AMES – Iowa State’s men’s basketball season couldn’t have gotten off to a rougher start.
After a 15-point road loss to Missouri and an 18-point home loss to Milwaukee, Iowa State (0-2) is getting some reinforcements in the frontcourt.
Graduate transfer Hans Brase and redshirt freshman Cameron Lard will both be back for the Puerto Rico Tipoff, which will be played in Conway, S.C.
The 6-foot-9, 230-pound Brase is recovering from a torn ACL he suffered last season and the 6-foot-9, 225-pound Lard is finally out of Coach Steve Prohm’s dog house after missing the first two games.
Brase’s playing time will be limited because he’s still recovering from the torn ACL. Prohm said he’ll see around 8 minutes and they’ll see how he feels after that.
But just him suiting up and seeing playing time should be a spark for the Cyclones.
“What Hans brings, and you can hear it on the bench is he brings leadership,” Prohm said. “He brings leadership, he brings skill, he has basketball IQ and the ability to stretch the defense from the four or five position, the ability to understand how to play in pick and roll and play in the low post and he can around the basket.”
Brase has hit 100 career 3-pointers; the rest of Iowa State’s team combined has made 113. His shooting is desperately needed to be able to stretch the floor and allow guys like Lindell Wigginton and Zoran Talley to get to the basket on dribble drives.
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Lard brings a very different skill set to the table. He has a lot of athleticism and explosiveness in his game.
“I think Cameron, what he brings to the table is first and foremost is his size and presence near the basket that can change shots,” Prohm said. “The second thing is he has a high, high motor and he can really run. The third thing he gives you is a presence around the basket on the offensive end.”
Prohm said his back-to-the-basket game isn’t completely polished, but it’ll get better as he gets live-game repitions.
“He’s a little raw but he can score it,” Prohm said of Lard.
Iowa State will need the newly-found depth because the Cyclones are playing three games in four days starting, with Appalachan State (2-0) at 4:30 p.m. Thursday (ESPNU). After that it’s completely up in the air.
But Prohm doesn’t care about who they play, Iowa State needs to focus on Iowa State.
“It’s not about them,” Prohm said. “The great teams, it’s about you. It’s about you and what you’re doing. If you can do what you’re supposed to do – transition defense, ball pressure, gaps, contesting shots, finish plays. If you do all of that stuff it doesn’t matter (who you’re playing).”
Puerto Rico Tip-Off
Quarterfinals - Thursday
Illinois State vs. South Carolina, 10:30 a.m. (ESPN2)
Boise State vs. UTEP, 1 p.m. (ESPNU)
Iowa State vs. Appalachian State, 4:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
Tulsa vs. Western Michigan, 7 p.m. (ESPNews)
Semifinals - Friday
Top bracket, Noon (ESPN2)
Bottom bracket, 6 p.m. (ESPNU)
Consolation semifinals - Friday
Top bracket, 9:30 a.m. (ESPNU)
Bottom bracket, 4 p.m. (ESPNU)
Final round - Sunday
7th place game, 10:30 a.m. (ESPN3)
5th place game, 1 p.m. (ESPNU)
3rd place game, 4 p.m. (ESPNU)
Championship game, 6:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
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