This is not the top ten team you're looking for.
Well, it's here. The time to starting freaking out has come and with it so has the inevitable melt down. I usually try to remain level-headed, but I'm not going to bother or waste my time with that today. What we saw today was terrible basketball, absolutely no court awareness and a team in Iowa State that made more mental errors than I thought were possible.
The Cyclones actually got out to a decent start, but a series of turnovers, followed by a baffling stretch of calls that went against Iowa State killed any chance ISU had to grind out a win as Texas end up cruising to a 86-76 victory.
I really don't enjoy calling individual players out, so I'll just say that the collective basketball intelligence, or lack thereof, out of this team today was alarming. It's one thing to have an opponent execute better than you and to a less excusable extent, out-hustle you, but to completely fail in the mental side of the game is unacceptable and Iowa State did just that today.
Iowa State had a season-high 17 turnovers, many of which fell under the "WTF?" variety and when Iowa State had a chance to push the lead to double figures late in the first half, they turned it over on 7 of their last 10 possessions and allowed Texas to get back into the game. It wasn't just that they were turning the ball over, but that they were incredibly stupid acts of carelessness and so uncharacteristic of a Fred Hoiberg coached team.
I suppose I'll give some credit to Texas though, because they sensed that the Cyclones were frustrated and out of sorts and they completely took advantage. While Iowa State was waiting for some breaks to come, Texas made their own luck by out-working the Cyclones in the second half and playing through the suspect officiating.
The loss now means that Iowa State is on a three-game losing streak and will most certainly fall out of the top ten and any thought of contending for the conference title is probably out the window. A lot of us asked during non-conference play when the other shoe would drop. Well, it has dropped and it has dropped hard.
There were individual performances worthy of singling out (Niang shooting 4-7 from 3PT), but a loss like this rarely yields any type of positive outlook, so instead, I'll just say that Iowa State has the next week to get this thing back on track before playing Kansas State at home. We said often during non-conference play that this team was one of the toughest and most resilient in Iowa State memory, but now dealing with a 3-game losing streak, we'll find out just how tough this team is.
Commence melt down...