Saturday, March 29, 2008

Ditto Ron

I have a love hate relationship with Ron "I'm not an Iowa fan" Maly.

I tire of his daily, often roundabout, digs at ISU in his blog. I have a hard time believing his "I'm a serious, professional, objective retired journalist" schtick when every single post has a shot of him in the pressbox of Kinnick or next to some former SUI great. But its his blog, so he can write what he wants, even when it often is a tired retreat of what might have been an original thought back in '82.

What I admire about Ron is how expertly he can take the knife to his own Hawkeyes and the rest of the Big TenEleven when they deserve it.

If he could dig ISU as well as he can SUI, he might be worth the daily read. At least then I could respect him.


Up or Down?

On one hand, Tim Floyd loves
Mac's X and O skills.
He should have usedISU's game plan against K State, in light of how his plan didn't work out so well.

The other hand: Concericus in some quarters.

Both, I think, are valid views of ISU
hoops at the moment. I have no idea what turnover was like under GM in
Cedar Falls, but I can't imagine it was like this. I hope stability is
right around the corner.

Both Gene and Greg are Pollard hires,
and while Gene still has a season or two before he will really be
judged, Greg has used his Mulligans. It will be interesting to see if
JP has as quick a trigger with his own hires as he had withhis predecessor's.


Friday, March 14, 2008

Who Is Ahead?

Coach Mac and Doc Sadler have both (almost) finished their second seasons.

Nebraska's going to get an NIT bid. ISU isn't.

Is Doc ahead?



Sometimes Its About The O

It's a simple game: put the ball through the hoop. Many of ISU's struggles this season were from an inability to do just that.

Look at the stats from B12 conference games aren't bad from the defensive side. It's the offense that was offensive.

- Last in FG%
- Last in 3 Pt%
- 11th in offensive average
- 11th in assist-to-turnover ratio
- 10th in scoring margin (they would get blown out, but never returned the favor)
- 10th in assists
- 5th in 3's made

The high ranking in 3's made can only be attributed to making up for bad shooting in volume, hoping that the Rock & Jock rules were in effect, and getting lucky on the 10 Point Shot would erase the oppoonent's standard 12 point lead.

It is telling to flip around during the conference touneys and watch the teams that know how to score. They seem to understand what is a good shot and a bad shot, and their offenses are structured to put guys in position to shoot shots they can make. In other words, they are everything ISU's offense was not this year.

Hopefully the team locks itself into the gym in the off season and shoots the kind of shots they will get to take next winter. If they can make free throws like they do, they can shoot. Since they don't get to shoot 75 foul shots each night, they are going to have to score the hard way.

Get busy boys.


Wednesday, March 12, 2008


In 12 seasons, BF is .592 in B12 play, regular season.

In the conference tournament, he's .689.

So naturally ISU would become the first 8 or 9 seed to beat a #1 seed in tourney history. Why would you think otherwise?

You have to wonder what ISU's
record would be if they scheduled the entire season in playoff format.
Four game sets in four different cities every two weeks. The Cyclones
would be league champs at least one third of the time.

As long as the threes keep falling, ISU could win the dang thing. WARNING: a$m has the league's best 3 point defense, only allowing 27%. Unfortunately, the players won't determine this game, the officials will. If the refs let the aggies bump, pull, grab and generally beat up ISU, it will be a long day. If they don't eat the whistle, ISU has a chance.


Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Two noteable upsets in the afternoon session in Kansas City.

First ISU, as the #8 seed, beat CU, the #9. In the previous 11 meetings, the #9 lead 7-4.

But the big shocker was that #5 seed OU lost to #12 Mizzou. It was the first ever loss by a #5 to a #12 in 12 B12 tournaments. Ouch.

Now BF and crew will try to become the first #8 or #9 to beat a #1 seed in K State.

I didn't realize how much this tournament has followed the chalk until I saw it in print. The #1 has won 7 of 11 titles, the #2 once, the #3 twice and the lowly #6 got one title. That's a .636 batting average if you are #1. I'll take those odds every time.

ISU is now 7-1 in the first round. CU, since winning the first B12 tourney in '97, has gone 5-11 since. Perhaps the should fly instead of taking the bus.

Looking back, that '00 team was awesome. They set the tourney record with a 27 point margin of victory in 3 games. Wow.


Monday, March 10, 2008

Silly Predictions

Straight from the Diane Chambers school of sports betting, these fellow
predict the B12 women's bracket based on mascots.

another person from Texas who is completely befuddled by the Whirling
Cy mascot, but not curious enough to do any research.


Sunday, March 09, 2008

Back On Track

I'd say Cael has the wrestlers headed in the direction that Jamie envisioned when he pulled a quick trigger on giving Coach Douglas the Johhny Orr treatment (You've been a good guy- go play golf and tell stories with the Big Money Folks, will ya?).

Cael is 2/2 in Conference titles in as many attempts. For perspective, Douglas went 0/14, with 4 second place finishes. The bar has been raised a touch, methinks.

Nationals in St. Lou could be very interesting if Cael's crew continues to peak at the right time.


Saturday, March 08, 2008


Wednesday's loss at Mizzou and today's near miss against KSU illustrated ISU's lack of consistent playmakers down the stretch.

ISU had the game in Columbia won several times, but could never put it away. Even down three, ISU had K State on the ropes, but couldn't land the knockout punch in the final two minutes.

I've lost count of the number of games that ISU lost due to fading down the stretch, but it is fair to say that our Cyclones left a half dozen wins on the table. Win three and they are in the NIT. Win all six and they are in the NCAA. This incomplete team, thin in the middle and green at the point, was closer than we think to the tourney.

Hopefully our backcourt learns to manage the final stage of the game, and some playmakers emerge help pull the tight ones out of the fire.


Monday, March 03, 2008

Pop Quiz

What's missing from this list:

1. Connecticut (40) 28-1 1235
2. North Carolina (2) 27-2 1172
3. Tennessee 27-2 1120
4. Rutgers (8) 24-4 1103
5. Maryland 29-2 1073
6. Stanford 27-3 1010
7. LSU 25-4 987
8. Baylor 24-4 839
9. Notre Dame 23-6 753
10. California 24-5 720
11. Oklahoma 21-6 709
12. Duke 21-8 601
13. George Washington 24-5 595
14. West Virginia 23-5 589
15. Utah 25-3 583
16. Old Dominion 25-4 572
17. Texas A&M 22-7 539
18. UTEP 25-2 367
19. Kansas State 20-8 363
20. Oklahoma State 22-6 270
21. Vanderbilt 22-7 247
22. Ohio State 22-7 224
23. Georgia 21-8 160
24. Marist 28-2 128
25. Virginia 22-8 117
Wyoming 53, Louisville 24, Pittsburgh 18, Arizona State 15, Hartford 12, Syracuse 9, DePaul 8, Liberty 8, Chattanooga 7, Iowa 7, Gonzaga 3, Michigan State 3, Boise State 2, Georgia Tech 2, Evansville 1, Illinois State 1, Montana 1,

If you guessed a Top 25 ranking for the Big 1011's Co-Champion, SUI, you would be right!

That's right, there are 5 B12 teams ahead of both of the 1011's champs, with one receiving a paltry 7 votes.

Too bad there isn't a Sagarin for WBB- the comparison would be ugly.

Heck, a healthy ISU club would have finished 12-6 in the 1011 this year, at the minimum.

Sometimes you catch all the breaks. In SUI's case, it was good health AND a weak league. Perhaps next year they will draw more than friends and family to their games.


Saturday, March 01, 2008


I witnessed ISU's fugly win over Kansas today. It epitomized everything that is wrong with women's basketball.

Little of the ugliness was ISU's fault. Rather, it was the result of KU's hideous style of play, and the ref's collective willingness to allow it. KU's philosophy on both ends of the floor is to imitate
as much contact as possible, whether hacking and pushing on defense or
driving to the basket on offense. When the ref's eat the whistle, it
works, the game slows to a crawl, neither team can score (KU has lousy
shooters, off the dribble or not) and fans, having paid cash expecting
something interesting, have to witness butchery instead.

When used by teams with talent (i.e. Baylor) this plan works well. When you don't have talent, it's just hard to watch.

am most puzzled why so many crews reward this style by eating their
whistles. It isn't subtle. Bodies flying, shots missing by three feet,
players piling up in the lane like anInterstate highway on a foggy day,
yet play goes on, or a meek travel is whistled as a pathetic "make-up".
Odd. It's almost as if they don't want to blow the whistle so they
won't be accused of coddling the ladies. Let 'em duke it out; it'll
toughen them up. It's not justKU ; it is the majority of the women's
games I stumble across on the telly. Rough play removes all the joy
from basketball, regardless of gender, but the women suffer the most.

Proper officiating would have put ISU in the bonus in the first 6 minutes of each half. Like not calling the outside fastball, until rough play is mandated out, ISU will continue to suffer at the hands of the goons.

Besides, the rough play isn't helping the Jayhawks.
The present coach has won 18 B12 games in four seasons, which isn't
very good from where I sit. One wonders if her seat is getting warm, or
if, like football ('07 excepted), as long as it isn't a completeembarrassment, the AD doesn't care.

Bring back the touch foul. Over the back would have a welcome return, too.