Pella Windows' players say they experienced some fatigue in Monday's loss to Kansas
Pella Windows' players sensed they were in for a long night when they entered Allen Fieldhouse on Monday night.
After playing on Sunday night against Creighton -- their 10th game in 11 nights -- Pella's fellas didn't feel they were up to full strength to battle No. 2 Kansas.
"They're definitely the toughest team we've faced by far," Pella Windows player/coach Michael Born said after a 98-79 loss to the No. 2-rated Jayhawks.
Pella has lost to Div. I schools DePaul, Nebraska and Creighton and defeated Drake and Indiana State. "We've played quite a few games in the past couple weeks so I think the traveling takes its toll on you," Born added.
The AAU team (10-5) featuring five former Iowa State players, has played a schedule that former Cyclone point guard Jacy Holloway said has been different from his college days.
"Sometimes I like it better because coach (Tim) Floyd had some tough practices." Holloway said after scoring six points and dishing two assists with five turnovers in 28 minutes.
Pella Windows started its biggest lineup against the Jayhawks -- 6-8 forwards Kevin Carr and Gionet Cooper along with 6-6 forward Rosell Ellis. Raef LaFrentz, 6-11, scored 20 first-half points. He also grabbed six rebounds as Pella was outboarded 25-17.
"They have probably one of the strongest inside teams in America. Those guys were huge on the boards," Born said. "I told the guys at halftime that it felt like we were playing an NBA team out there because we were just getting killed out there."
Cooper, who played last year for Texas Tech and scored four points with seven rebounds in his only collegiate game against the Jayhawks, says he feels the Kansas frontcourt has improved tremendously, especially All-American forward LaFrentz and center T.J. Pugh.
"They have all gotten a lot bigger, especially Raef. Pugh is developing into an outstanding player. He's putting the ball on the floor more and playing well for them," Cooper said after scoring five points with eight boards.
Ron Bayless, who finished with 19 points, scored 17 the final half as Pella cut a 32-point deficit to 14 late.
Tempers flared late, at least on Pella's side. Ellis was tagged with a technical foul for complaining about a charging call with 11 seconds left. He then was hit with another 'T' and automatic ejection after throwing the ball at an official.
"I think we're starting to become a little mentally fatigued. It's sometimes hard when instead of practicing every day you're playing a game and traveling," Holloway said.
Holloway, who played for Iowa State from 1994-97, has engaged in 10 previous games against the Jayhawks.
"It's not a great feeling because we haven't had much luck the previous times we've played here," Holloway said of returning to Allen Fieldhouse. "Roy (Williams) gets them playing hard and it's fun to know you're gonna come out and play a good team like Kansas."