Welcome back to another rendition of Sean’s Couch Diary, presented by the Longhorn Network. Just as I did last year, I’ll be taking notes and jotting down observations as they occur during tonight’s game between Iowa State and Texas. Please note that these reactions were all live and later edited. Let’s get to it!
20:00: After successfully borrowing a friend’s Spectrum login, logging out of my ESPN account, logging back in, finding the Longhorn Network, catching an inning of UT baseball taking on UT Corpus Christi, I have finally settled in to watch to watch some good ole’ fashioned SEC propaganda. With only my IPad and a beer to keep me company, I’m ready for Iowa State to find a way to lose this game. Let’s do it!
19:55: Mention of Tyrese playing at ISU. Drink.
19:30: Tyrese missed three. Finish your drink.
18:52: Good patient first possession from Iowa State as Holmes draws the first foul of the game. “They are straight up bad from the free throw line this season.” Thanks, Longhorn Network.
18:08: Osun picks up his first foul. Never in my life have I seen a big man hack dudes so early and often like he does. Osun in the first 6 minutes of any game reminds me of your wrestler buddy who you play pickup with and doesn’t quite understand basketball. “I’m just here for the cardio” he says as he pushes someone out of bounds.
16:30: No Caleb Grill tonight, so Iowa State will have to work to matchup on the perimeter. Texas misses an open 3 after a miscommunication from the Cyclones.
15:50: King gets an open jumper to go and Hunter draws a foul on the other end. 10-4 good guys as we head into the first media timeout. Good pace so far from Iowa State. They look comfortable on offense.
15:50: Out of the break, the announcers highlight Caleb Grill’s throat slash from the first meeting between the two teams. “This one just means more.” (The jokes write themselves)
15:04: Lipsey turns it over. He had 6 the other night and has had a really hard time taking care of the ball as of late. On the other end, Bob Jones gets caught reaching and Texas gets an and one but can’t convert.
13:59: Another miscommunication leads to an open Texas 3. This one splashes home and Texas takes their first lead, 10-11.
13:33: Marcus Carr hits a three and completes a 10-0 Texas run.
12:37: Timeout TJ Otzelberger after Texas gets a point blank layup. Iowa State has had a really difficult time matching up on the perimeter without Grill. This is nothing new for the Cyclones, who gave up a season high 14 made 3s to Missouri without Caleb a few weeks ago. Iowa State is razor-thin without him out there.
12:25: Iowa State commits a 10 second violation after Texas introduces a full court press.
11:51: Under 12 timeout. Iowa State has looked lackadaisical and unfocused in the prior 4 minutes after seemingly being well under control to start the game. Also, having biased announcers commentate against your own team is hell. Congrats to Bijan Robinson but my goodness we don’t need 2 minutes on his draft stock.
11:32: Iowa State has already had 7 turnovers and Texas has turned that into 13 points. sigh
10:22: Texas is on a 16-0 for those keeping track at home. 10-20.
10:03: Osun breaks the drought with a contested finish off the Lipsey P&R feed. Count the basket for the big fella. Osun completes the 3 point play and ISU cuts the lead to 7.
9:30: Lipsey throws it away but Disu slid underneath and is called for a block. Kalscheur then connects on a 3.
8:47: Kalscheur gets another 3 to go after a Texas missile from behind the arc. Iowa State is 8-5 when Kalscheur makes 2 or more 3s this year. 19-25.
8:07: BOB MFING JONES CHOO CHOO. Otz playing 4D chess by putting Big Rob in position to score. The Texas students may think he’s our best offensive threat. I see you TJ.
7:34: 21-28. Iowa State found their footing on offense but continues to give up open 3s. Under 8 TO.
7:28: Bob Jones travels. OK maybe the students won’t be fooled.
6:50: Bob Jones throws it away. Now the students are yelling at Holmes to pass the ball to Bob.
6:04: I do not understand for the life of me how Kalscheur can hit immaculate step backs and seemingly score in bunches, but also air balls, bricks, and looks like he has never shot a basketball in his life all within the same game. He reminds me of that guy in everyone’s hometown bar that needs exactly 6 beers to run the pool table for a night. Just ONE more or ONE less and there’s no chance.
5:46: Tyrese hits a 3.
5:08: Another Texas 3. Texas has pushed the lead to 15. Iowa State’s 3 point defense has been catastrophic tonight as Texas seemingly makes 2 passes into an open 3 every time down the floor.
4:25: Tyrese attempts to split two Iowa State defenders and takes a hard foul. On the other end, Holmes is fouled and the Texas fans let the refs have it. 23-36.
3:34: Marcus Carr makes another 3 and Timmy Allen hits a mid range jumper. Texas is on a 16-2 run in the last 5 mins. Iowa State calls timeout and I call Drizzly to see if I can get a quick 30 Busch Lights delivered. Texas has made 7 3s and is shooting well over 50% from behind the arc. This game is as out-of-hand as the last WRNL Christmas Party (let’s just say next year Levi isn’t allowed to drink whiskey and Matthias isn’t allowed to sing Karaoke). Meanwhile, Iowa State has 10 turnovers and is 2-10 from 3. Yikes.
2:37: Nice offensive board and putback from Osun to cut the lead to *checks notes*… 16
2:06: Texas makes their 8th 3 of the first half and my brain goes to protect mode: “This game doesn’t matter. We were never beating them anyways. They lost to Kansas in football… But we did this year! Sh**!” Back to spiraling.
1:16: Iowa State continues to chuck up bricks from behind the arc. Text from the group chat: “If we shoot 50 3s we will at least make 5 of them, right?!”
26 seconds: Texas calls timeout to draw up what will certainly be a made 3 as time expires in the first half. This game was great for 4 minutes but has turned into the second act of the Titanic. Texas is the iceberg, and I’m the band playing as the boat slowly sinks. JUST KEEP TYPING.
HALF: 29-47. “Best first 20 minutes of basketball we’ve seen Texas play all season.” The Longhorn Network once again reminding us how poorly this has gone. At the very least, not many people gave Iowa State a chance in this one to begin with, which is such a fun consolation prize (we aren’t going to win and are now proving it!). Texas is very good and winning on the road in the Big 12 has become next to impossible during the 2nd half of the year. It sure feels like everyone has figured everyone else out, and Iowa State is taking the brunt of it after a great first half of conference play. The good news is this probably won’t get any worse tonight… Probably.
*literally 2 minutes after I finished the last paragraph: Longhorn Network special on Tyrese Hunter…
Tine to channel my inner Costanza: SERENITY NOW!
HALF (continued): I feel like I could write a commercial for any university after seeing the 12 that have graced my screen during this game. skyline drone shot-guy in lab coat looking under microscope-football stadium cheerleaders-voice over: “At [university] we are committed to higher learning, shaping the future, and cultivating sustainable education.” Transition back to guy working in field wearing college apparel-students walking to class laughing-crowd shot at basketball game: “[university], where you can lead” And scene. Someone hire me.
20:00: Iowa State has played about as poorly as they possibly could for 16 minutes of the first half. The lone bright spot is that the Cyclones went 7-7 from the Free Throw line, so we’ve got that going, which is nice (s/o Carl Spackler).
19:45: Carr misses a 3 to start the 2nd. NOW WE GO!
19:27: Holmes gets a mid range jumper to fall. Iowa State will need a perfect 20 minutes of basketball in order to have a chance in this one. Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!
18:06: Texas commits a shot clock violation after an outstanding defensive possession from Iowa State. On the other end, Kalscheur misses another 3. He is 2-10 from the field.
17:05: Jaz misses from behind the arc and Iowa State is now 2-14 from 3.
16:41: Jaz puts on a tux, has someone do his hair and makeup, drives to Los Angeles in a limo, takes pictures on the red carpet, and accepts an Oscar for whipping his head back with enough force to get the refs to decide if his guy had a knife in his sock. Officials determine it was a common foul (right call), but not before we watch Jaz’s “performance” a few more times.
15:42: Under 16 TO. Iowa State cuts Texas’ halftime lead from 18 to 16. I know the Clones are chipping at this lead but this is Andy Dufresne-in-Shawshank-levels-of-slow.
14:56: Cunningham hits an NBA 3 with the shot clock winding down. Iowa State’s 3 point defense has not been good tonight but Texas is also making absolutely everything.
13:46: Texas pushes the lead back to 19. Iowa State has 4 assists tonight and Texas has 13. The Cyclones are obviously not built to come back from deficits like this - not many teams are - but I’d like to see some urgency and pace the rest of the way. Try and find a rhythm anyway you can, or maybe find the closest fire alarm and pull it. Sounds like a job for the CEO, Conrad.
12:36: Texas had 6 2nd half turnovers to Iowa State’s 1 and the lead is 14 as King knocks down a 3. A sign of life?
11:22 Under 12 TO: King makes a tough finish on the offensive end but is slow to hustle back as he fouls Cunningham for an and-one. One step forward, 2 steps back.
11:22: I wonder if the Longhorn Network will stop running Texas commercials? No? Not at all? Dumb thing to even consider thinking? Sounds good.
11:22 (bonus): Would you rather watch Texas commercials for 2 straight hours or the Whopper commercial 10 times in a row? I may take the Whopper jingle but death is a close 3rd option.
11:11: Kalscheur throws the ball out of bounds with enough force and distance that he knocks Bevo’s hat off. I think Gabe is now banned from the city of Austin. No bachelor parties for you!
10:24: Sick slam from Osun but the lead is still 17. Iowa State has trimmed 1 point off the halftime lead through 10 minutes, and I quickly write a letter to the NCAA asking for second halves to be extended to 180 minutes.
9:25: Hunter hits another 3. He has 15 on the night and this game is very over. Timeout Iowa State as he smirks in the direction of the Cyclone bench. Tyrese has made 3 3s and is 5-9 from the floor. Props to him: He’ll be a great villain for the next 3 years.
9:11: Holmes is fouled on a hard drive to the basket. On another negative note, Kansas State beat Baylor tonight, which is another knock against Iowa State’s chances to play in Des Moines. Another few teams to keep an eye on: Creighton and Marquette (assuming Kansas locks up a DSM spot at this point). I’m also curious if it makes sense for K-State to play in Denver… We’ll see what the committee comes up with.
8:42: Officials looking at a clock issue… Anyone seen Full Swing on Netflix yet? How about that Koepka episode amiright? Golf fans…? No…? Alright. Back to the Titanic - I think the ship is about to break in half.
8:32: Bob Jones’ man was playing Westbrook defense and helping double team Tre King in the paint. His guy might as well have been in Canada. Teams are now starting to realize, “Hey, maybe I don’t need to be guarding this dude anymore.” They are correct.
7:58 Under 8 TO: 43-62. The end is near, and so is Iowa State’s time as a 3 seed for the immediate future. Lunardi is projecting the Clones to slip to a 4 with a loss.
6:41: Kalscheur connects on his third 3 of the night. He has not been his best self today but has put in his time on the defensive end chasing around Texas’ guards.
6:01: Lipsey gets a steal (good) but gets blocked into oblivion on the layup attempt (bad).
5:44: “Is there enough time for the Cyclones to mount a comeback down 63-47?” No, Mr. Announcer. Have you seen this team shoot?
5:08: Lipsey gets a layup to cut the lead to 14. Texas calls TO. Texas hasn’t made a FG in almost 5 full minutes, which is a phrase that you could’ve said in almost any game this year. When Iowa State takes advantage of its defense and gets even a little help on the other end, they are extremely difficult to beat. When the defense does their job and the offense doesn’t, you get the slow death approach we are seeing tonight.
4:12: Osun is fouled on a jump hook attempt. This is a situation where Lipsey being a non-threat from 3 is such a big deal. On this particular play Jaz was throwing the post entry pass, which is fine, but having a PG not able to consistently connect from deep is so so important for spacing. Osun makes 1 of 2. 13 point game.
3:44: Allen hits a tough fall away and the lead is 15.
3:23: Holmes turns it over and Allen gets a dunk. That will close this out. Texas has extended the lead to 17 and it’s time to think about getting guys out of the game.
2:36 under 4 TO: Rice hits another 3. I didn’t like Iowa State’s chances in this game WITH Caleb Grill, let alone without him, so ultimately I’m not sure this result is all that surprising. Grill isn’t an 18 point difference but surely his quickness on the perimeter would’ve been enough to maybe deter a couple of Texas 3s. The good news is that Iowa State is going to make the NCAA Tournament for the 2nd consecutive season and is operating ahead of schedule in the Otz era. Sometimes we get caught up in the letdown of a big loss and need to contextualize what we have watched this season. This Iowa State team is good, but winning on the road in the Big 12 is difficult, and is next to impossible if you aren’t 100% healthy. Just ask TCU how things went without Mike Miles.
2:00: REALLLYYY want to keep this loss under 20 points, if only for aesthetics. Yes, I’m in the acceptance stage. So sue me.
48 seconds: Texas is 15-1 at home this year. Remember when I said it’s tough to win on the road?
FINAL: Texas 72 Iowa State 54
Iowa State drops to 2-8 on the road in the Big 12 as Texas picks up their 6th win against the top 25. The Cyclones are 5th in the conference with 3 games remaining, but have a chance to pick up two home wins against Oklahoma and West Virginia before traveling to Waco to close against Baylor. Still a lot of basketball to be played this season, and getting hot in March is the most important consideration. Oh well.
Until next time!