Berhow-Goll: Remember the good, not the heartbreak


Photo: Jonathan Krueger/Iowa State Daily

ISU redshirt senior Will Clyburn goes up for the shot against Ohio State in the third-round game of the NCAA tournament on March 24, 2013, at the University of Dayton Arena. Clyburn ended his Cyclone career with 17 points in the 75-78 loss.

Dean Berhow-Goll

Have you ever planned a full day at the beach with all of your best friends? It doesn’t even have to be a beach, it could be any sort of friendly gathering outside.

So many things went into this plan — coordinating who was going to be there, how they would get there, who was bringing what to drink or who was bringing the Frisbee disc for entertainment. 

All of this planning goes into a full, jam-packed day of fun, only to have it all go to waste because of a rainstorm.

But not just any regular rainstorm: This was the storm that wasn’t forecasted and came out of nowhere. And it didn’t just rain, it absolutely poured as the wind howled, thunder boomed and lightning stabbed the sky.

All of the planning and preparation was a waste, all for naught because of this swift, kick-in-the-stomach rainstorm. 

That was a lot like the ISU men’s basketball season. 

Fred Hoiberg had done so much planning and prepared so much, crafting this team together — each person carefully selected to contribute in his own way to make this team as successful as possible. 

All six of the transfers, mixed with a surprise freshman and the junior double-double machine.

When Ohio State’s Aaron Craft swished that game-winning 3-pointer on March 24, he became the freak rainstorm that ruined Iowa State’s perfectly planned day at the beach. 

Now more than a week after Iowa State’s NCAA tournament run ended, some may have the image of Craft shooting over an out-stretched Georges Niang etched into their mind as a capsule of this season. 

But let me ask you to not remember it in that way. Instead, understand that we were undeniably spoiled to watch this team compete every single game. Spoiled. 

Remember Korie Lucious and Will Clyburn, the newest transfers who became inseparable. Lucious handled the ball like he had velcro attached to his hands and Clyburn, who was instrumental in the late-season push, attempted to dunk on the world numerous times. 

Let’s not forget the sweet stroke of Tyrus McGee, who finished the season ranked as the best 3-point shooter in the country, making 46.4 percent of his treys. Every single time he touched the ball, we thought he might try an off-balance shot — then eventually we wanted him to. 

Remember Chris Babb’s defense and leadership. Every single game he owned up to shadowing the opposing team’s best scorer. Try and remember his “eat or get ate” motion after each shot this year. Remember that he would’ve done anything to be out with his team battling Ohio State after severely spraining his ankle. 

Let’s not overlook the roles of Anthony Booker and Austin McBeth. Booker showed maturity accepting his role in the latter portion of the season, providing the inside presence and becoming the team’s best low-post defender. Then McBeth, doing nothing but supporting his teammates every game, cheering for every shot, praying with Babb before each tip and becoming a fan-favorite.

We’ll remember this team endured gut-wrenching losses throughout the season, losing five games where it led or was tied in the waning moments, the last of which will be engrained into our minds as Craft holding his follow-through as he dashed Iowa State’s chances of a Sweet Sixteen berth. 

But that shouldn’t be the focal point. 

Instead, remember this group of guys, all brought here by Fred Hoiberg. They stole our hearts on numerous occasions, then broke them. They dazzled us and left us wanting more. They played for one another and nothing else. 

They spoiled us this season, and we should remember it as just that.

Dean Berhow-Goll is a junior in journalism and mass communication from Ventura, Iowa.