Chi-Town does not have it going on for ISU. To be honest, I'd be 100% OK with them never playing there again. After watching their efforts against Northwestern and now Duke, it's time to call Chicago good. I know the team is trying to recruit there, but narrowly losing to Northwestern, and getting blown out to Duke isn't going to give you any extra help you don't already have through your recruiting network.
So what about the game? ISU has showed us yet again that they are a soft team. Duke is more talented, but the main reason why ISU played so poorly is because no one can handle being guarded. Down low, the rebounding continued to be a joke. Just overall, more of the same we've seen.
I really thought with the talent on the team, this team would be a top half Big 12 team. I officially no longer feel that way. Sure, the talent on paper is there, but you have to be tough inside and on the boards to compete. With ISU facing Texas in a week, and Kansas the week after that, we could be in for a long season.
When you see different groupings of players continue to make the same mistakes year after year, something is wrong in the program.
The NCAA Tournament isn't the Bowl System. You can't get there by losing to all of the good teams that you play. I could handle losing by 10 points or so to Duke. Much tougher to swallow when it's 20+ points, and it's due to being a less physical team than the opponent. Hell, if ISU could have boxed out in the first half, they would've gone into the break with the lead most likely, as they were outshooting Duke by 10%!
I don't know where this team goes from here. You have to hope they continue to get better, but I don't know how they do it. The layoff over the holidays was the chance to really make some big strides and from what I've seen, they haven't. This looked very similar to our effort against Cal.
Enough harping on the team. I think all of you get the point. It's pointless to even get into the stats at this point: Duke shot better, got more offensive rebounds, turned the ball over less, and got to the free throw line more. When you get blown out, it isn't about stats, but rather the fundamentals of your team.