Most ISU fans were probably thinking "about damn time", in watching Craig Brackins performance last night. I know I was. In the 2nd half, we finally saw Brackins attacking the rim, doing less fade-aways, and the result was getting back in the game, and winning.
In general, Brackins' intensity has been missing at times in the season. Something happened tonight, and it clicked for him in the 2nd half. He stepped up, and led us to victory. The first time he had done so in quite a while... He really had been struggling.
The title of the post may sound like a cheap shot on Craig, but it really isn't. The guy is a good basketball player. He can be great at times, but it seems like his intensity hasn't been there quite all year.
What sucked in this game was the amount of turnovers we committed, 21. Guess how many Colorado had. 4!... That's right 4! It was a 21-4 difference in turnovers and that nearly cost us the game.
We shot it better than them, rebounded it much better than them, got to the line more than they did, and still could've lost the game. And it would've been all due to the large discrepancy in turnovers...
It was fitting in the last inbound play with about 11 seconds left, we come out of the timeout, and turn the ball over. Colorado drives, gets a close look at the hoop, but the ball rimmed out... We were damn lucky.
The most disappointing thing about this game was the lack of mental focus. We've been seeing it for several games now, but it's silly. To start the 1st half, we looked like crap... again. We also looked like crap to start the 2nd half.... again. It's crazy.
To me, these should be the times that you look your best because you're supposed to be executing a gameplan exposing the team's weakness. In the 2nd half, you should be readjusting to the opponent's adjustments.
Also equally frustrating was the number of times we called a timeout, broke from that timeout, only to turn the ball over on the inbound. Again, inexcusable. I just shake my head and wonder what these guys are being told, but better yet, what are these guys thinking?
The outcome of this game doesn't really change my outlook for the team. This was a team we should be beating by 5-10 points. I didn't even mention the fact that Burks, their 2nd best scorer left he game injured. To me, the Buffs are going to have a TON of confidence when we go to Boulder.
Aside from that, I thought we had an off day from some guys. Just fortunate that Brackins stepped up big last night. I also thought that the team chose a great night to shoot 75% from the charity stripe. A lot of people have been ragging on this team's lack of free throw shooting. It looks like they put in some work in that area. In a game that was so close like this one, a few extra misses, and we would've lost by a handful.
I hope the guys get it together mentally. They really shouldn't be turning the ball over so much. Sometimes it's the other team making a great play, but most of the time, they are silly mental mistakes that can be corrected.