It's not exactly what the doctor ordered, but it is what the schedule-makers gave Iowa State.
Some time off.
The Cyclones, who sunk to 23rd in The Associated Press Top 25 this week, are going a week without a game coming off a difficult and surprising loss to TCU with Big 12-leading Kansas State on deck Saturday in Manhattan, Kansas.
"Obviously, you wish you were coming off a win," ISU coach Steve Prohm said. "You'd probably treat it the same way, but your sense of urgency should be raised up a whole notch."
It's a sense of urgency born from a poor performance at Hilton Coliseum in which the Horned Frogs gashed ISU (18-6, 7-4 Big 12) for baskets inside time and again to hand the Cyclones a damaging loss in their hopes for a Big 12 title and a spot in Des Moines for the NCAA tournament.
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It was arguably ISU's worst game of the season, and certainly a major step backward after a stretch of six wins in seven games that started last month with a win over a top-10 Texas Tech team after back-to-back losses.
"I was frustrated going down to Texas Tech," Prohm said. "A little ticked off. Kind of had a point to prove, and I'm kind of back in that mode again. I think we're the best when we're like that."
ISU will have to put that emotion on ice, however, with this bye portion of the schedule lending itself more to rejuvenation than revenge.
"Getting rest," fifth-year senior Nick Weiler-Babb said, "make sure everybody's bodies are feeling good.
"Just making sure everybody's ready to go, get your minds back locked in."
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ISU took Sunday and Monday off before getting back on the floor Tuesday.
"We'll go for about an hour and break down guarding the dribble and executing in the halfcourt," Prohm said, "and then Kansas State will be more of our emphasis Thursday and Friday."
The time off allowed Prohm to recruit Monday, and he'll so so again today.
"I think it's good the way we broke it up," Prohm said. "I didn't want to go three straight days and take another day off today. I kind of wanted to break it up and get in so we're not removed from them too much, and I get get on the road some as well, too."
Time off from practice doesn't mean time totally away from basketball, though.
"They'll still be around the facility," Prohm said. "They'll still get in there and get shots and do some lifting on their own, watch film on their own, different things like that."
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A sort of taper this time of year can be critical, though, with the grind of conference season wearing on minds and bodies and the allure of the NCAA tournament still well off in the horizon. Baseball may have the dog days of summer, but basketball has the frozen days of winter.
"Basketball is a long season, and this right here," Prohm said, "the bye week, comes at a good time where we can get some rest, we can practice a little bit and then Thursday and Friday we've got to turn the switch and get dialed in on us getting better but also preparing for (Kansas State)."
This article is written by Travis Hines from Ames Tribune, Iowa and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to email@example.com