Coach Steve Prohm talks about when the idea was sparked, and who he was talking to when it happened.
Randy Peterson/The Register
AMES, Ia. — Yeah, Lindell Wigginton is really good, and thankfully for Iowa State, the freshman was on top of his game Monday night.
Without all those his points and all-around play, especially in the second half, the Cyclones’ 94-80 victory against Northern Illinois at Hilton Coliseum might not have appeared as easy as it looked.
Without his big contribution to what has become this team’s Big Three of Wigginton, Nick Weiler-Babb and Donovan Jackson, Iowa State momentum might not be as strong as it is heading into Thursday’s 7 p.m. Cy vs. Hawk game at Hilton Coliseum.
Wigginton scored 28 points (including 15 in the second half), Weiler-Babb added 12, Cameron Lard scored 14, and Jackson scored a steady 24 as the Cyclones take a 5-2 record into Thursday night.
One second-half play showed Wigginton’s strengths – he stole the ball on a double-team in the Huskies’ end of the floor, then turned the turnover he caused into his layup and a 50-46 lead early in the second half.
Scrappy. Theft. Layup.
That’s what coach Steve Prohm expects from the five-star recruit, and Monday night, that’s what he got, but he wasn’t done.
Wigginton flipped a neat pass to Solomon Young for a dunk. He put back a missed shot. He made a 3-point basket while absorbing a hard foul, and suddenly it was 59-49 Cyclones with 13:41 left in the game.
This rookie’s hot second-half start allowed Iowa State to pull away from a lackadaisical first half after which the Cyclones led 38-36.
Just eight Iowa State players were available, and that’s really not as big a deal as it may appear. Prohm’s rotation doesn’t go deeper than that, anyway, but during this search for team chemistry, a couple more options never hurts.
Jakolby Long didn’t play because he hasn’t been medically cleared from the concussion he suffered during practice over the Thanksgiving break. Zoran Talley didn’t play because of a foot injury. Neither has started, but when you’re a team still trying to figure out consistency, the more healthy and able bodies the merrier.
Prohm’s team is far from a finished product, especially on the defensive end. Early-game inconsistency was expected, though, after a long layoff. Full-roster practices were rare, if at all, due to a rash if injuries, and that’s problematic with the young team Prohm’s coaching.
That’s why the big second half from everyone, not only the talented freshman, was encouraging to Iowa State followers.
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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