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MBB: Thoughts After UNC-Pembroke

If you care about the score, it was Iowa State 106, UNC-Pembroke 54. I think the biggest storyline of the game wasn't the game itself, but rather Harrison Barnes making his last appearance in Hilton before announcing his intent on Friday. The student section definitley acknowledged he was there. There were chants for his name, along with individual students making signs/posters, and even some that put a picture of his face and put it on a stick to put over their face.

The funniest part to me is that if the longshot happens and Harrison comes to ISU, then those students will pat themselves on the back about how they played a part in the commitment. If he doesn't, then they will blame the other students for not making enough signs, or the crowd for not chanting with the student section.

Personally, I think the guy realizes how much he's wanted at Iowa State. I personally think he's already decided a little while ago. He'd probably announce it sooner but the school probably wanted to move the craziness to a Friday. I guess we will find out in 6 days either way...

The team did not look much different from Monday to be honest. Jamie Vanderbeken (JVB), L.A. Pomlee, and Antwon Oliver did get some playing time after missing the first exhibition game. Since this was thier first action, I'm going to write about them first:

JVB played his game, which is playing post defense, but perimeter offense. He threw up a couple of threes. He didn't play a lot and looked like his conditioning wasn't all the way there.

Pomlee has a frame and some potential. I saw him get into good position at times. He definitley has the potential to do be a good post player in the future. He still looks a little rough around the edges and needs some more polish to his game.

Oliver is athletic without a doubt. He has some quick hands. In only 5 minutes of play, he picked up 3 steals, all of them leading to fast breaks. At the same time, he was pick-pocketing a reserve on a bad Division II team, so you have to take with a grain of salt. He can play, but he really needs to fill out more. He's 6-6 and lighter than Diante. I think he'd have a tough time going up against some quality D-I talent; At the same time, knowing he can play makes me optomistic about this guy's future as a Cyclone as well.

Now onto the starters:

 

Brackins was well, Brackins. He basically did everything. It also looked like he's improved his perimeter shooting. Between the two exhibitions, Brackins was 6 of 7 in 3 pointers. Obviously this type of competition isn't that tough, and Craig is able to have his way with these teams.

Gilstrap looked a lot more relaxed this time around. Offensivley, this guy can play. He can shoot pretty well, break a guy down and get to the hoop, and he rebounds well. In the past we've had too many guys who wouldn't play off the dribble and who weren't good rebounders. It's early, but so far he's looking as good as advertised.

Diante Garrett had a good offensive game. He shot the ball well which was nice to see. He broke some guys down off the dribble as well.

Lucca played his typical game. Chill in the corner, not move around a lot, and jack up the open three. The one time he tried to play off the dribble, the defender stole the ball from him. It's kind of bad, but if he even has one defender on him, he has a hard time handling it and is looking to pass. Defensivley, he got broken down by the guys. I really don't know what the deal is. He can play for a German team and tear it up, but look so marginal at Iowa State. I don't know if the style of play at the International level fits his game more than in America, but it just looks like he's struggling is basically all aspects of the game other than shooting the ball.

Hamilton started but didn't play that much, only clocking 11 minutes. He had a pretty quiet day. He's doing a better job moving into position on offense. Sometimes on defense, particularly when he's trying to get a rebound, a couple of guys gang up, push him around a little and he hits the deck. I was telling my friend that Hamilton just needs to shoulder or elbow somebody sometimes. You HAVE to be a man about it when you're in the post. It's an exhibition game. Who cares about the extra foul, or the technical? If a guy's all up on you, and you just let him do it, it's going to happen all game. If you punk him back, he'll think twice about it. Once he continues to mature, and develop, he'll catch on.

And the rest of the reserves (in order of minutes clocked):

I like Christopherson's game. He's quick and tries to get to the hole. He also has a good outside shot as well. I think the biggest area he needs to work on is finishing strong. He'd get to the hoop, but wasn't quite able to finish. He looks to be the type of guy that if he's struggling in one aspect of his game, he's going to make up for it in others. If the outside shot isn't working, he's going to try to get inside. If offensivley he's not doing as hot, defensivley, he's going to try to get a steal. I like that. One dimensional players don't help a team out as much, and I like that he can do more than just shoot from outside. We've seen too much of that in previous years with previous players in McDermott's tenure at ISU.

LaRon Dendy. Not much different from Monday. He was the leading rebounder for the Cyclones despite playing only 16 minutes. I would like to see him start as he looks like he can handle himself down-low and just looks polished.

Chris Colvin. Looked A LOT better than on Monday also. I think he was probably nervous. He picked up 4 steals, got on some fast breaks, and scored 10 points in 14 minutes. On Monday, he looked a little out of control at times. Last night, he looked more under control. Like any freshmen guard, he's going to make mistakes at times. At the same time, he has a lot of upside which I'm excited about.

Boozer played better as well. He actually played a lot like he normally does, hustle, go for rebounds, etc., but he shot well. He only missed one shot, as he went 4 of 5 from the floor and got 11 points.

Alex Dorr looked the same as on Monday. He plays hard and is very fundamental in his defensive stances and footwork. On offense he's not really an option and didn't take a shot or anything.

Palo didn't play much and I thought was pretty quiet. He got fouled and hit two free throws, and that was pretty much it.

Overall, Dorr, Palo, and Oliver played the least amount of minutes, but that makes sense as these are two walk-ons and one freshmen who is likely going to get a redshirt. Also, I think the team played better but were sloppy at times, trying to do alley-oops with Hamilton (in which he bricked the dunk) and stuff like that. You can do that when you're up by 30 or 40, but I hope to never see some of the things we saw on Monday and last night again.

I like going to the games and seeing the team. I also can't wait until we play some real teams and see these guys get challenged. It's obvious we're more athletic than we've ever been under McDermott, but tough to say how we'd play against a good team.