116 3rd St SE
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AMES - The Iowa State men's basketball team has one regular-season game left and the Cyclones remain winless in the Big 12 Conference.
Iowa State plays Kansas State at 4 p.m. Saturday (ESPN+) in Manhattan, Kan., to end the worst regular season since 1936-37.
The Cyclones' current 15-game losing streak already is the longest in school history and if they lose on Saturday, they will join the 1937 team as the only two Iowa State teams to not win a conference game.
'I don't want to end the season like that. No one does,” junior George Conditt said. 'I've been a part of this program for a while and it's not an Iowa State thing. Coming close against top-ranked teams isn't an Iowa State thing. The Big 12 has a lot of great teams but losing by two or whatever, there's no moral victory in that at Iowa State.
'Everybody has to have that mentality of, ‘Next game, we have to get one.'”
The Wildcats (7-19, 3-14 Big 12) are ninth in the league standings, so if 10th-place Iowa State (2-20, 0-17) is going to find a win anywhere it would be against Kansas State. But the Cyclones have played two games in three days this week as they make up games that were postponed due to COVID-19.
This will be ISU's third game in five days and, to make matters more difficult, Coach Steve Prohm expects point guard and leading scorer Rasir Bolton to be out for the third straight game with a sprained ankle.
'We're just trying to break through,” Conditt said. 'We just have to finish games. There are points in these games where one mistake can mess up a whole rhythm. We have to eliminate those.
'I'm really proud of this team for continuing to fight. With everything that's happened with COVID, it really takes a toll on players mentally. For this team to keep fighting and to never back down - a lot of teams could've just thrown in the towel. I love this team for not doing that.”
Part of Conditt's motivation for not backing down is for the seniors.
Solomon Young has been a part of two Big 12 championship teams and Jalen Coleman-Lands, a graduate transfer, came to Iowa State to help with leadership and be a reliable scorer, which he has been, averaging 14.1 points.
'I don't want our seniors to leave without getting a conference win,” Conditt said. 'That's very upsetting.”
While the season has gone poorly, Prohm reminded his players they are fortunate to even play this season given the pandemic.
'Like I told the guys, life is tough,” Prohm said. 'It's tough going through this, but man, there are a lot of blessings in our life, too. We have to understand that and make sure we appreciate those blessings.
'Like I always say, ‘You have to be humble through success and be humble when you struggle.'”