Coming into this week, following our hard-fought win in Manhattan, we were merely assigned the task of not blowing the place up.
Just feed the cat, walk the dog, pick up the mail and newspaper. Simple tasks, sure, but ones that can have terrible results if things go awry.
That, pretty much, is what this week was like. Iowa State and Nebraska, while not equal teams, aren't particularly dangerous on the road. It wasn't going to take a whole lot to win the games, but it still had to be accomplished.
And, that's exactly what we did. A 17-point victory Wednesday night, 72-55, followed up by Saturday's 17-point victory, 70-53. Besides the eerily similar scores, a lot else was the same between the two games. In both games, two men led us to victory.
It isn't a tricky question, it's as obvious as one might expect: Cole Aldrich and Sherron Collins. Really, no one else played well. Like, at all.
And yet, we still won. That's all that matters. But, on Monday night in Norman, we won't be able to get by with only two good performances, no matter how dominant. We need more of a team effort.
Player-by-players after the jump...
- Without a doubt, the MVP is Sherron Collins. Dude was dominant, really, for the first time in weeks. Ever since he had the elbow problem, and had to put the sleeve on, he's struggled from the perimeter. His D and his driving ability has kept him being a really good player, but he wasn't playing like the superstar he's shown to be before, like in the beginning of the season. While he looked as if he was beginning to make a comeback against Iowa State, Saturday proved he is 100% back. He was unreal, posting one of the better lines of the season by anybody on the team. 22 points on an incredibly efficient 8-12 shooting, 2 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and zippo turnovers. Fabulous, fabulous, fabulous.
- The other deserving MVP candidate was Cole Aldrich, who had a much better time of it against Nebraska than up in Lincoln. He struggled, big-time, from the free throw line, only going 4-9, but that was really the only negative. He still scored 18 points, picked up 12 rebounds and, most importantly, didn't pick up a foul. If he makes his free throws like usual, and he would've gotten 20, at least. Still, a tremendous performance, one he likely needs to repeat Monday night for us to have a chance.
- After those two, it takes a considerable turn for the worse. However, Markieff Morris really came to play. He wasn't awesome on offense, and his three-point attempt was ill-conceived at best, but he was a monster on the boards, picking up 9. Plus, he picked up 3 blocks, and most importantly only had 1 foul. That's a nice little line from Kieffer, and a fine performance. Marcus Morris, on the other hand, had a terrible outing. He hit a three, which was nice, and picked up 3 rebounds, which is all right. But, besides that, he was atrocious; 5 turnovers and 4 fouls. It looked like he was breaking out, for good, but he just didn't show up yesterday.
Brady Morningstar had a pretty good game for himself, as well. Knocked down a pair of treys, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, you know, a very typical Brady line. Nothing that absolutely freaks you out, but solid performances in every facet of the game. He's going to have his work cut out for him guarding Willie Warren on Monday, so hopefully he's ready. Warren had a coming out party of sorts down in Austin Saturday night, and he looked ridiculous. So, yeah, I'm officially nervous.
- Everyone else, really, played pretty crappy. Tyrel Reed might've been the worst of the bunch, going kaput on offense and turning it over twice. Mario Little still rebounded, but he picked up the second straight goose egg in the points line. Tyshawn Taylor can't hit the outside three to save his life, and Nebraska figured this out, leaving him open in the corner. He only hit 1-5, not to mention his 3 turnovers.
- However, despite not playing terribly well, I wanted to give props to Travis Releford and Quintrell Thomas. Both actually played pretty decent, in their limited PT, and showed me some things. Travis got 11 minutes, the most he's gotten in awhile IIRC, and responded pretty well. Not a terribly active line, and he didn't blow me away, but a fine performance. And Trell, he is a solid rebounder. He is still incredibly raw offensively, but he isn't bad as the emergency big guy to come up in and steal minutes. Not bad at all.
That's all, and now we're entirely done with that Nebraska game. From now on, we're setting our sights on Oklahoma, and Oklahoma alone.