Efficiency is the key for Iowa State win over West Virginia

It’s been no secret that Iowa State’s offense has been lagging behind its defense recently.

Iowa State coach Christy Johnson-Lynch has talked about the offense needing to pick up the slack multiple times throughout the past couple of weeks. Her offense answered the call against West Virginia.

“I think there’s a couple areas we can still get a lot better at [on offense],” Johnson-Lynch said. “I think the things we hoped to get better at tonight, we did [get better at].”


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Jess Schaben, outside hitter, bumps the ball during the Cyclone versus Kansas State game on Oct. 11 at Hilton Coliseum. The Cyclones won 3-0.


A balanced offensive and defensive attack is a recipe for success in almost any sport. Along with the offense getting a kickstart on Wednesday, the defense also kept up its consistent ways.

At the top of the offensive stat sheet for the Cyclones, junior hitter Jess Schaben and senior blocker Alexis Conaway’s names could be found.

The duo sparked Iowa State’s offense with 18 kills each. It’s not only important that the combo finished with so many kills, but it’s also important in the manner they added those stats.

Schaben and Conaway not only thrived, but they thrived while being efficient. Schaben finished the match with a .348 hitting percentage, and Conaway had a .319 hitting percentage.

“I think this past couple weeks we’ve really been working on hitting high,” Schaben said. “I think that’s a way we did [hit a high hitting percentage]. We hit high, and we hit smart shots.”


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Alexis Conaway, middle blocker, hits the ball during towards Kansas State on Oct. 11 at Hilton Coliseum. The Cyclones won 3-0.


During Conaway’s career at Iowa State, the senior has established herself as an efficient player. Since Big 12 play has started, Conaway has struggled with her efficiency.

Conaway has hit over .300 in each of her first three seasons, but this season the senior is lingering around .220.

Conaway shined against Kansas with a .343 hitting percentage, but outside of that performance, the blocker has failed to climb over the .175 mark in conference.

“We were hoping [Conaway] could figure some things out a little bit better [on the] left side, and she absolutely did that tonight,” Johnson-Lynch said.

Schaben and Conaway were the ringleaders in the win, but it takes more than two players to maintain success.

Senior setter Monique Harris had the luxury of setting for redshirt senior right-side hitter Samara West and freshman blocker Avery Rhodes. West and Rhodes followed suit and delivered efficient games of their own.


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ISU vs K-State Volleyball

Freshman Middle Blocker Aver Rhodes goes up for a spike during the first set of the Kansas State Volleyball Match. Iowa State Defeated K-State in three consecutive sets.


Rhodes hit four kills on .375 hitting percentage and West hit eight kills on .333 hitting percentage.

“We’ve been working on a lot of ranges, just not hitting to the same shots, so that kind of played into [the efficiency],” West said.

An offense can have the pressure eased off of it when a defense is performing well. With how often Iowa State has had dominant defensive performances this season, it could be easy to take it for granted.

The defense had another stingy outing for the Cardinal and Gold. The Cyclones out blocked the Mountaineers 19.5 to 3.0. Meanwhile redshirt sophomore Hali Hillegas anchored the back row, scooping out 18 digs.


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Hali Hillegas, defensive specialist, prepares to bump the ball during the Cyclones versus Kansas State game on Oct. 11 at Hilton Coliseum. The Cyclones won 3-0.


Iowa State’s achilles’ heel this season has been its’ offense. It appears the unit is beginning to gel after a slow start in conference play.

“We want to add just enough [wrinkles] to not allow the opponent to know exactly what we’re doing, and I think that’s what we’ll continue to do,” Johnson-Lynch said.

Source: Iowa State Daily

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Iowa State defeats West Virginia in four sets

After a tough weekend, the No. 22 Iowa State volleyball team returned to Hilton Coliseum and defeated the West Virginia Mountaineers in four sets (25-18, 25-18, 24-26, and 25-11) Wednesday night.

During coach Christy Johnson-Lynch’s Monday press conference, she stated that she wanted more out of her outside hitters. She got just that as Jess Schaben and Alexis Conaway led the way for the Cyclones with 18 kills both.

While Iowa State’s outside hitters were on point Wednesday night, so were its middle blockers. Overall, the Cyclones tallied 19.5 blocks against the Mountaineers.

The win over West Virginia puts Iowa State at 13-4 overall on the season and 4-3 in Big 12 play.

The Cyclones will return to the court this Saturday, October 21, to take on the TCU Horned Frogs at home at 1 p.m.

Source: Iowa State Daily

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Iowa State wrestling adds blue-chip legacy recruit David Carr

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Iowa State’s new head coach Kevin Dresser met with the media on Friday after the Cyclones completed their worst NCAA finish ever at the Scottrade Center.
Chris Cuellar / The Register

Iowa State wrestling has recruited another Carr.

And this one could be a foundational piece in first-year head coach Kevin Dresser’s rebuild.

David Carr, a 152-pound senior from Massillon, Ohio, and son of former Cyclone star Nate Carr, announced his commitment on Wednesday afternoon on a video with FloWrestling. David is a three-time Ohio high school state champion and rated as the No. 5 prospect nationally by Flo.

“It was definitely tough, and I didn’t know what I wanted to do,” Carr said in his commitment announcement, “but I prayed about it, and I feel like God was leading me to Iowa State.”

Nate Carr won three NCAA titles and two Big Eight titles with Iowa State in the early 1980s, eventually claiming a bronze medal at the 1988 Olympics. His oldest son, Nate Carr Jr., wrestled for the Cyclones from 2008-11 following a national junior college title season at Iowa Central.

David has already won a Fargo national title and a Cadet world bronze medal in freestyle. He considered Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Nebraska and Cornell among his final choices, but decided on the Cyclones ahead of his senior high school season.

SEASON OUTLOOK: Young Cyclone wrestling roster could be in for ‘bumpy’ start

Carr projects as a middleweight prospect, likely at 165 pounds, and was drawn to the experience there from Dresser’s staff. He joins a 2018 recruiting class dominated by in-state recruits for the Cyclones, but immediately becomes the headliner as the top-ranked 152-pound prep wrestler in the country.

Nate is David’s coach at Massillon Perry, where he has won three of his four high school championships. The first came as an eighth-grade wrestler in Kentucky.

 

Source: Des Moines Register

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Iowa State receives a commitment from five-star recruit

In the 1980s, Iowa State’s wrestling program had the luxury of Nate Carr’s talent, which earned him his three NCAA Championships.

Now, Kevin Dresser will coach the next generation at Iowa State: David Carr.

Carr is a 152-pound senior from Massillon, Ohio. The latest commit has compiled an impressive record in his three high school seasons.

The 152-pounder has snagged three state championships in Ohio, garnering him a No. 5 pound-for-pound national ranking, according to flowrestling.org.

Before choosing the Cyclones, the highly-touted recruit trimmed his school choices to Ohio State, Cornell, Oklahoma State, Iowa State and Nebraska.

Carr is projected to wrestle at 165 pounds or 174 pounds at the collegiate level.

Source: Iowa State Daily

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Iowa State women’s golf jumps up six spots in Stanford Collegiate

The second day of the Stanford Collegiate tournament ended Tuesday and Iowa State jumped up six spots from yesterday with a total score of 591, tied for eighth place with Oklahoma State and Florida State.

Senior Celia Barquin Arozamena led the Cyclones in scoring in the second day of the Stanford Collegiate with a total score of 143 and is tied for eighth place. Barquin scored a total of six birdies and three bogeys.

Junior Chayanit Wangmahaporn followed Barquin in scoring for the day and scored a 76 for the day and is tied for 29th place. Wangmahaporn scored one birdie, four bogeys and one double-bogey.

Senior Nattapan Siritrai scored a 78 on the day and is tied for 62nd place. Siritrai scored two birdies, twelve bogeys and two double bogeys.

Sophomore Amelia Grohn scored a 74 on day two of the tournament and is tied for 66th place. Grohn scored five birdies, four bogeys and two double-bogeys.

Freshman Alanna Campbell scored a 72 and is tied for 43rd place. Campbell scored two birdies, one bogey and one double-bogey.

The Cyclones will close out the tournament tomorrow in the final day of the tournament.

Source: Iowa State Daily

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Peterson: Where do the points come from on this rebuilt Iowa State basketball team?

  • Steve Prohm on his expectations for Iowa State point guard Lindell Wigginton
    Steve Prohm on his expectations for Iowa State point guard Lindell Wigginton
  • Wigginton: I'm not Monte Morris. I'll be my own player.
    Wigginton: I’m not Monte Morris. I’ll be my own player.
  • Cameron Lard ready to help
    Cameron Lard ready to help
  • Donovan Jackson on the work he's put in in the offseason
    Donovan Jackson on the work he’s put in in the offseason

AMES, Ia. – How does Iowa State get to that magic 80 points a game that’s been so entertainingly entertaining the past few years? You’ve come to the right place.

Steve Prohm’s third Cyclones men’s basketball team needs 17 points a game from Donovan Jackson, 15 from Lindell Wigginton, eight from Nick Weiler-Babb, Cameron Lard and Zoran Talley, seven from Solomon Young, five from Hans Brase, Jeff Beverly and Terrence Lewis and three from Jakolby Long.

That’s 81 from the 10 scholarship players on the roster. That’s maybe a stretch, too, but it’s got to happen if Iowa State is to maintain its high-scoring personality.

Matching that won’t be as easy as recent seasons, when star players like Georges Niang, Naz Mitrou-Long, Matt Thomas, Deonte Burton, Abdel Nader and Jameel McKay scored bunches of points.

Those teams were built on solid perimeter shooting. They lived behind the arc. Last season’s team, for example, made 344 three-point baskets — second-best for a season in Cyclones history.

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Those guys are long gone. Four starters from last season’s team must be replaced. Players that accounted for a combined 288 3-point baskets have gone onto other things.

“It’s a different team,” Prohm said. “The strengths of these guys are different than the strengths of the guys last season. We need to be at a great pace. We need to be looking to get penetration — to sink the defense and then make the next pass to get better shots, or drive so we can get to the free throw line more, because we do have good size on the perimeter.

“Zoran has great size and can get into the paint, shoot mid-range and finish. Nick can put pressure on the defense. Lindell can shoot it as well as get into the paint. Donovan is an elite shooter.”

Speaking of …

Jackson made 44 3-point baskets last season — 36 more than any other returnee.

“We’ve got some nice shooters on the team,” Prohm said. “Terrence Lewis can really shoot. That’s one guy that can shoot at a high, high level.”

He’s is a freshman. Wigginton is a freshman. Six players on the roster, for that matter, haven’t yet played Iowa State basketball.

“Transition season” is putting it mildly.

The Cyclones averaged 80.8 points and 81.1 points the past two seasons. They’ve averaged 80.6 points over the past five seasons.

That’s not a make-or-break average — except for the fact that defense hasn’t always been one of this program’s strongest points.

While the offensive average has been one of college basketball’s finest, opponents have averaged 73.3 points over the past five seasons.

Recently, the Cyclones have overcome that with strong 3-point shooting, but whether this young team has that same firepower is a question – and they’ve got about three weeks to figure it out before opening the season Nov. 10 at Missouri.

“That’s the style we want to play. It’s the style I’ve played since the time I’ve been a head coach — to push tempo and push the pace,” Prohm said at media day Tuesday. “I can’t break down numbers right now from the standpoint of how many Donovan’s going to get and how many Nick’s going to get, but 80 has to be our goal.”

It’s the style of ball fans are used to. From the days of Johnny Orr to now, the Cyclones have been one of the highest-scoring teams in the country. They may not play the greatest defense, but scoring?

It has been this program’s brand, its trademark, a major reason it’s been to the past six NCAA Tournaments.

“These guys all have great confidence to shoot,” Prohm said. “If they’re open, we’ve got to make shots. Whether you can make 344 (3-pointers), second most in school history — I don’t know if we can do that.

“We’ve got to manufacture points a different way this year, and I think we understand that.”

Iowa State columnist Randy Peterson has been with the Register for parts of five decades. Randy writes opinion and analysis of Iowa State football and basketball. You can reach Randy at rpeterson@dmreg.com or on Twitter at @RandyPete.

 

Source: Des Moines Register

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Long, winding road leads Zoran Talley Jr. to Ames

Ever since Fred Hoiberg took over as the head coach at Iowa State in 2010, graduate transfers have been instrumental to Iowa State’s success. That hasn’t changed since Steve Prohm took over two seasons ago, either.

Darrell Bowie, DeAndre Kane, Bryce Dejean-Jones and Jake Anderson headline the group of recent graduate transfers to don the Cardinal and Gold, all players who have had prominent roles for important Cyclone teams.

The latest case of an Iowa State graduate transfer — and perhaps the most intriguing — is redshirt junior forward Zoran Talley Jr.


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Redshirt junior forward Zoran Talley Jr., a newcomer to the Cyclones from Old Dominion, during Men’s Basketball Media Day on Oct. 17.



Getting to Iowa State

Talley, who played two seasons at Old Dominion after redshirting his first year, graduated from the university in just three years and is immediately eligible for the Cyclones this season. But who is Zoran Talley Jr., how did he get here and what kind of role will he play for Iowa State?

Talley was suspended twice in his three years as a Monarch, once for three games and then for five games. He was eventually dismissed from the program after the season ended, but his coach still vouched for him when Talley began the transfer process.

“I was talking to [Old Dominion coach] Jeff Jones,” Prohm said. “And he said ‘hey, I’ve got a guy that’s leaving our program. You need to recruit him.’”

Prohm said the coaching staff jumped on Talley right away and recruited him all summer long while he took classes.

Once more schools became aware that he was available, Talley’s name popped up in various places as possible landing spots. The teams didn’t know if he would be eligible to play right away or if he would lose a year of eligibility while sitting out his first season.

“Man, it was kinda hectic and crazy,” Talley said of his path to Ames. “Once it really got out there [that he was transferring] it started getting crazy. More schools calling, calling daily. The whole summer was basically recruiting and I was still doing classes.”

The classes he’s talking about? Talley took a grand total of 27 credits during the summer. Since he had already redshirted, Talley would have lost a year of eligibility if he decided to transfer without graduating, thanks to NCAA rules.


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Redshirt junior forward Zoran Talley Jr., a newcomer to the Cyclones from Old Dominion, points to his tattoos during Men’s Basketball Media Day on Oct. 17.



Talley knew if he could get through those final 27 credits during the summer, he would be eligible to transfer and play right away at another Division I program, such as Iowa State.

Summer classes are divided into two sections. During the first half of the summer, Talley took six classes for 18 credits. For the second half of the summer, Talley took nine credits, giving him enough to graduate and play immediately at Iowa State.

“I was literally on my laptop in my bed the whole summer,” Talley said. “I learned how if I really want to get something done, how bad I really wanted it. I got through it.”

Although Talley didn’t commit to Iowa State until July 20, he was still able to connect with some teammates. Talley already knew Marial Shayok, a transfer from Virginia who will sit out this season per NCAA rules and be eligible in 2018-19, before he committed to Iowa State.

“We had mutual friends,” Shayok said. “An old teammate, B.J. [Stith], who transferred after my first year. He went to [Old Dominion] so whenever B.J. would come visit, he’d bring Zoran.”

That connection helped Talley and Shayok hit it off when Talley took his visit to Iowa State this summer. Shayok said the two have been able to bond off the court as well as push each other on it.


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Redshirt junior forward Zoran Talley Jr., a newcomer to the Cyclones from Old Dominion, during Men’s Basketball Media Day on Oct. 17.



Getting used to a new system

Last year, Old Dominion was one of the slowest teams in Division I by some metrics. According to KenPom, Old Dominion ranked 348th out of 351 teams in adjusted tempo.

“The tempo is much faster,” Talley said. “We practice with like 20 seconds on the shot clock. At Old Dominion we practiced with like 26… at Old Dominion it was kinda slower; get the ball to the point guard, get in the halfcourt offense, get set and slow the game down.”

With six seniors gone from a year ago and the departure of Simeon Carter via transfer, the vast majority of Iowa State’s 2017-18 roster is new, including Talley. That’s a tough spot to come into, but it also opens the window of opportunity for new guys to play right away.


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Redshirt junior forward Zoran Talley Jr., a newcomer to the Cyclones from Old Dominion, during Men’s Basketball Media Day on Oct. 17.



In Talley’s case, he presents a skillset that nobody else on the roster possesses. At 6-foot-7, his height is a weapon, and that’s aided by his 7-foot long wingspan. His length and skillset on the offensive end may be reminiscent of Will Clyburn, who led Iowa State with 14.9 points per game in 2012-13.

“When you look at Zoran, he’s got great size,” Prohm said. “[He] can get into the paint and midrange and finish.”

Talley’s game is best-suited in the paint and around the rim. Over his two years at Old Dominion, Talley made just four three-pointers and attempted fewer than one every other game.

That didn’t hold him much back in the grand scheme of things; Talley still averaged 8.1 points per game as a freshman and upped it to 11.3 per game as a sophomore, even though he was relegated to a bench role in year two.

“Actually [coming off the bench] was good for us,” Talley said. “My role had changed and then I was actually doing better and producing more with my stats coming off the bench.”


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Redshirt junior forward Zoran Talley Jr., a newcomer to the Cyclones from Old Dominion, during Men’s Basketball Media Day on Oct. 17.



Talley’s point is certainly correct if you ask the rest of Conference USA. He was named Conference USA Sixth Man of the Year after his sophomore campaign.

One issue for Iowa State this year is that, aside from Solomon Young, there are no proven frontcourt players. In that sense, Talley fits right in like the final puzzle piece.

“At Old Dominion, I played three and four,” Talley said. “Small-ball is a big thing in basketball right now so I’m at the three, then once small-ball comes into play, that’s when I go down to the four.”

Talley said his main goal is to win a Big 12 Championship. After all, he said, Iowa State has a winning tradition and he wanted to be a part of that.

“I want a ring,” Talley said. “And I’ve been saying that ever since high school and I haven’t gotten one. I want a ring.”

Through redshirting, being benched, being suspended, being dropped from the program and taking 27 credits in one summer, it’s clear that Talley’s path to Ames hasn’t been normal. And that’s fine with him.

“I’m just blessed with this opportunity,” Talley said. “I’m just gonna take it all in and just enjoy every last minute of it.”

Source: Iowa State Daily

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Less threes, more physicality: The new mindset of Iowa State men’s basketball

Last season for the Iowa State men’s basketball team, the philosophy was easy.

Pass the ball several times until one of the dominant shooters was open. Then, pass them the ball and shoot a 3-pointer. It was that simple of a strategy.

The Cyclones lived off this philosophy and it showed 344 times as that’s how many 3-pointers were scored last season. The team was two 3-pointers shy of tying the record for most 3-point goals scored in a season. The 2012-13 season made 346.

That philosophy will change entirely this season with the new faces and leadership behind this 2017-18 team.

“I think it’s a different team,” said coach Steve Prohm. “The strengths of these guys are different than the strengths of the guys last season.”

Versatility will be the common word this season as there’s more of a physical presence then several past seasons.


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Solomon Young at Media Day



Iowa State is going to depend on a stronger inside than just Solomon Young last season. Prohm and his staff recruited Hans Brase from Princeton and Zoran Talley Jr. from Old Dominion University.

Brase was a key player to Princeton’s success until he missed the past two seasons because of two ACL tears to the same right knee. Talley Jr. worked harder than ever to get his education done and graduate, so he could play this season and not be a transfer that sat out.

Along with those two, Iowa State has been molding redshirt freshman Cameron Lard as he came to Iowa State last January, but never played last season. He used last season to learn from not only the coaches, but Young too, so he can be a dominant presence this upcoming season.

“Cameron [Lard] has been making huge steps to becoming the player he wants to be this season,” said Nick Weiler-Babb. “Now, he needs to continue to practice until he’s put into a game-type atmosphere. He’s ready though.”


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Iowa State junior Nick Weiler-Babb dunks during the scrimmage portion of Hilton Madness on Oct. 13. 



Besides the inside, Iowa State will still rely on an explosive outside with Donovan Jackson and Babb leading the charge, but also a handful of new faces.

One of the new players is Lindell Wigginton, who is expected to be a key contributor this season even though he’s a freshman. Along with him, Terrence Lewis and Jakolby Long will be seeing the court on occasions.

Many fans and media have been comparing Wigginton to Monte Morris, the former guard for Iowa State who is currently playing in the Denver Nuggets’ organization. Prohm resolved that conversation very quickly by contrasting the two players.

“I think they’re different,” Prohm said. “Their games are a little different. Lindell [Wigginton] is a physical, physical guard.”


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Donovan Jackson celebrates after hitting a shot against Purdue in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Iowa State fell to the Boilermakers 80-76, ending its season.


Physicality will be a key ingredient in Iowa State’s offense as Prohm knows all five of these outside players can drive into the paint and create shot opportunities.

They can also go to the free-throw line more often than last year’s team due to the physical appearance they bring to the court.

Prohm isn’t saying the 3-point shot is gone and it’s a new mentality, but there’s certainly a different focus on this year’s team. The 3-point shot will be needed to continue averaging 80 points per game, a goal that Prohm always wants to reach at the end of the season.

That 3-point shot help will be contributed by Jackson and Babb with some shots from Lewis and Wigginton.

“We got a few nice good shooters on the team,” Jackson said. “I think Terrence Lewis is going to be a key knockdown shooter once he understands what’s going on right now.

“And then, I’m [going to] shoot the lights out.”

Source: Iowa State Daily

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Peterson: Wigginton one-and-done? Probably not. But two-and-done? Well …

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Lindell Wigginton is out to make a name for himself at Iowa State, not live up to Monte Morris’ legacy.
Randy Peterson/The Register

AMES, Ia. — Enjoy him while you can, Iowa State basketball fans. Lindell Wigginton might not be around long.

One-and-done after Year 1 at the position Monte Morris played so well? That was among many topics of conversation during Iowa State’s annual media day Tuesday afternoon.

Can this team that lost four senior starters get to its forever, or so it seems, 80-point scoring average?

Other new additions such as Cameron Lard, Zoran Talley, Terrence Lewis and Solomon Young had better be as advertised, too.

Rebounding? The Cyclones don’t usually hit the boards well, yet they’ve offset it with success in other areas.

But one-and-done?

“It’s going to be in the back of my mind,” Wigginton said. “Right now, I’m focused on this program and getting wins.

“Whatever happens after that, happens.”

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Wigginton and veteran Donovan Jackson are interchangeable at the point and second guard positions, just like Jackson was last season with Morris.

It took a while, but they’ve finally learned each other’s games. They know where the other likes to shoot.

“I think he’s going to be real good,” said Jackson, whom coach Steve Prohm called “as good of a shooter as there is in college basketball.”

“Lindell’s got the body for the Big 12 (Conference). He’s ready mentally.”

IOWA STATE MEDIA DAY

The sturdy 6-foot-2, 190-pound rookie from Nova Scotia who starred most recently at elite Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va., had better be good, if he’s going to lead the Cyclones to their seventh NCAA Tournament in a row.

He obviously won’t handle the ball as well as Morris did. They expect him to be more physical, however. Morris became a solid defender — and that’s a sizable transition for all freshmen.

“I not coming in here to be the next Monte,” Wigginton said. “I’m coming in to be me.”

But one-and-done? I doubt it.

He’ll be good, but he’s no D’Angelo Russell. He’s no Kyrie Irving. He’s no John Wall or Derrick Rose.

They’re among one-and-done point guards who jumped to the NBA. Wigginton isn’t at that level.  At least I don’t think he’s at that level.

“Lindell is a physical, physical guard,” Prohm said. “He needs to continue to learn and grow in the understanding how to play the pick-and-roll, make the best reads, not picking up your dribble — the little things.”

And let’s be perfectly clear: Lindell Wigginton didn’t bring up this topic. A couple reporters asked him about it. It wasn’t his idea; it was our decision to broach what’s been out there since Rivals put five recruiting stars beside his name last April.

When that happened: Wow.  That’s when this national one-and-done chatter started. That’s why it continued among a couple of us Tuesday.

“It’s been a big conversation ever since the 5-star ranking,” Wigginton said. “Obviously, a lot of five-stars (recruits) get projected in the mock drafts.

“A couple months ago, I was a top 50 or a top 100. Now it’s ‘Oh, you can be one-and-done. It’s obviously changing in my mind.”

But …

“I’m not focused on that,” he quickly added. “I’m focused on this season and winning.”

Wigginton played on Canada’s Under-19 team that won the FIBA World Cup during the summer. He averaged 20.1 points, 4.4 assists and 4.2 rebounds while making 41 percent of his 3-point shots last season at Oak Hill. USA Today named him Virginia’s prep player of the year.

He’s Iowa State’s best recruit since Craig Brackins in 2007, but two-and-done sounds more like it.

Get high-level experience this season for this team that isn’t nearly the NCAA lock that it’s been. Play well. Get better every game. Make a freshman All-America team or two.

Star for a 2018-19 team that should be back in the elite class that it’s been the past few years. Lead that team to a Sweet 16. Make an All-America team.

Then consider the NBA. Maybe.

“I’m not really focused on that now,” Wigginton said. “If the opportunity comes up, I have to do what’s best for me and my family — but I’m just committed to Iowa State basketball.”

Iowa State columnist Randy Peterson has been with the Register for parts of five decades. Randy writes opinion and analysis of Iowa State football and basketball. You can reach Randy at rpeterson@dmreg.com or on Twitter at @RandyPete.

  • Steve Prohm on his expectations for Iowa State point guard Lindell Wigginton
    Steve Prohm on his expectations for Iowa State point guard Lindell Wigginton
  • Wigginton: I'm not Monte Morris. I'll be my own player.
    Wigginton: I’m not Monte Morris. I’ll be my own player.
  • Cameron Lard ready to help
    Cameron Lard ready to help
  • Donovan Jackson on the work he's put in in the offseason
    Donovan Jackson on the work he’s put in in the offseason

 

Source: Des Moines Register

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New year, new team: Cyclones look to replace legendary senior class

In recent Iowa State basketball history, Big 12 Championships and NCAA Tournament runs have become the norm.

This year could be different.

Over the last two years, seven Iowa State players have gone on to play in the NBA Summer League. Three have signed NBA contracts, marked most recently by point guard Monte Morris signing a contract with the Denver Nuggets.

That’s a lot of production to replace over a two year stretch, but that’s the task at hand for coach Steve Prohm and the 2017-18 Cyclones.


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Donovan Jackson steps back in the second half at Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan, Kansas, on February 15, 2017. Iowa State beat Kansas State 87-79.


“The first two years [at Iowa State] have been great,” Prohm said at Tuesday’s media day. “Obviously we had a really fun two years. [We] saw a lot of great players come through here from this last senior class with Monte [Morris], Naz [Mitrou-Long], Deonte [Burton] and Matt [Thomas].”

There are really only three returning players who contributed on the floor for last year’s squad. Those players — Donovan Jackson, Nick Weiler-Babb and Solomon Young — will be asked to step into bigger roles.

Jackson, a senior, hit big shots all season as a junior, including the dagger to lead the Cyclones to a 92-89 victory at Allen Fieldhouse. While his role will change without Morris running the show, Prohm said he doesn’t want Jackson to try to emulate Morris.


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Donovan Jackson and Monte Morris celebrate during Iowa State’s 86-83 win over Oklahoma State on Tuesday. 



“We need Donovan to be the best Donovan Jackson,” Prohm said. “Not to be Monte [Morris], not to be another point guard that’s been here … Just be Donovan.”

One of the biggest additions for Iowa State will be Lindell Wigginton.

Wigginton, a four-star point guard recruit out of Oak Hill Academy in Virginia, figures to start right away as a freshman.

Wigginton and Jackson have both played point guard and shooting guard in their careers, which makes for an interesting pairing.

“[Wigginton]’s real athletic so if he gets the ball off a rebound then he can just push it,” Jackson said. “He’s real good. Me, Lindell [Wigginton], [Weiler-Babb], I think we’re just all gonna interchange at the point guard position just because we all can run it at a high level.”


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ISU vs WV

Redshirt sophomore Nick Weiler-Babb dunks during a game against West Virginia, Jan. 31 in Hilton Coliseum. After trailing early, the Cyclones would go on to lose 85-72, and move on to 13-8 on the season, and 5-4 in conference play. 


Speaking of Weiler-Babb, the redshirt junior’s role is going to be as different as possible this year compared to a season ago.

Weiler-Babb played in all 35 games last year, but he ranked just seventh on the team in minutes per game. He averaged four points and 3.1 rebounds per contest, so stepping into the spotlight as a clear leader may be an adjustment.

“He just has a really good understanding of how to play and what we’re trying to do,” Prohm said. “I’m still trying to push his buttons to be a little more aggressive offensively. He likes to distribute and facilitate.”

Weiler-Babb reached double figures in scoring just four times last year, and just once during conference play. Instead, he made his name as a defender and a team player.

“He’s got a really good pace and feel and flow to his game,” Prohm said. “You’ve got to do it every day, and we’ve got to be a more talkative and vocal team … He’s been really good, I’ve been really pleased with him.”

Iowa State’s season is set to begin Nov. 10 when the Cyclones travel to Columbia, Missouri, to play former Big 12 rival Missouri.

Source: Iowa State Daily

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