Dark Souls this week. While I understand it requires both time and effort - certainly more than I've currently dedicated to it - I can say this: I hate Dark Souls.
I don't hate it because it's a bad game. I hate it because of what it asks of you. Over the last few years - for better or worse - my gaming habits have become increasingly more 'experience' based - if something has a good story, I'm very willing to forgive any gameplay flaws it may have. I'm basically 'the problem' in the sense I don't mind being taken on a journey, even if that...
The Iowa State Cyclones got a meager five points, two rebounds and three assists in a combined 18 minutes from their bench players tonight. Fortunately for Iowa State, the contributions of their starting five were enough to squeak by the University of Northern Iowa Panthers 91-82 in overtime.
Sophomore Georges Niang and senior Melvin Ejim led the Cyclones in scoring with 22 points a piece on combined 18-of-29 shooting from the field. Niang also contributed on the defensive side with four steals and three blocks. Junior Dustin Hogue led Iowa State in rebounds with 14, and also scored 17 points as he went 8-of-11 from the charity stripe.
Senior DeAndre Kane scored 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. Finally, freshman Matt Thomas rounded out the starting five with seven points, two assists and four rebounds.
It was the defensive effort of the 17th-ranked team in the nation that overcame the poor bench production to still find to a win. The Cyclones held the Panthers to under 48 percent from the field and forced 17 UNI turnovers to make the 91 points stand up. Helping Iowa State was the Panthers’ poor free-throw shooting. As a team, UNI shot only 53 percent from the line, forfeiting a potential eight points that could have made the final score much closer.
The Panthers did get stellar play off the bench from junior Nate Buss and freshman Jeremy Morgan, who combined for 33 points and 14 rebounds. Unfortunately for UNI, their starting five were not as efficient as Iowa State’s.
Whether the Cyclones will continue to just be eight men deep will remain to be seen as the season goes on. Eventually, they will need more production out of Sherron Dorsey-Walker, Naz Long and Monte Morris to stay in the Big 12 title hunt. For tonight though, Iowa State was able to lean on its starters.
Have you ever seen a 7-foot-5 basketball player that can actually play? New Mexico State Aggies’ Sim Bhullar and brother Tanveer Bhullar are tall basketball players that not only change the game defensively, but can also score.
Sim, the older and better of the two, is currently averaging almost 10 points and seven rebounds. The Canadian — yes I know, Canadian — struggles from the foul line and from anywhere outside the key; when you’re that tall, it just happens. He does everything on defense for the Aggies, which is all they could ask for.
Bhullar packs his 7-foot-5 frame with 360 pounds pounds of madness. Even though he looks like an ogre on the basketball court, he’s one of the best players in the WAC. The fact that he’s so tall allows him to dominate inside and get position on shorter opponents — which is everyone.
The Aggies have a good chance of getting into the tournament. Winning the WAC will cement their hopes and turn them into actualities. If Bhullar can take on double-teams and score, he’s one of the hardest players to stop in the country. How do you even stop a guy that’s six inches taller than most of the players on any college team?
The answer is you cannot. If he is on his game, he’s literally like Shaquille O’Neal. Who knows if Bhullar will ever make the NBA, but at seven-foot-five-inches tall, he has a chance of getting a look.
The Aggies’ giant is nothing to mess with on defense. He gets blocks by simply raising his hands and breathing, as he averages over three blocks per game. If he can somehow reduce his turnovers (almost three per game), he will be one of the best mid-major players in recent years. Bhullar is a raw player that is simply nothing to mess with on the defensive side of the court.
The Gonzaga Bulldogs could not get any points in the paint because of Bhullar and struggled to compete from a size standpoint on defense. If Bhullar ever has a Yao Ming offensive game, he will be a no. 1 pick; but for now he’s just your average 7-foot-5 giant.
Bhullar might not stuff the stat sheet, but to use a coaching quote “you can’t coach height,” he uses just that to disrupt everything.
John Lloyd is a PAC-12 Basketball writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @JohnHLloydIII