Iowa State Cyclones

George Conditt brings added element to Iowa State basketball frontcourt

Sophomore center working on conditioning ahead of Cyclones' game against Kansas City

Iowa State forward George Conditt IV dunks the ball during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Southern Mississippi, Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019, in Ames, Iowa. (Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press)
Iowa State forward George Conditt IV dunks the ball during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Southern Mississippi, Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019, in Ames, Iowa. (Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press)

AMES — Iowa State center George Conditt got tired near the end of the Cyclones’ last game in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament in the Bahamas.

He was tasked with running rim to rim and rolling hard on screens against No. 15 Seton Hall. Things that are easy to say, but much harder to do because of the effort required.

Conditt finished with eight points, seven rebounds and a block in 18 minutes Iowa State’s 84-76 loss.

When he got back to Ames, he hopped on the treadmill.

“During the Seton Hall game I got kind of winded so I got on the treadmill and got some extra conditioning in,” Conditt said.

Conditt will be tasked with the same duties once again — rim run and roll hard — when Iowa State (4-3) hosts Kansas City (5-4) at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Hilton Coliseum

“It’s not always simple doing it, but if it helps the team then I have to do it — regardless of if I like the extra conditioning that comes with it or not,” the 6-foot-10 Conditt said with a chuckle. “I have to do it. It helps everyone else out.”

Conditt is averaging 9.4 points on 77 percent shooting. Many of his looks have come at the rim because of his rim running.

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“It definitely creates a lot more space for the guards to work and do what they have to do and it has opened up opportunities for me,” Conditt said.

He’s also averaging 5.0 rebounds and 3.1 blocks per game in 17.6 minutes. Conditt is No. 4 in the nation in block percentage at 17.3.

“It’s about preaching to the bigs that when you rim run and roll hard on screens, show me when good things don’t happen,” Iowa State coach Steve Prohm said. “I tell George all the time that if you rim run, block shots and you defend, you’re going to make a lot of money one day. You get paid a lot of money to do that.

“He’s really growing — he has an unbelievably high ceiling with his ability to block and change shots and as he continues to grow and get stronger and increase his range offensively and being able to really finish around the rim — he had a couple of nice jump hooks in the Bahamas. His ability to rim run and play in the pick and roll is big.”

Teammate Rasir Bolton notices a big difference in the way he’s able to play when Conditt is in.

Because Conditt is able to block such a high percentage of shots at the rim, the guards can play tighter on the perimeter and if their man does get by them, Conditt will be there to turn them away.

Offensively, Bolton feels he can use his floater a little more because if he does miss, the bounce off the rim will be so high that it gives Conditt an opportunity at a putback dunk.

“I’m trying to assert my dominance down low and getting offensive rebounds and putbacks is a main focus,” Conditt said. “I made it one of my goals to stay on the offensive glass. We can’t just stay around the offensive glass, we have to compete for the offensive glass.”

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Conditt is still coming off the bench for Iowa State, but his minutes aren’t far off from Solomon Young’s and Michael Jacobson’s. Young averages 20.9 minutes and Jacobson averages 25.6.

“It’s not easy because you can make a case for all of them to play more and put them in different situations,” Prohm said. “That’s why it’s a team game and they have to understand that each night it’ll be somebody else, each night may call for someone else because they’re all three so different. All three play pretty much the same position but they’re all three very different in what they bring to the table.

“That’s the trademark of a great team, can you understand when it’s your night and your number is called and can you understand when it’s not but still get excited when your teammate does something great?”

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