ST. LOUIS | Oops, he did it again.
Ben Jacobson forgot to sub.
Forgot, didn't want to, didn't need to, would've been crazy to even think about it. One of those.
Back on Jan. 10, the University of Northern Iowa men's basketball team kept its starters on the court for over 10 minutes to begin the second half. In that span, the Panthers stretched a four-point lead to 25.
In Friday's 71-46 victory over Bradley in the quarterfinals of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament, Nate Buss entered the game at the 14:55 mark of the second half. He was on the court with Deon Mitchell, Matt Bohannon, Jeremy Morgan and Seth Tuttle until Paul Jesperson pulled off his warm-up top with 3:44 to play.
In that span, the Panthers stretched a four-point lead to 25.
"It felt similar (to the Drake game)," Mitchell said. "You never know when your name is going to be called."
What Mitchell is saying is that this is far from a planned event. Obviously, things were going well for the second-seeded Panthers, and Jacobson has shown the restraint to not mess with something that isn't broken many times this season.
However, Jacobson didn't really want to talk about what was going on on the court. Everybody can see that. All the players on the bench -- players who are often a big part of what UNI is doing -- are part of the whole "no subbing" thing, too.
Essentially, the Panthers never know how much playing time they're going to get on a given night. Sometimes, as it so happened Friday, that means riding the bench.
Wes Washpun played a total of zero minutes in the second half. He played 16 minutes after halftime in the previous game at Wichita State.
That's where this team is different.
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"I haven't coached a team like this before that has had this kind of versatility and this kind of depth. Usually, the depth is a little bit different, and minutes are more well established," said Jacobson. "These guys have made it work."
The question going forward is how players respond with such tumultuous playing time. Getting down about not playing in one game does little for the Panthers' efforts in the next one.
"That's where I give our guys a ton of credit," Jacobson added.
TUTTLE STRUGGLE - Seth Tuttle didn't have a good game -- he said it, not me.
Yet, somehow, Tuttle's not-so-good game can be described by 10 points, 11 rebounds and five assists. That's a good game by any other measuring stick.
"It didn't feel like that at all. I was more upset about the five lay-ups I missed," Tuttle said. "For our team, that's part of our offense -- me getting the ball on the block and putting it in the hole for us. For me to have quite a few of them roll off, it was a frustrating night offensively, so I had no idea that's what it was until after the game. I was more excited about our win."
The dark side of his night including a 3-for-9 shooting performance without a made field goal until over 26 minutes in and three turnovers. Somehow, that worked pretty well.
DEON GOING DEEP - Deon Mitchell went 2-for-2 from behind the 3-point line and is now 23 of 36 from deep over the last 16 games, dating back to Jan. 10. That's 63.9 percent, which is really good.
That's after going 3 of 16 (18.8 percent) from deep during the non-conference season.
Mitchell hasn't really ever been a 3-point shooter in his career, but we can perhaps start calling him one now.