KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Iowa State men’s basketball team was having a disappointing season before starting point guard Tyrese Haliburton broke his wrist.
Things didn’t get better.
The Cyclones are just 2-6 since Haliburton’s injury and they’ve had trouble replacing him at point guard.
Rasir Bolton has an assist to turnover ratio of 1.3-to-1 in those eight games, Prentiss Nixon has actually had more turnovers than assists (1-to-1.7) and freshman Tre Jackson has actually been the Cyclones guard who values the ball the best with (2-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio).
Monday, Iowa State coach Steve Prohm said Bolton was seeing a doctor after he suffered a concussion against West Virginia and missed Iowa State’s season finale Saturday against Kansas State. He also said Nixon wasn’t practicing on Monday due to a sprained ankle.
Iowa State plays Oklahoma State in the first round of the Big 12 tournament on Wednesday in Kansas City, and it may have an even shorter supply of players who can play point guard.
“Tre would be the main point guard and then we’d probably have to throw Terrence Lewis in there some,” Prohm said. “We’d have to simplify what we do for Terrence since he doesn’t usually play there but he’d be our other option at point.”
Bolton did not participate in Iowa State’s open practice Tuesday at Kansas City’s Sprint Center, while Nixon did.
After practice, Prohm said Bolton is still day-to-day and the plan is for Nixon to start and play point guard along with Jackson. Lewis would be the emergency point guard if Bolton is out and Jackson or Nixon get in foul trouble.
Iowa State post player Solomon Young has been a huge part of any success Iowa State has had since Haliburton’s injury. He averaged 13.1 points on 60 percent shooting from the field, 4.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in those eight games.
With more uncertainty at point guard on Wednesday, Young figures to be an even more important player for the Cyclones.
“He’s been great for us,” Prohm said. “We’ve been able to establish a post threat in the second half of the season when Tyrese went out. He has great toughness and work ethic and he’s developed a way to score around the basket.”
Prohm hopes that Young, a junior, can carry that into next season for Iowa State.
“He’s helped our half-court scoring in the second half of the year,” Prohm said. “It’s something that, going into next year, that we can have more balance with our guards and bigs because we have a lot of confidence throwing it in there to him now.”
While Iowa State is certainly trending down, Oklahoma State is a team going in the opposite direction.
The Cowboys finished the season 7-3 in their last 10 games, including a win against then-No. 24 Texas Tech.
“They’ve rallied their troops and those seniors that they have really add a lot of experience to their team,” Prohm said.
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