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Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg losing sleep over KU; Bill Self as Wicked Witch of the West?
A few links to start off your Tuesday ...
• Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg met with media members Monday, using the term "Human Eraser" to describe KU center Jeff Withey.
"Last year, the ability to play different (with forward Royce White playing the point) was the reason we hung in there and had a shot," Hoiberg said. "You have to think outside the box when you play Kansas."
After watching Hoiberg's 10-minute, 34-second press conference, here are a few more notes and quotes from him.
• Hoiberg labeled KU as "scary good," saying the Jayhawks excel at making other teams uncomfortable offensively. "Their defense is phenomenal," he said. Hoiberg indicated the single most important thing for Iowa State would be taking care of the ball, noting that worked well out for Temple, which hung around with KU before eventually falling, 69-62, on Sunday.
• Hoiberg on scouting KU's defense: "I didn't sleep much after watching the Colorado game. ... It was like there were eight guys out there on the court." Something to keep in mind: ISU has had a lot of time to prepare for this game, as the Cyclones have only played one game after Dec. 19. That will make Wednesday's game only ISU's second in 21 days.
• ISU has been simulating crowd noise in practice to prepare for Allen Fieldhouse. Hoiberg even mentioned the team working on its hand signals.
• A couple times, including the quote above, Hoiberg talked about having to "play different" to beat KU. I'd have to guess the coach is focusing his offensive gameplan on trying to get Withey away from the basket defensively.
• An Ohio State-Kansas pregame video gathered a bit of buzz from those of us who saw it live last month, as KU coach Bill Self's head was placed on the Wicked Witch of the West's body during a Wizard of Oz clip.
After some digging, I found the pregame video on YouTube for those wondering about it. Skip ahead to the 1:42 mark to get through KU's introductions.
• Gary Bedore mentioned this in his Jeff Withey story today, but ESPN.com's Eamonn Brennan had a nice write-up about Withey's "crazy" defensive season.
• And finally, in his college basketball conference previews, Scout.com's Ken Davis says, as of early January, KU coach Bill Self is national coach of the year.