AMES — The Iowa State men’s basketball team didn’t play its first road game last season until Dec. 6 against Iowa.
This season, Iowa State’s first road game comes nearly a month earlier.
Iowa State travels to Corvallis, Ore., to play Oregon State on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. (Pac-12 Network).
“It’s a really good opportunity to play a Power 5 opponent this early in the season,” forward Michael Jacobson said. “It’ll be a road environment and it’ll be the first time we face adversity. We have to be prepared and ready and be the more tough and disciplined team.”
The Cyclones didn’t face much, if any, adversity in their first game against Mississippi Valley State. Every scholarship player besides Terrence Lewis scored at least seven in the Cyclones’ 110-74 win over the Delta Devils.
The only thing Iowa State coach Steve Prohm could nitpick after the game was that his team didn’t always defend as well as it needed to, mostly in pick-and-roll situations.
“It helps opening at home, especially when you have a new team and new players and guys going into new roles, rather than opening up on the road,” Prohm said. “I thought we had good moments. Now, we had some tough defensive stretches that we have to clean up. Saturday is a great opportunity to see where we’re at and to see how we need to get better going forward.”
The new players are sophomore transfer Rasir Bolton and freshmen Tre Jackson and Caleb Grill.
Each had impressive moments. Bolton had nine points, six rebounds and five assists in 20 minutes before he left the game due to cramps, Jackson totaled 11 points, two rebounds and one assist and Grill accumulated seven points, two rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block.
Now they need to make those moments consistent.
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It was a given from the time he transferred that Bolton would need to play a big role, but Prohm has said that he needs his freshmen to play well for Iowa State to reach its potential and they’ll get their first road test this weekend.
Sophomore guard Tyrese Haliburton is doing his best to aid the freshmen as they adapt to college basketball.
“I remember for the first 10 games last season when I was a freshman that my hands would shake nonstop before the games,” Haliburton said. “Caleb Grill is my roommate and I’ve been talking with him about how he’s feeling, and I spend a lot of time with Tre Jackson to see how he’s feeling. They have to get into a rhythm because the better they play, that’s going to help us down the road.
“Everybody was in rhythm today and there’s a lot to build on before Corvallis.”
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