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AMES - Terrence Lewis' playing time has been wildly inconsistent for Iowa State men's basketball.
The junior barley saw the court during the non-conference portion of the schedule - except during blowouts. His first extended opportunity came in a 70-68 loss to Florida A&M, when Tyrese Haliburton was out with an injury.
Lewis started that game and recorded 10 points on 4-of-10 shooting, eight rebounds and three turnovers in 36 minutes.
He's played as much as 23 minutes in Big 12 Conference play and as little as zero. His playing time has been irregular because his production has been irregular.
The Cyclones (9-10, 2-4) have received little to no offensive production out of their third guard spot and head coach Steve Prohm is hoping Lewis can step into that role Wednesday against No. 1 Baylor (17-1, 6-0) at Hilton Coliseum.
'It's just about him being consistent,” Prohm said. 'The 3-point line is obviously his biggest strength and he's a decent 7-for-21 this season but he's only 1 for his last 10.
'Can he be consistent in understanding what we're trying to do offensively? In the Auburn game (Saturday), he checks in, gets the ball and immediately shoots a contested 3. He knows that's a bad shot, but he only knows it after he shoots it.”
Part of the inconsistencies with Lewis' playing time have revolved around health. He missed the Oklahoma State game last Tuesday with a sprained ankle.
Prohm wasn't even sure if Lewis would be available Saturday against Auburn.
'Offensively, he gave us great energy against Auburn,” Prohm said. 'He went to the glass, competed hard and I thought he played really hard. I didn't even know if he was going to play. We needed him to play because Tre (Jackson) was out.”
Even though he played with good energy, the inconsistencies still plagued him.
'He missed a couple 3s he should've hit and missed some defensive assignments,” Prohm said. 'When you look at Terrence it's about being efficient on offense and just being solid on defense.
'He gave up five points against (Auburn's Isaac) Okoro in the final minutes when we were trying to come back. Those are big baskets to be giving up.”
Okoro was able to get those baskets because Lewis didn't close out correctly on him, something he'll need to do better against Baylor.
'We have to do guard the ball,” Prohm said. 'We have to keep (Davion) Mitchell and (Jared) Butler out of the paint, we have to understand what our (Mark) Vital rules are and do a great job of matching his toughness and then we have to be physical around the glass and rebound.
'We played too passive on the ball against them last time. We have to be more aggressive and get into them and keep them out of the paint.”
Baylor's aggressiveness is something Lewis noticed the last time Iowa State played Baylor, a game the Cyclones lost 68-55.
'Their toughness is what makes them a great team,” Lewis said. 'We have to take that from them.”
Prohm doesn't need Lewis to be a 15-point scorer or a lock-down defender. He just needs a third guard behind Haliburton and Rasir Bolton who can fit within the offense and take what's given to him.
'He has the size and physicality to where if he becomes consistent, he could really help us,” Prohm said.
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