10 Thoughts: Iowa State


Oklahoma State fell to Iowa State at Hilton tonight 87 – 76 in a game that everybody (including Vegas[1. Iowa State was a three-pointe favorite.]) saw coming from a mile away. Iowa State just doesn’t lose back-to-back games in Hilton. The loss knocks the Pokes out of the Big 12 title race and probably kicks the Cyclones into the NCAA tournament. I refuse to freak out over a loss like this but I do, as always, have 10 thoughts…

Oh, and this is why I refuse to freak out over that loss..

1. Marcus Smart had a good line tonight — 24 points, eight boards, three assists, five steals — but there was something…amiss. He took 22 shots to get his 24 points which is wildly inefficient and he seemed almost lazy in his shot selection — settling for threes when it clearly wan’t working, not dishing when he was covered. It was odd.

And the flopping, my gosh, I know it’s beneficial to us as a team sometimes but I hate watching that garbage[2. Even though he’s unbelievably good at flopping. I mean let’s be honest, a three-year-old could fool a Big 12 official so it doesn’t take much but this is next-level “Vlade Divac is smiling somewhere in Europe” stuff. Just another thing he’s great at, I guess.].

2. I’m sorry but the Phil Forte thing is totally an issue. He’s 9-59 from three on the road now. NINE FOR FIFTY-NINE! A drunk, blindfolded Jason Kapono could go 9-59 with three guys on him. I like Forte, really and truly I think he’s going to be an excellent player — better than Keiton, for sure — but this green light whenever he wants thing is a problem right now.

Watch him next time he shoots one, he’s leaning all over the place like Tiger after a ripped 5-wood from the rough. It just doesn’t seem to be there right now. The good news though? He’s 43% at home and 50% at neutral sites and that’s all we have from here on out.

3. I told you guys yesterday that elite offensive teams are an issue for OSU. Tomorrow we’ll look at 14 teams OSU doesn’t want to see in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

4. Our big guys are quietly playing really well on offense. Murph and Cobb were a combined 5-7 tonight for 10 points and eight boards in just over 40 minutes of work. The guards rarely looked their way because they were busy playing around the world from the three-point line but when they did, the big men delivered.

5. That first half was just a total disaster. It felt like we took about eight or nine of our 31 shots from inside the paint, and that might be generous. And back to Smart — was he trying to remove the doubts about his stroke in 20 minutes of basketball?

It reminded me of Franny saying Myck Kabongo was trying to go pro on every possession last Saturday in Stillwater. It seemed like Smart was trying to squelch doubt about his J on every possession. Weird.

6. This was such a huge issue tonight and it’s actually a problem when Jurick doesn’t play, or can’t play because he’s not athletic enough to match Iowa State’s big guys.

There’s nobody to protect the rim and apparently nobody was interested in switching and taking charges tonight, especially, but not solely, Le’Bryan. One of the announcers called it “getting whipped at the rim.” I feel like that’s a pretty good assessment. I also feel like all of Iowa State’s points were on threes and layups but maybe I’m just being emotional.

7. The Iowa State crowd is awesome and totally underrated. I know it’s kind of dumb but I appreciated them taunting Nash the entire game — that’s good stuff from a crowd that knows it had to have this one to get in the Dance.

8. Speaking of Nash — I’ve written before that he’s not really the athlete we all make him out to be and that was pretty apparent tonight on a couple of defensive possessions. It’s almost like he still thinks it’s high school and he can cheat a little bit and then just overpower people because he’s such a monster. He got housed multiple times on defense and went down without so much as a whimper.

I love it when he’s going good on offense — and I’ll be the first to tell you he’s been terrific lately — but defensively he’s a big-time liability on the perimeter.

9. It tells you pretty much everything you need to know about Big 12 refs that they confused the shot clock stopping with the game clock stopping and took a five-minute recession to figure it out, doesn’t it?

10. Two more very random things. First, I daydreamed for like 10 minutes in the first half about what Ford would do if Jurick shot a three given Ford’s aptitude for having some pretty amazing freak out moments. The two things I kept coming back to were either he would rip the warmups off a walk-on and sling them at Jurick after he pulled him or he would just stare blankly at the court with a maniacal look that made you wonder if he was a murderer in a former life.

Oh and the second thing was that one of the announcers told me I needed a sabre saw to cut the tension in Hilton. Wut?

11. (bonus) Iowa State had 21 assists. OSU had 11. Yup.

Kansas State on Saturday.

It pains me that beating them means KU gets the title outright but this is not something I want to see again…


  • Nate

    Why try to prove your point by showing a tweet from an idiot ISU homer? Nieng was flopping around just as much as Smart was…

    And the switching defense wasn’t bad (thats a coaching decision- good move), it was the on ball defense. We should be able to match up with ISU with any guy we throw out there minus Jurrick. It was embarrassing watching a bunch of average guys blow by our guys.

    Iowa st is not very good. Their only saving grace is they have guys that can shoot it. Thats it. They seriously get nervous when they can’t launch a three within 12 seconds. They’ll get housed by anyone who slows them down. They’re not well coached either. The Hoiberg hype is bullshit. They run absolutely no offense and their defense is awful. Its like all they care about is wanting the ball back to go jack another 3. Which is why it was frustrating to watch us keep jacking jumpers against them.

    We all around just played awful tonight against a very average team and still could have won. Smart has also put together some flat out awful stretches lately. It cost us tonight… He needs to be good for 40 minutes if we’re going to do damge in the tourney.

    • And I’m the idiot homer…

      • Nate

        Have fun in your play in game

        • The funny thing is.. I’ve never dogged Oklahoma State, and you can go check my timeline, but I’ve mentioned Marcus Smart is my favorite non-ISU player and OSU is my second favorite Big 12 team. I just think Smart is better than the flopping. As far as Nieng (Niang) flopping, well, I didn’t see that, but even if he did, not sure how that affects if Marcus Smart flops or not. If anything, wouldn’t it mean that an ISU fan knows exactly what a flop looks like?

          The Cowboys are superior in talent to Iowa State, but in my opinion, Travis Ford just isn’t a great coach, and Fred Hoiberg, while not great yet, has certainly shown signs of doing so. I’d say Fred coaching OSU would be a Big 12 championship team easily.

          Congratulations, you’re literally the first Poke fan I’ve ever found to be unpleasant. Perhaps it’s time to consider a switch to KU..

          • White Whale

            Hey man, watch the way you talk to Nate. He has played with former D1 players!

          • Nate

            Well first of all, I have bashed Ford more than anyone… But to say Hoiberg would have OSU as a championship team?? Haha that’s laughable and shows how big of a HOMER you really are. ISU is consistently undisciplined on both ends. Its why they have lost so many close games. You all can keep him and live on the bubble year in and year out. Just like your boy Rhodes… Just good enough to get you to the toilet bowls each year. It’s just something about Iowa state that screams mediocrity…

            And it really pulls on my heart strings that OSU is your second favorite team… Get over yourself. No one gives a shit. You all are lucky to even still be in a major conference.

            Yeah, I don’t like to lose to anyone, much less Iowa St. But I’ll get over it. The real losers are the people that have to spend any significant amount of their life in the state of Iowa.

            Oh and I guess it’s better we lost this game… Can’t imagine what your psycho, lunatic, inbred fans would have done to Ford if we would have won.

          • KC

            Someone hand Nate a Snickers and maybe he’ll stop acting like Rossanne Barr. Kyle’s first paragraph says exactly why this was not a shock. If things are so bad Nate just think back to this time last year.

          • Nate

            Hahaha so because Kyle said so, it’s not a bad loss… You’re an idiot.

            I predicted we would lose, but after watching more and more of the game I realized how bad iowa st is and how poorly coached they really are. Top it off with how awful we played.

            I’ve fully enjoyed this season. But I guess now with some success we can’t criticize? Again, you’re an idiot.

          • KC

            We’re supposed to be on the same side here but you’re acting like a spoiled, whiny child. Grow up or take you insecurities to Norman where they tolerate that garbage.

          • Mike

            Because Oklahoma is known outside the state as a hub of culture and diversity…

  • I was really happy that Ford got T’d up. It’s about time he stops falling over and passing out like Sean and stands up to the officials.

  • Gary

    I just got home from Ames and that ISU crowd continues to be the best. Totally agree with the flopping by Smart. Could see it clearly from four rows away from the roof. Lets hope they play better at home on Saturday.

  • BBinKC

    I have said all year that our shot selection is our biggest problem and will be the reason we cannot make a run in the tournament. Every player on Eddie’s teams had a strict understanding of what shots they should and should not take. Ford’s teams continually jack up idiotic shots.

    I think Forte is fine when he sets his feet or when he is moving toward the basket, but if he is not set or if he is curling off a screen and moving away from the basket he is way off. Again it goes back to shot selection and the whole team having the green light any time they want.

    Ford waited way too long to try zone against them which is surprising with how they were killing us in the first half. I know some stats you like say otherwise, but it is hard to watch us play and think we are an “elite” defensive team.

    Finally, how about the announcers breaking down Nash’s awful defense. Can you Youtube clip that for us? If I was Ford I would play that for him before every game.

    • OSUMJ08

      I like the YouTube idea for Nash.

  • KC

    #8 is……well yeah. The turning point in the game was the 4:30 mark, right after Smart’s steal and reverse dunk making it a 2 pt game, then Nash leaves his man wide open for a 3 ISU and never looked back. Congrats to ISU, they played really really good. The Hilton is what GIA used to be and should be again.

  • YourBoyJohnnyC
  • Doug

    1. agree on Smart’s flopping. I don’t like it. In a similar vein, I don’t like the way he makes a huge production number out of gaining an extra .3 seconds by letting the ball roll on the inbounds pass. He did it one time against Kansas (or maybe it was OU) when the ball was moving *backwards* on an inbounds in the backcourt from the side.

    2. I feel guilty about ragging on Smart for anything. Smart is awesome.

    3. Right up until last night, I was OK with Forte continuing to shoot. But yeah, he really wasn’t even close on most of his shots last night.

    4. How does Iowa State ever lose? In the first game they shot 127% from three-point range, and in this one they got layups whenever they wanted to. How did this team get killed by OU and lose to Texas Tech?

    • Nate

      Because they’re not very good. Good shooting covers up all their flaws.

      • Norm @ WRNL

        Isn’t being good at shooting part of being good at basketball?

        I might be missing something here…

      • Lee

        Good shooting is a good thing in basketball…you are shitting me

    • Norm @ WRNL

      Our defense has been very hit or miss. It was total “miss” in the Tech and @OU games.

      • Nate

        You all lost to Tech AND Texas. Can you be a more average team? Good teams find other ways to win than by chunking 3s all night. Oh and you all let Elijah Johnson, who has been horrible, destroy you at Hilton.

        Enjoy your mediocrity and your play in game.

        Also kinda surprised you guys even get internet access in that dump of a state.

        • Lee

          This coming from the land that the indians didn’t even want to go to.

          • Lee

            To all of you that are not Nate…sorry about that last comment. But seriously dude, your team got beat. That sucks for you but you are still in the dance and there are still games left. Get over it and we at ISU are not sorry about the fact that we have a .500 record with OSU in the last 4 major mens games (football and basketball). Now you just have to deal with the fact that a team without a sugardaddy is able to compete against you so well.

          • Nate

            Coming from a place where no one wants to live NOW.

            Sounds like some jealousy there that you don’t have a Boone. Is there such thing as a successful alum from ISU? Please let me know

            Are you guys going to make T shirts and highlight videos of your big win last night too?

            I couldn’t care less what our record is against you. You guys will always be an average team in both sports just trying to play spoiler.

            Just glad to see your wife beating, inbred, fans could control themselves last night. Progress!

          • Lee

            Man. I really don’t get it. There is not a single other person I have seen on the Cowboys sites that has this high of an opinion on themselves and the OSU team than you. Arguing mediocrity with two teams that have been the red-headed stepchild to the big brother school in the state so long is ludicrous. It’s all good though..I will still enjoy the fact that my team beat your’s, you are pissed, and now you are sitting here bitching and moaning like a little girl because you went up against a team that can actually hit a 3 point shot. You also lost that game in front of a sell-out crowd that made GIA look like a high school gym. I could go on and on…but today is a pretty sweet day for Iowa State fans, but not great…mostly because we managed to win a game we were supposed to win (just ask Vegas)…Congrats, they thought so highly of a 13th rated team that they put you as a 3 point underdog and we still covered.
            I feel bad about being bitchy to a fanbase I generally like, but sorry guys. Good luck in the rest of the year and the tourney

          • Nate

            Lets see here… You are the one coming to another teams site to bitch an moan that I have some (gasp) negative things to say about your dear cyclones… You truly are a pathetic loser. You’re already a loser for having to live in that shit hole of a state, but this really puts you into a whole new category.

            I know there’s not shit to do in Iowa, but bitching about me on an OSU site?? Haha no wonder you all are a complete laughing stock.

            Pure comedy.

          • Norm @ WRNL

            What makes you think Oklahoma is such a superior place to Iowa? You know, besides your raging personal bias.

          • Norm @ WRNL

            I think Oklahoma is a nice place, but its really a very similar state to Iowa. Its ridiculous for a resident of one to trash the other.

          • Nate

            I’m not saying Oklahoma is some phenomenal place. I like it. But living in Iowa? Yikes… Wouldn’t wish that on my biggest enemy (Kyle).

  • Jay

    Nate, I really think the Snickers suggestion was a good one…..

  • McGraw

    As my old coach at FM Marcus used to say, “shooting makes up for a multitude of sins”. They may be mediocre but they outplayed us last night in just about every category except FT% (and 74% isn’t terrible).

    I really think it comes down to our offense… When we move the ball and push it off of turnovers, we’re a different squad than when Smart starts throwing volume shooting. When driving, posting, or pulling up from the elbow, he’s about as efficient as you can ask someone to be. I love Smart as much as the next guy but he has to understand his strong points on offense and leave the jumpers outside of 17 ft to others.

  • Cowboy Dan

    I completely agree with #7. Their crowd was perfect, and it’s like they were all well aware of how big of a punk Le’Bryan can be. I don’t remember seeing a crowd do the “air ball” chant for an entire game. Their 32-3 home record over the past 2 seasons is no fluke, and the crowd should take most of the credit.

  • Phill

    I think the Forte experiment has to come to an end. Looking back at Keiton’s production as a freshman from behind the arc explains why he started the last 12 games as a newcomer….it feels like the EXACT opposite has happened to Forte after mid-season.

    Keiton was 63-158 on the year from 3 as a freshman.

    Forte (after last night) is now 63-184 and on pace to finish the year somewhere around 65-240…heh

    I know Travis Ford sees some of himself in Forte, but come on man. I know he’s not starting but his slump combined with the massive defensive liability against a long team almost requires that he ride the pine.

  • oklahoman

    Wow Nate. Lighten up, pal. It’s just a basketball game.

  • JR

    I’m starting to believe that Kyle may be Nate. If so, brilliant. I find both the blog and Nate very entertaining. Agree with Nate that you shouldn’t come to another team’s site to bitch and moan. Go post your comments on an ISU site, because nobody here wants to hear your comments. I thought our boys played hard, but not well, last night. ISU has a great crowd, but we should have beaten a team that was prison raped by ou days earlier.

    • I wish I was smart enough to do something like that.

      • Nate

        You wish you had my bball IQ.

      • Nate

        I should say that was said with tongue firmly in cheek before some of you jerks start jumping down my throat for it

  • Lee

    Didn’t come here to bitch and moan, came here because I heard there was somebody posting idiotic comments before any of the ISU fans even showed up here…sure enough, I found you. Also, I came here to troll on my free time today. So far it has been a success since I have made you look like either a high schooler or a community college dropout at this point.
    Are you going to make fun of Iowa again? c’mon man…make fun of our inability to run plays…or how we shoot the ball too much in the game of basketball…maybe you should bring up a mandatory rule on how many passes and screens are required before you are able to shoot…
    Keep up the good work, Nate. You have been a lot of fun to mess with.

    • Nate

      Oh you’re “trolling”… So you’re what age, 15? 17 tops? Good job, broooo. Solid work today.

      But hey… I guess if you live in Iowa… Not much else to do.

      And you “heard” about me? Haha must have meant Double Wide Natty Light put something on his wittle blog for you inbred iowa st losers about me. Would that mean I “trolled” your trailer trash fan base, broooo???

      Gosh you’re such good troll, bro.

      I’ve had YOU on an OSU blog allll day. But hey, you’re the troll master…

  • 10,000 spoons when all you need is a knife

    Nate, if you just ignore this Lee guy then I bet he stops trolling your ass and consequently you stop looking like a moron that does nothing all day except wait for Lee to reply to whatever you post.

  • 10,000 spoons when all you need is a knife

    “Oh you’re “trolling”… So you’re what age, 15? 17 tops? Good job, broooo. Solid work today.”

    “I’ve had YOU on an OSU blog allll day. But hey, you’re the troll master…”

    Am I the only one who finds these two sentences from the same post funny?

    • Nate

      Haha are you that stupid? Or are you just a Iowa St fan?

      Irony is hard for some people…

      • Grammar Nazi

        *an Iowa St fan…

    • PokeinAustin

      Not funny, but embarrassing.

      Anyone who thinks Iowa State is not a good basketball team doesn’t know hoops very well. They’re well coached, play team ball and rebound well – even though they’re somewhat undersized.
      Ask Bill Self or Lon Kruger if Hoiberg can coach. Ask Kentucky if he can get a team to play well in March.

      • Nate

        Another idiot.

        Royce white was a stud last year. Their success had more to do with him than anything else.

        Any team that can’t win in Lubbuck AND Austin this year is not that great. Plain and simple. Is Iowa St bad? No. They have some decent players. They’re just an average basketball team.

        They get all butt hurt when they hear that. And Hoiberg is AT LEAST the most over rated coach in this conference. Time after time they have failed to close out games. Terrible defense and can’t play offense down the stretch in close games. Anyone who can’t see that doesn’t know hoops very well…

  • G-Block

    I thought the defensive execution was frustratingly bad. And I don’t think I’ve ever yelled at the television set more than I do at Nash when he’s on defense. But gotta give it up to the Cyclones – they just outplayed the Pokes. If they happen to get to the tournament, I could see them shooting themselves to a Sweet Sixteen berth.

  • cdc

    Another ISU fan here. This post is a good reminder of why I like every BIG 12 school with “state” in the name better than any school without. There’s just something different about the fan base. (I’ll overlook Nate — every fanbase has one).

    I’ve never visited this blog before, but I think i will be back when I’m looking for alternate points of view. Smart break-down of the game, an objective view point, and a measured response after an important loss.

  • KC

    If I may speak on behalf of OSU fans not named Nate….. ISU is not a great team but they played great last night. Anyone with half a brain saw this coming. Tuff lose to KU, horrible loss at OU, last home game and senior night, not to mention playing for a spot in the tourney. Unfortunately every school has these neurotic fans. Nate apparently is ours but we don’t really claim him either because he is obviously not thinking with a human brain. I personally have driven through Iowa several times and what I saw was pretty nice. It’s not that different from oklahoma, only colder winters. I consider ISU fans some of the best in the big 12. OSU (pre Boone Pickens) was very much like like ISU, and that’s not a bad thing at all. My request is for ISU fans to go back to your boards and for the love of pizza let this thread die so Nate will shut the h€££ up! That is all.