It's tough to believe we won today. Iowa State scored 11 points in the first half. 11. E-lev-en. Thank God we were playing Nebraska. The first half was one of those halves where everything was going wrong. Fifteen turnovers, 19% shooting.
For what seemed like the first time all year, McDermott was willing to switch up the lineup in the second half, starting Cameron Lee in place of Craig Brackins, who did not play at all in the second half. Somehow, some way, the Clones managed to put up 49 points in the second half. Part of it was some stellar defense by ISU, especially on Maric. I have no idea how he's torched us in the past, because he was far from impressive today.
Today's game included some great efforts from a lot of the guard court, but especially out of our two seniors, Rahshon Clark and Jiri Hubalek. Both are going to be sorely missed next year. Rahshon was all over the boards, finishing with 10 and 13. Hubalek finished with 12 and 9. Sean Haluska also had another breakout performance, finishing with 12 points on 4-7 shooting, including 3-3 from behind the arc.
A week off comes at just the right time for this team, with Wesley Johnson suffering from the flu, and Cory Johnson with a bum knee. Brackins was also apparently a little sick.
It was really nice to see a nearly full house be able to get up and make some noise in the second half. It was a little throwback to Hilton Magic. Sure, Nebraska sucks, but the team needed a bit of a lift, and they got their support after a couple of threes. Wasn't the prettiest win, but it beats the pants off of losing.
The Centennial Celebration was really quite special. It was awesome seeing numerous Iowa State greats come back and play. The Alumni Game was a nice touch. Jeff Grayer was throwing them in from long distance, and the Red team beat the White team in storybook fashion, with a Fred Hoiberg tip in as time expired.
Today was the first time that I got to see a lot of players before my time. Grayer looked impressive. Gary Thompson can move for a guy in his seventies. While he definitely wasn't before my time, seeing Fred Hoiberg back on the court brought back some good feelings. Julius Michalik has looked better, though. I was really happy to see Curtis Stinson make it back. It would have been really easy for him to cut all ties with Iowa State, but he came back, sported a big smile, hugged Gary Thompson, and from all indications, enjoyed himself.
The halftime and postgame recognitions were also special. Though it felt a little off without Johnny Orr, it was great seeing ISU greats like Zaid Abdul-Aziz, Hercle Ivy, Jake Sullivan and Kelvin Cato also recognized. Having videotaped messages from Tim Floyd, Larry Eustachy and Wayne Morgan also were awesome to see. Despite all the not-so-great memories from the end of both Eustachy and Morgan's runs, both got a great hand.
It was really a special day, and the fact that we won put a great cap on the day.