Who had the better Saturday afternoon in Hilton Coliseum?
Steve Hall, the guy who got a “yes” head nod for his video board marriage proposal (to Allison Elliott), or Melvin Ejim, whose jaw-dropping 48-point, 18-rebound performance rewrote the Big 12 and Iowa State record books.
TCU entered Saturday’s game with one of the stingiest defenses in the Big 12. The Horned Frogs favor a slower pace and defend in a zone for long stretches.
“It was a good week for us to have some extra time to work on new zone actions,” Coach Fred Hoiberg said about having four days to prepare after a Monday tilt. “We watched a lot of film to see how teams get behind zones.”
Generally, hitting perimeter shots can loosen up a zone. But, Iowa State’s guards made just 3-16 shots from long range against the Horned Frogs. Thankfully, Ejim made a living at the basket. Boy, did he ever make a living at the rim.
“His (Ejim’s) teammates did an exceptional job finding him, he got behind the zone and he’s a great finisher on those types of plays,” Hoiberg said. “Plus, he (Ejim) did a good job keeping hidden on the baseline working under the backboard.”
It’s hard to figure how a guy scoring like he did throughout could stay hidden, but he came out of hiding to make 20 field goals on just 24 shots and become a major talking point for the experts over the weekend.
Miss Elliott picked up a ring Saturday afternoon in Hilton Coliseum. She’ll treasure that forever.
Cyclone hoops fans watched an historic performance. They’ll treasure that memory forever, too.