In that second, Otzelberger mentioned, he started to grasp why a crew must be larger than the sum of its components, a precept that he carried with him as a younger school assistant and as a head coach at South Dakota State, Nevada-Las Vegas and now at Iowa State.
Vander Meulen, 83 years previous and the proud proprietor of a flip cellphone, sat in Fiserv Discussion board on Sunday night time, simply as he did on Friday when he watched the Badgers fend off feisty Colgate and the Cyclones sneak previous Louisiana State. He performed at Wisconsin and coached Otzelberger, a two-time captain for him — “I’m loyal to each of them,” Vander Meulen mentioned — however he can be watching as a basketball connoisseur.
That absolutely meant maintaining a tally of the purpose guard matchup, which could have served as a referendum on Wisconsin’s recruiting decisions. Gard had obtained a dedication two years in the past from Chucky Hepburn, a sturdy freshman with a pointy shot from Omaha, Neb., bypassing Hunter, a slick ballhandler and fast defender who had a tragic upbringing, shedding each his dad and mom when he was a teen.
Hepburn’s significance was underscored by his absence. He severely twisted his ankle with 4 minutes 37 seconds left within the first half and needed to be helped from the courtroom with the Badgers forward, 22-19. He watched the top of the sport standing on crutches alongside the Wisconsin bench, his left foot in a protecting boot because the Badgers, who have been the very best within the nation defending the ball, turned it over 17 instances.
Hunter, who scored a career-high 23 factors, together with two late 3-pointers to clinch the win over L.S.U., had an abysmal taking pictures recreation. He made 1 of 10 pictures and completed with 4 factors. However he coordinated the offense, notching six rebounds, 5 assists and three steals — all of which led the Cyclones.
He additionally had some extent to show.
“They’re a succesful crew and have a reasonably good freshman level guard,” Hunter mentioned of Wisconsin. “However they didn’t recruit me, so I needed to go away my presence and allow them to know you missed out on one thing that’s fairly good.”
A short time earlier, Hunter had gathered up a free ball and flung it into the air because the buzzer sounded, earlier than operating over to the congregation of Iowa State followers and doing a bit dance close to heart courtroom — the beginning of a celebration that, for a few Cyclones, was additionally a cheerful homecoming.