AMES — Darlinstone Dubar was maybe the most unheralded member of Iowa State’s 2020 men’s basketball recruiting class.
Xavier Foster and Dudley Blackwell were four-star prospects and Iowa State coach Steve Prohm said Jaden Walker had some Tyrese Haliburton in him, which, fair or not, immediately raised the expectations.
All four played well in Iowa State’s 80-53, season-opening win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff, but Dubar had more than double the minutes of any other freshman and led the team in rebounding.
Iowa State hosts South Dakota State at 6 p.m. Wednesday (ESPN+) and the 6-foot-6 Dubar is ready to display the energy and motor he brings to the floor.
“I felt like I did pretty good going to the glass in the season opener but I felt like I could do a little bit more,” Dubar said. “Every time my opponent shoots, I go to the glass. That’s all about playing hard and doing the little things.”
It’s those little things Prohm loves about Dubar.
Prohm wasn’t sure what Dubar’s role would be when Dubar first got to campus, but over the last several weeks, Dubar has emerged as the Iowa State freshman most ready to get big minutes.
“He’s one that grows on you,” Prohm said. “... he just kept getting better. He’s around the ball and he does simple, tough things.”
Simple, tough things like rebounding.
Dubar had eight rebounds against Arkansas-Pine Bluff and six of those were on offense.
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“That’s good activity,” Prohm said. “He’s still figuring out what we’re doing. He’s a driver and a slasher and is capable of making a 3 — he has to continue to work on that part of his game. He’s a really quiet kid who just goes about his business every day.”
Dubar added seven points on 3-of-7 shooting to go along with those eight rebounds. Two of his three made field goals came off offensive rebounds.
Prohm has played Dubar at the “3” and the “4” positions because of his ability to rebound.
“I just have to fill my role and do my part,” Dubar said. “I have to rebound and make everyone around me better. I feel very comfortable at those two positions.”