Iowa State’s Italy trip is a good way for veterans to mix with newcomers.
Randy Peterson, firstname.lastname@example.org
AMES, Ia. — Let’s get this almost weekly Rasir Bolton update out of the way early:
There’s no news.
The NCAA still hasn’t ruled — or hasn’t informed anyone if they’ve reached a decision — on whether the Penn State-to-Iowa State transfer has to sit out during the upcoming men’s basketball season, or whether he can immediately start what would be his sophomore year when Steve Prohm’s team opens in November.
In this case, no news is all right, because basketball isn’t even what you’d classify as being “right around the corner.”
And certainly, don’t read anything into the fact that Prohm is treating this trip as if he’ll get his immediately-eligible wish.
Always be prepared, because the NCAA isn’t exactly what you’d call predictable.
“I’ll play him like he’s eligible,” Prohm said before practice Wednesday. “We’ve got 12 guys to play, but I think I have to play Rasir like he’s playing — just so we can get a good feel.”
Prohm wouldn’t say who he’s starting in Tuesday’s noon game against the Netherlands in Rome, but you can expect something like this:
Tyrese Haliburton, Colorado State transfer Prentiss Nixon and Bolton on the perimeter, and Mike Jacobson and George Conditt at forward and center.
Returnees Terrence Lewis, Zion Griffin and Solomon Young obviously will play, too. Tre Jackson and Caleb Grill will play the most minutes among the freshmen.
So there’s your nuts and bolts update, three days before the team leaves town. Here are other tidbits while wondering if the games will be live-streamed somewhere — and if you find out, drop me an email.
High on Tre Jackson
It sounds like the 6-foot-2, 179-pounder from Columbia, South Carolina, has been the best of the Freshmen Four. He came to Iowa State as a point guard, but he’s been playing off the ball.
“He’s playing some (point), but we’re putting him at the two a lot,” Prohm said. “I just want it to be simple for him. He’s a tough kid. He’s going to be a really good little player for us, I think.”
There’s really not a true point guard right now. It’s been more about who just happens to have their hands on the ball, than trying to get it to one specific facilitator.
“Tyrese never played point last year,” Prohm said, making a positive example of the guy who’s expected to be the Cyclones’ best player. “We never ran a play for him. He only brought the ball up the floor in a pressing situation or when he rebounded the ball — and he almost averaged five assists and one turnover.”
Grill will get the second-most freshman minutes on the trip. Freshman Marcedus Leech will play, but he’s still a bit limited after breaking a leg during his junior high school season. Luke Anderson will play, too, but the 6-8 forward is a bit behind after missing some early work due to illness.
“It seems like we’re getting together very well,” Jackson said. “We’ve had good chemistry. All of us have hit shots.”
Tyrese might even coach
Haliburton played on the USA’s Under-19 team that won a FIBA Gold Medal. He’s participating in the Nike camp right now in California. He’s had a busy summer — so don’t be shocked if you don’t see his name in a box score.
He’s practiced with his future teammates, and everyone that knows ball knows how good he is, so why risk injury to a body that’s already been taxed?
“He’ll play over there, but if there’s a game I can rest him — and (he can) help coach a little bit — I’ll do that,” Prohm said.
Expect Haliburton to play against The Netherlands Tuesday, and against the Ivory Coast National Team on Aug. 17. He might sit back and help coach the other game, Aug. 15, against something called the Siena All-Stars.
“Ivory Coast will be good,” Prohm told reporters. “The Netherlands will be good. The Siena all-stars could be you guys, you never know.
“It could be “hey, Johnny, you coming tonight? We’re playing Iowa State at 7.”
Randy Peterson is the Iowa State columnist for the Register. Reach him at email@example.com, 515-284-8132, and on Twitter at @RandyPete.
Source: Des Moines Register