On any given night, it seems any number of Cyclones could be in a starring role.
Coach Fred Hoiberg began his post-game radio show last night by complimenting two members of his bench for their play. And, it was their defensive play he touted.
“I thought Jameel (McKay) getting on the floor, getting the ball and calling a timeout (was important),” Hoiberg said. “I felt (Abdel) Nader had the play of the game with his block. Plus, he was able to keep it in play.”
On a night when Hoiberg felt his team was just a touch “off” after Saturday’s huge victory vs. Kansas, Hoiberg got great boosts from McKay and Nader.
McKay had a team-best 15 points and Nader hit 5-7 shots on the way to 11 points.
Only twice previously (a 37-point win over Lamar and a 50-point win over Mississippi Valley State) have two Cyclones reached double figure points off the bench in the same game this season.
Against a formidable foe like Kansas State – which entered the game in first place in the Big 12 – that bench production was a welcome sight.
Beyond his point total, McKay also had game highs in rebounds (seven) and blocks (three). Nader chipped in with six boards.
Hoiberg has lots of options and his guys continue to prepare to be the guy called upon.
Tuesday night, it was Nader and McKay that answered the call and it came in a competitive game. That’s the exciting part.