Peterson: Iowa State’s Tyrese Haliburton helps Team USA to FIBA World Cup title

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Iowa State guard Tyrese Haliburton talks about trying out for the USA U19 basketball team.
Randy Peterson, rpeterson@dmreg.com

Aside from Tyrese Haliburton helping Team USA win a gold medal Sunday, the most impressive contribution the Iowa State sophomore-to-be made was from the three-point arc.

He was on fire.

Haliburton successfully started a process that he outlined during an interview with the Register three weeks ago — and before he made the World Cup roster that beat Mali 93-79 Sunday in the U-19 FIBA World Cup championship game.

He not only showed Cyclones basketball followers that he’ll shoot more three-pointers during what could be a promising season — he also showed the world.

While helping the USA breeze through the tournament, Haliburton shot 68.9 percent from the field, including making 10 of his 18 three-point attempts. He was named to the tournament’s All-Star Five.

Still concerned about Iowa State’s floor-spacing and long-range shooting next season?

You shouldn’t be.

Haliburton scored six points, had eight assists, four rebounds, two steals and a blocked shot Sunday. He was 3-for-4 from the field.

He was a star among USA stars on a team coached by Kansas State’s Bruce Weber. Just last week, CBSSports.com had him as the 25th pick in the 2020 NBA draft.

He handles the ball very well. He plays solid defense. And he showed during the past couple weeks that he can be the outside shooting threat that fans saw glimpses of last season.

And he’ll have to be. Lindell Wigginton, Marial Shayok, Nick Weiler-Babb and Talen Horton-Tucker aren’t around anymore. They combined for 208 of Iowa State’s 294 three-point baskets last season. That’s 70.7 percent of the three-point scoring gone elsewhere. No one knows this better than Haliburton.

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He led Iowa State with 43.3 percent accuracy while going 49-for-113 from three-point range during his first college season. The Cyclones were 7-1 in games in which he made at least three, and 8-2 in games in which he shot five or more.

He tailed off toward the end of the season, though, making just three of seven. He combined for only 12 three-point baskets over the season’s final 10 games, after combining for 16 during the first 10.

“I know my role will change,” Haliburton said. “I’ll be ready for it. I’ll be prepared. For sure, I’ll shoot more. I have to. We lost a lot of three-point scoring.

“I know I’ll have to take a bigger role.”

And if what happened during the World Cup in Greece is any indication, Haliburton has already taken one very big step toward that ambitious goal.

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