Iowa State Cyclones

Iowa State bench provides spark against Kansas in Big 12 championship game

George Conditt and Lindell Wigginton help Cyclones hold off Jayhawks

Iowa State’s Cam Lard (2) embraces George Conditt during Saturday’s Big 12 men’s basketball tournament championship game against Kansas at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. (Amy Kontras/USA TODAY Sports)
Iowa State’s Cam Lard (2) embraces George Conditt during Saturday’s Big 12 men’s basketball tournament championship game against Kansas at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. (Amy Kontras/USA TODAY Sports)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Iowa State found itself in foul trouble midway through the first half against Kansas on Saturday in the Big 12 tournament championship game.

Michael Jacobson and Cam Lard, Iowa State’s primary big men, both had two fouls.

Coach Steve Prohm put freshman George Conditt in the game. Conditt hadn’t seen any meaningful minutes in the tournament before Saturday.

Not only did Iowa State maintain its lead, it grew it going into the half, leading 32-22 at the break.

In the second half, Prohm was so pleased with Conditt’s play that when Jacobson needed a breather, he put in Conditt.

Iowa State beat No. 18 Kansas 78-66 at Sprint Center to capture another Big 12 Tournament title, its fourth in the last six years.

Conditt didn’t fill up the stat sheet, but he brought energy and finished with two points, two rebounds and a block in 12 minutes.

“That’s how you win tournaments,” Prohm said. “You need your bench guys to step up and give you minutes.”

Conditt was fired up after the game about the role he played.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

“Legit, this is the definition of being ready when your name gets called,” Conditt said. “I’m the living definition of being ready when your name gets called. My name has been called so many times during the season and I’ve tried to step up to the task every time.”

On that same token, Conditt also didn’t get to play in a lot of games. But throughout the season, whether he played or didn’t play, he stayed positive.

“George stays ready,” Michael Jacobson said. “He’s one of those guys that stays ready. We love him for it.”

Prohm said multiple times this season that Conditt is one of the best energy guys on the team.

“I stay positive because of moments like this,” Conditt said. “Moment’s like this are special. You can’t take us out of the books anymore. I’m bonded with my brothers from now on. You can never take me out of the books. I’m written in stone.”

Marial Shayok, the tournament’s most outstanding player, was impressed by the work the freshman from Chicago put in.

“George was the x-factor today,” Shayok said. “Him and Lindell came off the bench and sparked us. Every time Kansas threw a punch, George and Lindell (Wigginton) answered. Today wasn’t my night, but that’s what a team is about.”

Wigginton is a regular rotation player unlike Conditt, but he embraced his role coming off the bench and provided a big spark for Iowa State (23-11).

The sophomore from Canada finished with a team-high 17 points. He also had six rebounds and two assists.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

Thank you for signing up for our e-newsletter!

You should start receiving the e-newsletters within a couple days.

“Lindell had his moments when he was struggling this year,” Jacobson said. “But I’m so proud of him with the way he kept fighting and kept working. He had an unbelievable tournament and had some unbelievable games for us. He’s an awesome player.”

Wigginton didn’t have the easiest season. He injured his foot in the first game, missed seven games and then came off the bench and never was reinserted into his starting role.

He credits Prohm and his teammates for keeping him positive.

“It wasn’t fun all the time, but things happen for a reason,” Wigginton said. “All my struggles I went through this season, this is the reason.”

l Comments: benv43@gmail.com

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.