AMES – Iowa State men’s basketball coach Steve Prohm saw the sluggish start coming. He preached to his team about not starting slow against Alcorn State after the Cyclones beat rival Iowa on Thursday.
That didn’t happen. Iowa State started the game Sunday at Hilton Coliseum with little energy.
The Cyclones trailed most of the first half, including by nine early in the half. Prohm’s team took a one-point lead into halftime.
Iowa State eventually put Alcorn State away, 78-58.
“You can’t devalue winning, but our performance wasn’t very good either,” Prohm said. “We talked about the last two days, not having a letdown or setback and really trying to fight against that.”
Guard Donovan Jackson said Iowa State needs to bring the same intensity, whether it’s against Iowa, Alcorn State or in practice.
He started the game shooting 3 of 10 from the field and 3 of 9 from 3-point range. When the final buzzer sounded, he finished with 25 points on 7-for-15 shooting from beyond the arc.
The difference for him and the Cyclones between halves was energy.
“In the second half, we knew we couldn’t get beat on our home court, so we turned it up,” Jackson said.
A big part in that change in energy was Cameron Lard. The redshirt freshman brings energy with him when he steps on the court. In just 19 minutes, he had 15 points and 11 rebounds.
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“The question is, how good do you want to be?” Prohm said. “A lot of this that he’s doing right now, he’s gifted. He’s 6-foot-9, he’s athletic, he runs the floor hard. I just look at these stats, in 19 minutes he gets 15 points and 11 rebounds. We just want to continue to teach him and coach him the right way.”
It’s not just Lard, though. Prohm said there were teaching moments for the whole team.
Point guard Nick Weiler-Babb had nine assists, but he also had five turnovers.
“With this group this year, I think every game is a teachable moment,” Prohm said. “Every game we have to be locked in and play our best if we’re going to play the right way and come out victorious.”
Iowa State is on a seven-game winning streak now, but in Prohm’s mind, it’s just a one-game winning streak. The Cyclones have shown glimpses of what they can be, but still have room to grow.
“Sometimes you can win and mentally you don’t come out victorious because we need to do A, B, C, D and E better,” Prohm said. “Tonight, you can talk about the energy, you can talk about a lot of different things, but our focus with our team has to be good – whether it’s Alcorn State or it’s Iowa.”
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