The Iowa State rookie is the program’s top freshman recruit in the last decade.
AMES, Ia. — First it was Zoran Talley. Then it was Cameron Lard and Terrence Lewis. Who’s left among eligible newcomers that haven’t been in Steve Prohm’s doghouse?
Another Iowa State rookie, Lindell Wigginton (18 points), partnered with star Donovan Jackson (20 points) to give the Cyclones a very good backcourt tandem during Sunday night’s 77-68 exhibition victory against Emporia State.
Fans got their first look at Jeff Beverly, who started, but not Hans Brase, who sat out as he recovers from knee surgery.
There are six eligible newcomers on Prohm’s third Iowa State roster. Half have been withheld from either the scrimmage against Nebraska or the Cyclones’ only exhibition; and it’s not even Friday yet, when Iowa State opens the season at Missouri.
Will they be eligible to play in that game?
“We’ll evaluate that next week,” Prohm said.
To be eligible, Prohm said they must “do the right thing.”
If this is a case of Prohm and his staff making a point, then good for them. There’s nothing wrong with discipline. There’s nothing wrong with expecting your guys to be polite, to say thank you, to be on time, to attend class, to respect authority — and I’m not saying any of that’s why Lard and Lewis didn’t play Sunday, or why Talley didn’t face the Cornhuskers a week ago.
But scholarship athletes are held to high standards. Fans who pack Hilton Coliseum have been used to guys like Georges Niang and Matt Thomas and Monte Morris and Naz Mirtou-Long being good guys. They set the recent bar in that respect.
They’re gone, and there’s nothing wrong with Prohm getting his point across now, rather than during the real part of the season.
“I think the biggest thing is I’m going to hold these guys to a high standard for what I want in my program,” Prohm told reporters Friday. “There’s a certain standard they’ve got to live up to, if they want to represent Iowa State and Iowa State men’s basketball.”
Prohm has been used to coaching very veteran Cyclones players. He built on the stacked deck Fred Hoiberg left. There’s nothing wrong with establishing the kind of program culture he wants.
Here’s a look at the Cyclones’ 2017-18 basketball schedule.
Tyler Davis/The Register
Solid at the point
Wigginton played the position Morris played so well the past three seasons. The rookie drove to the hoop, just like he said he would. He had five rebounds during his 21 minutes on the floor.
He’s got to work on shooting from distance, though, but he got to the free-throw line.
All in all, it was a grade “B” showing for his first game inside Hilton.
Wigginton’s backcourt mate was good, too
Jackson’s 3-pointer with 2 minutes, 18 seconds left in the first half was Iowa State’s first after nine misses in a row.
He made another about 40 seconds later, during his personal 8-0 scoring binge, and his third bomb came 30 seconds after that.
The red-hot Jackson scored the final 13 points of a first half the Cyclones led 38-26.
He looked comfortable playing alongside someone other than Morris. That especially was evident when Wigginton whipped a cross-court pass to Jackson; an assist that resulted in Jackson’s fourth 3-point basket and 20th point with 7:52 left.
“Monte (was) a terrific passer,” Jackson said. “Not too many people can pass the ball like him. Lindell is a very good passer, but Lindell is a scorer, as well.”
The seasons of Iowa State averaging 80 points a game just might be over. Three-point shooting that’s been so dynamic during recent seasons might take a hit, too.
Sunday, the Cyclones missed 15 of their 20 long shots. Jackson (4-for-7) and Jakolby Long (1-for-2) were the only players with 3-pointers. The others were a combined 0-for-11.
“You can’t go 5-for-20 from 3 and shoot 60 percent from the line and think you’re going to score a lot of points,” Prohm said.
**Hans Brase finally has started practicing full court after undergoing a second ACL surgery; he just wasn’t ready to go in a real game yet.
“We were hoping to get him 8-to-10 minutes in the first half,” Prohm said. “After warm-ups, (athletic trainer Vic Miller) said he didn’t feel good about it.”
**Jackson, Nick Weiler-Babb, Solomon Young, Wigginton and Beverly started.
**Prohm’s been saying that Jackson and Weiler-Babb would also play point guard, which was the case Saturday. When Wigginton took a breather, Weilber-Babb ran the offense. Jackson did, too.
**Rotation options were limited; only seven players were available. That’s part of the reason the Cyclones won by just nine points.
“I saw this coming,” Prohm said, “and I’m glad it happened. You have to address your problems and you have to address your situations early if you’re going to get better.”
**Kansas State beat Emporia State, 77-44, last Friday.
**Iowa State opens the season for real Friday at Missouri at 8 p.m. The game will be televised on the SEC Network. Check your local listings, as they say.
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 email@example.com or on Twitter at @RandyPete.
Source: Des Moines Register
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