas State was the nation’s ninth best rebounding team and ranked second in the Big 12. The physical Wildcats outrebounded Iowa State 30-26. Though they didn’t win the rebounding margin, that stat impressed me.
Jordan Railey – He fouled out. He played 12 minutes. He only scored two points. But still, I like what I’m seeing from freshman Jordan Railey. How in the world did he land on Three Up? Remember the double technical foul that was called in the first half? Railey got in Jamar Samuels’ face in defense of his teammate. Railey has some weird type of edge to him and he’s a guy I like in Iowa State’s future. He plays hard and while he will never be Cole Aldrich, I think the can be that “dirty work” guy for Fred Hoiberg going forward.
Fred Hoiberg – While I do not believe that the officials lost the game for Iowa State, I can admit that there were a few questionable calls in Saturday’s loss. What I loved was how Fred Hoiberg reacted to them. At the beginning of the season, it was almost as if Hoiberg felt awkward making his presence felt with officials. On Saturday, I saw a man who is really becoming a better basketball coach. He looks different out there and I can’t really explain it. Nonetheless, I like what I see. It was a tough loss, but I’ve never been more confident about the man in charge of Iowa State basketball.
Tough way to lose – Iowa State shot 56 percent from the field at home and still managed to lose the game. That is frustrating.
Jake Anderson – Bubu Palo started for him. After the game, Hoiberg said that it was his own decision to mix up the lineup. Who knows what that actually means? Anderson didn’t play well on Saturday going 2-for-7 from the field while scoring four points. Still, the 6-foot-2 senior did lead the team in rebounding with eight.
Verbally assaulting officials – Jabbing at officials is part of college basketball. They get paid money to do a job. That is part of their job. So boo, hiss and do whatever you want. Have fun. But verbally assaulting them is a completely different topic. I’m just going to end it right there.