Iowa State Cyclones

Iowa State men's basketball 2020-21 look ahead: Wings

Transfers Javan Johnson, Jalen Coleman-Lands averaged double figures for Troy, DePaul

Troy's Javan Johnson, left, grabs Pittsburgh's Xavier Johnson as he shoots during a 2018 game in Pittsburgh. (Associated
Troy's Javan Johnson, left, grabs Pittsburgh's Xavier Johnson as he shoots during a 2018 game in Pittsburgh. (Associated Press)

AMES — Every one of Iowa State’s wings transferred after last season.

Terrence Lewis, Zion Griffin and Caleb Grill all found new homes.

Each of them had a game or two where they looked like they could be a productive piece to the puzzle, but none of them were able to take full advantage of the opportunities they were given.

As a unit they shot just 27 percent from 3-point range on a combined 141 attempts while averaging less than 6.0 points per game apiece.

In 2020-21, Iowa State has to find a wing to contribute on a nightly basis — it can’t just be Rasir Bolton driving into the lane or feeding Solomon Young the ball inside.

Coach Steve Prohm believes he has that player in Javan Johnson, who sat out last season due to NCAA transfer rules.

Johnson is at Iowa State by way of Troy, where he averaged 10.4 points while shooting 35 percent from beyond the arc as a sophomore. At 6-foot-6, he also pulled down 4.2 rebounds per game.

“We played him the same way we played Marial (Shayok) during his sit-out year,” Prohm said. “Javan played point guard for the second team.”

Prohm likes to do that so a player that’s wired to score can get a feel of what the point guard sees and is looking for so they can put themselves in the best position possible when they move back off the ball. Also, it forces them to be a distributor so if a shot isn’t there in a game, they’re able to pass out of it — something Prohm said Johnson got very good at last season.

Prohm believes Johnson will be a key contributor in 2020-21.

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“When you look at Javan, he’s a double-figure scorer from Troy but he fits into how we play,” Prohm said. “He’s long, lengthy, skilled and has the ability to play multiple positions. When we play four guards, he could play the one, two, three or four for us.

Beyond treating their sit-out years in a similar fashion, Prohm sees some Shayok in Johnson’s game.

“When it’s late in the shot clock, he’s a guy that can go make a basket or make a play for us,” Prohm said. “He has great offensive instincts. I’m really excited about his versatility.”

Iowa State will be relying on another transfer to bolster the wing position in Jalen Coleman-Lands, a graduate transfer from DePaul by way of Illinois.

Coleman-Lands is 6-foot-4 and is known as a shooter. He made the 11th-most 3s in DePaul history last season with 63. But he’ll need to improve his efficiency because he made them at a 32-percent clip.

The final two pieces to Iowa State’s brand-new wing puzzle are incoming freshmen Dudley Blackwell and Darlinstone Dubar.

Blackwell is a top 100, 4-star recruit according to ESPN while 247Sports has both Blackwell and Dubar as highly rated 3-star recruits.

Prohm believes both will have a chance to make an impact on next season’s team.

“We got back to being long on the perimeter. In 2018-19, we were 6-foot-5 or 6-foot-6 one through four,” Prohm said. “Dudley Blackwell is in that range and Darlinstone Dubar is in that range too. They’ll have a chance to play right away and I’m excited to see what they can do.”

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The Cyclones will have all new wing pieces in 2020-21 and a lot of unknowns. But if Prohm can find the right formula and the transfers meet or exceed his expectations, it’ll go a long way in making next season better than the last — both for the wing position and for the team as a whole.

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