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Iowa State 77, Mississippi Valley State 59

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Well, for about 30 minutes of that game, I thought we were in serious danger of losing to Mississippi freaking Valley freaking State.

The first half, the threes were simply not dropping for Iowa State, which isn't a good thing when you're struggling to get your inside game going. Of course, MVSU hasn't shown they can defend any shots, especially twos, all year, so the itchy trigger finger from behind the arc had me a bit confused. Of course, the amount of three pointers we take is a fundamental difference between the coaching staff and myself.

Our defense wasn't a big issue today. Allow 59 points and you should win every time (and McDermott is something like 20-0 at ISU when allowing fewer than 60 points....that should happen). 

The offense, however, will live and freakin die by the three point basket. Just under half of our shots (24 of 53) were from behind the arc. Somehow, some way, we hit 11 3's, seven of which came in the second half.

This team is going to be frustrating to watch all year long. We'll lose games we shouldn't. We'll likely win games that we shouldn't. 

Hopefully, Jamie Vanderbeken and Justin Hamilton can team up to provide some post support down low, as we've been faring pretty badly in the paint for a team that has, in Craig Brackins, a pretty good threat under the basket. In an ideal world, we could get 10 points a game from each of those guys. 

Hamilton is intriguing in that you can see he's got potential. Maybe he'll find a game where it clicks, because I've ben impressed by his positioning and movement on the block all year, as well as his defense. If he continues to improve, he'll be a valuable post player, hopefully sooner rather than later. 

Hopefully, we can figure out how to balance our offense sometime soon. The Northern Iowa game will be a very tough game for this team (McDermott is 0-7 versus the MVC at ISU, 49-48 in his career), and could have an impact on such a young team. A loss at UNI wouldn't be a killer (to what, our CBI hopes?), but we have to prove that we can beat them. I don't care that it's his alma mater or the fact that it's the last team he coached. We're sure as hell not paying our coaching staff to lose to UNI. Hopefully, that has stopped.