The January Thaw

Discussion in 'Mens Basketball' started by mtowncyclone13, Jan 20, 2014.

  1. mtowncyclone13

    mtowncyclone13 Well-Known Member

    Oct 10, 2012
    grundy center
    Not sure if it's hidden in another thread but saw this on ESPN.

    Game Plan: The January thaw - ESPN

    For the first 10 weeks of the 2013-14 college basketball season, Wisconsin and Iowa State shared much in common.
    They were two of the sport’s most enjoyable “surprise” stories, scare-quotes intended, because the word surprise works only if you note that both were expected to be good, and wound up even better. Both programs subvert traditional offensive dogma, both rely on players with label-allergic skill sets; both take advantage of interchangeable parts. Both programs are more sheer fun to watch than ever before -- the Cylcones have pushed their typical high pace under Fred Hoiberg to new versatile lengths, while the Badgers are, for them, playing at breakneck speed (for them, anyway -- 65 possessions per game). For the first 10 weeks of the season, both remained among the nation’s ever-shrinking group of unbeaten teams. Last week, both lost that status.

    Did they ever. Ten days ago, Iowa State was in the thick of a three-team Big 12 title race. The Cyclones lost at Oklahoma Jan. 11, then at home to Kansas two days later, and then, finally, at Texas Saturday. Wisconsin, for its part, played uncharacteristically awful transition defense at Indiana on Jan. 14, falling to a shaky group whose next game was a 54-47 home loss to Northwestern. (Yep.) Just as surprising was Wisconsin’s failure to recover over the weekend, when it managed 70 points in 68 possessions in a home loss to Michigan. It’s now been nearly two weeks since either team won a game.This is what makes January so fascinating: It is an exercise in transition. Teams are more frequently and more rigorously tested. Fatigue and attrition come into play. Certain teams begin to take fearsome shape; others reveal their shortcomings. Outliers regress to the mean. We go from shaky impressions formed from disparate nonconference schedules to solid ideas based on less noisy data (and more of it), and all in the matter of a month. And by the time it’s all over, we’re already slotting people onto seedlines. It happens fast.
    So: What about Iowa State and Wisconsin? How much should perceptions change? Neither team was without its flaws even when it was undefeated, but those flaws were hidden behind close wins and scheduling luck. (Iowa State got the “Is Mitch McGary OK or not?” edition of Michigan at home; Wisconsin played Florida in the Kohl Center when the Gators had, like, six dudes on the team.) A few losses, sudden and stacked though they may be, won’t send either team plummeting to the NIT. They’re more like gentle reminders of the work ahead.
    These are the kinds of things that get figured out in January, in this first great surge of conference clarity. It’s when the nitpicking -- and the fun-- truly begin.
  2. bos

    bos Legend
    Staff Member

    Apr 10, 2006
    Network and Server Admini
  3. keepngoal

    keepngoal Jobless Jerk
    Staff Member Bookie

    Jun 20, 2006
  4. bawbie

    bawbie Moderator
    Staff Member

    Mar 17, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    I'm pretty sure that guy is wrong. Now is the time to PANIC!!!!!
  5. Cydkar

    Cydkar Well-Known Member

    Apr 12, 2006
    #5 Cydkar, Jan 20, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2014
    I never bought that ISU was a top 10 team. I really don't know how good/bad this team is. Probably only as good as their shooting will take them and most of us thought it wouldn't be a great shooting team. Maybe they are and it's just a slump or maybe it's an average shooting team. I think it's a team with average shooters at each position instead of any great shooters in the guard court. We really need Matt to start knocking some shots down, frankly.

    If we lose Saturday the NCAA tournament starts to come into doubt. I think we take care of business but if we don't...
  6. cmjh10

    cmjh10 Well-Known Member

    Dec 5, 2012
    Iowa Falls
  7. Clonehomer

    Clonehomer Well-Known Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    I'm not sure our three losses are even in the same category as Wisconsin's. Come selection time, their losses to Indiana and Northwestern will be considered bad losses. I don't see any of ISU's losses considered bad. Both teams need a turnaround, but I think ISU's problems are more from better competition where Wisconsin is just playing really bad.
  8. bos

    bos Legend
    Staff Member

    Apr 10, 2006
    Network and Server Admini

    I think we forget this sometimes. We graduated a ton of our points. What this team did was win with making smart plays and chemistry.
  9. CyJack13

    CyJack13 Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2010
    Wisconsin didn't lose to Northwestern, they lost to Indiana and Michigan. But you're right about us not having any bad losses, two road losses to solid teams and a home lost against possibly the most talented team in the country. We just need to hold serve at home against KSU this weekend and weather the first half of our schedule and we'll be fine. Our schedule sets up great for a really strong conference finish.
  10. cyclones500

    cyclones500 Well-Known Member

    Jan 29, 2010
    Exactly on the chemistry-smart play. That version of this team taking 3's in the flow of offense can beat anybody. The stand-and-watch/drive-and-chuck version would have about a 9-8 record right now.
  11. CyTwins

    CyTwins Well-Known Member

    Jan 20, 2010
    We still wouldn't have a "bad loss" on our resume but yeah it would start to look like a Minnesota/Illinois meltdown that they had last year after their big starts. I think we take control of the entire game Saturday and right the ship but it would be very concerning if we lost at home
  12. jkclone

    jkclone Well-Known Member

    Jan 21, 2013
    Student & Iowa State Fan
    This. We got brought to reality and then thrown into the meat grinder of the Big 12. We aren't playing great but we have played top competion and were in each game.
  13. BWRhasnoAC

    BWRhasnoAC Well-Known Member

    Apr 10, 2013
    Des Moines
    We are playing poorly as well, but yes our schedule is brutal right now. The last loss goes 100% on Hoiberg. He is getting countered. It's time to adjust strategy.
  14. Rural

    Rural Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2010
    Of course this strategy is better implemented at home but it's pretty obvious that opponents are trying (and to a point succeeding) to push the highly emotional Kane out of his comfort zone.

    I'm not sure LeBron gets the beating that Kane took on Saturday.
  15. Cyclonepride

    Cyclonepride Thought Police
    Staff Member

    Exactly, and discounting the Michigan game, one that MCGARY ACTUALLY PLAYED AND PLAYED WELL IN, is just stupid.
  16. MilehighClone

    MilehighClone Well-Known Member

    Sep 14, 2007
    Once January is over the schedule becomes much more manageable. Next two at Hilton are big games, but I think we will be fine a month from now.
  17. Cyientist

    Cyientist Member

    Aug 18, 2013
    Wisconsin drops 3rd in a row, this time at MN by 13.
  18. Dingus

    Dingus Well-Known Member

    May 23, 2013
    Optimistic, perhaps, but I still think this team is awfully good when they play they way they can and should. Seriously though, if not top 10, which 10+ teams are clearly better? Arizona, MSU, KU... Wich St, Florida, Syracuse (though they've benefited from a weak schedule as well), SDSU, Okie St? Iowa?

    BTW, I feel fairly vindicated as I was preaching the Wisc, tOSU, and to a lesser extent, Villanova hate all season.
  19. allday4cy

    allday4cy Member

    Feb 25, 2012
    Waterloo, IA

    LOL-precious.... blaming hoiberg. Since your startegy is so great, are you taking the Duke job when coach K retires.
  20. JackCyclone

    JackCyclone Member

    Jan 31, 2013
    This. Only probably 3-4 teams in the country would be able to flat out beat us when we are playing at our best. We played below average and definitely could have beat Kansas who everyone is saying is probably playing the best in the country right now.

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