Iowa State men's basketball searching for go-to scorer, leader after disappointing performance at TCU

Cyclones host No. 8 Texas Tech on Saturday

Iowa State's Lindell Wigginton drives during Wednesday's game against TCU at Schollmaier Arena in Fort Worth, Texas. (Ray Carlin/USA TODAY Sports)
Iowa State's Lindell Wigginton drives during Wednesday's game against TCU at Schollmaier Arena in Fort Worth, Texas. (Ray Carlin/USA TODAY Sports)

AMES – The Iowa State men’s basketball team lost to No. 25 TCU 96-73 Wednesday. The players called their performance “soft” and “lazy.”

On Saturday, Iowa State (10-7, 1-5 Big 12) hosts No. 8 Texas Tech (15-3, 4-2) at 1 p.m. at Hilton Coliseum.

The Cyclones can’t afford another performance like they had in Fort Worth, Texas.

“(Friday), I’m looking forward to a really good, spirited practice because we have a really good opportunity against a really good team here (Saturday),” Iowa State Coach Steve Prohm said. “It’s a top-10 team in the country, playing really well – they’re a great story right now. I expect the crowd to be great and I expect us to play really well.

“Does that mean you’re going to win? Well we’ll find out. I expect us to play well, with great energy and play the right way.”

Iowa State playing well is not just on the players. Prohm said he has to improve, too.

“I have to do a better job,” Prohm said. “I got frustrated, I could tell they weren’t really locked in and I just have to teach and coach the way that I know how from the standpoint of just keep investing in these guys and it’s been good for me for a long, long time and it’s made a difference for a lot of guys.”

One of Iowa State’s main problems is it doesn’t have a go-to scorer when it needs a bucket. Consistency is the culprit.

Lindell Wigginton has been a scoring machine, but he is inconsistent at times as a freshman. Donovan Jackson is a senior, but he’s either hot or cold and there isn’t an in-between. Nick Weiler-Babb has gone cold from 3-point range, shooting just 20 percent from beyond the arc in conference play.

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Prohm believes Wigginton has the capability to become a leader and a go-to scorer – if he can find that consistency.

“There’s no question (Lindell can do it),” Prohm said. “But to be a leader, you have to do it every single day. You have to be consistent in what you do on the court, what you do off the court and how you invest in these guys. You have to do things the right way. You can’t be a three-day a week guy or a five-day a week guy – you have to a be a seven-day a week guy that does things the right way every day. We have to get a couple people to that point.

“No question, that’s what I challenged them with (Thursday) because they are the future of our program here and they are the building blocks and the foundation. They have good character and they have good toughness, now they’ve got some experience and now they need to lay their pillar in the ground.”

Prohm is confident that if Iowa State does establish a go-to scorer and a leader, the Cyclones will get better.

“That’s the biggest thing, we just have to keep getting better,” Prohm said. “You can play well and lose in this league, that’s the tough part of this league. But you can play well and win and get a lot of quality wins. Like I told them, you can flip your season in this league in a four-game stretch.”

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