Well, it's difficult to be too pissed with what transpired today. In what could have easily been a blowout at the hands of the Jayhawks (who shot 51% today), Iowa State stayed relatively close until the end.
The story of the day was very obviously sophomore Craig Brackins. The 6-10 forward dropped 42 points and grabbed 14 boards in a losing effort. For a guy that was criticized for being soft at times last year, he's come a long way. But has he come too far? Rumors have started to multiply that he's considering the NBA. To be sure, if he's going to keep dropping 25+ points on Big 12 opponents, it'd be dumb not to think like that.
But, unfortunately for the Clones and for Brackins, his outstanding performance was not near enough. In what was one of Iowa State's worst defensive performances of the year, the Cyclones could simply not keep up with Sherron Collins and the gang. His 26 points, combined with 16 and 12 at the hands of Cole Aldrich was enough to keep ISU at arm's length to the end of the game.
For as good as Craig looked today, most everyone else in cardinal and gold did not. Jamie Vanderbeken was the next leading scorer with just 8, Lucca Staiger added just 5. When Garret, Staiger, Petersen and Hamilton contribute just 13 points in a conference game, I guarantee you we will not win.
I'm not as bothered by today's loss as a lot of people. Sure, I wouldn't have minded a few more twinges in the defense, and I thought the substitution practices were a bit off today, but I still think our guys brought it. What may have been more important was that a pretty good show was put on for uber-recruit Harrison Barnes, as well as 11 football visitors (two of which have already committed). For as much as this win would have done to help the basketball team, it would have been the aberration, not the norm.
In all actuality, next Tuesday is a much bigger game in Boulder. A win against the Buffs is absolutely crucial to keep some good feelings. Colorado blows (hard).