Thursday, December 30, 2010


I suspect Fred's NBA experience is helpful in managing a 5 1/2 man roster. My random sample of NBA stats reveals that most teams have 6 primary players, who all average in the high 20 to low 30 minute range per game. It's not that big a deal.

What matters is what happens on the off days. NBA practices are surprisingly casual. Lots of teaching- putting things in, walking through tenancies, that kind of thing- but not much full-out scrimmage once the season is underway. There are just too frequent, so rest becomes imperative.

I imagine Fizer wouldn't recognize an ISU practice today- lots of teaching, not much running, trying to preserve legs when the spacing between games is short. The "practices harder than the games" mentality will have wait.

We'll see if Fred's recipe can maintain the same effort once we get into the Big 12 season.



I loved the hustle in the win over Virginia, especially on the road. Much like their win over SUI, they just seemed in control even when the shots weren't falling.

Best of all, they had the hustle they lacked in the loss to Cal. Every loose ball had a Cyclone on the floor, which is the kind of effort this team needs to make every night.

But like the game in Iowa City, the execution of the take-the-air-out-of-the-ball sets at the end of the game need work. Burning clock is only so helpful if you don't finish the play.

In the end, I don't care that UVa only has a Sagarin of 117, any win on the road for this bunch is a big win. The fact they led by 10+ for 30+ minutes is remarkable. Well done.


Tuesday, December 28, 2010


This is complete snark-

Is there an optimum number of arrests a BCS football program should incur each year to maximize wins? Stat geeks, to your spreadsheets!

Tip 'o the toque to @brentblum.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010


I'm not sure I agree with the premise- ISU would be much better off with Barnes on campus than off- but the point about the "should have gone to a Big Time School" is spot on.

In the same way that recruits magically lose a star when signing with Iowa State, much of the preseason All-Everything hoopla would have never developed around Barnes simply because that sort of thing doesn't happen in the 515. Nobody good goes there.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Hubris, Entry #3245

Seems to roll around every year: "Drop Iowa State from the schedule. Why do we need them?"

My favorite post in the thread
Yes, ISU needs to get off of the Iowa Wellfare Program and drop them. Have some dignity, for Cripes sakes! Act like a D-1 program playing in a BCS conference.
ISU needs to go back and pay the financial difference back to Iowa, that the lopsided agreement has provided ISU, over the last 3 decades.
We accept check or cash. A public apology would go a long ways toward repairing ISU's dignity, but I wont hold my breathe.

Hubris, indeed.



While I like John's writing, I take issue with this post.

True, Iowa State's non-conference schedule is really weak. But in June everyone thought ISU's team would be really weak, too. Their 9-2 record, and general level of play, is WAY above where anyone thought it would be.

Their schedule was set up to get them over .500- not to impress the NCAA committee.

The fact they have a mathematical chance at an NCAA bit is remarkable.


Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Key Second Half

Another watching of the win over SUI reinforced how important the defensive effort was.

My totals for the second half:

18 "empty" possessions in which SUI didn't score
9 steals
9 one-shot possessions, with defensive rebound

That success couldn't be sustained in the last 4 minutes when the fouls came thick and fast. SUI had 6 possessions in that stretch, and managed to shoot 11 free throws, while ISU only got two stops.

One or two more stops and one or two more buckets out of the offensive sets and ISU wins comfortably.

Its good to win, but the places for improvement are obvious.


Friday, December 10, 2010


Scott picked a good night to be on.

I loved his final shot, when every SUI fan in CHA screamed "NOOOOOOOOOO!!!" as he let it go- Bang! Game over.

Exhibit A: First half, aka How ISU Will Lose This Year. Casual D, lazy rebounding, just hoping to stop the other team.

Exhibit B: Second Half, aka How ISU Will Win This Year. Great doubling and switching, forcing lots of turnovers than turned into transition offense, rebounding like the game depends on it (coincidentally, it does). Given the number of blown fast breaks, this game should have be a 15 point win, not 3.

The only downside: I love Diante's game this year, but I'm cool with him putting away the fade-away jumper. The next one he makes will be the first.

Nice road win, fellas. Keep up the hard work on the defensive end.


Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Clash of Styles

When the shots don't fall, it's hard to impose your kind of tempo on the opponent.

Undermanned, first year coach, still learning new roles in a new system, down 1 with a minute to go, on the road? I'll take it.

Baby steps.