Getting a young Iowa State team clicking on all cylinders for every game isn’t happening overnight, says coach Steve Prohm.
Randy Peterson/The Register
AMES, Ia. — And now it’s onto the road for an Iowa State basketball team that’s 0-2 in the Big 12 Conference for the first time since the 2010-11 season.
First, it’s to Oklahoma State on Saturday. Then it’s to Kansas on Jan. 9.
If you can’t win at home (thus far), then maybe stuff changes on the road.
“Going to OK State is going to be a big test for us,” Donovan Jackson said after the Cyclones’ 74-70 overtime loss against Texas on Monday at Hilton Coliseum. “I think our guys will be ready.
“We just want to go play somewhere else — get the feel and battle against somebody else on their home court.
“I think we’re going to be ready, and I think we’re going to take the next one.”
Cameron Lard had a 21-point, 16-rebound double-double. Jackson scored 24 points. Nick Weiler-Babb played his usual solid game that this time included nine points, nine assists and eight rebounds.
They weren’t the problem, the explanation why the Cyclones lost their first two home conference games since the 2009-10 season.
Iowa State lost Monday’s game because it didn’t defend Dylan Osetkowski’s 3-point barrage. The Cyclones lost because they couldn’t shoot.
Maybe in Stillwater and (big) maybe in Lawrence, Iowa State players finally figure it out.
Texas made 13 of 32 from 3-point distance Monday in Hilton Coliseum, where the Longhorns hadn’t won since 2010. So what happened to all that magic fans fondly speak of?
Right now, it’s swishing through the opponent’s basket.
And speaking of Osetkowski, the 6-foot-9 junior made 7 of his 13 3-point shots. He came into the game having made just 11 of 46 in 13 games.
“We watched the Iowa State-Kansas State game,” Osetkowski said.
They saw what they needed to see. They saw the Wildcats make 13 of 26 from 3-point distance in a 91-75 win.
“The 3-point shot really saved us,” Texas coach Shaka Smart said after Monday night’s game. “We only made 12 two-pointers for the whole game.”
For the past two games, Cyclones opponents are a combined 26-of-53 from 3-point range. That’s unacceptable defense if you’re trying to get to the NCAA Tournament for the seventh time in a row.
“We have to keep a hand in their shooting pocket,” Jackson said. “In this league, everybody can shoot. It’s just a high-caliber league. Everybody can play. We have to start contesting shots.”
Maybe in Stillwater. Maybe in Lawrence.
And maybe on the road, Iowa State starts shooting like we’ve seen Iowa State teams shoot in the past.
While the 3-point defense is horrific, the Cyclones’ 3-point offense hasn’t been good, either.
They missed 20 of their 27 deep hoists Monday. That’s not only unacceptable for a program that branded itself as one of the top 3-point shooting teams in the land, it’s pathetic.
“To be honest, I thought we had good looks,” coach Steve Prohm said. “We have to get in the gym. Guys have to get extra time. We had some looks we have to make. We have to get those guards in there and shoot and shoot and shoot.
“You have to make shots, because people are going to score in this league.”
Maybe wins will come on the road for an Iowa State team that has dropped its first two Big 12 Conference home games since the 2009-10 season.
Randy Peterson/The Register
Iowa State led 54-49 with 9:27 left in regulation, and here’s what the coach means when he says his guys must start making shots.
What followed that five-point lead were nine misses in the next 11 attempts, including all three from 3-point range. And if you’re keeping score, Iowa State also committed four turnovers during that span.
“Missed a couple open 3s,” Prohm said. “A couple times, we didn’t run good offense. We were in position to win the game.”
Maybe things turn around on the road — at Oklahoma State on Saturday and at Kansas next week.
“Big-time opportunities lost,” Jackson said of starting 0-2. “You have to win in the Big 12 at your home.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @RandyPete.
Source: Des Moines Register
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