Iowa State head coach TJ Otzelberger often preaches about the team’s need to turn defense into offense. On Saturday, the Cyclones did just that. Check out Otzelberger’s thoughts after the game:

Opening statement: “I’m proud of our guys, especially in the second half, again showing what we can be defensively, physically. Up until that last shot they had 18 points in the second half so who we are is a tough, defensive, ball pressure, bouncy team that step up and take charge and I thought that our guys had imposed their will by doing that in the second half. .”

Question: TJ, what did you think of this ground assist game?

Answer: “Yeah, we’re really talking about making effort-based games, where we dive for loose balls, we fall to the ground, and the game rewards you when you do that. So Caleb’s efforts lead to this game, and it’s a huge game of energy for our team it was obviously a great game, got the crowd pumping even more, and these are the games that we demand from our guys and that they will continue to do in order to succeed.

Q: When the team has constant ball pressure like today, how good is that team?

A: “Yeah, we can be really good, and we will be really good when we do that. It’s my job to demand that every day. That’s what we set out this summer, as the cornerstone of how we’re going to move this agenda forward. And we have to do it every night, not just on game nights, but also in training. For the most part, our guys made it. I will always be a guy who for the most part plays at the level of his habits and does it every day. It gives us a chance to be a very good team, doesn’t it. For example, you turn people around, you don’t let them get to the foul line or penetrating catches, you’re good on the perimeter. It’s a big part of what we do, and we’ll continue to demand it.

Q: What was Izaiah able to find to start in the second half?

A: “Izaiah is just a guy who gets things done, you know, we’ve seen that all year. They did a great job of planning and setting up the game for him, whether it was trying to deny the holds or changing when he got it, and keeping the bodies in front, so thanks to them. But Izaiah is a guy who is relentless, brings tremendous energy and effort, and when you do that things usually go to plan, and we see that time and time again.

Q: TJ, you talked about the transformation from defense to offense for the team throughout the year. 18 turnovers from 23 points today, what did you like about the intensity and execution on this side of the pitch?

A: “Well, our guys did a great job of setting the tone when the ball went across half the pitch, disrupting straight away. We classify disruption as something really important to us, and we have that. well done. We were switching screens to make sure we were keeping the body in front. But, I think more than anything, it’s things like demeanor, intent, body language; you know, how great are- you determined to do this job. We are lucky that our guys have really decided to do this, and this is how we want it to be every night, and what we will demand it be.

Q: I’m curious, with so many contributors, how you felt about the bench today. What do you think they brought today?

A: “Well, definitely the shot. You know, but more than that, I think it’s ball movement. Guys like Jaz and Caleb do a good job of moving it side to side. ‘other. I felt like the defensive energy was there. I felt like Jaz was quick on some rotations, going out there and moving his feet. Caleb was active, he had a lot of denials and disruption and tremendous energy. I was happy with Conditt in the second half. I think he brought a different mindset and mentality in the second half to help us get through. And, I know Tre didn’t didn’t play as much but there was a key streak there where we split up and he did a great job commanding the game so I think that was really important as well.

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