Sunday, March 11, 2007

1993-94 Redux: Missouri 92, Iowa State 69

(And we're back at lovely McCarran Airport in Las Vegas. Have plenty to say about the tourney draw, but that'll come tomorrow. Okay, you get just one comment: Arkansas getting in was a complete joke. But that's all I have for now.

Meanwhile, Norm and Billy Tubbs get most of the attention for their curmudgeonly ways, but...Johnny Orr was pretty fantastic in that regard too...)

January 19, 1994

of the Tribune's staff

The parallels are terrible, but as Iowa State coach Johnny Orr said, it allcould have been far worse.

Orr was awakened yesterday with the news that junior center Loren Meyer had been in a truck-train crash.

On Jan. 20 of last year, Iowa's Chris Street was killed in a traffic accident involving a snow plow. Since then, the Cyclones have honored Street by having one of their home-state players wear Street's jersey number, 40. Last season, it was senior Morgan Wheat. This season, it is junior guard Fred Hoiberg.

Meyer will need no memorials, but he's expected to miss six weeks with a broken collarbone sustained in the crash. That could amount to the rest of the season.

The Cyclones play Missouri at 7 tonight at the Hearnes Center.

“He's a lucky guy as far as the accident. Just this much farther and he would have been gone,” Orr, with a space of about two feet between his hands, said yesterday at a news conference. “Had it hit the cab, boy, it would have been over.”

The call came to Orr at 5:15 a.m. The accident occurred about 4:30 a.m. in Des Moines. Meyer, the driver and another passenger had all attended Ruthven-Ayrshire High School.

“When the phone rings at nine o'clock, it's usually some guy stuck, his car won't start, something like that,” Orr said. “If it's after that, it's usually a disaster of some kind.

“We tell them all the time -- there's no reason to be out after 12 o'clock. Nothing good ever happens. Every time something bad happens, it always seems to me it's after 12 o'clock.”

On Monday night, Orr learned of the death of Fred Snowden, a former assistant to him at Michigan and later head coach at Arizona.

It “was a tough day for me,” Orr said.

Merely for being out at that time, Orr said he would have held Meyer, ISU's leading scorer and rebounder, out of tonight's game.

“I think he's getting punished a lot now,” Orr said.

In a statement issued by Meyer, he seems to have gotten the message. “It was a mistake on my part,” he said. “I feel lucky to be alive, and it will never happen again.”

Meyer's injury was the most serious. The truck was struck by a slow-moving 44-car freight train.

Meyer's 22.3-point and 9.5-rebound averages rank second in the Big Eight. Marc Carlson, a 6-foot-6 senior averaging 2.4 points and 1.3 rebounds, figures to replace the 6-11 Meyer in the starting lineup.

“We think he'll do a good job,” Orr said. “With a little time, we may readjust what we're doing and go to a different lineup.

“We'll play hard. Whoever goes in there will do a good job, I have no doubt about that. And as the season goes on and we get adjusted, we'll get better.”

The Cyclones are 0-2 in the Big Eight, having lost both games at home where they had a 22-game winning streak. But Orr isn't panicking.

“I'm happy with the way my team's playing,” Orr said Monday.
January 20, 1994

of the Tribune's staff

Missouri somehow came out of a laugher wearing a bit of a frown.

The Tigers put away Iowa State 92-69 to go 3-0 in the Big Eight. They had their best shooting game of the season, both in field goal and free throw percentages. Missouri (12-2) played 14 players, 12 of them scored. Five reached double figures.

Yet the Tigers felt they let themselves down.

Asked if he was pleased, Jevon Crudup answered, “No, not at all. I'm not playing well. It's not just that I'm not playing well, it's I'm trying to force the issue, so to speak.”

Crudup had 10 rebounds, 10 points and five blocked shots.

The dissatisfaction came primarily from a second-half swoon when Missouri's lead fell from a game-high 29 points to 19 in less than two minutes.

“It's a little disappointing,” coach Norm Stewart said.

The Tigers led 76-47 with 7:32 left. Iowa State scored the next 11 points. After 10, Stewart returned Melvin Booker to restore order. Booker had exited with 9:19 left and Missouri up 69-44.

“Coach was kind of disappointed,” Booker said. “He kept eying me, and I kept eying him. I knew sooner or later I was going to come back in.”

Booker scored the last three of his game-high 21 points before going out to stay with 1:03 left and a bombproofed 90-63 lead.

“I ran Melvin back in, just to control the ball, run the club a little bit, settle it down,” Stewart said. “Once we did that, we went back up to 25.”

Booker's game remained on the high beam after he tied his career-high 27 points at Colorado. He made eight of 10 shots, including three of five three-point attempts. Mark Atkins was almost as sharp. Atkins came off the bench to score 17 points. He, too, made three of five three-point shots.

The Cyclones (9-4, 0-3) were without center Loren Meyer, their top scorer and rebounder who suffered a broken collarbone in a train-truck collision Tuesday morning. Iowa State didn't produce the kind of surge that sometimes compensates for the loss of a star player.

“You lose a player, maybe even your top scorer, boy, everybody just picks it up and comes in, and they go gangbusters and win a ballgame, pull together,” Stewart said. “We were really concerned about that, the psychological effect it would have on them.”

They obviously missed Meyer.

“You don't know what effect mentally that has on the players,” ISU coach Johnny Orr said. “You don't have him playing, that is a hell of a difference.”

Fred Hoiberg led Iowa State with 18 points. Saun Jackson had 14 points and led the Cyclones with seven rebounds in 21 minutes off the bench.

The Cyclones had one early lead at 4-3 then tied it at 9-9 before being blown away. The Tigers went up 23-11 before the Cyclones gusted back to within 25-20. Iowa State scored the last four points of the half to trail 42-29 at halftime.

“We had a couple combos in there that just couldn't score,” Orr said. “We just couldn't hit those hoops.”

The Cyclones shot 38 percent, the eighth consecutive Tiger opponent below 50.

A 10-0 run early in the second half stretched the lead to 23 points.

Having wasted no time wrapping things up, the Tigers left the corners turned down.