AMES – When the Iowa State men’s basketball team lost to Milwaukee at home on Nov. 13, Coach Steve Prohm said his team needed to find an identity.
The Cyclones are on a six-game winning streak since then, including wins over 8-1 Boise State and in-state rival Iowa.
Prohm said his team has started to find its identity.
On Sunday, Iowa State (6-2) hosts Alcorn State (2-7) at 5 p.m. in Hilton Coliseum.
“We’re growing up,” Prohm said. “We have a long way to go. We don’t have our identity yet but we’re starting to make steps. It’s a growth process every day with this team.”
Iowa State lost four of its five starters from last season and is relying on a true freshman in Lindell Wigginton to be its go-to scorer.
Prohm knew there would be bumps in the road playing three freshmen and a host of inexperienced players, but he’s encouraged with the way they’ve come along. Wigginton has scored 20 points in three straight games, Cameron Lard has averaged 8.3 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.8 blocks and Terrence Lewis has averaged 9.6 points over the last three games.
Point guard Nick Weiler-Babb believes the Cyclones are just scratching the surface.
“I think we’re still getting there,” Weiler-Babb said. “We got a little glimpse of what we can do if we do the right things. We still have a long way to go. We gave up 20 offensive rebounds [against Iowa], so we have to work on that. There are some good things we can take from it, but we can also grow. We just saw a little bit of what we can do.”
One thing the Cyclones need to clean up is first halves. Iowa State has gotten off to slow starts in its last two games. Prohm credited that to the injuries the Cyclones have had.
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Jakolby Long was out with a concussion, Zoran Talley is out with a stress fracture in his left foot and sit-out transfer Michael Jacobson had a sprained foot.
“It’s more defensively than offensively in the first half,” Prohm said. “We’re at 36 points and we didn’t shoot it well in the first half [against Iowa]. We only had eight guys healthy, so we haven’t had a complete practice of 5-on-5 up and down drill work because last time we did a rebounding drill, Jakolby got a concussion and Michael sprained his foot. At some point, we have to get back to that.
“We have to get better from attention to detail. And as they start learning how important scouting report is, we’ll continue to grow.”
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