While it took Iowa State 13 minutes to score their first 26 points, it took all the way inside the 2:00 mark in the game to see the next 26 points!
I thought the gameplan to start was awesome today: draw the doubleteam in the post, kickout to the weakside, for the open look. Both Brackins and Dendy looked good early in the game passing out of the doubleteam. Really opened up the game.
Then, Nebraska adjusted. They laid off the doubleteam, forced some big turnovers, and got right back into the game. From there on out, ugly play continued. As far as the Four Factors go, ISU outplayed Nebraska in 3 of the 4. Really, it probably should've been a much larger margin of victory.
So why the small margin of victory? I think our guys got gassed. We were short on men, and as the game wore on, we got sloppy. Towards the end of the 1st half, Nebraska went on a 16-5 run, took the lead, and it was all from sloppy play. Then we come out the 2nd half, looking OK to start, but got tired and was not able to sub anyone until the 12:00 mark. Once we got new guys in there, the play picked up again. As the 2nd half went on, both teams were tired, and it really showed.
Due to injuries to Vanderbeken and Boozer, the Cyclones aren't really that deep. Today we played with 8 guys in the rotation. Colvin coming back could provide some relief, but we really have gone from having 10/11 guys the coach can play with some confidence to 8/9.
At the end of the day, I'm glad we won. It was the first road conference victory since winning at Nebraska, February 28th, 2007 (yes 2007!). Some want to talk about the RPI, but I think it's way too early. But looking at where ISU is at right now, we are at 110. Not a surprise, as we're lacking a big win, and had a relatively easy non-conference (with the exception of a couple of games). To really start talking about the RPI, ISU needs to be in the Top 50-60, but preferably in the Top 40. Realistically, ISU probably needs to win 10 games in the conference to go. There's still a very LONG way to go.
I just want to take one game at a time at this point. Hopefully we can now build a conference road winning streak when we go down to Lubbock on Wednesday!