AMES — Scott Christopherson’s body is saying one thing. His mind is telling him another.
The Iowa State guard continues to play hard while fighting off mononucleosis. Christopherson hasn’t been the same since contracting the virus early in the Big 12 season, but has refused to give in mentally.
“I don’t want to be sick and I’m not going to tell myself I am,” Christopherson said recently. “Am I 100 percent? No. But I’m going to go into every game thinking I am because there’s no point in not… Everybody is fatigued and their knees hurt and their body aches. As far as I’m concerned I’m just like everybody else.”
Christopherson scored a career-best 19 points on 7 of 12 shooting last week in a loss to Oklahoma State.
He’s taking one for his short-handed team, which is down to eight scholarship players going into Wednesday night’s game agianst Nebraska at Hilton Coliseum.
Christopherson again will likely log 30-plus minutes for the Cyclones, who come in with an overall mark of 13-14 and 2-10 in league games.
“The effort he’s giving when he shouldn’t really be playing is incredible,” said Coach Greg McDermott. “There aren’t many guys that would play through what he’s playing through. Somehow he’s finding enough energy on game day.”
McDermott indicated Monday he still is not ready to welcome forward LaRon Dendy back into his good graces.
Dendy was gone from the team for a full week — and two games — to attend his great grandmother’s funeral in South Carolina. Dendy returned days later than expected and without a good explanation.
He did not play in last Wednesday’s loss to OSU and saw four minutes of action last Saturday against Texas A&M.
“He and I met (Sunday) and talked through some things,” McDermott said. “I like the progress he’s making. We’ll gradually work him back into the lineup.”
Dendy is averaging 6.8 points and 3.5 rebounds a game. He’s tried to keep his head up, teammates say.
“He’s working extra hard and is doing what he has to do to get back some more minutes,” said Craig Brackins.