Here are a few things I liked and disliked about Saturday’s thriller vs. the Sooners.
Like: Individual Defense vs. Trae Young
Iowa State held Trae to just 22 points (albeit 11 assists), his 4th lowest scoring total of the season. Not only did Steve Prohm have his guys keyed in on the defensive side of the ball, but individually Iowa State’s guards did a great job staying in front and limiting his chances in transition.
Lindell play well on offense, but he also did a great job guarding Trae on the defensive end. Here he is in transition drawing an offensive foul:
Here’s Donovan forcing Young into an ill-advised pass that was easily intercepted by Lard:
I felt that Lindell, as well as Jakolby Long and Donovan Jackson, did a fantastic job neutralizing Trae’s quickness in the first half.
In the 2nd half, I thought Oklahoma made fantastic adjustments to try and get Trae going downhill towards the rim instead of settling for deep 3’s.
Here you see a weak trap by Solomon, who fell asleep recognizing who had the ball, was 2 steps too late, and gave up the easy layup. The hard trap that Iowa State sent at him all game got a little sloppy in the 2nd half, which allowed for a few easy baskets (individual defense aside).
Can you expect to contain the best player in the country for an entire game? Probably not, but the job Wigginton and Co. did was clearly good enough.
Dislike: The “Overrated” Chant
Chanting “Overrated” at a ranked opponent is dumb and childish. It takes away from the fact that YOUR favorite team just beat a quality opponent. I heard this chant at some point during the last 3 home wins against Texas Tech, West Virginia, and now Oklahoma. To the students: Please be better and smarter; there are plenty of other things to say and chant without going all “Texas Tech” on the opposing team. On the other hand, at least we have enough students who attend games to make some sort of noise.
Like: Cam Lard Not Fouling
Lard played 36 minutes (!!!!!) on Saturday. He totaled his third highest scoring outing, as well as a career high 17 rebounds. Now, what allowed him to stay on the floor, you ask? Well, for starters he only fouled ONCE THE ENTIRE GAME. Oh, and did I mention he still had 2 blocks? Well, he did. Lard can change the entire course of a game if he is given the freedom to roam around the paint and wreck havoc on defense, as well as collect an insane number of boards. The longer he is on the floor, the better.
Dislike: ESPN and the Never-ending Trae Young Stats Line
Fact: Trae Young is a fantastic player and seems like a good kid.
Fact: He is every bit as electric as some of the bigger college basketball names of the last decade.
Fact: We don’t need a constant stat line appearing at the bottom of the screen tallying his numbers.
Oklahoma is getting doubled up and we still have to look at Trae Young’s unremarkable stat line. pic.twitter.com/UhrZnd8TDf— Wide Right & Natty Lite (@WideRtNattyLt) February 10, 2018
“That first half was all Cyclones.”— Wide Right & Natty Lite (@WideRtNattyLt) February 10, 2018
Robbie Hummel: “Yeah it was all Cyclones, but let’s look at that last possession. That’s huge for a guy like Trae Young.”
If we’re gonna see some stat line for the whole game, I want something ridiculous:
“Number of times Steve Prohm has put on Chapstick”
“Calipari Recruiting Violations”
“Hairs on Jay Bilas’ head”
Like: 3 Point Defense
Over the course of the last 4 games, Iowa State has held opponents to under 35% from the 3 point line (Oklahoma shot 22% on Saturday). Initially, I took a look back at if there was any correlation between opponent 3 point percent vs. Iowa State wins and here’s what I found:
In 10 of Iowa State’s 13 wins, Iowa State has held opponents to under 37% from 3 point range. Obviously, this isn’t a telltale sign of a clear cut win, but I think it leads to a promising sign that if the Clones can buckle down and defend on the perimeter, they’ll have a chance in just about any game (you know, as long as every game from here on out is at home).